News May 23, 2009

Crash Claims Beaver Dam Man

5/23/09 – A 51-year-old Beaver Dam man was killed in an early evening crash yesterday in the Town of Burnett. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Department says while the man was making a right turn from Highway I onto westbound Highway E his classic Ford Mustang was hit from the side by a westbound pickup truck. The man and the 83-year-old driver of the truck were taken to the Beaver Dam hospital where the man was pronounced dead. The crash was reported just after 5 p.m. and authorities say it remains under investigation. The man is Dodge County’s fourth motor vehicle related death in 2009.

Razing The Bar

5/23/09 – Well they didn’t exactly break ground but Beaver Dam city leaders and state officials did take a sledgehammer to the century-old bricks of the now-shuttered tavern Doc’s Corner during an opening ceremony yesterday for the downtown redevelopment project. In coming weeks, ten structures will be demolished, including the Celestial building and the legendary Doc’s Corner, which of course gives new meaning to the term, ‘razing the bar.’ Mayor Tom Kennedy says the revitalization efforts will soon evolve into a viable downtown with mixed uses for housing developments, open spaces, parks and business activity. Crews with Brandenburg Industries began to dismantle the buildings by hand earlier this week. The actual mechanized demolition of the structures will begin this Tuesday, with the former Julie R Danceware building being the first to fall.

Bronze Eagle Stolen from Veterans Memorial in Randolph

5/23/09 – Authorities in Columbia County are looking for a bronze eagle stolen from the Veterans Memorial in the Randolph Cemetery. Sheriff Dennis Richards says the eagle, valued at $3,000, was first reported missing on May 19th, but they are unsure when the eagle was actually taken. Officials say the initial complaint led them to look for a vehicle suspected to be a part of the theft but so far nothing has turned up. They believe the statue was taken from the monument by truck. Anyone with information is asked to call the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department. Despite the missing eagle, Memorial Day ceremonies will be held at the Randolph Veterans Memorial on Monday. Click here for a list of all the local events on Monday.

Neumann Found Guilty

5/23/09 – It took a jury in Marathon County three and a half hours to convict Leilani Neumann of second-degree reckless homicide. Neumann was accused of failing to get medical attention for her 11 year old daughter as she was dying from complications due to diabetes. No date has been set for her sentencing. Madeline Neumann died March 23rd of last year as she was circled by people praying for her. A call was finally made to 9-1-1 when she quit breathing. Prosecutors told the jury a reasonable person would have know something was wrong with the girl. They described her as a religious zealot. Neumann could get up to 25 years in prison. Her husband, Dale, goes on trial in July.

Refsland: “Cut in School Aid Was Expected”

5/23/09 – The announcement by Governor Jim Doyle on Thursday that aid to schools and local government in the next budget would be cut by 2.5% didn’t come as a surprise to school administrators. Waupun’s Randy Refsland says the cut was actually smaller than the 5% they were expecting. Refsland says more importantly than the cut is whether or not the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee and Doyle will suspend the 2% revenue limit for districts so they can collect enough money to plug the cut in aid. If they don’t, Waupun would be forced to cut an additional $360,000. The Joint Finance Committee says it hopes to finish up their work on the budget by the end of the month and Refsland says he’ll have more exact numbers when they do.

Empty Buildings to be Sold

5/23/09 – All three buildings being closed in the Waupun School District at the end of this semester will be on the market soon after. Administrators say they are in the process of having the Fox Lake, Alto, and Jefferson Elementary Schools appraised, and when that’s completed, the buildings will be put up for sale. The three schools were part of a drastic budget cut in an attempt to close a deficit of more than $1.2-million-dollars for this coming school year. In response to the closing of the school in Fox Lake a citizen’s group called CARE has started a petition to allow the city and town to detach from the Waupun district and latch onto the Randolph School District. Right after the vote to close the buildings took place members of CARE said they would file an injunction to keep the Fox Lake Elementary from being sold until the possible detachment process was complete. The petition was officially launched earlier this week and by state statute, the group must secure signatures from a majority of the people eligible to vote in the city and town of Fox Lake by July 1st.

Doyle to Speak at Wayland Commencement

5/23/09 – Wayland Academy will have a special guest at their graduation ceremony Sunday. Governor Jim Doyle will deliver the Commencement Address for the 154th graduating class in the Lindsay Auditorium. It’s not the first time Doyle has given the commencement speech. He also delivered the speech in 2000 when he was the state’s attorney general. This year’s class has 52 graduates representing five states and four countries.

Death had “Satanic Overtones”

5/23/09 – Sawyer County investigators say the killing of Irena Roszak had satanic overtones. Christopher Roalson was charged with homicide in her fatal stabbing yesterday. A 15 year old boy from Exeland is charged with being a party to the crimes. The 93 year old woman was stabbed 15 times in the attack earlier this month. In an interview Roalson reportedly told authorities he is the “son of Satan.” Both suspects are being held on one million dollars bond and both have a court appearance scheduled for next month.

No Call List Deadline Approaching

5/23/09 – Lots of people are making the call — so they don’t get called. Wisconsin residents who want to put their phone number on the state’s no-call list have until June 1 to do it. That would keep telemarketers from called their number after July 1. The state says it has a little over one and a half million phone numbers on its list, but everyone has to renew after two years. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says you can register both your cell phone and land line, if you wish. There is no charge. If you don’t meet the deadline, you’ll have to wait six months to have your number placed off-limits.

More Layoffs for Rusk County

5/23/09 – There’s more bad economic news for the county with the state’s highest unemployment rate. Hundreds of layoffs are moving from temporary to permanent at Jeld-Wen Windows in Rusk County. Jeld-Wen has notified the state that 247 people will lose their jobs. The plant in Hawkins has been temporarily laying off workers since the start of the year, and it now says the slumping economy is forcing it to make the layoffs permanent — since the workers can’t be brought back within six months. The layoffs hit hard in Rusk County where the unemployment rate of over 16 percent is the highest among Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Gokey to Perform in Milwaukee

5/23/09 – Milwaukee welcomes home-town singer Danny Gokey next Tuesday night. The man who made it to the top-three in Fox’s “American Idol” will make an appearance at the Riverside Theater. Gokey will speak about Sophia’s Heart Foundation after his wife died last summer during heart surgery. He and another “Idol” contestant, Jamar Rogers, will sing for the crowd. Admission is free and the doors open at 6:30 p.m.