Newscast – October 2, 2020

(Beaver Dam) The head of the Beaver Dam school district says plans put in place at the start of the school year have been working so far. Students in grades seven through 12 are in school two days a week, while learning virtually for three, with younger students in school all week. Superintendent Mark DiStefano told us on WBEV’s Community Comment that there are currently ten students diagnosed with coronavirus but there has been no spread from student-to-student within the schools themselves. DiStefano says another key to limiting the number of cases has been parent’s diligence in not sending children to school with illness or symptoms.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 2,887 positive coronavirus cases in Thursday’s daily update. There are 22,126 active cases in the state, an increase of 1,122 from Wednesday. State health officials recorded 21 deaths, for a total of 1,348. Dodge County has 17 deaths on record and 2,003 cases, an increase of 44 from Wednesday. County health officials are actively monitoring 488 people.

(Wisconsin) Marcus Theatres is temporarily closing 17 cinemas it re-opened this summer. The company says audience demand is down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and so is the number of new movies. The newly re-closed cinemas are in Appleton, Green Bay, Delafield, and Menomonee Falls. Milwaukee-based Marcus owns 72 theaters. – WRN

(Waupun) Probable cause was found yesterday, and a former Waupun Correctional inmate is heading to trial on charges he stabbed a correctional officer multiple times. Gregg Phillips allegedly used a shank to stab a prison guard 13 times on Christmas Eve and bit the wrist of a second corrections officer. During the attack, Phillips was allegedly overheard saying (quote) “It needed to be done. It didn’t matter who…it was just because he was a blue shirt” and that “a blue shirt needed to die.” The guard who was stabbed was treated at UW Hospital before being released the following day. If convicted, the 40-year-old faces an additional 75 years in prison. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for November 4th.

(Beaver Dam) A Beaver Dam woman has been charged with leaving the scene after striking another vehicle with her car. Rebecca Chadwick allegedly failed to stop for a stop sign on Maple Avenue back in May, striking a northbound car on North Lincoln Avenue. When located by police, Chadwick reportedly admitted to her actions and said she did not stop because she was scared. The driver of the vehicle that was hit did have rib injuries as a result of the crash. If convicted, the 51-year-old faces no more than nine months in prison. An initial appearance is scheduled for October 19th.

(Juneau) The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is Thursday, October 29 but Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson says that may not be enough time to successfully cast that ballot. Gibson told us yesterday on WBEV’s Community Comment that if you are going to vote absentee, do not procrastinate, request the ballot now. The first day to vote in-person absentee – and avoid the mail system – is Tuesday, October 20. In person absentee voting ends the Sunday before the election, though many municipal clerk’s offices are not open on weekends.

(Madison) Five voters are asking a Dane County judge to rule that Madison’s “Democracy in the Park” events are legal, despite Republican claims. Poll workers collected absentee ballots in city parks last Saturday and will do so again this weekend. A Republican attorney, without citing a specific law being broken, claimed that was illegal. Three of the voters turned in their absentee ballots at the event last weekend. The other two wanted to do so this weekend but worry a Republican lawsuit may invalidate their ballots. An attorney for the voters says “nothing about the program is illegal or even questionable.” – WRN