News – October 5, 2016

Beaver Dam Police Still Mulling County Records Partnership

10/5/16 – City officials in Beaver Dam have not yet committed to having the police department join forces with the sheriff’s department and its new records management system. The Beaver Dam Police and Fire Commission last night reviewed budget numbers for the police department. Police Chief John Kreuziger says no decision has been made about buying in to the Spillman records management system. Earlier this year, the Dodge County Board agreed to pay $1.1-million dollars to enter into an agreement with Spillman. It will replace New World, which officials say has been plagued with issues since it went live in September 2013. Sheriff Dale Schmidt has sent informational letters to police chiefs in the county explaining their costs. While the county is covering the software purchase, the police departments would be on the hook for training costs in 2017. Then beginning in 2019, each department would have to pay $700 per officer along with $280 in maintenance fees per computer, each year. Chief Kreuziger told the PFC last night that it would cost $25-thousand dollars for training next year and then around $13-thousand dollars each year for maintenance fees starting in 2019. No decision has been made as the budget matter continues to be discussed by the police chief, the mayor and the city attorney. Dodge County’s goal is to have a system that connects all law enforcement countywide. Schmidt wants each municipality to let him know if they want to sign onto Spillman by the end of the year. As we reported last week, Spillman was recently bought-out by Motorola, but Schmidt does not anticipate that to affect the rollout, in fact he notes most equipment in his department is Motorola already.

Taxpayer Obligation For Watermark At $269K

10/5/16 – Taxpayers in Beaver Dam are on the hook for $269-thousand dollars for the Watermark. That’s according to the latest figures outlined in a memo from city Finance Director John Somers to the common council. The $2.1-million-dollar community and senior center opened its doors in January after years of political debate. At issue were promises by Watermark supporters that the project would be funded completely by donations. As a result, a steering committee initially had control over project funding without input from the common council. Council President Jon Litscher was among the elected officials who heavily scrutinized the project, reminding the group of their pledge that no taxpayer dollars would be spent. He was later critical of the steering committee’s decision to spend $200-thousand dollars on a fundraising consultant. The Watermark vote was approved in March of last year when officials learned it would cost about as much taxpayer money to fix-up the old senior center as it would to supplement the fundraising shortfall. Watermark supporters raised $1.06-million dollars through pledges of money and in-kind donations, not counting the donation of the property. At this point, $400-thousand dollars in pledges remain. Approximately 45 donors are paying their pledges in installments over a five-year period. Numbers released in April indicated that eleven donors had yet to pay anything; though requested, updated numbers have not been provided as of yet. There is just over $1-million dollars left on the loan for the Watermark. After pledges, grants, TIF dollars and unspent project funds are applied, city officials arrived at the $269-thousand-dollar figure for city taxpayers. According to the memo released last week, the taxpayer obligation had been estimated at as much as $317-thousand in March of last year; though at the time WBEV-WXRO reported that number at $200-thousand. The Watermark is still a tense issue with some elected officials. As recently as April, Operations Committee Chair Robert Ballweg read a fundraising update during an open meeting on the record over objections from the city attorney and mayor who contended that financial matters are a sole function of the Administrative Committee.

Dodge County Intern Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Client

10/5/16 – A former counseling intern for Dodge County’s Human Services and Health Department is accused of having a sexual relationship with one of his clients. Kyle Reilly is facing two misdemeanor counts of Fourth Degree Sexual Assault. The 37-year-old Columbus man allegedly had sex with the woman multiple times between February and April 2016. If convicted, Reilly faces up to 18 months in prison. His preliminary hearing is set for November 7.

Waupun Man To Spend 31 Years In Prison For Child Crimes

10/5/16 – A Waupun man was sentenced yesterday to 31 years in prison for committing multiple crimes against children. Robert Moungey pled no contest to three felony counts in August. A First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child Under the Age of Twelve count stemmed from a March 2015 incident where the 27-year-old performed inappropriate acts on an infant. Two counts of Possession of Child Pornography came about when officers found the images on Moungey’s computer last May. Upon release, Moungey will spend 21 years under extended supervision and must register as a sex offender.

Mayville Man Accused Of Possessing Child Porn

10/5/16 – A Mayville man is accused of having inappropriate images on his computer. 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. His initial appearance is October 17.

Beaver Dam Man Heading To Jail After Probation Violated

10/5/16 – A Beaver Dam man caught with child pornography was sentenced to eight months in jail yesterday after violating his probation. Peyton Schweitzer pled to reduced misdemeanor charges of Obstructing an Officer and Bail Jumping in February 2015. Schweitzer’s girlfriend contacted police in early 2014 after discovering graphic images of young children had been sent by text message to his phone. She told police that the 30-year-old frequents what she described as “weird” dating websites, sometimes sending money to the people he spoke with. According to the criminal complaint, he threatened his girlfriend with physical violence for calling police and she feared for her life.

Correctional Officer Accused Of Abusing Inmate

10/5/16 – A former officer at Fox Lake Correctional Institution is accused of harassing an inmate. Thomas Lukas is facing one felony count of Abusing Residents of Penal Facilities. The 45-year-old allegedly made sexual contact and racial comments to the same inmate on a number of occasions between 2011 and 2013. Incidents included throwing a toilet brush at and grabbing the inmate’s privates. If he is convicted, Lukas faces over three years in prison. An initial appearance is set for October 17.

Second Woman Charged In Fox Lake Correctional Smuggling Incident

10/5/16 – A second Milwaukee woman has been charged in an incident where drugs were brought to the Fox Lake Correctional Institution. Tabitha Lepak is facing one felony count of Delivering Illegal Articles to an Inmate as a Party to a Crime. In July, prison officials monitored phone calls two inmates were having with 25-year-old Kenjala Johnson. Johnson reportedly discussed bringing contraband when she visited. Upon arrival, Johnson was confronted by prison staff and provided transcripts of the phone conversations. Staff went outside to Johnson’s car and found Lepak was driving with Johnson’s children were in the back seat. The 25-year-old Lepak allowed officers to search the car, and they allegedly found bags and balloons that smelled of marijuana. Lepak reportedly told staffers they brought marijuana for the inmates. Other officers saw Johnson drop something on the floor during their conversation, which allegedly contained marijuana and pills. If Lepak is convicted, she faces over three years in prison. Her initial appearance is October 17. Johnson will be arraigned October 19.

Bird With West Nile Virus Detected In Dodge County

10/5/16 – West Nile virus has been confirmed in a crow in Dodge County. The Human Services and Health Department says it is the first bird in the county to test positive for the mosquito-borne illness since testing began on May 1. Public Health Officer Jody Langfeldt says residents should use caution as dead birds can indicate infected mosquitoes are in the area. Residents can limit risk of infection by avoiding standing pools of water and by using bug repellant. West Nile virus spreads to birds, animals and people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds. Symptoms from the potentially fatal virus include fever, headaches, swollen lymph glands and body aches.

School Aid Total Increases Statewide

10/5/16 – A new report shows that state support for K-through-12 public schools in Wisconsin has increased slightly. A report from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released yesterday shows state support for schools last year was 62.7-percent of costs. That’s up from 62.3-percent in 2014 and 62-percent in 2013. The state used to have a commitment to funding two-thirds of schools’ costs, but that was eliminated in 2003. The Norris School District ranked highest in state support at 99-percent. Washington Island got the lowest level of support at nearly 20-percent. Several factors play into the percentage of state support schools receive, including property values and poverty levels.