News – October 22, 2016

New Wisconsin State Patrol Head Announced


10/22/16 – There is a new person heading the Wisconsin State Patrol. State Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb announced yesterday that Colonel JD Lind has been appointed as superintendent of the patrol. Lind is replacing Steve Fitzgerald who retired from the post last summer following nearly 50 years in law enforcement.  Fitzgerald, who is the father of Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau, had previously served Hustisford Police Chief and Dodge County Sheriff before his appointment to the post in 2011. Lind is a Bayfield-native who began his career with the State Patrol in 1994. Since that time, he has served in a variety of roles in the Northwest, North Central and Southwest Region State Patrol posts, as well as with the State Patrol’s Bureau of Specialized Services. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2015 and to Colonel in September 2016. Prior to entering law enforcement, Lind was a high school teacher. His appointment is effective October 31.


Dodge County Employee Presented Lifesaving Award


10/22/16 – A Dodge County employee was one of two people recognized for lifesaving efforts.  Emergency Management Deputy Director Joe Meagher and Beaver Dam resident Moe Neitzel were presented with certificates at this week’s county board meeting.  On the evening of June 13, Meagher was paged to a residence on Beaver Dam’s Stony Brook Road after the family of the man having a medical emergency had called 911.  Meagher arrived to find Neitzel, the distressed man’s neighbor, was already performing CPR.  Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel says Meagher applied one shock with an automated external defibrillator before the CPR continued.  Beaver Dam Fire Department paramedics arrived on scene to find the man had a strong pulse and resumed breathing.  The man was taken to the hospital and was later released.  Mannel says Meagher and Neitzel’s efforts saved the man’s life.  After receiving the award, Meagher informed the board that October is ‘sudden cardiac arrest awareness month’ and stressed the importance of CPR training for all capable people.


Additional ATV Routes Approved In Dodge County


10/22/16 – More Dodge County Highways have been approved for terrain vehicles.  At its meeting this week, the county board signed off on adding 21 new paths to the list of ATV and UTV routes.  The stretches are on Highways BB, G, GI, I, II, J, T, TT, TW, Y, and Z and will connect routes in the towns of Elba, Lowell, Portland, and Williamstown, where all town roads were previously approved.  In March, the county board first passed an ordinance that allowed the terrain vehicles to travel on some county highways.  Local enthusiast group, Quad County Runners, requested the action and will be required to pay costs for installing proper signage before the trails can be used.  ATVs and UTVs must abide by a 35 mph speed limit, run single file, use proper seat belts and highlights, and cannot operate between 11:59 pm and 5 am.


Woman Accused Of Mailing Drugs To Dodge Correctional


10/22/16 – A Merrill woman is accused of trying to mail drugs to an inmate at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun. Tammie Ossig is charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver a Prescription Drug and Deliver Illegal Articles To an Inmate. Prosecutors say the 42-year-old mailed a greeting card to her fiancé that had a flat opiate drug patch, called a Suboxone strip, underneath a sticker. Phone calls were then located with the inmate contacting Ossig discussing the contraband. That inmate reportedly learned about the trick from a cellmate who was relocated to Red Granite Correctional; that inmate was also found to be receiving the drug sent through the mail. Ossig, who did not have a prescription for the drug, admitted that she let her fiancé send the drug on that one occasion. If convicted, the charges carry a combined maximum of six years in prison. Ossig is scheduled to make an initial appearance in Dodge County court next month.


Large Numbers Of Early Voting Ballots Already Returned


10/22/16 – If it wasn’t for a federal judge’s decision, early voting would not have started at Wisconsin clerks’ offices until Monday. But the state Elections Commission said today that 289,000 absentee ballots have been given to state residents in person and by mail, and almost 224,000 have been returned. In July, Federal Judge James Peterson struck down the Republicans’ limits on early voting, which allowed ten days of absentee balloting in person before the election — with no nights or weekends, and only one voting place in each community. Madison and Milwaukee, both Democratic strongholds, have each had multiple sites running for several weeks. Other communities have come up with their own absentee voting schedules. State officials say the number of ballots given to voters is about 40-percent of the entire amount issued in the last presidential contest in 2012.


Conservative Representative Discusses Replacing Speaker Ryan


10/22/16 – A House Republican who led the effort to remove former Speaker John Boehner is now stirring the pot against Janesville’s Paul Ryan. North Carolina Representative Mark Meadows said on a Wilmington radio show there’s a growing desire to remove Ryan from the speaker’s post because of his distance from White House hopeful Donald Trump. Meadows, part of the ultra conservative Freedom Caucus, says many Trump supporters question Ryan’s loyalty — and he says there will be “real discussions” after the elections about the House leadership. Meadows points to what he calls the “infamous” conference call eleven days ago in which Ryan said he would not campaign for Trump, but instead seek to keep Congress in Republican hands — just days after the release of the video in which Trump made lewd comments about women. C-N-N says Ryan’s supporters believe there’s broad support to keep him on as speaker.


Spending Considered For Converting Manure For Electricity


10/22/16 – Wisconsin’s utility regulators will consider spending up to 20-million dollars to help farms pay for digesters that convert cow manure into electricity. The state Public Service Commission says it could help control manure spreading on larger dairy farms — especially those in Kewaunee County where concerns have been raised about corporate farms polluting groundwater. Also, the P-S-C has asked the state’s Focus on Energy program to consider spending up to 35-million dollars on energy efficiency efforts tied to expanding high speed Internet service in rural areas that need it. In addition, the panel authorized close to eight-million dollars for rebates to encourage wind, solar, and geothermal facilities. It’s part of an effort to continue Focus on Energy, which has offered rebates for high efficiency furnaces and other home appliances.


Attorney General Transfers Top Criminal Investigator


10/22/16 – Wisconsin’s attorney general has transferred his top criminal investigator to another post in the Justice Department. Dave Matthews headed the Division of Criminal Investigation until he was moved to a new advisor’s post for policy initiatives with the same annual salary of $119,000. An agency spokesman says Schimel wanted a “different management style.”  The spokesman added that the transfer was not related to a report that a special agent who was facing retaliation had complained that the department was too slow in reviewing her concerns. For now, deputy administrator Jason Smith will lead the Criminal Investigation division until a permanent replacement is chosen.


Man Pleads Guilty To Trying To Join Extremist Group


10/22/16 – A Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty to trying to join the Islamic State group. 35-year-old Joshua Van Haften, formerly of Madison, pled guilty Thursday to a federal charge of attempting to give material support to a terrorist group. Federal prosecutors say Van Haften faces up to 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced February 17th.Van Haften was charged last year with trying to cross from Turkey to Syria to join the Islamic State group. He was arrested in April 2015 after he returned to Chicago from Istanbul. Authorities say he was to meet a contact to take him into Syria but nobody appeared, and he returned to Istanbul.


Local Law Enforcement Helping Get Drugs Off Streets


10/22/16 – Local law enforcement is working with a statewide program to get drugs off the streets.  A number of Dodge County agencies are participating in today’s ‘Prescription Drug Take Back Day.’  Residents are encouraged to bring any unwanted, unneeded, and expired medications to their local law enforcement agency for proper disposal.  The goal is to keep the medications from getting into the wrong hands, as officers say abusing prescription drugs can lead to more serious addictions.  All solid, non-liquid medications should be taken out of their original container and placed in a clear, sealable, plastic bag for disposal.  Blister packs are accepted while liquids, creams, and sprays must be in their original packaging.  Illegal drugs, needles and sharps, and bio-hazardous materials are among the items not accepted.  There is no cost for residents or the county to dispose of the drugs since the state is covering that expense.   For a link to a website that lists participating agencies and hours, visit today’s homepage at


Waupun School Families Eligible For Water Testing Program


10/22/16 – Families who have children in Waupun’s Rock River Intermediate School will have the opportunity to participate in a well water testing program next week. Diana Tscheschlok (CHESS-lock) of the Fond du Lac County UW-Extension Service says it is first time they have gotten a school involved in the program. Samples will be taken next Wednesday and Thursday. At the end of next month they will schedule an educational program to talk about the test results. 


Haunted History Tour Returns To Beaver Dam Tonight


10/22/16 – A Halloween-themed event is helping to celebrate Beaver Dam’s 175th Anniversary.  The Dodge County Historical Society is holding the seventh annual ‘haunted history’ tour tonight.  To commemorate the city milestone, this year’s edition is a ‘best of’ tour that highlights some of the characters that have been portrayed in previous years.  Nine reenactors will be on hand to tell the story of deceased persons who played a role in Beaver Dam’s history.  The haunted history tours will take place at the Old City Cemetery.  Tours last about 30 minutes each and start every 10-15 minutes between 6-8 pm.  Cost is $5 per person.


Folks Invited To Welcome Home Celebration For Area Veterans


10/22/16 – People are invited to attend a celebration in Madison tonight.  The Badger Honor Flight is taking one of its day-long trips to Washington D.C. today to allow area veterans to see their respective monuments.  The return flight is expected to arrive at the Dane County Regional Airport around 9:15 pm.  Folks are encouraged to gather to welcome the veterans home. Today’s is the Badger Honor Flight’s 25th trip.  To date, it has served over 2,100 veterans.