Newscast – December 5, 2020

(Wisconsin) A legislative committee will hold a public hearing next week (Friday) on Wisconsin’s 2020 Presidential Election. The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections has received thousands of complaints and has spent the past month reviewing each claim, according to the office of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who requested the hearing. During a similar hearing this week before a legislative committee in Michigan, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and other people asserted widely-repeated and debunked claims of voter fraud and election misconduct. It’s not known whether Giuliani will make an appearance at the hearing here, which is set for 10:00 AM Friday at the Capitol in Madison. – WRN

(Wisconsin) A judge appointed by President Donald Trump has called one of the president’s Wisconsin election challenges “bizarre.” U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig on Friday questioned whether the case should even be before him, telling a Trump attorney he was asking for “pretty remarkable declaratory relief” by requesting that the Republican-led Legislature be able to decide Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes instead of voters. Attorney William Bock said the president needed the court to determine the election that Democrat Joe Biden won by about 21,000 votes was flawed, so that the issue could be handed off to lawmakers. Ludwig scheduled a hearing for Thursday, but his comments suggested Trump could be headed for another legal setback. – WRN

(Wisconsin) With Wisconsin’s share of federal CARES Act funding just about tapped out — and the Republican controlled state Senate unwilling to act — Governor Tony Evers wants more federal assistance to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Evers has also asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to prioritize the state for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Wisconsin’s vaccine distribution plan prioritizes health care workers who have treated or been exposed to COVID-19 patients, residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities, people over age 65, and some essential workers. – WRN

(Wisconsin) Flags on government buildings in Wisconsin are at half-staff through Saturday, for a first responder who died from COVID-19 complications. Governor Tony Evers issued the order to honor Captain Kelly Lynn Raether of the Town of Ixonia Fire & EMS. She died on Thanksgiving after contracting COVID-19 while responding to emergency needs for a COVID-19 patient. Raether joined the Ixonia Fire Department in 2005 and was also a registered nurse at Aurora Hospital in Hartford and a nursing instructor at Carroll University in Waukesha. – WRN

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 4,847 positive coronavirus cases in Friday’s daily update. There are 63,202 active cases in the state, a decrease of 1,444 from Thursday. Active cases make up 15.6-percent of the 404-thousand people who have tested positive to date. So far, there have been 337-thousand recoveries. The state reported 63 deaths bringing that total to 3,625. Deaths account for point-nine-percent of all cases in Wisconsin while 4.4-percent of those known to have contracted the virus needed to be hospitalized. Of the over one-million people who have died worldwide, the CDC says 275-thousand people were from the United States. Dodge County has experienced 78 deaths with 8,761 cases to date. The county had 276 negative tests returned for a running total of 33,845. Washington County has reported 74 deaths along with 9,335 cases, with 2,082 being active cases. Fond du Lac County has 51 deaths and has 8,910 positive tests on record; 1,079 are active cases. The state says Jefferson County has seen 40 deaths and 5,589 cases to date; with 683 active cases. Columbia County has 12 deaths and 3,583 positive tests; currently the county has 901 active cases. Green Lake County has six deaths and 1,218 cases on record, with 115 cases reported in the last two weeks.

(Wisconsin) Prosecutors say a California lawyer shouldn’t be allowed to defend accused Kenosha killer Kyle Rittenhouse. Los Angeles civil litigator John Pierce has been directing a media blitz for the 17-year-old accused of killing two protesters last August and wounding a third.  Pierce announced Thursday he has taken over all civil representation of Rittenhouse, including potential defamation suits and efforts to raise money for his defense.  He wouldn’t be involved in the criminal trial, but he would need permission from the court to practice law in Wisconsin.  Prosecutors say Pierce has too much “ethical baggage” to be cleared here. – WRN

(Wisconsin) Governor Evers has granted another 33 pardons. The new pardons granted this week bring the total to 107 during Evers’ first two years in office. His predecessor, former Governor Scott Walker had discontinued the practice of granting pardons, which do not result in an expungement of a criminal record, but do restore some of the rights that are lost when someone is convicted of a felony. The Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board will continue to meet virtually, monthly. – WRN

(Wisconsin) In Washington, Wisconsin’s delegation split 4-3 along party lines Friday, as the House voted to decriminalize marijuana. Democrats Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan and Ron Kind all voted yes, while Republicans Tom Tiffany, Glen Grothman, Mike Gallagher and Bryan Steil all voted no. The measure passed 228-to-164, with only five Republican voting yes. Marijuana remains illegal in Wisconsin, although some municipalities have lowered fines for possession of a small amount of the drug. – WRN

(Wisconsin) Two groups of juveniles in central Wisconsin are alleged to have killed more than 40 deer, as well as a horse. Investigators are calling it a case of “thrill kills.” The Marshfield News Herald reports two separate groups are suspected in the killings, which were first reported early last month. Department of Natural Resources law enforcement supervisor, Lieutenant Robin Barnhardt, said the deer were spot lit in fields at night, shot and left were they fell. Wardens are determining whether the two groups are connected, or if it was coincidence that both were doing the shootings at the same time. – WRN

(Wisconsin) The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says it will resume Wisconsin’s wolf hunt next November. The U.S. Interior Department announced in October that gray wolves would be removed from the federal endangered species list across the lower 48 states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to officially remove protections in January, returning wolf management to states and tribes. When not listed as endangered, Wisconsin’s wolf season typically begins the first Saturday in November and runs through the last day of February. However, the DNR said Friday that more time is needed to develop a science-based harvest quota and engage the public on the development of a new wolf management plan. – WRN

(Wisconsin) The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reminding snowmobilers to ride safely this upcoming winter. Officials say with more than 200-thousand registered snowmobiles hitting the state’s 25-thousand miles of groomed trails across the state each winter, safety is a critical part of the ride. This year’s snowmobiling got off to a deadly start with 19 fatalities between January and March. Three of those deaths involved someone under the age of 18. The DNR reminds the public that any person who is at least 12-years-old and who is born on or after January 1st, 1985 is required to have a valid Snowmobile Safety Certificate in order to operate a snowmobile in most areas. Operators must carry the certificate while riding and display it to a law enforcement officer when requested. Other safety tips to remember while out on the trails include staying on marked routes, always wear a helmet and safety gear as well as slow down and use extra caution at night. For more information on snowmobile safety classes, regulations or to register your snowmobile visit the DNR website. A link will be available at DailyDodge.com.

(Dodge County) The Beaver Dam Department of Public Works is notifying residents that all brush and leaf pickup has been completed for the year. They also say that there is no longer Saturday hours at the Public Works yard site until April. The DPW yard waste drop-off site, at 640 South Center Street, is available year-round for disposal of yard waste materials by city residents only. Hours are Monday through Friday from 7am to 3:30pm. No waste of any kind will be acted from outside of the city limits or from any contractors. Questions should be directed to the Department of Public Works at 920-887-4635 or through the city’s website at www.cityofbeaverdam.com.