“News-May 25, 2011”

Horicon Teen Charged in Stabbing


5/25/11 – A 17-year-old Horicon boy is facing a murder charge for allegedly stabbing his next door neighbor as many as 18 times early Monday morning.  Cory Frederickson made his initial appearance via video conference yesterday on charges of 1st degree intentional homicide, substantial battery and burglary.  Authorities say 53-year-old Candia Rehse went to get something to eat before 5 a-m, and when she returned, she walked in on Frederickson and was allegedly attacked immediately.  Fredrickson pulled what Horicon Police Lieutenant Adrian Bump says was a type of hunting knife and proceeded to stab Rehse 18 times according to prosecutors, leaving her with a fractured skull and deep lacerations among other injuries.  But Rehse fought back and bloodied Frederickson before he fled the scene and went back to his home next door.  Frederickson and his father were on the way to the hospital when police stopped them as they were leaving and began questioning him.  Police say they have the knife that was allegedly used and Frederickson’s bloody clothes.  Rehse was eventually taken to a Madison hospital where Bump says she’s in good spirits and doing well. Bump says Frederickson isn’t talking but they believe his intent was to steal items from the home, which is supported by his previous run-in’s with law enforcement.  Bond was set a quarter-million dollars and he’s due back in court next month.


Murder-Suicide at West Bend Nursing Home


5/25/11 – Two elderly people were killed in a murder-suicide at a nursing home in West Bend. Police said 81-year-old Charles Alioto was visiting his 82-year-old wife Julia when he shot her to death, and then turned the handgun on himself. It happened at the Samaritan Health Center, a nursing home operated by Washington County. A care worker found the bodies during the noon-hour yesterday. Police said no one else was threatened or injured.


Woman Killed in Farm Accident Identified


5/25/11 – A woman killed in a southern Wisconsin farm accident last week was identified yesterday as 72-year-old Carol Helt of rural Dane. Columbia County authorities said Helt was killed by a rock-picker she was towing while operating a tractor. A rock became wedged in the tines of the picker – and investigators believe Helt died when she tried to remove it. The mishap occurred last Thursday north of Lodi.


Dodge County Farmers Making Up for Lost Time


5/25/11 – Local agriculture officials say Dodge County farmers are about a week to ten days behind on corn planting but well ahead of the statewide average. Interim Crops and Soils Agent David Laatsch with the Dodge County UW Extension Office says they are close to having 90-percent of the crop in the ground. Sixty-three percent of the state’s corn crop was planted at last word, up from 35-percent a week ago. The average for the past five years is 81-percent at this time.  Statewide, 14-percent of the soybean crop is in, well below the norm of 40-percent. Laatsch says in Dodge County, there are some wet spots and waterholes but there is close to 50% in the ground.  Cool-and-wet conditions around the state are slowing the development of the alfalfa crop, and some winter-kill is being reported. Laatsch says alfalfa is about two weeks behind in Dodge County but farmers are catching up.  Only 18-percent of Wisconsin farms have surplus moisture. 77-percent report adequate moisture.



Columbus Holds Budget Planning Session


5/25/11 – The Columbus Council held a special 2012 budget planning seminar last night. . The City’s new Financial Director Kim Manley projected that Columbus could actually end up with a $167 thousand dollar surplus at the end of 2011 by outsourcing some of the municipal services. Administrator Boyd Kraemer said state financial policies and budget woes are getting serious. Kraemer noted the sharp decrease in property assessments is shrinking the City’s tax base.


Walker Supports Using Tax Revenues to Pay Down State Debt


5/25/11 – Governor Scott Walker says he supports a new Republican plan to pay down the state’s debt with a 636-million-dollar windfall in tax revenues. Freshman Republicans Tom Larson of Colfax and Warren Petryk of Eleva unveiled a bill yesterday to pay back 235-million by next June to the fund that covers medical malpractice settlements. Doctors pay into that fund. And the State Supreme Court said former Governor Jim Doyle and lawmakers acted illegally when they raided millions from that fund in 2007 to help public school programs stay afloat. Also, the new bill would cover 30-million dollars that was budgeted for higher employee contributions for their health care and pensions. They were part of the law to limit public union bargaining – but it was never adopted because the measure’s tied up in court. Also, the bill would move up payments to Medicaid health providers by a month. It would take advantage of a federal funding change, and save taxpayers 23-million-dollars. And the bill would spare state agencies from having to find 54-million in cuts to balance the current year’s budget. Walker says the bill shows that majority Republicans are serious about governing with the next generation in mind, and creating a sustained economic growth. G-O-P Assembly leaders also endorsed the plan. Assembly Democratic leader Peter Barca says he must review the bill before taking a stand on it. Other Democrats have said they want to use the recent tax windfall to reduce cuts in state aid to schools and local governments.


Senior-Care Will Stay As Is


5/25/11 – Wisconsin’s popular Senior-Care prescription drug program will stay as it is, under a budget measure approved yesterday by the Legislature’s finance panel. Members of both parties rejected Governor Scott Walker’s plan to make the 91-thousand members use Medicare Part-“D” for their initial benefits. Analysts said most seniors would have paid more, and have a harder time dealing with a larger menu of plans. But the committee did go along with Walker’s idea to limit enrollments for the next two years in the Family-Care program, which is designed to keep seniors and the developmentally-disabled out of nursing homes. All 12 Republicans voted yes, and all four Democrats voted no to freeze Family-Care’s enrollment at 42-thousand. They did agree to add 400 people who need emergency long-term care services. Without the limits, enrollments were expected to grow by another 10-thousand – something Republicans said the state couldn’t afford. Family Care cost a quarter-billion dollars when it started in 2006. It’s expected to cost one-point-four billion in each of the next two years. Family-Care operates in 53 of the state’s 72 counties. It does not run in Dane County and parts of northeast Wisconsin.


FDL Official Facing Jail Time


5/25/11 – Prosecutors recommend three-and-a-half years in jail for a former Fond du Lac city official who took part in an embezzlement scheme that netted 240-thousand dollars. 65-year-old Ken Moran of Oshkosh struck a plea deal this week. He pleaded no contest to felony-and-misdemeanor embezzlement, conspiracy to commit fraud, and misconduct in public office. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to ask a judge to sentence Moran to much less than the maximum of 10 years in prison. And he agreed to pay 10-thousand more dollars in restitution, on top of the 80-thousand he has already paid. Moran was a supervisor for Fond du Lac’s Information Systems department. Officials said he and four others engaged in a false invoicing scheme for at least three years. Three of the other city employees have been convicted and sentenced. Former Information Systems director Mark Beveridge has a plea hearing set for August third.


Brewer Marketing Event Hits Snag


5/25/11 – A plan by the Milwaukee Brewers to give away lawn ornaments to their fans turned sour today, when collectors snapped them up and sold them on E-Bay. The lawn ornaments depicted the Brewers’ mascot Bernie – and the giveaway was part of a promotion called “Where’s Bernie?” In Milwaukee, a-thousand mini-statues were placed in county parks along the city’s lakefront. Fans were told to take one each starting at seven. But according to the Journal Sentinel, one woman on Twitter said she grabbed up to three dozen Bernie Brewers. And soon, they showed up on E-Bay for up to 122-dollars. The paper said fans vented on Twitter. One called the woman who took the 30 statues “the lowest common denominator.” Bernie statues were also placed in parks in Madison, Kenosha, Appleton, and Green Bay. Those had prizes like autographs, but the ones in Milwaukee didn’t. Brewers’ vice president Tyler Barnes called the snap-ups isolated cases – and while he wished more of the statues would have gone to people who really wanted them, he was happy with the way the overall promotion turned out. For those who missed the freebies, Barnes said the statues are being sold in the Brewers’ Team Stores for 48-dollars each.

Beaver Dam Business Park Expansion Planned


5/25/11 – Even through a recession, Beaver Dam is filling up its business parks. Now city officials are looking at expanding TIF 4. That’s the Tax Incremental Finance district on the north side of town where the Lakeside and Beaver Dam Business Parks are located, which include facilities like Northwoods Paper, Mayville Engineering Company and the new Animart facility, among others. Beaver Dam Economic Development Corporation Vice President Trent Campbell who outlined the benefits of the annexation and land purchase to the city’s Community Development Committee last night. While there are still smaller parcels available, Campbell says the city shouldn’t put itself in the position where they would have to turn away a large company. The proposed acquisition involves 195 acres of land – the majority of which is owned by Rich and Nancy Zieman. Initial costs for the land and road improvements is $4.5 million, though another $3.3 million is anticipated for future project costs, things like public utilities and storm pond construction. Campbell says TIF 4 is currently performing very well and while it’s due to be dissolved in ten years – which is half the lifespan of a new TIF – it generates enough positive tax increment to support borrowing for the expansion with little chance of having taxpayers stuck with the bill. The CDC last night gave their blessing to the project, and the Common Council next month will consider the initial phases of the plan. That includes the hiring of a consultant and an offer to purchase land in an area north of the North Hills Mobile Home Park, and bordered by Highway W, Hemlock Road and Highway 151.