News May 18, 2009

Court Will Allow New Evidence in Knaup Trial

5/18/09 – Some new evidence will be allowed during a trial scheduled to start later this week for former Beaver Dam Alderman Clancy Knaup who’s been accused of stealing guns from one of his tenants last year. A judge ruled last Friday that Knaup’s attorney will be allowed to introduce new evidence relating to the alleged victims role in recent criminal activity in Dodge County. 19-year-old Stephen Peterson, who claims Knaup trespassed when he entered his apartment, is one of three suspects in the recent bombings of a mailbox in Burnett and a port-a-potty at Lost Lake Park. Investigators say they used pipe bombs and, in the case of the outhouse, also used liquefied gas. On top of the gun theft charges, Knaup is accused of stealing ammunition, bolt cutters, knives and body armor from the teenage tenant. At the time of the incident, Knaup told us his other tenants were scared by the “gun-wielding” teens and he was acting in their best interest when he took possession of the weapons. The trial is set to start this Thursday.

Milwaukee Man Killed in Columbia Co. Accident

5/18/09 – A 51-year-old Milwaukee man was killed in a one-car accident Saturday afternoon in Columbia County. James A. Nowak was taken to Columbus Community Hospital around 3pm where he was pronounced dead. The accident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department and Medical Examiners office.

Man Leads Authorities on 45 Mile Chase

5/18/09 – Authorities think a 29 year old driver was trying to get away because he had an outstanding arrest warrant — and may have been drunk. The man from Langlade County led police on a high speed chase through four counties Friday night, including Fond du Lac and Dodge, before finally being stopped after 45 miles. The guy was in a pickup. He reached speeds approaching 95 miles an hour, but was going much slower after three tires were blown out by stop spikes. He finally came to a stop in a muddy field in Ozaukee County.

Downtown Demolition Begins Today

5/18/09 – The demolition of 10 downtown Beaver Dam buildings begins this morning with the Celestial Building at 201 Front Street. It’s all part of the downtown revitalization project. Remediation work started last week and the second building to be taken down will be the former Julie R. Danceware. All of the demolition work is scheduled to be completed by July 31st.

Government Looking to Take Over College Loans Completely

5/18/09 – The House Education Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on the student loan reforms that Fond du Lac Congressman Tom Petri (pee-try) has been seeking for years. Petri wants to do away with the federally-funded student loans given out by financial institutions – and instead, have the government loan all the money directly. It’s being done both ways right now. But President Obama’s budget calls for an end to the privately-administered loans. The Congressional Budget Office says it would save 94-billion-dollars over the next 10 years. Petri says it shows how much financial institutions were getting to be in the program, and why they’ve been fighting to keep the status quo. Obama says he wants to use the savings to increase Pell Grants for low-income college students.

Merit Pay for Teachers?

5/18/09 – The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute is calling for major changes in the way public schools give and evaluate achievement tests. State school officials are already working on some of those proposals. But the institute, a conservative think tank, has one idea that’s sure to be controversial – merit pay for teachers based on their students’ performance. Teacher unions oppose the idea, and there’s a state law against it. But the studies’ authors say it works in two

private schools and two charter schools – and they say the law against teacher merit pay should be repealed. The current standardized tests for third-through-10th are expected to change in the fall of 2010 to reflect new educational standards which are now being developed.

Powerball Hits $170M

5/18/09 – The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night is the second-highest of the year. It stands at 170-million-dollars, after nobody won the top prize in the last drawing on Saturday. The current jackpot is the highest since February 27th, when two tickets sold in Delaware and Pennsylvania shared just under 175-million-dollars. Wednesday night’s cash option is 88-million.