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Top Stories September 16, 2014.

Fox Lake Murder Suspect Apprehended


9/16/14 - The suspect in the murder of a Fox Lake man has been apprehended. Sheriff Pat Ninmann says 30 year-old Kriscilla K. McHenry is in custody at the Dodge County Detention Facility. 43-year-old Michael Soeller was found deceased on August 24 by his landlord who had not seen him for several days.  The preliminary investigation by the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office alleged that the Milwaukee woman was in Soeller’s apartment prior to his death and later stole his vehicle. While she has not been formally charged with Homicide at this time, a warrant for her arrest was issued after she failed to make an initial appearance August 29 in Dodge County court on vehicle theft charges.

Beaver Dam Outlaws Drive Through Liquor Windows


9/16/14 - Beer and liquor cannot be sold by drive-through window in the city of Beaver Dam.  The Beaver Dam Common Council last night voted to prohibit the windows for all package liquor sales. However, an exception was made to allow liquor stores to conduct a transaction by walking the product outside to the parking lot. When the matter was first brought up in July, Chill Zone Liquor owner Roy Stibb asked city leaders to consider his handicapped customers. In those select cases, Stibb says he would take the money from the customer in the parking lot, ring up the transaction inside the store and walk the items back out to the car. The wording of the ordinance exempts holders of Class A/ Class A licenses, which the city attorney says is only liquor stores. The idea for the ordinance was brought up earlier this year, after the Game On Sports Bar inquired about the possibility of adding a drive through window. The Administrative Committee noted that there was no such ordinance in place restricting drive-through liquor stores. Current establishments would not have been able to install and use a drive-through because it is not included on their liquor license. However, when liquor licenses come up for renewal, the windows could have theoretically been added to the site description and city officials would not have been able to prohibit them.


City Borrowing On Road Projects Less Than Projected


9/16/14 - City borrowing for this year’s street rehabilitation in Beaver Dam has come in about $40-thousand dollars below estimates. The city council last night awarded contracts for several projects. Ptaschinski Construction received the largest contract, $750-thousand dollars for the concrete reconstruction of South Lincoln from Judson Drive to East Davis Street.  The city will need to borrow just over $600-thousand, which is $60-thousand dollars less than planned. The remaining money will come from the storm water utility, a taxing mechanism set up by the city in recent years to pay for infrastructure improvements. Ptaschinski was also the low-bidder for concrete street repairs on a short stretch of Gould Street near the high school at $42-thousand dollars, which is $8-thousand dollars less than anticipated. Cornerstone Pavers of Racine won the bid to perform concrete street repairs on North Spring Street – between Stoddart and Wayland streets – for $52-thousand dollars, $18-thousand dollars below estimates. Not everything came in below projections though. Two projects completed earlier this year, the repaving of Henry Street and the new parking lot at City Hall, were higher than anticipated by around $40-thousand dollars, cutting in half the $80-thousand dollars saved from the most recent project bids.


Congressional Candidates Debate In Fond du Lac


9/16/14 - Perception is something both candidates for the 6th Congressional District seat will be dealing with leading up to the November election. Both Republican Glenn Grothman and Democrat Mark Harris were asked about their images during a debate in Fond du Lac Monday. State Senator Grothman courts controversy something he says he will not shy away from because tough decisions have to be made. Meanwhile Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris was asked about the image he has of leaning to far left. He asks how he can be perceived as being liberal when he has consistently proposed balanced budgets, cut spending and reduced debt.


Columbus Considers Three-year Contract With Appraiser


9/16/14 - The city of Columbus will be making a decision on renewing their agreement with Associated Appraisal this week. The council had asked administrative staff to explore hiring a full time city assessor. After checking out a number of southern Wisconsin communities with full time "city" assessors, the staff recommendation is to continue with the current provider, Associated Appraisal. The recommendation for the agreement with Associated is a three-year plan. That plan calls for an $11-thousand dollar maintenance review in 2015. A full city re-evaluation of properties in 2016; that full re-evaluation would cost just under $60-thousand dollars. Then in 2017, Associated would return to another $11-thousand dollar maintenance review. Consideration of the $82-thousand dollar agreement with Associated Appraisal will come before the Common Council on Tuesday night.


Elections Agency To Hold Voter ID News Conference


9/16/14 - The state elections' agency will hold a news conference this afternoon with details on how the voter I-D law will be incorporated into the November 4th elections.  Things have already gotten messy since a federal appeals court put the 2011 photo I-D requirement back in place last Friday.  By then, almost 12-thousand people mailed in requests for absentee ballots for November -- and they did not submit photocopies of their I-D's as the law now requires.  The deadline for local governments to mail those ballots is Thursday.  Milwaukee officials said about eight-thousand voters had asked for them.  The general public is confused, as well.  A state motor vehicle official said people have asked whether they'll need other I-D's beside their drivers' licenses to vote -- and they won't.  Also, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says a lot of college student I-D's cannot be used under the state voting law.  U-W Madison spokesman Greg Bump said his school's I-D's were not designed or intended to comply with voter I-D laws.  The university is looking into the matter.  Reid Magney of the Government Accountability Board expects local clerks to get guidance today on following the voter I-D law.  However, his agency needs help from the state Justice Department on certain issues.  He warned that some issues might not be resolved in time for the 2 o'clock news conference his agency plans to hold.


Justice Dept Seek Funding For Police Death Investigations


9/16/14 - The state Justice Department says it will need more money to carry out the new law that requires outside agencies to investigate deaths caused by local police officers.  The Justice Department has served as that outside agency in a number of cases since the law took effect earlier this year.  It's asking the governor to include 738-thousand dollars in the next state budget to hire three new officers and two evidence analysts for those probes.  In the first month since the law took effect, police departments asked the Justice agency to investigate five officer-involved deaths.  Thirty police forces -- including Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay -- plan to use the state agency as their outside investigators.


Waukesha Judge Halts Proceedings In Slender Man Stabbing


9/16/14 - A judge in Waukesha has halted court proceedings for a 12-year-old girl charged in the Slender Man stabbing case.  Anissa Weier will get an independent mental exam to determine if she's competent to help with her defense.  Circuit Judge Michael Bohren said yesterday that he wants the exam to be completed within 30 days.  In the meantime, a preliminary hearing set for tomorrow and Thursday has been postponed.  Weier's attorney tried unsuccessfully to have the hearing proceed, as part of her effort to move her client to juvenile court. Maura McMahon, said Weier would keep suffering the longer the case drags on. Her co-defendant, 12-year-old Morgan Geyser, has also had her case delayed for at least a year while she gets mental treatment.  Both girls are charged as adults with attempted homicide.  They're accused of stabbing a middle school classmate 19 times last May in allegiance to the online horror character Slender Man.


Fall Colors Beginning


9/16/14 - A cool summer, plus lots of moisture, could equal a splashier fall color season in Wisconsin.  U-W La Crosse biology professor Tim Gerber is optimistic.  He said there's plenty of moisture in western Wisconsin, so trees are not as heavily stressed as a year ago.  According to Gerber, all we need now are mild days and cool nights to see more vibrant colors on the trees over the next few weeks.  There is nothing on the report yet for Dodge County but the latest Fall Color Report at Travel Wisconsin-Dot-Com shows that Fond du Lac and Calumet counties have at least 25-percent of peak colors.  Trempealeau County -- just north of La Crosse – is also reporting 25-percent color.  Elsewhere, the season has hardly begun.  Colors normally peak in late September in far northern Wisconsin, and later in October the further south you go.  The La Crosse area normally gets its peak colors in the third week of October.


Livability Ranks Madison Number One City


9/16/14 - Madison is Number-One on a new list of the best places to live for U-S small and mid-sized cities.  It's one of three Wisconsin cities in the Top-100 from Livability-Dot-Com.  Eau Claire was rated 59th-best, and La Crosse 95th.  Madison moved up to the top spot after being fifth on Livability's inaugural list in 2013.  The judges gave high marks to Madison's culture, technology innovations spurred by the U-W, and stable population as Wisconsin's capital.  Livability said Eau Claire enjoys a "thriving music scene" while its main employers are in education, health care, and retail.  La Crosse was cited as a medical and technology hub for western Wisconsin, with numerous higher education options.


Yesterday's Headlines
    - Beaver Dam Mayor Discusses Watermark Delay
    - Alderman Responds To Kennedy's Remarks
    - Beaver Dam Pepper Festival Approaching

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.