News May 28, 2009

Demolition Continues in Downtown Beaver Dam

5/28/09 – Spectators have been lining the fence surrounding the demolition of ten buildings in downtown Beaver Dam. Contractor Brandenburg Industries removed the former Julie R Danceware building on Tuesday and got to work yesterday on the buildings located along the 100 block of Front Street. Once that is complete, they will focus their efforts on the 200 block of Front Street with the Celestial Building being one of the last to come down.

MVP GM on Community Comment Today

5/28/09 – On WBEV’s Community Comment Thursday afternoon we’ll sit down with the general manager of the MVP Sports Bar in downtown Beaver Dam. The establishment is facing liquor license revocation next Monday. Beaver Dam Police Chief Dale Boldt says they have been called to the premises numerous times in the past year and a recent fight resulted in a skull fracture and hospital stay for one of his patrons. James Lebeau says there are just as many fights in some other bars in the city and he has taken steps to ensure the safety of his customers and the public. Lebeau will be our guest for the hour beginning at 12:35pm tomorrow on WBEV 1430AM.

Adamson To Go On Military Leave

5/28/09 – Horicon will be losing its police chief for a while. Joe Adamson says he’s asked the city for a military leave of absence to serve as the military provost for the state of Wisconsin. Adamson says he was asked to take on the position by Adjutant General Donald Dunbar to assist in making the 70 National Guard locations in Wisconsin safer for members. Adamson says the leave would be for up to three years and the city has been supportive of what he called a “bittersweet” decision. Adamson says his leave is slated to start July 1st and the specifics of filling his role while he’s gone is still being worked out between the Police and Fire Commission, the council and the mayor.

Strieff Enters ‘No Contest” Plea To Sexual Assault Charge

5/28/09 – A Waupun man pleaded “no contest” Wednesday to charges related to the repeated sexual assault of two young girls at their Fox Lake home. Dean Strieff pleaded “no contest” to one of the felony counts and had a second dismissed but read into the record. According to the criminal complaint, the victim’s mother contacted Fox Lake police to report that Strieff had assaulted the children numerous times. One girl told authorities that the 41-year-old had touched her at least 20 to 30 times between September of last year and the middle of January. A younger girl told investigators that Strieff had touched her inappropriately at least four times during the same period. He faces up to 120 years in prison. Judge Brian Pfitzinger ordered a pre-sentencing investigation; a sentencing hearing is set for July 31.

Another Watertown Cocaine Dealer Sentencing

5/28/09 – Another sentence was handed down yesterday in connection with a two-county cocaine ring. Federal Judge Barbara Crabb sentenced Gerardo Pineda-Soria to 30 months in prison. The 22-year-old is one of 14 drug dealers arrested last June for selling cocaine in the Watertown area. The Department of Justice conducted wiretaps between July of 2006 and last June, monitoring hundreds of calls detailing drug transactions in Dodge and Jefferson Counties. On June 19, authorities executed eleven search warrants and seized over $100,000 in cash, multiple kilograms of cocaine and several automobiles. Authorities say four other suspects have been indicted but remain at-large.

Six Months For OWI Causing Injury

5/28/09 – Six months in jail for a Burnett man who had been drinking when he injured a passenger in a one-vehicle accident this past January. Chadwick M. Kampen lost control of his pick-up truck

in the Town of Beaver Dam, entered the ditch and struck a utility pole. His 25-year-old passenger sustained minor injuries. Kampen, whose blood alcohol level was (point) .29, had two previous convictions for Operating While Intoxicated. The 30-year-old was also ordered to pay over $1700 in fines and court costs and had his license revoked for two years followed by two years with an ignition interlock device on his vehicle.

Jobless Rate Drops

5/28/09 – The jobless rate in the region has dropped from March to April. Dodge County’s was down a full percentage point last month to 9.4% after posting a record-high 10.4% in March. Last year at this time Dodge County was at 4.3%. Columbia County and Fond du Lac County both dropped over a percentage point; Columbia County reporting 8.2% for April and Fond du Lac County at 9% even. Jefferson County dropped just under a percentage point to 9.2%. Washington County was down four-tenths to 9.3%. Rusk County again has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 14.6 percent, a drop of nearly two-and-a-half percent from March. Dane County continues to have the lowest, dropping four-tenths to 5.6%. Unemployment dropped in 64 of the state’s 72 counties and remained unchanged in two. Department of Workforce Secretary Roberta Gassman says, “While the April rates are lower in many areas, the global recession continues to take its toll on Wisconsin workers, their families and communities.” Gassman says the state is “using every available resource to help people find work and get the economy moving forward.” The statewide jobless rate is down six-tenths to 8.8%, which is two-tenths of a percent higher than the national rate for April.

Legislator Looks To Tweak Smoking Ban

5/28/09 – The ink on the statewide smoking ban is barely dry and already there’s an attempt to alter it. State Representative Gary Sherman wants to restore the right of Wisconsin innkeepers to offer smoking rooms. He says the ban on hotel and motel smoking is bound to be broken, anyway. Then, there’s the impact on tourism for towns like Hurley in Sherman’s district. Competing hotels are less than a mile away in Ironwood, Michigan. Sherman says Hurley has one industry right now, and that’s tourism. Michigan is the only state bordering Wisconsin without a statewide smoking ban. The exemption for innkeepers didn’t make it into the final smoking ban because the Tavern League said it would be a deal breaker.

Targeted Chrysler Dealers Fight Back

5/28/09 – Thirteen Chrysler dealers in Wisconsin have filed objections to plans to end their sales arrangements with the automaker. Madison attorney Paul Norman filed the objections in U-S Bankruptcy Court, where Chrysler is seeking Chapter-11 protections. He said the dealer agreements will be illegally cut off under state law – and therefore, the dealers are entitled to large amounts of damages for the profits they’ll lose in the future. Chrysler said it had too many dealers when it announced a few weeks ago it would close a quarter of its 32-hundred dealerships nationwide. But Norman blamed Chrysler’s high production costs, resulting in part by high wages and health benefits compared to foreign automakers – and an in-sufficient investment in smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles. A hearing on the dealers’ objections will be held next Wednesday in federal bankruptcy court in New York. Chrysler plans to end its sales agreements with 18 dealerships in all in the Badger State