News September 3, 2011

Nehls In Line For Promotion To Brigadier General

9/3/11 – Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls is in line for a promotion to Brigadier General of the Army National Guard. Nehls, who is currently a Colonel, was nominated for the position by Major General Donald Dunbar. President Obama then forwarded the nomination to the Senate and Nehls was confirmed for the promotion on July 25. That action does not officially give him the rank of a Brigadier General. Nehls says now is when the hard work begins and for the next year or two he will aggressively pursue available opportunities – either inside the state or outside Wisconsin – to be accepted into a position that demands the rank of a Brigadier General. Nehls says he will be selective with those opportunities but he is optimistic it will happen. He says he does not expect a possible promotion to affect his position as sheriff. Nehls says the possible elevation to that rank will do nothing but bring great things to the people of Dodge County and enhance his opportunity to serve his constituents. Governor Scott Walker this week promoted General Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin, to the rank of two-star major general. Nehls says that promotion has no effect on his prospects to find a position as Brigadier General.

GOP Lawmakers Mull Appearances At Labor Day Parades

9/3/11 – Some of Wisconsin’s top Republicans plan to march in Labor Day parades on Monday – even though Wausau labor leader Randy Radtke said they should be quote, “ashamed to show their faces.” The Marathon County Labor Council’s effort to ban Republicans from its Labor Day parade shows how resentful organized labor remains to the G-O-P’s approval of the state law that virtually eliminates collective bargaining for most public unions. Republican Governor Scott Walker – who triggered massive protests when he first proposed the law in February – plans to spend Labor Day with his family. But the G-O-P leaders of both houses will be out among the crowds. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau and his brother, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald of Horicon, both plan to be in Randolph’s Labor Day parade – just like they were last year. G-O-P Congressman Sean Duffy says he’ll be in Wausau’s parade, after the labor council changed his mind about not letting him and other Republicans march. Wausau Senate Republican Pam Galloway says she’ll be there, too, but she admits some folks won’t be happy to see her. Wausau’s mayor said the city would have refused to pay expenses for the parade there unless the Labor Council let both parties in. Jim Tipple says Labor Day should not be a politically-partisan holiday, and it should honor workers of all political leanings. Assembly G-O-P finance chair Robin Vos of Racine County plans to stay away from Racine’s labor festival. He says it normally attracts hard-core Democrats.

Labor Day Travel Projected To Be Lower This Year

9/3/11 – If you’re traveling this Labor Day weekend, you’re not seeing as much traffic on the roads as a year ago. The Triple-“A” says about 660-thousand Wisconsinites are traveling this weekend, down three-percent from last year. But the Triple-“A’s” Pam Moen says it’s a small decline considering new fears about the economy and a big jump in gas prices over the last year. Moen says people have adjusted somewhat to the high fuel prices, but many won’t be traveling as far this weekend. She said the average trip will be around 600 miles, 30 miles fewer than last Labor Day. Meanwhile, the state D-O-T has suspended the work of highway crews for the weekend. There are almost two dozen major construction zones, and officials say there are some lane restrictions where drivers will have to be careful. That includes on Highway 151 near Beaver Dam which remains a two-lane highway, one lane in each direction, from County Highway D-E to County Highway G. The heaviest traffic is expected between noon-and-8 p-m on Monday. And the State Patrol says the current “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign continues through the holiday. Eight people were killed in Wisconsin highway crashes last Labor Day weekend.

Mauston Man Pleads Out In Tavern Break-Ins

9/3/11 – A Mauston man has entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors yesterday in a series of Dodge County tavern break-ins. Thomas Dahlgren pleaded to a pair of felony Burglary charges and had another felony and three misdemeanors dismissed but read into the record. The 45-year-old and two others are accused of breaking into the Dockside Pub and Grille in the Town of

Westford in January, Jumpers Bar in the Town of Beaver Dam in February and Chances Bar in the Town of Burnett in March. Thousands of dollars was stolen from poker machines, ATM’s and safes. 32-year-old Nicholas J. Etter of West Salem and 32-year-old Michelle L. Novak of Mayville were the first to be charged in the case. According to the criminal complaint, Novak reportedly admitted to being the getaway driver and lookout; she has a jury trial on the calendar next month. Etter admitted that he was involved but blamed Dahlgren for orchestrating the break-ins. Etter entered a “no contest” plea in June and will be sentenced later this month. Dahlgren, meanwhile, was on probation for Attempted Homicide at the time of his arrest and is currently incarcerated at the Waupun Correctional Institution. The judge ordered a pre-sentencing investigation yesterday and a sentencing hearing is scheduled in November.

UW Allowing Guns On Campus

9/3/11 – The University of Wisconsin has announced it will allow concealed weapons on its campus, but not inside any buildings. Under the new state law legalizing the carrying of concealed weapons, the university will allow them at events like tailgating parties. But, they will not be allowed inside stadiums, classrooms and other UW buildings. They will be okay in any place on campus that is not enclosed. The new law goes into effect November 1. Under its guidelines, signs will have to be posted to show specifically where guns are prohibited. The new law also prohibits guns in certain specific locations — like police stations, schools and courthouses.

Appleton Hardest Hit By Friday’s Storms

9/3/11 – The city of Appleton was the hardest-hit by Friday’s storms, with nearly 20 thousand customers losing their electrical service. In all, at least 60 thousand customers lost their power when strong storms swept through west-central annd east-central Wisconsin in the afternoon. A major transmission line to Appleton was knocked off-line. Emergency management officials say it could take three days to restore power to everyone. Officials in Waushara County report several roads are impassable due to downed powerlines and trees falling onto the pavement. A reception center is being run by the American Red Cross at Kaukauna High School.

Wisconsin Officials Touring Iron Range

9/3/11 – Wisconsin officials from the Department of Natural Resources will join people from other state agencies on a trip to Minnesota next week. They will fly to that state’s Iron Range Tuesday to observe how Minnesota regulates its mining. Just last June, a Hurley company announced it was putting plans for a 1-point-5 billion dollar iron ore mine on hold until Wisconsin’s review process was more clearly defined. If it moves forward, the mine could mean 700 jobs for a part of the state that badly needs places for its residents to work. Long-term demand for metal is behind the increase in mining exploration. This state hasn’t had a complete review of a metal mining permit application in more than 20 years.

West Allis Mayor Critical Of Neo-Nazi Rally

9/3/11 – West Allis Mayor Dan Devine has harsh words of criticism for a neo-Nazi group staging a rally in his city today. The National Socialist Movement says it is staging what it calls a “rally in defense of White America.” The movement reports it is anticipating a crowd approaching 100 people at City Hall. The rally comes in response to the reports of young black people attacking white people on the first day of the Wisconsin State Fair. Organizers of a counter-protest say they anticipate a much larger crowd to oppose the neo-Nazi message — maybe as many as two thousand people. Mayor Devine says the group’s views are “repulsive,” saying they are “fueled by hatred, fear and divisiveness.” The neo-Nazi rally is scheduled to last from 2 to 4 p.m. Opponents say they will start gathering at 1 p.m. Though both sides say they intend to remain peaceful, extra teams of police officers will be on hand to keep things from getting out of control.