News – May 18, 2016

Chapter 980 Sex Offenders Heading To Lomira


5/18/16 – Two convicted Chapter 980 sex offenders are headed to Lomira.  Yesterday, Dodge County District Court Judges Brian Pfitzinger and Joseph Sciascia respectively approved the placements of Jonathan Miller and Robert Larson Jr. at W462 Highway 67 in the Town of Lomira.  Earlier this month, the judges asked the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the location to determine if it meets state guidelines.  While that report listed multiple concerns, the judges said it was not enough to legally prohibit the placements.  Sheriff Dale Schmidt says he does not endorse the location since a 15-year-old child lives roughly 1,000 feet away, a one-year-old child receives day care multiple times per week at that same residence, and school groups often visit a nearby slaughterhouse for tours and educational events.  State legislation passed last year prohibits placing Chapter 980 offenders within 1,500 feet of adjacent properties with children, but this house is not adjacent.  Schmidt also worries about a lack of nearby law enforcement.  The closest police stations, Lomira and Campbellsport, are both part-time offices.   Schmidt says it could take his office up to 25 minutes to respond to the Chapter 980 house.  He says his office will work with the Lomira Police Department to step up patrol in the area.  Multiple Lomira residents and Lomira Police Chief Christopher Mireski spoke in opposition to the placements at Larson Jr’s hearing.  While they do not personally support the idea, both judges said they needed to grant the supervised release to keep the Chapter 980 program from possibly being declared unconstitutional.  Schmidt says a community notification hearing will be held in Lomira within the next six weeks.  Area residents will receive phone calls from the sheriff’s office with more information.  Miller and Larson Jr. are expected to move into their new house by July 1.


Changes Made To Dodge Co. Sheriff’s Office Hiring Process


5/18/16 – Changes were made last night to the civil service process used to hire employees for the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.  The county board voted 15-13 to no longer have corrections, communications, and secretarial staff go through the civil service commission.  Sheriff Dale Schmidt says that will speed up the county’s ability to hire new employees by 75-100 days and keep qualified candidates from going to other agencies before a job offer can be made.  Schmidt says his office will now see all applicants’ names immediately instead of getting a few at a time as they go through an interview process with the civil service commission.  Instead of going to a grievance committee, Schmidt says disciplinary, suspension, and termination appeals for those employees will now go through a chain that runs from the person’s immediate boss up to the county board.  Schmidt says non-sworn supervisors will no longer have to go through entry-level tests to be promoted.  While Supervisor Tom Nickel agrees something needed to be done to streamline the hiring process, he voted against last night’s ordinance change.  He does not agree with an elected official having that power without oversight from the county board.  Schmidt says the changes made last night allow his office to operate in the same manner as all other county departments.  He says sheriff’s in 42 of 66 counties he spoke with said they do not have any civil service process.


State Prisoner Dies Of Apparent Drug Overdose


5/18/16 – Authorities are investigating the death of a state prisoner in Oshkosh from an apparent drug overdose. The state Corrections Department and Oshkosh Police confirm that 31-year-old Daniel Tanner died May fifth in the prison’s restrictive housing unit. Court records show that Tanner had served most of a ten year sentence for distributing cocaine and marijuana — and officials have not said how he obtained the drugs involved in his overdose. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says there have been no allegations that prison personnel acted improperly, and no employees have been disciplined or put on leave.


Man Suspected Of December BP Robbery In Custody


5/18/16 – The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office believes it knows who was responsible for a December robbery at a Town of Beaver Dam gas station.  Sheriff Dale Schmidt says the five month investigation pointed to 33-year-old Joshua Benson of Beaver Dam.  Benson is already in custody on unrelated charges.  A Robbery with use of a Dangerous Weapon charge is being forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office.  Benson allegedly had a weapon when he took an undisclosed amount of cash from the 1112 Madison Street BP station the morning of December 8.  The $500 reward offered by the gas station owner went uncollected.


New Habitat For Humanity Home Being Built In Juneau


5/18/16 – The process of building a new Habitat for Humanity home in Juneau kicked off Tuesday. The Mielke family will be living at 504 South Main Street. Morgan Pfaff with Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties says the family will complete 250 hours of “sweat equity” helping to build the home, a basic tenet of Habitat for Humanity. They will also repay the no-profit mortgage, illustrating the non-profit’s objective to give families a hand-up rather than a hand-out. Pfaff says you do not need to know how to build a house to volunteer. The project should be complete this year. The new home is a result of a partnership between Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial called Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity.  Dan Yagodinski with the Thrivent Financial office in Beaver Dam, says the partnership has resulted in more than 3500 Habitat homes around the world being built or repaired since 2005. Because of the nearly 2.4 million members of Thrivent Financial, and other volunteers, Yagodinski says Thrivent Builds is able to contribute to the improvement of communities like Juneau. Thrivent Financial contributed 50 percent of the house costs—a total of $50,000—and is also engaging local volunteers who are members of Thrivent Financial, members of area churches and members of the community at large, to donate additional funds and volunteer their time to work alongside the partner families to build these homes. Volunteers are asked to first contact Habitat for Humanity of Dodge and Washington Counties. Contact information is on our website Information on how to volunteer can be found at:

Address: 724 Elm St #103, West Bend, WI 53095

Phone:(262) 338-0690 or (262) 483-4080


Dodge County Tobacco Free Coalition Meets Tomorrow


5/18/16 – The Dodge County Tobacco Free Community Coalition is holding its next meeting Thursday. County Public Health Officer Jody Langfeldt says the coalition continues to work on the elimination of tobacco-related disease through education, advocacy and promotion of tobacco-free living. According to the American Lung Association, tobacco is Wisconsin’s leading cause of preventable death and costs the state more than $4.5 billion annually. Also, the number of high school students who have used e-cigarettes has tripled in the last three years; another 4000 youth will become smokers each year. The Dodge County Tobacco Free Community Coalition’s next coalition meeting is tomorrow from 4pm to 5:30pm at the Dodge County Administrative Building.


New Kayak Dock Launch To Be Dedicated In Beaver Dam


5/18/16 – A new kayak dock and launch pad installed at Waterworks Park will be dedicated Thursday. The Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association purchased the items from funds donated to the non-profit from the estate of Randy Fiegel, a resident who loved all the recreational aspects of the lake.  The launch will complement a nearby, $20-thousand dollar storage shelter being constructed by the city that should be completed by early summer. The Beaver Dam School District donated to the city several canoes, kayaks and paddle boats they had obtained with a federal grant. The Association’s Bill Boettge says paddling is the fastest growing lake recreational activity and an ideal sport for Beaver Dam Lake which has over 40 miles of shoreline for exploration.   The dock and launch is self-floating, adjusting to changing water levels making it ideal for canoes and kayaks.  This dock and launch is designed to assist kayak and canoe users getting into and out of their water craft and features oversized rollers and guide rails to make it easy to glide on and off the launch. The dedication at Waterworks Park will be held tomorrow at 4pm. Beaver Dam will host the Great Beaver Paddle Festival – a day of free demos, clinics and paddling events – on July 30.


Senate Approves Reduced Zika Spending


5/18/16 – Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson voted no to spending one point one billion dollars to fight the Zika virus from now through 2017. The Senate voted 68 to 29 yesterday (Tuesday) to spend about 800-million dollars less than President Barack Obama wanted. But it’s still 500-million more than a shorter four month funding package that’s up for a vote in the House today (Wednesday). Johnson says he fully supports the effort to combat what he calls the “real and spreading biological threat” from the Zika virus — but he believes the spending should be offset by reducing less important allocations elsewhere. Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin supported the Senate’s package, saying it would speed up the creation of a vaccine and expand access to family planning — since the Zika virus is linked to birth defects. The White House says it would veto the smaller House proposal, calling it “woefully insufficient given the risk.”


Kohl’s Settles Pricing Lawsuit In California


5/18/16 – The Wisconsin based Kohl’s Department Store chain has agreed to pay six point one million dollars to settle a lawsuit over its pricing promotions in California. A federal judge has given tentative approval to the settlement, in which Kohl’s agreed to provide gift cards to plaintiffs and improve its pricing compliance systems. Shoppers filed a class action lawsuit, alleging that Kohl’s advertised 30 percent off original prices which are not charged very long before being discounted. California has a more specific pricing law than most other states, defining original prices as the prevailing market prices within three months before they’re marked down. Kohl’s, based in Menomonee Falls, has not commented on the settlement, saying it’s still pending.