News – September 8, 2016

Mayville Closes Streets, Calls School Over Rainfall


9/8/16 – The City of Mayville is under a state of emergency until tomorrow.  Mayor Rob Boelk says he made that declaration yesterday afternoon so the city has a chance of receiving disaster aid if damage were to reach the state threshold, as well as to keep residents safe.  He urges residents to stay out of the water to avoid fast-moving currents.  The rain started Tuesday night and continued throughout Wednesday.  Boelk says Mayville had more issues with water accumulation than neighboring municipalities due to its proximity to the Horicon Marsh.  He says the marsh received too much water from neighboring farms and hills, which ran north into Mayville.  Boelk says concerns over possible rising waters caused roughly a dozen families to evacuate their houses.  He says they were put up in local hotels at the city’s expense.  Multiple roads closed down yesterday morning, including Highway 28 west of Oak Street, and were shut throughout the day.  Parkview Elementary and St. John’s Lutheran schools were both evacuated by early Wednesday.  Sandbags were set up outside the buildings in an effort to divert water. There are no classes today (Thursday) at Saint John’s Elementary School in Mayville. Normal school hours are expected to resume today at Parkview.  No injuries were reported in Mayville at last word.    About 130 We Energies customers in the Waukesha area were still waiting to get their power back overnight after three-thousand customers in southeast Wisconsin were in the dark from 60 mile per hour winds Wednesday evening. In Dodge County, there were over 700 Alliant Energy customers who lost power around 8:45pm yesterday; all power has since been restored. Meanwhile, flood warnings continue in southwest Wisconsin where up to seven inches of rain fell late Tuesday and early Wednesday. The Kickapoo River is over its banks this (Thursday) morning as minor flooding is expected throughout the region, but moderate floods are forecast for Rock Springs where the Baraboo River was expected to rise to almost four feet above its banks by tomorrow (Friday) night. A general flood warning continues until 12:30 p-m for Eastern Richland County where the Pine River is flooded.


Beaver Dam Fire Chief Presents Report On Facilities, Personnel


9/8/16 – It takes the Beaver Dam Fire Department eight minutes to respond to the city’s largest recreational facility, the YMCA, and 13 minutes to get to the city’s largest employer, the Walmart Distribution Center. That’s what Fire Chief Alan Mannel told the city’s Police and Fire Commission this week he presented a report, still in the conceptual phase, that details future staffing and facility needs. Mannel revived discussion this year on the need for a north side satellite station, which is detailed in the report. The fire station is located at South Lincoln and Henry streets. Mannel says an ideal location for a second station would target the Highway 151 and County Highway B corridor. Facility needs aside, Mannel says the department is understaffed with an immediate need to have six firefighter/paramedics on duty at any given time. Currently there are four on duty, or five if no one is on vacation or sick leave. He says a full-time training officer is also needed, bringing the total new employees needed to six. If a north side station is ever constructed, another six full-timers would be needed to staff both locations with four people each. The PFC determined by consensus to have Chief Mannel present the report to the common council.


Families Near Columbus Water Tower May Return Home


9/8/16 – Repairs continue on Columbus’s 120-year-old Chapel Street Water Tower.  The historic structure was damaged by lightning in a July storm.  Bricks flew onto both city grounds and neighboring properties.  Two nearby families have been displaced since the storm.  At its meeting this week, the city council said the families could be allowed to return to their homes as early as today, after a safety inspection is completed.  Repair work on the tower should wrap up next month.


Dodge County To Receive 2017 Treatment Court Funding


9/8/16 – Dodge County will again have state funding for its treatment courts in 2017.  The Department of Justice yesterday awarded over $6,000,000 to a total of 45 counties and tribes.  Dodge County will receive $209,000, $80,000 less than it requested.  Funds cover the costs of running Dodge County’s Impaired Driving Court and Treatment Alternatives and Diversions program.


Green Lake County Man Convicted Of Teen Rape


9/8/16 – In Columbia County court, a Green Lake County man was sentenced to seven years behind bars for raping a teenager. Thomas Traver of Kingston recently pled guilty to a reduced felony count of Second Degree Sexual Assault of a Child.  The 27-year-old Traver attacked a 15-year-old girl in April of last year.  Evidence sent to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab linked him to the crime.  In addition to seven years in prison, Traver will spend eight years on extended supervision following his release and must register as a lifetime sex offender.


Beaver Dam Man Headed To Prison For Break-In


9/8/16 – A Beaver Dam man will spend two years in prison for breaking into a neighbor’s apartment.  Richard Valdovinos pled guilty yesterday to a felony Burglary count and a felony count of Misappropriating ID Information for Financial Gain from an unrelated case. Ten other counts were dismissed but read into the record.  A witness saw the 43-year-old break into the Madison Street apartment last April.  A total of $140 was stolen. Valdovinos will also spend three years under extended supervision.


WCI Inmate Charged With Battery


9/8/16 – A Waupun Correctional Institution inmate is accused of punching a correctional officer in the face.  Corby Collins told investigators that the May incident was the result of the officer having sexually assaulting him.  If he is convicted, the 26-year-old faces up to ten additional years in prison.  Collins’ initial appearance is October 5.


Columbus Man Pleads Not Guilty To Injury Accident


9/8/16 – A Columbus man accused of injuring a passenger in a drunken driving accident pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday. Zachary Link allegedly missed a curve and put his car in a ditch in March in the Town of Elba. A passenger sustained a fractured jaw in the wreck. The 23-year-old Link reportedly had a blood alcohol level that was over two-times the legal limit for driving at point-one-seven-nine (.179). If convicted, Link could spend up to two years in jail and lose his license for up to four years. Because he was on bond at the time of the incident, Link faces an additional six years for felony Bail Jumping.


Burnett Man Pleads Not Guilty To Illegally Owning Guns


9/8/16 – A Burnett man accused of illegally owning guns pled not guilty at arraignment yesterday.  James Voit is facing four felony counts of Possessing a Firearm as a Convicted Felon.  Last month, the 52-year-old’s family reportedly turned in four guns to the Dodge County sheriff’s office that they said belonged to Voit.  Voit had an alcohol-related felony conviction in 2009.  If he is found guilty on the firearm charges, Voit faces up to 40 years in prison.


Two Weeks In Jail For Poisoning Teacher


9/8/16 – An Oconto County teenager who spiked her teacher’s drink at Gillett High School is spending some time in jail. Eighteen-year-old Hailey Brock was ordered to spend two weeks behind bars during sentencing in Oconto County court. Brock confessed to putting cleaning solution for a dry-erase board in the drink of teacher Ray Johnson, who was not seriously injured. Police say another student also helped spike Johnson’s drink and a jury trial is set later this month.


Badger State Private Sector Job Creation Lagging


9/8/16 – Wisconsin continues to lag behind the nation in its private sector job growth. The U-S Bureau of Labor Statistics says the Badger State created almost one-point-six percent more jobs during the year ending March 31st. That’s below the national average of two-point-one percent. Wisconsin ranks 33rd among the 50 states in its pace for creating jobs. The state added more than 37-thousand jobs from March of last year to March of this year. The figures come from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, the most comprehensive job data available because it surveys 96-percent of employers.


Walker Discusses Back To School Sales Tax Holiday


9/8/16 – Governor Scott Walker says his proposed back to school sales tax holiday would apply the first weekend of August in each of the next two years. Walker says he’ll include the tax break in his proposed state budget next February. Majority Assembly Republicans say it’s also one of their priorities for the next session. Walker detailed his plan in Green Bay, during a news conference at Shopko’s headquarters. For one weekend a year, the sales tax would be removed for school supplies, computers costing up to 750-dollars, and clothes up to 75-dollars. Walker says the Revenue Department expects about eleven million fewer sales tax dollars statewide as a result of the tax holiday, which lawmakers would have to renew after it’s applied for two years.


New Contract In Place For Wisconsin Broadband


9/8/16 – A new contract is now in place to increase broadband capacity on the BadgerNet Converged Network.  Governor Scott Walker says the state will save eight-million dollars a year with the new deal and have faster, more reliable access to the internet.  He says schools and local governments will save money by utilizing the network, which serves all 72 counties.  A-T-and-T runs the network, and total capacity will rise to 400 gigabytes by the time upgrades are completed from the current 90 G-B bandwidth capacity now.


Street In Front Of Beaver Dam Middle School Being Repaved


9/8/16 – Beaver Dam Middle School parents will not be able to drop their kids off in front of the school for the next week or so. City Engineering Director Ritchie Piltz says Fourth Street will be closed between North Spring and North Center streets beginning at 6am Friday. Tri-County Paving will be milling and repaving the asphalt roadway. The street will be open for emergency vehicles only. The project was originally scheduled to begin today but was delayed one day due to this week’s heavy rains.