November 6, 2014

Former Waupun Cop Makes Another Initial Appearance


11/6/14 – A former Waupun police officer made his Initial Appearance Wednesday in one of the several counties where he is facing charges for an extensive crime spree. Bradley Young had a signature bond set at $5000 when he appeared in a Waupaca County courtroom for the first time on felony Burglary, Theft and Criminal Damage to Property charges for break-ins in January and December of 2012. Those offenses occurred months before the 45-year-old Brandon man was arrested following a multi-county police chase involving stolen cars, breaking and entering and his near suicide in a Spooner cabin while surrounded by law enforcement. Young’s August 2013 arrest uncovered the former cops alleged role in a series of burglaries throughout the state at restaurants, taverns and grocery stores dating back to 2011. As a result, he is also charged with a variety of felonies in Green Lake, Barron, Burnett and Waushara counties. In fact, Young was supposed to make an Initial Appearance yesterday in Waushara; that appearance was rescheduled for January 13.  Additional charges are pending in Fond du Lac County where investigators recently referred nine burglary cases to the District Attorney.


Fire Damages Town of Trenton Home


11/6/14 – Significant fire and smoke damage were reported following a house fire in the Town of Trenton Wednesday. Waupun Fire Chief BJ DeMaa says crews were called at 3:20am to W8485 Highway 68 after a passerby reported to dispatchers that sparks were shooting out of the back side of the residence. The lone occupant in the home had been evacuated prior to the arrival of firefighters. The fire was concentrated in the first floor kitchen and second floor bedroom. DeMaa says the fire appears to be the result of careless use of a cooking appliance. Damage is estimated at $45-thousand dollars. The Red Cross is assisting with lodging. Waupun received mutual assistance from Fox Lake Fire and EMS, Burnett Fire, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Response Team and Alliant Energy.


Columbia County Sees Two Fatal Wrecks In 24 Hours


11/6/14 – There were two fatal accidents this week in Columbia County within 24 hours. A Madison man killed in a motorcycle accident Tuesday afternoon in the Town of Arlington was identified yesterday as Phillip Johnson of Madison. The 61-year-old was riding on County Highway K north of DeForest when he collided with a deer. He was transported to UW Hospital in Madison by MedFlight and was pronounced dead that evening. Johnson was not wearing a helmet when emergency responders arrived on scene but a helmet was found at the scene; it is unknown if he was wearing it at the time of the crash. Speed appears to have been a factor.


Meanwhile, it has been learned that a woman killed in an S-U-V crash near Portage on Monday was delivering mail for the U-S Postal Service at the time.  The victim was identified as 22-year-old Jessica Halvorsen.  Authorities said she was driving from the right-front passenger seat on a rural delivery route in the Town of Caledonia when the S-U-V veered to the right and over-corrected a couple times.  It drove into a steep ditch on the left, and overturned in a cornfield. Halvorsen was ejected, and officials said she was not wearing a seatbelt.


Nine Car Deer Collisions In Dodge County In 22 Hours


11/6/14 – Motorists are advised that there is increased deer activity at this time of year. There were nine reports of car versus deer collisions reported in Dodge County between 7am yesterday and 4:30am this morning. No significant injuries were reported.


Randolph Heroin Forum


11/6/14 – A heroin forum will be held tonight beginning at 6:30 pm at the Randolph School District.  The presentation will be followed by a Q-and-A session and is open to all parents and community members.  Only adults are encouraged to attend this session that will share the ways in which heroin and other drugs are affecting children and the community.  The school district is located at 110 Meadowood Drive.


Connecting Veterans with Benefits


11/6/14 – A seminar titled “Connecting Veterans with Benefits” will be held this Monday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Dodge County Administration Building in Juneau.  Dodge County’s Veteran Services Office is partnering with the Aging Disability Resource Center to host the event.  Dodge County Veterans Service Officer Mark Grams says there are multiple different conditions that will be covered, including VA Disability Compensation, VA Pension, VA Healthcare and Agent Orange.  In addition to these, he notes that medical care and assistance will also be discussed.  Grams says that it is at times difficult to make connections between veterans and disability services due to strict guidelines.  He says that there must be a link between the veteran’s military illness or injury and their current illness or injury.  The seminar will be targeted towards veterans who served through the Vietnam Conflict.  Additional programs for veterans of more current eras are expected in the future.  It is requested that persons interested in Monday’s free seminar RSVP immediately.  More info at:


Fox Lake Continues To Hammer Out Budget


11/6/14 – The Fox Lake City Council continued to work towards finalizing its 2015 budget at last night’s meeting.  They reviewed the proposals from each department and noted some of the cuts that need to be made.  $150-thousand worth of expenses have already been cut by shifting them to a different financial year.  A couple of items were bumped up to this year’s budget, but most items were transferred to 2016, 2017, or 2018.  Even after these alterations, approximately $160-thousand would need to be taken out of the city’s reserve account to supplement the anticipated levy.  This is due to 2015 being what Mayor Tom Bednarek calls a ‘big transitional year.’  City Administrator Gary Rogers says that revenues are down 29-percent due to a TIF district closing in 2014.  That reason, along with the levy limits that are imposed by the state, will lead to the city having to draw on its reserves.  Rogers says that is something that the city has been aware of though for quite some time.  No final numbers have been given, but Rogers expects the mill rate to decrease from this year.  The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, November 19, and the budget will be finalized shortly thereafter.


Fond du Lac County Public Budget Hearing Tonight


11/6/14 – Fond du Lac County residents have a chance to comment on the proposed 2015 County Budget during a hearing at 7:30 tonight at the City-County Government Center in Fond du Lac. County Executive Al Buechel is proposing a budget with a proposed tax levy of $41.4 million. That would increase the tax rate to $6.11 per thousand dollars of value on a property or an increase of 6 cents in the tax rate. Buechel says there will be no cuts in service or personnel for the County in 2015.


Walker Plans Aggressive Agenda For Second Term


11/6/14 – Governor Scott Walker says he’ll more be aggressive in pursuing his agenda in his second term, after voters elected a more conservative Legislature on Tuesday.  After his five-point victory over Mary Burke on Tuesday, the Republican Walker told his cabinet yesterday they’ll have stronger allies in the Assembly and Senate.  He said voters want a state government that’s more effective, efficient, and accountable.  Walker told agency leaders to see what they can do better, and what they can scrap.  He plans to meet with G-O-P legislative leaders in the coming days.  Republicans added one member to its Senate majority after Tuesday’s elections, and up to three members in the Assembly depending on the final outcomes in a pair of close races.  G-O-P Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the first bill he wants is a comprehensive school accountability package that failed to pass in the last session.  Vos also said he wants changes in the state Government Accountability Board, saying it’s too partisan in enforcing election laws.  Vos also wants to change Wisconsin’s long-running John Doe investigating system — a secret process in which prosecutors gather evidence to decide whether to charge suspects.  Vos has said the system has been used as a “witch hunt” against Walker.  Senate G-O-P leader Scott Fitzgerald said quick approval of the next budget is his top priority. It could include more tax cuts, which Walker has said he wants in the next session.


Assembly To Elect New Majority Leader Monday


11/6/14 – Wisconsin Assembly Republicans will choose a new majority leader on Monday. The speaker’s office says three Republicans are vying for the post in the new two-year session. Pat Strachota of West Bend held the position briefly, after Bill Kramer was removed in the wake of sexual assault allegations.  Strachota did not run for re-election this fall, so that leaves the door open for somebody else to be the second-in-command for the Republican majority under Speaker Robin Vos.  Representatives Jim Steineke of Kaukauna, Andre Jacque of De Pere, and Joan Ballweg of Markesan are seeking the post.  Steineke was the assistant majority leader in the last session.  Ballweg was the majority caucus chair.


Winter Parking Rules Imminent In Beaver Dam


11/6/14 – Winter parking restrictions in Beaver Dam will go into effect with the first significant snowfall of the season. City ordinance allows for the enforcement period to begin on November 1 but Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy says enforcement will not begin until the snow plows come out. Once enacted, no parking will be allowed on city streets between 2am and 6am, so that the Department of Public Works can clear the snow. Citations will be issued for violations and begin at $20 if the ticket is paid within five days. Once the enforcement has been initiated, the parking ban will remain in effect until April 1 unless it is announced that the ban has been temporarily or permanently lifted. Kennedy says residents who need to apply for a $40 on-street parking permit should apply now so ensure they will have it when the snow starts to fall.


State Capitol Tree From Pelican Lake


11/6/14 – This year’s State Capitol Christmas Tree will come from a farm near Pelican Lake.  Governor Scott Walker announced Wednesday that Dennis and Kim Schoeneck will supply a 40-foot balsam fir for the Capitol Rotunda.  The theme for this year’s tree is “Honoring Wisconsin’s Veterans.”  School children throughout Wisconsin will submit ornaments for the tree.