News – October 16, 2020

(Cambria) A Wisconsin Dells man has been charged in connection to a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Brian Higgins is charged with material support of an act of terrorism, a felony that carries a maximum of 20-years in prison. Investigators say the 51-year-old helped in the plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer from her vacation home. Some of the suspects reportedly trained for several days in Cambria. Higgins was arrested yesterday (Thursday) in Wisconsin and will be extradited to Michigan for arraignment. A court date has not been scheduled. -WRN

(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam man was sentenced Thursday to three-and-a-half years in prison and eight years of extended supervision for headbutting two officers while being arrested for OWI. Jessie Garcia entered a no contest plea in July to felony Battery and Resisting. During a September 2019 traffic stop, the 27-year-old was uncooperative, put his car in reverse and reached for a knife. Officers had to break a window to forcibly remove Garcia from the vehicle. A Department of Corrections investigation recommended probation. DA Kurt Klomberg called that “outrageous” in seeking five years. The judge, while handing down his sentence, said “probation would unduly depreciate the seriousness of the offense.”

(Waupun) A John Burke Correctional inmate made his initial appearance in a Dodge County courtroom yesterday (Thursday) on charges that he failed to return with a prison transport van. Joshua Bonin was tasked with picking up two other prisoners working at Taycheedah Correctional when he allegedly parked the vehicle at a Walmart in May. Deputies spotted Bonin walking down a road several hours later and took him into custody. He allegedly admitted his plans to hop a train and cash in a hidden coin collection in Michigan. If convicted, the 35-year-old faces up to an additional six years behind bars.

(Milwaukee) The U-S Department of Justice says Operation Legend has resulted in 54 more arrests in Milwaukee. Agents say 25 defendants face drug charges and 25 face firearms-related charges.  Four have been charged with other violent crimes.  Operation LeGend started in early summer with dozens of federal investigators arriving in Milwaukee to join the efforts to reduce violent crime.  The feds say more than five thousand violent criminals have been taken into custody all across the country.-WRN

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting another record of 3,747 positive coronavirus cases in Thursday’s daily update. There are 33,160 active cases in the state, an increase of 1565 from Wednesday. State health officials recorded 17 deaths, bringing that total to 1,553. Dodge County has 19 deaths on record and 2,806 cases, an increase of 73 from Wednesday. Public health officials in Dodge County are actively monitoring 829 people while 1,486 have recovered.

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers has a stark message for Wisconsinites who do not believe masks and other measures will slow the spread of coronavirus. That message simply is “we can prevent deaths.” Evers says some thirty percent of Wisconsin residents are not doing things like wearing masks or social distancing. Meanwhile, cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to increase. The governor says he does not know how anyone can (quote) “feel comfortable about saying ‘what the hell, I don’t care about preventing deaths.'”-WRN

(Portage) There will be regular COVID testing in Cambria starting next Friday. Columbia County Public Health requested assistance from the Wisconsin National Guard to provide the free, drive-through, nasal swab testing every other week. The location at the Cambria Fire Department is open to the community and appointments are not necessary, though online registration is encouraged. The test will be conducted while people are in their vehicles. Results will be available within three-to-seven business days. Columbia County Public Health officials say they will continue to work on identifying and securing additional testing sites. More information, and the link to register, can be found with this news story at

(Fond du Lac County) Another Fond du Lac County circuit court judge has announced his retirement. In a press release Judge Richard Nuss, who presides over Circuit Branch 3, he will not be seeking reelection next April. His term runs through next July 31st. Recently, Fond du Lac County Judge Gary Sharpe announced he would be retiring at the end of the year.

(Beaver Dam) National Exchange Bank and Trust has reached a definitive agreement with Fortifi Bank to purchase the assets of its Westfield location. National Exchange Chief Executive Officer Eric Stone says they are excited about the opportunity this transaction presents to expand their presence in Westfield. National Exchange banking services in Westfield will be combined into one facility as a part of the acquisition. The transaction is scheduled to be completed in 2021, pending regulatory approval. National Exchange Bank is headquartered in Fond du Lac, has a branch in Beaver Dam, and has more than $2 billion in assets and operates offices throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

(Fond du Lac County) Fond du Lac County is one of six communities across Wisconsin selected for the state’s new Broadband Connectors Pilot program. Governor Tony Evers says, “As families, business owners and communities across the state continue to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for affordable, accessible high-speed broadband is perhaps more important now than ever.” The joint pilot program will help provide technical assistance to help these communities apply for federal, state, and private-sector broadband expansion funds.

(Beaver Dam) There was an issue with curbside bulk pickup in Beaver Dam this year. The city’s contracted waste provider began picking up large items on Thursday, October 1 and was supposed to be finished on Wednesday, October 7. Mayor Becky Glewen says a recent company merger resulted in a staffing shortage with the new company. As of midweek, crews were caught up to last Monday’s route and are working on the final two days of the bulk route.