News – October 20, 2016

Columbus Woman Struck, Killed By Train


10/20/16 – A woman’s death after being struck by a train Tuesday night is being called a self-inflicted act.  That’s according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office who says 49-year-old Sheila Ziedler of Columbus stood on the tracks as a Canadian Pacific Train was coming, after parking her car just shy of the tracks west of Hill Road in the Town of Wyocena.  The tracks were shut down for a couple hours as authorities investigated.


Rio Man Hospitalized After Three-Vehicle Crash


10/20/16 – A 30-year-old Rio man is being treated for non-life threatening head injuries after his tractor was involved in a three-vehicle crash Tuesday night.  The incident happened on Highway 22 just south of Patchin Road in the Columbia County Town of Wyocena.  A northbound pickup truck rear-ended a car that had slowed down for the tractor.  The truck then swerved and hit the tractor, forcing it into a ditch.  The tractor operator was flown to UW Hospital in Madison, and the car’s driver was taken to the hospital but released after an initial exam.  The truck’s driver was uninjured and will be cited for inattentive driving.  The crash remains under investigation.


One Person Injured In Cambria Vehicle Accident


10/20/16 – One person was injured in a two-vehicle crash in the Village of Cambria this morning.  According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, a semi and SUV collided on Highway 33 between Inglehart Road and Highway H just before 8 am.  The SUV’s driver was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries while the semi driver was uninjured.  The highway was closed off for over an hour while the scene was cleared.


Lomira Man To Spend 20 Years In Prison For Sex Assault


10/20/16 – A Lomira man will spend 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman.  In July, William Bonney was found guilty in the May 2014 incident that resulted in the victim becoming pregnant.  The woman later gave birth, and a paternity test showed Bonney to be the likely father.  Assistant District Attorney Jim Sempf prosecuted in the case and said “this is a man that has committed a heinous crime on a vulnerable victim.  He deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”  Upon release from prison, the 55-year-old will spend ten years under extended supervision.


Teens Taken Into Custody After Waupun Burglaries


10/20/16 – Multiple items were located after a series of thefts in Waupun Tuesday morning.  The Waupun Police Department says items were stolen from four different houses, including a vehicle and two guns.  The thefts are believed to be related.  Tuesday afternoon, the Beaver Dam Police Department received two anonymous calls about a stolen vehicle within city limits.  Two teenagers, ages 16 and 17, were taken into custody.  The 16-year-old was held in juvenile detention while the 17-year-old was released.  Police say the car and guns will be returned to their owners, and the investigation continues.


Fall River School Taxes On The Rise


10/20/16 – The school portion of taxes is on the rise in Fall River.  The school board adopted the district’s 2016-17 budget at its annual meeting this week.  The mill rate of $10.06 per thousand dollars of assessed value is up from last year’s $9.50.  The $7,100,000 budget brings a tax levy of $2,500,000, up $200,000 from last year. An increase in district property values and new statewide legislation were cited for the increases.


Columbus Council Considering Waste Vendors


10/20/16 – Columbus’ City Council is deciding between two vendors for its waste collection services.  Earlier this year, the city requested proposals and received four responses.  The search has been narrowed to two vendors, Columbia County Solid Waste and its current provider Advanced Disposal, which whom the city’s current contract expires at year’s end.  The council is looking into which vendor can provide waste pickup at the lowest cost and also discussing whether carts should be provided for all residents.  The committee of the whole plans to consider it next month.


Beaver Dam Man Pleads Not Guilty To Bank Robberies


10/20/16 – A Beaver Dam man, accused of robbing a Watertown bank on July 11 and holding up Bank Mutual in Beaver Dam ten days prior pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday. Adam Raney was arrested in July on charges that he robbed the State Bank of Reeseville in Watertown and allegedly confessed the Beaver Dam robbery during questioning.  The 38-year-old admitted stealing around $3000 from Watertown and $1700 from Beaver Dam. During the robberies, Raney gave each teller a note that said “I don’t want to shoot, remain calm, give me the money, both drawers, no tricks.” In Watertown, he said he was leaving a bag with a motion activated bomb and no one would be hurt if everyone stayed still for ten minutes, which also resulted in felony charges of Bomb Scare and Terrorist Threats. The teller there told investigators that he had been on the lookout for Raney anticipating that he may try to cash more forged checks. Raney said the robbery was not preplanned. In fact, when the detective said to him “it’s not like you woke up one morning and decided you wanted to rob a bank” Raney reportedly replied “actually, I did” adding that he needed the money to stay well and avoid heroin withdrawal. In addition, Raney is facing a total of 25 felony counts stemming from the bank thefts and a mid-June home invasion in the Town of Beaver Dam where he allegedly stole over $12-thosuand dollars in firearms, electronics and jewelry. Raney reportedly told investigators that it all started after he stole a check from his employer and cashed it for $600. He said it kept working so he kept doing it, ultimately stealing around $9000 in total from his boss. He later told police that he had been waiting for the door to get kicked in since he wrote that first bad check and “it was a relief to be caught and for it to be over.” No further court activity has been scheduled.


Juneau Man Found Guilty Of Assaulting Dog


10/20/16 – A Juneau man was found guilty yesterday of forcing a teenager to watch him sexually assault a dog.  Ronald Mueller pled no contest to one amended felony count of Causing Mental Harm to a Child.  The 56-year-old had inappropriate contact with the canine multiple times in February 2015.  Mueller will be sentenced December 2.


Beaver Dam Man Pleads Not Guilty To Attacking Officer


10/20/16 – A Beaver Dam man accused of attacking an officer pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday.  Aaron Robinson is facing two felony counts of Battery to Law Enforcement along with one misdemeanor.  Last month, police responded to a domestic disturbance complaint of two people arguing, Robinson and a woman with whom he was living.  Despite multiple warnings, the arguing continued.  Robinson was arrested when he allegedly threatened the officers.  As the 38-year-old was being placed in the squad car, he reportedly kicked one of the officers in the chest.  If he is convicted, Robinson faces over 22 years in prison.  He is due back in court November 1.


Man Pleads Not Guilty To Illegal Gun Possession


10/20/16 – A Sun Prairie man accused of doing drugs outside a Beaver Dam apartment complex pled not guilty at his Dodge County arraignment yesterday.  Arnold Evans is facing felony counts of Possessing a Firearm as a Felon and Possession of THC along with one misdemeanor.  An officer saw Evans and a woman sitting in Evans’ car with the engine off in July.  After the two left the vehicle, the officer went up to the car, smelled marijuana, and reportedly saw bags of drugs through the window.  A further search of the car allegedly resulted in the officer finding a gun in the trunk, which the 30-year-old Evans is not allowed to have due to a prior felony conviction.  If he is found guilty on all counts, Evans faces over 13 years in prison.


School Tours Offered Ahead Of Waupun Referendum Vote


10/20/16 – Voters in the Waupun Area School District have a chance to learn more about the $36-million dollar referendum question that will appear on the November 8 ballot.  Three tour and information session nights will be held in the next week: tonight at Meadowview Primary School, Tuesday at Rock River Intermediate School, and next Thursday at SAGES Charter School.  Each event runs from 6-7:30 pm.  The referendum is seeking funds for a number of projects including: creating safe, secure entrances in three of the district’s four schools, addressing aging infrastructure and ADA accessibility in all four buildings, building a track and tennis courts at the high school, and renovating classrooms.


Fitzgerald, Grothman to Trump: ‘Stick to the Issues’ 


10/20/16 – Wisconsin Republicans got part of what they wanted, when the final presidential debate had a larger discussion of the issues than the first two. But Donald Trump stole the show when he refused to say if he would accept the results of the November eighth election, telling anchor Chris Wallace he would keep him “in suspense.” The Washington news website The Hill says Trump’s remarks were a stark contrast to those made by his running mate Mike Pence and his daughter Ivanka, who is scheduled to campaign for her father today (Thursday) in Wauwatosa and Eau Claire. Earlier Wednesday, the Trump campaign staged a conference call in which state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau and House Republican Glenn Grothman both said Trump needed to stick to the issues during the debate — and indeed, Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton spent more time on things like taxes, immigration, gun control, and foreign policy. Most polls have Clinton leading in Wisconsin, but Fitzgerald says Trump can win if he shores up support in southeast Wisconsin.


Natural Resources Board Ditching Pre-Meeting Dinners


10/20/16 – The state D-N-R says it will stop hosting dinners for members of the Natural Resources Board the night before its meetings. The social functions were called into question when opponents of a new snowmobile trail in Blue Mounds State Park alleged that the board members privately discussed the proposal at a dinner in January, before approving a master plan the next day that allows snowmobiling at the site. Trail opponents filed a complaint against the board, accusing the panel of violating the state Open Meetings Law by allowing a majority of members to discuss business while gathering in private — without the required advance notice. The D-N-R has said board members did not discuss state business at their private dinners. They were often held after board members take field trips on the Tuesdays before their normal Wednesday meetings at various locations around the state.