News – September 22, 2016

Beaver Dam Man Dies In Hospital Following Crash


9/22/16 – A Beaver Dam man has succumbed to injuries sustained in a single-vehicle weekend accident. Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Sgt. Blaine Spicer tells us that Freddie O. Nelson died at Froedtert Hospital. The 61-year-old was a passenger in a car driven by 56-year-old John Hammen of Beaver Dam. The accident happened Sunday afternoon on County Road SS in the Sheboygan County Town of Sherman. Investigators say Hammen was traveling at speeds over 100 miles per hour when his sports car veered off the road, struck a culvert and crashed into the tree line. Spicer says speed was definitely a factor, and while alcohol was present, they are waiting for toxicology results to determine the extent it played a role in the crash.  Charges are also pending as the crash remains under investigation.


Professional Baseball Player Among BDHS Hall Of Fame Inductees


9/22/16 – Three new members will be enshrined in the Beaver Dam High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame this week.  In this second part of a three part series, we look at the career of 1990 graduate Ben Murray.  Hall of Fame Committee Member Greg Steil says Murray was both a pitcher and an outfielder for BDHS.  Murray was part of three conference championship teams, two of which made appearances in the state tournament.  He was named tournament MVP when Beaver Dam Post 146 won the state legion title in 1989.  In 1990, Murray was part of the gold medal winning USA Olympic Festival baseball team and was also named the Wisconsin High School Baseball Player of the Year.  Murray spent four years, 1994-1997, in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system.  Steil says Murray was also a football standout, playing both running back and defensive back for the Golden Beavers.  He was named the Wisconsin Little Ten Player of the Year in 1989.  In college, Murray was a three time letter winner and started at running back for UW-La Crosse’s Division Three National Championship team in 1992.  Yesterday we looked at the career of Karl Nienhuis and tomorrow we delve into the accomplishments of Greg Furdek.  The Class of 2016 will be honored with a day full of festivities tomorrow, culminating with the inductees receiving their plaques on the field prior to Beaver Dam’s homecoming football game against West Bend West.  The presentation begins at 6:45 pm with the game at 7:05 pm.


Archeological Discoveries Along The Ledge Discussed


9/22/16 – The 650-mile rock shelf that stretches from Waukesha County, through Dodge County and along the Door County peninsula to Canada was the subject of a presentation last night in Horicon. The Rock River Archeology Society hosted the discussion on “The Ledge” featuring author, professor and archeologist Dwight Weiser. Over the course of 90-minutes, Weiser recounted the history of the formation of the ledge as part of the greater Niagara Escarpment, the history of the cultures surrounding the cliff and the archeological finds he’s discovered over this years of study. The includes arrowheads, rock carvings, stone calendars that measure seasons predating England’s famed Stonehenge, and salt-water seashells deposited by melting glaciers along the escarpment 12-thousand years ago. Weiser also touched up his role in working with the Department of Transportation to re-route highway traffic to preserve archeological treasures.  He says he was told by the DOT that only a burial site would stop the plans that had been in place to connect Highway 23 to Highway 151 and by simply following lines of rocks, placed by Native American’s centuries ago, he was directed to state-protected effigy mounds. Weiser says the Wisconsin portion of the ledge is so prominent that you can see it from outer space. He encourages those on earth to get their boots muddy and discover the ledge for themselves.


Gold Star Trail Closer To Becoming A Reality


9/22/16 – Progress continues to be made on constructing a walking and biking trail through Dodge County.  The Gold Star Memorial Trail is a planned, non-motorized path that would honor area fallen veterans.  The first of five phases would connect Mayville to the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor’s Center at a cost of $650,000.  Glenn Daily of the Friends of the Dodge County Parks group says plans are moving ahead as only $69,000 is needed to fund the first segment.  Daily says surveying for the 2.1 mile stretch is complete, and the process of designing the trail has begun.  He expects public information meetings will be held in the next few months.  Groundbreaking and completion for phase one is set for 2017.  Future segments would incorporate the cities of Horicon and Beaver Dam.


Oconomowoc Man Facing Reckless Homicide Charges


9/22/16 – An Oconomowoc man is free on bond, after being charged with five counts in the drug death of another man. Twenty-six-year-old John Schmitz Junior appeared in Waukesha County Circuit Court Wednesday for allegedly providing the drugs that killed 32-year-old Carl Turner last January. Oconomowoc Police say they found Turner unconscious from excessive drug use, and he died at the scene. A search uncovered bags of methadone and heroin and syringes. Schmitz is due back in court October 21st for a preliminary hearing on felony counts that include reckless homicide, possessing and delivering narcotics, and maintaining a drug trafficking place.


Beaver Dam Man Guilty Of Stealing From Business


9/22/16 – A Beaver Dam businessman was found guilty yesterday of breaking into a neighboring business last October. Cory Mahlum pled no contest to one reduced misdemeanor Theft count.  The 34-year-old, who owns Autoworx Unlimited, broke into Professional Floor Coverings to connect a cable that allowed him to steal internet services.  Mahlum was behind on rent and close to eviction.  He told officers that he broke into the neighboring office due to a falling out with that business’s owner.  Mahlum already paid restitution and still owes $600 in court costs.


Randolph Man Pleads Not Guilty To Fleeing Charge


9/22/16 – A Randolph man accused of running from police pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday.  Jason S. White is facing one felony count of Attempting to Flee a Traffic Officer along with one misdemeanor.  The 29-year-old allegedly crashed his truck when he was speeding away from an officer in the Town of Fox Lake last month.  White reportedly failed to negotiate a curve in the road on Chief Kuno Trail.  The truck crashed through a power transformer box, struck a boat trailer and garage, flipped, and landed on its side.  Multiple houses were without power due to the damage.  White allegedly fled the scene but was arrested the next day.  If he is found guilty, White faces up to three-and-a-half years in prison.


Hartford Man Sentenced For Killing Wife In Crash


9/22/16 – A Washington County judge this week sentenced a 39-year-old Hartford man to two years in prison for a drunken driving accident that killed the man’s wife. Richard Pafford also got five years of extended supervision for the Valentine’s Day accident that killed his wife Renee. The couple had been out celebrating a friend’s birthday, and Pafford went off a road and crashed into a tree on the way home. His blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.


Democrats Continue To Lead Wisconsin In Marquette Poll


9/22/16 – Democrats Hillary Clinton and Russ Feingold still lead in Wisconsin, according to the newest Marquette Law School poll released yesterday. Clinton has a two-point lead on Republican Donald Trump among likely voters at 44-to-42 percent, one point closer than the previous Marquette poll in August. The poll’s margin of error is nearly five percent. Clinton has a five point edge among registered voters at 43-38. In the U-S Senate race, former Senator Feingold lengthened his lead against G-O-P incumbent Ron Johnson, with Feingold now at 47-to-41 percent among likely voters and 46-to-40 percent among registered voters. The poll was conducted last Thursday through Sunday.


Road Building Costs Still Being Debated


9/22/16 – Governor Scott Walker and State Assembly Republicans have publicly written to each other about their differences for road building in Wisconsin. On Wednesday, Walker wrote Speaker Robin Vos to ask for details of their plans — and he would consider alternatives that in Walker’s words, “live within taxpayer means.” Speaker Robin Vos said his party would hold hearings after the November elections before coming up with their proposals. Assembly Republicans have said more money is needed to fix the state’s crumbling roads, but they have not said where it should come from. Walker does not want higher road taxes or fees unless other spending is cut elsewhere — and he touts a D-O-T plan to keep delaying some major projects, give more money to local governments for road maintenance, and start designing a bigger Interstate 94 west of downtown Milwaukee.