November 9, 2014

First Snowfall of the Season in the Forecast for WI


11/9/14 – If you haven’t seen any real snow yet, just wait until Monday.  The National Weather Service says a “surface low” pressure system will build steam from the west — but the exact track is uncertain, so we’re not sure how much of the white stuff you can expect.  Forecasters say we will get something.  They’re using the words “significant accumulations” for western and west central Wisconsin — and “uncertain” accumulations for the eastern part of the state. The Weather Service says the biggest totals are expected north of Milwaukee and Madison.  Parts of central and west central Wisconsin could get an inch of snow Saturday night.  Snow accumulations are also possible Tuesday and Wednesday in the far northern counties of Ashland and Iron.


Dodge Co. Jail Worker Sentenced for Sexual Assault


11/9/14 – A Beaver Dam woman who did contract work at the Dodge County Jail was sentenced yesterday to seven months in jail for having inappropriate contact with two inmates. Lori Larue had previously pled to one felony count of Second Degree Sexual Assault By Correctional Staff and had a second felony count dismissed but read into the record. Investigators were notified in September of last year that a kitchen worker had multiple contacts with the inmates in the kitchen area. The 46-year-old Larue initially denied the accusations, claiming she had been assaulted and was afraid to report it. Phone records show dozens of calls by Larue to the inmates and the content of the calls were suggestive in nature. In addition to seven months in jail, Larue was placed on probation for five years and must register as a sex offender.


Beaver Dam Man Sentenced for Drunken Vehicle Chase


11/9/14 – A Beaver Dam man was sentenced yesterday to 60 days in jail for sparking a drunken high speed chase. Mark Reichwald Jr. pled to a count of Attempting to Flee a Traffic Officer as a repeat offender and had two misdemeanor Obstruction charges dismissed but read into the record. Beaver Dam police initiated a stop for a traffic violation near Madison and Rowell streets just before the midnight hour last December. The 22-year-old refused to stop, sparking a chase down Madison Street that reached speeds of 80-miles-per-hour. The pursuit left the city limits, where speeds on County Highway G reached speeds in excess of 95mph. The chase continued down Highway DE to Forest Road, where the suspect crashed his vehicle into several mailboxes near the entrance of a mobile home park. Reichwald then fled on foot into a nearby residence and was taken into custody a short time later. Reichwald had a blood alcohol level of point-one-nine-seven (0.197). A two-year prison term for him was imposed and stayed. In addition to two months in jail with work release privileges, Reichwald was ordered to pay restitution, stay out of bars and serve two years of extended supervision.


Oconomowoc Man Representing Himself in Court


11/9/14 – An Oconomowoc man will represent himself in appealing a 12 years in prison for his role in a 2011 armed invasion of a home in Watertown.  Lawrence Davis was in a Dodge County courtroom for a hearing yesterday. Judge John Storck granted a motion for his attorney to withdraw and the 39-year-old then waived his right to an attorney. According to prosecutors, Davis and a second man armed themselves with a pellet gun and an ax handle, donned masks and forced their way into a residence.  While there Davis struck several people with the ax handle and restrained the nine victims while he and his accomplice searched for the residence for valuables.  They were eventually chased from the home after some of victims recognized one of the robber’s voices.  A jury convicted Davis in September of 2012 of Armed Robbery, Armed Burglary and nine counts of False Imprisonment.


Man Hospitalized After Paranormal Investigation


11/9/14 – A Rhinelander man who was conducting a para-normal investigation was hospitalized early Friday.  Authorities at Villisca in southern Iowa said 37-year-old Robert Laursen Junior may have stabbed himself in the chest.  It happened at the Villisca Axe Murder House, where eight brutal and unsolved murders took place since 1912.  Authorities said Laursen was visiting the home for what they called a “recreational para-normal investigation.”  Officials said he was in serious condition when he was taken to the hospital.  The building’s owner, Martha Linn, told the local Daily Nonpareil newspaper that Laursen was part of a family group of para-normal investigators who stayed overnight.  She said she didn’t know the victim, but other family members had stayed there numerous times. The Montgomery County sheriff said it was the first time he could remember an incident on the part of visitors to the house.


Ballweg Seeking to be Assembly Majority Leader


11/9/14 – State Representative Joan Ballweg just concluded one campaign and is now waging another. The Republican legislator from Markesan got 61-percent of the vote in her reelection effort this past Tuesday defeating Democrat Joe Kallas to win a 6th term. Now she’s building support among GOP State Representatives in an effort to become the Assembly Majority Leader. Ballweg says she has the necessary experience to have that leadership role, but it’s a matter of convincing other state legislators.


WI Supreme Court to Investigate Campaign Law


11/9/14 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court will soon be asked to decide if the state incorrectly enforced a law which bars candidates from coordinating campaign activities with outside groups.  The Citizens for Responsible Government filed a federal lawsuit against John Doe prosecutor John Chisholm and the state elections’ agency.  The C-R-G said it feared being investigated if it went ahead with a plan to start a Web site in which it would work with candidates to highlight their fiscal policies.  Federal Judge Rudolph Randa issued a temporary restraining order last month which allowed groups to work with candidates, as long as they did not specifically say to vote for-or-against the persons they highlighted.  The Web site, called “Take Charge Wisconsin,” then went online. The state wanted Randa to drop the lawsuit, saying the issues should be resolved by state courts and not federal courts.  This week, the Citizens group and the Government Accountability Board agreed to have the federal proceedings suspended until it can be known if the State Supreme Court would take the case.  Randa approved the temporary halt yesterday.  If the Supreme Court does not take the case, it could either go back to Randa — or to a circuit court.



Bank to Offer Extra $3 Billion in Loans


11/9/14 – Wisconsin’s largest bank said today it would make an extra three-billion dollars in business loans available over the next three years.  BMO Harris Bank said the increase is based on the bank’s estimate of a two-point-six percent growth in Wisconsin’s economy next year.  Jeff Ticknor, the bank’s head of commercial banking for the Badger State, said business owners have expressed confidence in the economy.  He said two-thirds of executives surveyed had a positive outlook for 2015, and the majority expect their businesses to grow.  BMO Capital Market economist Michael Gregory said the state’s economy should grow by two-point-two percent this year, with a four-tenths percent increase the following year.  He projects that Wisconsin will add 40-thousand jobs by the end of 2016, with Milwaukee adding 12-thousand of those jobs.


Scam Emails Bring Malware, Not Pizza


11/9/14 – If you opened an e-mail to get a Pizza Hut freebie, you may have given your computer a virus.  That’s the word today from Wisconsin consumer protection officials.  The agency issued a warning about an e-mail in Pizza Hut’s bright red color, urging folks to click for a free personal pan pizza in honor of the chain’s 55th anniversary.  Well, the company did have its 55th birthday — but that last year, not this year.  The coupons claimed to have an expiration date of November 5th, two days ago.  But if you still try to grab the freebie, officials say your machine could get infected with malicious software — perhaps with somebody watching online activity and stealing things.  Some e-mail services caught the fraud and sent the messages to people’s spam areas.  The consumer agency says there are things you can do to catch a scammer.  First, check the e-mail address of the sender — it should list the provider as the company’s name-dot-com.  And if you didn’t sign up for discounts, chances are you won’t get them online.


Fall River Bingo Games Tonight


11/9/14 – Tis the season for Bingo Prizes. Three events are part of this year’s Fall River Bingo games. Fire Department personnel will be holding their annual “Poultry Bingo” games this weekend. Players will have a chance to win Chickens, Turkeys, Hams, Pork and cash. The crews will be also be having a “wine and cheese basket raffle” and a “50/50 raffle.” The annual fall event draws players from Columbia, Dodge and Dane counties hoping to come home with the main course for Thanksgiving dinner. Proceeds will go for new firefighting equipment. Non-perishable donations to the Columbus / Fall River Food Pantry will also be accepted. The action begins Saturday night (tonight) at 7:00 at the Fall River Fire Station.