“News-May 21, 2011”

Wastewater Treatment Plant Goes Online In June


5/24/11 – The upgraded and expanded Beaver Dam Wastewater Treatment Plant will go online next month. The city was awarded $20 million in stimulus money in 2009 to expand their outdated plant and incorporate green technology into the upgrade. The former treatment plant was six years beyond its design life, operating at 140% to 170% of its capacity. Of the $20 million the city received, half was an outright grant while the other half was a low-interest, tax-free loan. The public-private partnership with Kraft Foods allows the city to pre-treat waste from the company and convert it to biogas, benefiting both entities and generating two times the amount of electricity that the facility uses. Jim Smith, with architect and engineering company Applied Technology, told the city’s Operations Committee last night that the “team effort” between the city and Kraft contributed to the success of the project. Smith also praised the DNR for their hands-on involvement in helping put the project on the fast track. Bernie Robertson, Construction Management Engineer for the DNR’s South-Central Region, oversaw the bidding and construction aspects of the project and says the green energy aspect was appealing to the agency. The project allows Beaver Dam to keep sewer usage fees at among the lowest in the state; $39 for the average resident, compared to the statewide average of $93.


Danni Jo Passes


5/24/11 – A woman seriously injured in a car accident nearly ten years ago has passed away.  24-year-old Dannielle J. “Danni Jo” Thiel died Sunday at her home in Beaver Dam.  Thiel, her mother Suzanne and her siblings were driving on Highway E in August of 2001 when an oncoming truck failed to negotiate a curve, crossed the centerline and collided head-on with the Thiels.  The accident took the life of Suzanne and left Danni Jo bedridden for the past decade. The driver of the other vehicle, Nicholas Gross, was convicted of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and two counts of causing injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle.  He is still in prison.  Since the accident, Danni Jo’s father – Dan Thiel – had become an advocate for drunken driving prevention, often speaking to first-time offenders about the impact of their actions.  About two-years ago Danni Jo made a tape describing her life since the accident, which can be found on our YouTube page. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Murray Funeral Home.


Names Released of Men Killed in Truck vs Train Accident


5/24/11 – Authorities have released the names of the two men killed Saturday night in Reeseville when their pickup truck was hit by an Amtrak passenger train.  The driver, 41-year-old Dennis Bachim of Reeseville, intentionally drove around the railroad crossing gates on Main Street before being hit by the train.  Bachim and his passenger, 48-year-old Brian Sennett of Reeseville, were pronounced dead at the scene.  Authorities are still trying to determine why Bachim drove around the gates.  None of the 200-plus people on the train were injured.


Waupun Man, 4 Year-Old Injured in Suspected OWI Rollover


5/24/11 – A 37-year-old Waupun man faces felony OWI charges after allegedly rolling his vehicle on Highway 49 into the Horicon Marsh late Sunday night. Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls says there was a 4-year-old child in the car at the time and when authorities came upon the car, all the windows were broken and there was significant blood in the vehicle.  The two had vanished but Nehls says deputies located them around 4am yesterday (Mon) morning on Highway M south of Waupun.  Both were taken via EMS to Waupun Hospital for treatment. The man faces a variety of charges including Operation after Suspension, Operating While Intoxicated with a Child in the Vehicle, which is a felony, and Knowingly Operating a Vehicle While Suspended Causing Injury, all of which carries a fine of nearly $6,500.


OWI Injury Charges Filed In March BD Accident


5/24/11 – A Sun Prairie woman faces felony charges for injuries a passenger sustained in a drunken driving accident in Beaver Dam.  Cassandra Dalby could spend as much as 13 years behind bars if convicted on charges of OWI Causing Injury and Operating After Revocation.  According to the criminal complaint, the 25-year-old had a blood alcohol level over three times the legal limit when she struck a utility pole and several street signs on Burnett Street in March.  Officers followed a blood trail to a nearby residence where they reportedly found Dalby and her passenger inebriated and covered in cuts and bruises.  Cash bond was set at $500 yesterday and a preliminary hearing is set for next month.


Woman Hospitalized In Horicon Stabbing


5/24/11 – Horicon police have at least one person of interest in custody in connection with the stabbing of a woman early yesterday (Mon) morning.  It happened on the 500 block of North Palmatory Street just after 5am.  In the 9-1-1 call, the woman says she had just returned home and upon entering her residence she was attacked and then stabbed by the assailant.  The man then fled out the backdoor of the home.  The woman, described as being middle-aged, was seriously injured and flown by helicopter to UW-Hospital in Madison.  It’s unknown if the woman knew her attackers but police are said to have a suspect in custody.  The Horicon Police Department has not commented as their investigation is ongoing.


NWS Confirms Six Tornados in the State


5/24/11 – Sunday’s tornado in La Crosse caused millions-in-damage – but it was not bad enough to qualify for federal disaster aid. That’s what county Emergency Management Coordinator Keith Butler said yesterday, after the National Weather Service confirmed a twister which it said caused “lower end E-F-Two damage.” It was the worst of several tornadoes that hit Wisconsin on Sunday, and Governor Scott Walker promised state disaster relief when he toured part of the wreckage yesterday. Butler said the storm damaged 200 homes and a handful of businesses. The storm packed winds of 120 miles-an-hour, and it was on the ground for two-point-three miles on La Crosse’s south side. Walker said he was grateful there were no major injuries or deaths. Also yesterday, the Weather Service confirmed four other tornadoes besides the ones in La Crosse and nearby Sparta. A single twister hit the Tomah and Mather areas – the same tornado landed near Nekoosa and Plover – and two tornadoes touched down near Kingston and Markesan in Green Lake County. That makes a total of six from Sunday’s storms, with more possible.