News – October 18, 2016

School Taxes Down Slightly In Horicon District


10/18/16 – Residents in the Horicon School District will see a mill rate this December that is slightly less than last year’s figure.  The $10.00 per thousand dollars of assessed value is down $0.10 from last year’s document.  This year’s total budget amount is $8,800,000 and brings a tax levy just shy of $4,100,000.  Superintendent Rich Appel says the document the school board adopted at its meeting last night was a deficit budget of around $75,000 due to late additions such as higher staffing costs to accommodate larger-than-expected class sizes and re-screening Van Brunt Elementary School after it was discovered that bats slipped through some cracks shortly before the new school year.  Appel says nobody was harmed by the bats and claims there have not been any issues with bats since the project was completed. He says the resulting deficit will be covered by monies from the district’s fund balance.  When the preliminary budget was adopted in August, $468,000 worth of energy efficiency projects was included.  Appel says those items were removed as the board decided it was not the right time.  He says the district hopes to bring those projects back for consideration in the future, possibly next year.  Appel calls the projects “efficient for taxpayers” as some could pay for themselves in energy savings in as little as two or three years.


Liquor License Rejected For Bar In Former BD Elks Lodge


10/18/16 – The Beaver Dam Administrative Committee last night rejected a liquor license request for a person renovating the former Elks Lodge. The same committee in November approved a liquor license for Randy Stibb’s Half Court Sports Bar and Grille at 126 South Spring Street. Because of a pending legal matter, the license expired before it could be used and the committee in February also rejected a request for an extension. Police Chief John Kreuziger last night again recommended the license be denied because of a criminal investigation pending against Stibb related to the purchase of the bar by a vulnerable, at-risk adult. Stibb says a temporary restraining order that had been in place was recently lifted by the judge. He says the license had already been granted to him once and nothing has changed and in this case he is being treated as “guilty” until he proves himself innocent. The chief says he intends to forward felony fraud charges to the Dodge County District Attorney’s office in the next week. However, Kreuziger did note that he would recommend a liquor license for Stibb at any other location except for the one at the center of the pending fraud investigation.


Updated Parade Ordinance Advances To BD Common Council


10/18/16 – The Beaver Dam Administrative Committee last night signed-off on an update to the city’s parade ordinance. The changes would affect parades, run-walks, and related events. The permit fee would increase from $5 to $50, $1-million dollars in liability insurance would need to be obtained and the permit must be applied for 60 days prior to the event. The matter now heads to the common council for consideration.


Randolph Man Appears On Battery To Law Enforcement Charge


10/18/16 – Bond was set at $1000 yesterday for a Randolph man accused of assaulting the Randolph Police Chief while he was being taken into custody. Brandon Washburn is charged with felony Battery to a Law Enforcement Officer and misdemeanor drug possession. The incident happened in May when Chief Michael Klavekoske was transporting the 20-year-old to the Winnebago Mental Health Facility.  The family requested an emergency detention and authorities agreed noting his erratic behavior and possible connection to a Cambria break-in. Washburn had been calm but reportedly became violent when Klavekoske attempted to place him in handcuffs. The chief was punched in the face before Washburn was subdued by officers who threatened to use a taser gun. He was taken to the facility without further incident. If convicted, the felony charge carries a maximum six-year prison sentence. A preliminary hearing is scheduled in December.


Waldoch Has $5K Cash Bond Set For Child Porn Possession


10/18/16 – A Mayville man accused of having inappropriate images on his computer had cash bond set at $5000 yesterday.  William Waldoch is facing six felony counts of Possessing Child Pornography.  The 42-year-old’s online activity put him on police’s radar.  In February, officers executed a search warrant at his house and seized five electronic devices that reportedly contained a total of at least 15 illegal images.  Waldoch allegedly told police that he enjoyed looking at child pornography but would never act out his fantasies.  If he is convicted, Waldoch faces up to 150 years in prison.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled later this month.


Milwaukee Woman Accused Of Helping Smuggle Drugs Into FLCI


10/18/16 – Bond was set at $1000 yesterday for a Milwaukee woman charged in a July incident where drugs were brought to the Fox Lake Correctional Institution.  Tabitha Lepak was driving the car that she and Kenjala Johnson used to allegedly bring marijuana to two inmates.  The 25-year-old Lepak reportedly told officers that they did bring drugs, and corrections staff say they found drugs on Johnson.  If Lepak is convicted, she faces up to three-and-a-half years in prison.  A judge will decide n December if there is enough evidence to order a trial.


Arrest Warrant Issued For Fox Lake Man


10/18/16 – An arrest warrant was issued yesterday for a Fox Lake man accused of using a stolen credit card to buy cocaine and other drugs.  Ryan Howell Jr. failed to appear for his initial appearance on one felony count of Identity Theft, along with two misdemeanors.  When officers arrested the 27-year-old in September, they reportedly found the stolen card in his pocket.  If he is convicted, Howell faces over 14 years in prison.


GOP Bill Would Boost Health Care Workers In Rural Areas


10/18/16 – As Wisconsin’s population gets older, almost two dozen G-O-P state lawmakers are working on a package of bills to boost the numbers of health care professionals, especially in rural areas. Assembly Republican Ed Brooks of Reedsburg tells Wisconsin Public Radio he wants to improve a health care workforce that’s getting older by adding more experts in mental health, O-B G-Y-N, and other areas with the biggest needs. Twenty-three G-O-P lawmakers plan to introduce three-point-five million dollars in the next session to address rural health care, as part of the Rural Wisconsin Initiative. Brooks says younger residents are leaving rural areas, and they’ll need incentives to help communities thrive. The state’s hospital association says about one-point-five million of the state’s five-point-seven million residents live in rural areas.


Divide Between Black and White In Wisconsin Graduation Rates


10/18/16 – Wisconsin has the nation’s sixth highest graduation rate for high school students, but it also has the country’s widest gap between black and white students. The U-S Education Department says 88-point-four percent of Wisconsin seniors earned their diplomas in the standard four years — five-percent more than the national average. But only 64-percent of black youngsters in Wisconsin graduate on time, compared to 77-percent of Hispanic students and 93-percent of whites. Racial gaps have been an issue in Wisconsin for years — and now, state public school Superintendent Tony Evers says he’ll ask lawmakers to let the Milwaukee Public Schools start earlier than September first, so students can catch up on credits. Evers says it’s time to do things “differently” in Milwaukee, saying if they can do “credit recovery in a robust way, that could raise the graduation rate.”


Trump Touts Rigged Election Claims In Green Bay


10/18/16 – Donald Trump tells three-thousand supporters in Green Bay that voter fraud will “rig” the election against him. The Republican White House nominee has said that more favorable news coverage of Democrat Hillary Clinton would tilt the election her way. On Monday night at Green Bay’s K-I Convention Center, Trump referred to Pew Research data in saying that “more than one-point-eight million deceased individuals right now are listed as voters,” and in Trump’s words, “So many cities are corrupt that voter fraud is very, very common.” However, U-W Madison journalism professor Mike Wagner tells the Wisconsin Radio Network that Trump’s claims may hurt his campaign while being harmful to democracy. Wagner says it’s striking that a major presidential candidate would make such claims without what he called a “shred of evidence.”