News – November 4, 2016

Two People Injured In Oak Grove Crash


11/4/16 – Two people were taken the hospital following a two-vehicle crash in the Town of Oak Grove this morning.  The accident occurred at 5:26 am on Highway 33 near Highway I.  19-year-old Natalie Graff of Beaver Dam was heading west on 33 when she reportedly fell asleep behind the wheel.  Her car crossed the center line and hit an eastbound vehicle driven by 41-year-old Caroline Kikkert of Beaver Dam.  Both were taken to the Beaver Dam hospital before being transferred to a Madison hospital. Graff’s injuries are called life-threatening while Kikkert’s are not.


Brownsville Man Killed In Fond du Lac Motorcycle Mishap


11/4/16 – A 40-year-old Brownsville man was killed in a motorcycle crash on Fond du Lac County Highway D south of Hawes Court in the Town of Fond du Lac Thursday night. Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mike Nolan says the accident was reported shortly before 9 p.m. Bryon Helm reportedly was heading south on County D at a high rate of speed and lost control traveling onto the east shoulder of the roadway. He was thrown from the motorcycle and died at the scene. Helm was not wearing a helmet. Speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in the accident.


Beaver Dam Lake Levels At Ten-Year High


11/4/16 – Beaver Dam Lake levels are at ten-year highs. Lake levels are a responsibility of the city’s Wastewater Utility and Beaver Dam Director of Utilities Rob Minnema says the reasons for the high levels include recent rains, more water coming upstream from Fox Lake and a culvert replacement project.  Minnema says crews started working on the replacement of the culverts under Cooper Street last month and have been limiting the flow of water through the dam to bring lake levels down. However, there has been three inches of rain in that time which drove water levels up. At the same time, city and township officials in Fox Lake began releasing more water through their dam as part of a winter draw-down of Fox Lake.  Minnema says he had to work with state and local officials to delay that draw-down until after the culvert replacement project is complete. The high water levels have had lake front property owners struggling to remove their piers for the season and have had sump pumps working overtime.


Beaver Dam School Referendum: Academic Impact


11/4/16 – Officials in the Beaver Dam Unified School District hope to bolster academic offerings to its students.  On Tuesday’s ballot, voters will see a $48,900,000 referendum question that seeks to fund a variety of improvements at the high school as well as security upgrades throughout the district.  Superintendent Steve Vessey says the district wants to better prepare its students for real-world jobs by increasing its career and technical education offerings.  Vessey says a number of classrooms would be remodeled or expanded.  He says a fabrication lab would be added, the agricultural learning room would double in size to allow small animals to be brought into the room, and the culinary arts room would be attached to the school’s kitchen.  The referendum also looks to create new, secure entrances with offices being moved closer to the door so staff can better monitor the building’s foot traffic.  If approved, the referendum would cost the owner of a $150,000 home an extra $252 per year for 20 years.


Congressional Candidates Differ On Immigration


11/4/16 – Wisconsin’s Sixth Congressional candidates disagree on immigration.  Republican incumbent Glenn Grothman supports building a wall at the United States’ southern border as he says boundaries are needed to preserve a country.  He is concerned that the United States takes in some people who go on to commit crimes in this country.  Grothman also says refugees from war-torn countries should be screened on a case-by-case basis, not accepted in large amounts.  Democratic Challenger Sarah Lloyd does not find it logical or fiscally responsible to deport the millions of undocumented workers in the United States and offers a different solution.  She calls the United States’ labor system ‘transnational’ and notes that many Wisconsin farms employ undocumented Hispanic workers.  Lloyd hopes to see a system put in place where undocumented workers can get proper documentation to work in the United States to ensure various industries have the necessary labor force available.  While Lloyd believes refugees should be screened, she feels the United States should play a role in helping people affected by war.  Independent Challenger Jeff Dahlke also feels it would be too costly to deport undocumented workers but does want to see a barrier at the southern border.  Dahlke believes there should be a ‘pay to stay’ option available for undocumented workers.  In Dahlke’s plan, workers can either make enough money to pay for their trip home or essentially buy their citizenship by paying 25% of their gross income for a two-year period to stay in the U.S.  Instead of opening up the United States’ borders to refugees, Dahlke would like to see the creation of safe zones for these refugees.  The Sixth Congressional District represents at least a portion of 12 counties, including Dodge, Columbia, Fond du Lac, Jefferson, and Green Lake counties.


Jefferson County Judge Appointed Director of State Courts


11/4/16 – A judge who tried twice to be named to the Wisconsin Supreme Court will help run the entire state court system beginning next August. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Randy Koschnick has been appointed as the new Director of State Courts, the state’s top non judicial court officer. Chief Justice Pat Roggensack named Koschnick Thursday as the replacement for J. Denis Moran, who’s holding the post on an interim basis after retiring as the courts’ director in 2003. Koschnick, a former state public defender, has been a circuit judge in Jefferson County since 1999. In 2009, he ran unsuccessfully for the Supreme Court seat held by former Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson — and he was a finalist for a governor’s appointment earlier this year for the Supreme Court seat given up by the retiring Justice David Prosser.


Mayville Woman Dies From Accident-Related Injuries


11/4/16 – A 90-year-old Mayville woman passed away Wednesday from serious injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash Monday afternoon in the Town of Leroy.  Irma Baumann was driving south on Highway V and reportedly failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Highway Y.  Baumann struck a westbound vehicle driven by 66-year-old Kenneth Weinberger of Lomira, who suffered non-life threatening injuries.


Hartford Man Injured In Volkswagen Versus Milk Truck Wreck


11/4/16 – A 67-year-old Hartford man was injured Thursday after the Volkswagen Beetle he was driving slammed head-on into a milk truck. The wreck occurred just after 11:30am on Highway 60 at County Road DJ near Juneau. The Dodge County Sheriff Office says the impact of the collision sent the fully-loaded milk truck into a marshy ditch. Both lanes of Highway 60 were closed for a short time while the truck was removed. The driver of the milk truck, a 35-year-old Lone Rock man, was not injured. The driver of the Volkswagen sustained moderate injuries and was transported from the scene by Lebanon EMS. Alcohol and drugs were not a factor in the crash which remains under investigation. The scene was cleared after about four hours.


Watertown Man Pleads Not Guilty To Drunk Driving Charge


11/4/16 – A Watertown man charged with his seventh OWI pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday.  Officers responded to the Camelot Golf Club in Lomira last month after receiving a call of a truck that had been sitting in the parking lot for an hour with its lights on.  When officers arrived, they reportedly found Jeromy Morgan sitting in the driver’s seat with the engine running.  The 43-year-old told police he had been playing disc golf and reportedly said he had been drinking throughout the day.  Morgan allegedly smelled strongly of intoxicants, had slurred speech, and had a lethargic look on his face.  When asked what he was doing, Morgan reportedly told officers (quote) “I’m not drinking and driving” and later allegedly said he was going to spend the night in the parking lot because he had too much to drink.  Police say empty beer cans were scattered on the floor of the truck, and an open beer was in a cup holder.  Morgan reportedly failed field sobriety tests and was in violation of a sobriety order from his probation.  If he is convicted, Morgan faces up to ten years in prison.  He is due back in court in December.


Beaver Dam Man To Prison For Stealing From Acquaintance


11/4/16 – A Beaver Dam man will spend four years in prison after his probation for a felony theft incident was revoked.  Nathan Crisafulli pled no contest in June 2014 to stealing money and a cell phone from an acquaintance outside a Beaver Dam gas station seven months prior.  The 33-year-old will also spend five years under extended supervision.


More Halloween Candy Tampering Reports Surface


11/4/16 – Police in two more Wisconsin cities are trying to find out who tampered with the Halloween candy that children picked up while trick or treating. Police in Neenah said Thursday that two families found nails inside of Tootsie Rolls that were given out. Katie Van Dyke said she cut a finger while reaching into a candy bowl on Tuesday night. Police in Wisconsin Rapids say someone also found a nail in a Tootsie Roll. Meanwhile, officials are still trying to get to the bottom of two other tampering incidents made public on Wednesday. Police say a screw was placed into a candy bar a youngster received in Portage, and a blood pressure pill got into a 16-year-old girl’s stash of candy in Fort Atkinson.


Kohl’s Department Stores Will Be Open On Thanksgiving


11/4/16 – The Wisconsin based Kohl’s Department Store chain says it will not follow the lead of those who plan to close on Thanksgiving and save its Black Friday bargains for that day. Company officials in Menomonee Falls say they’ll offer “door-buster” type deals the entire holiday week, and its stores will open at six o’clock Thanksgiving night. Retailers have taken criticism in recent years from those upset that shoppers and store employees are being pulled away from their families on Thanksgiving. The Mall of America in neighboring Minnesota said a few weeks ago it would shut down for the Thursday holiday — and the Milwaukee area’s Bayshore and Brookfield Square followed suit. Kohl’s has more than eleven-hundred department stores in 49 states, including one store in Beaver Dam.