News – November 5, 2016

Two People Injured In Oak Grove Vehicle Crash


11/5/16 – Two people were taken the hospital following a two-vehicle crash in the Town of Oak Grove yesterday 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 injuries are not.


Brownsville Man Killed In Motorcycle Mishap


11/5/16 – 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.


Name Of Waterloo Man Killed In Deerfield Crash Released


11/5/16 – The State Patrol has released the names of all four people killed Wednesday night when an alleged wrong way drunk driver struck two oncoming vehicles on I-94 near Deerfield. A Milwaukee accounting firm has already named three of its employees who died — 26-year-old Clenton Hall of Waterloo, 26-year-old Katy Pasqualini of Milwaukee, and 28-year-old Kim Radtke of Pewaukee. The State Patrol says the driver of the other car that was hit also died, 23-year-old Patrick Wasielewski of Illinois. 32-year-old Brysen Wills of Waunakee reportedly caused the accident. He was seriously hurt, along with the driver of the car containing the three accountants, 28-year-old Brian Falk of Whitefish Bay.


New Business Joins Columbus’ TIF Project


11/5/16 – A Columbus business is moving to become part of the city’s newest tax incremental financing district.  Grain and livestock service provider Vita Plus is moving from the downtown area to a 38-acre site in TIF 4, on the city’s northwest side.  The property is currently owned by Madison Gas and Electric.  The council signed off on the move at its meeting this week.


Assembly Candidates Differ On Education Vouchers


11/5/16 – The candidates in the race for the 37th Assembly District both support education but differ on the way taxpayer dollars are used on vouchers. Republican incumbent John Jagler of Watertown is being challenged by Democrat Jordan Turner of Watertown.  Turner is opposed to the state’s parental choice program, which directs taxpayer dollars for students to attend private and parochial school. Jagler says the voucher program is very important thought minor changes may need to be made. The 37th Assembly District includes the communities of Watertown, Waterloo, DeForest, Columbus and Lowell.


Wisconsin Sets New Early Voting Record


11/5/16 – Wisconsin set a new record yesterday for early voting, with more than 685,000 absentee ballots cast. G-O-P Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he’ll try again next year to restrict such early voting, saying it needs to be more uniform in urban and rural Wisconsin. That was the reasoning former State Senator Glenn Grothman used several years ago in pushing for a two-week limit for in person absentee voting, and none on nights and weekends. But Federal Judge James Peterson of Madison struck down the law in July, accusing Republicans of intentionally suppressing Democratic black votes in Milwaukee. Vos says an unelected judge should not have the final say on that, and he vows to have the G-O-P review rulings from Peterson and others to make sure their new measure is constitutional.


Wisconsin Officials Predict Voter Turnout


11/5/16 – The state Elections Commission expects a record 3,100,000 Wisconsinites to vote in Tuesday’s contests. That’s 69.6% of all voting age adults, and commission director Mike Haas says the turnout should be similar to the last two presidential elections in 2008 and 2012. Early voting has become more popular, but Haas says it’s not necessarily a sign of a higher overall turnout. Wisconsin’s highest turnout in the last 50 years was in 2004, when 72.9% narrowly endorsed Democrat John Kerry against the national winner, Republican George W. Bush. The state’s highest number of actual voters was in 2012, when 3,080,000 turned out to help Democrat Barack Obama his second term.


Group Pushing For Lesser Drug Penalties


11/5/16 – The group Decriminalize Oshkosh is petitioning to reduce penalties for marijuana possession. The group reportedly needs signatures from 15% of Oshkosh residents who voted in the last election for governor. The city has 30 days to approve the signatures and either enact the ordinance as written or put it on the ballot for the spring election. The group is proposing an ordinance to make the penalty for a first offense possession of 25 grams or less a $25. Current citations are $125-$500.


Fox Valley Bank Has New Owner


11/5/16 – A locally-owned bank in Green Bay says it will acquire the Fox Valley’s largest community bank. Nicolet National says it will buy First National Bank of the Fox Valley for almost $77,000,000. Officials say it will help Nicolet expand its profile in places like Appleton, Menasha, Neenah, and Oshkosh. The combined bank would have about 12% of the region’s market share with assets $2,700,000,000, $2,300,000,000 in deposits, and $1,900,000,000 in loans. Nicolet says Fox Valley’s five branches would get the Nicolet name, and one near Appleton would close. The deal is expected to be finalized by late April.


Poultry Bingo In Fall River Tonight


11/5/16 – Poultry bingo returns to Columbia County tonight.  The Fall River Fire Department is hosting the event where players compete for cash plus a variety of meat prizes including chickens, turkeys, and hams.  Proceeds will help fund new firefighting equipment, and non-perishable food items can be donated at the door to the Columbus/Fall River Food Pantry.  There will also be various raffles and a bake sale.  Doors open at 5:30 pm with bingo getting underway at 7 pm.