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Top Stories July 7, 2015

New Building At Fairgrounds


7/7/15 - The 128th edition of the Dodge County Fair will include a new, permanent structure for the popular Legion Beer tent. At the annual dinner for the local media last night, Doug Ninmann, president of the Fair Association said the new building will be ready for the start of the 2015 fair on August 19th.  The $30-thousand structure was paid for with a donation by Ted Grobe from the estate of World War II veteran Howard Rogenbauer and his wife Helen.


Fair Secretary Sharon Keil told the media that this year’s entertainment lineup will feature artists who have never performed at the fair before and said any of the country artists who will perform this year, could be future big names in the industry. She cited previous performers who were at the fair just before they hit the big time like Toby Keith, Luke Brian and Eric Church. This year’s country entertainment will be Scotty McCreery on Wednesday night, Gloriana on Thursday and the Swan Brothers on Saturday. Friday night will be rock with the Guess Who.


Ticket prices will be unchanged and like other years will include the grandstand entertainment. They are $7 before 2pm, $10 after 2pm. Season tickets are $27 when purchased before the fair and $35 at the fair. Fair dates are Wednesday, August 19 through Sunday August 23rd.


McHenry Found Guilty For Murdering Randolph Man


7/7/15 - A Milwaukee woman charged with killing a Randolph man was found guilty on a no contest plea yesterday in a Dodge County courtroom.  Kriscilla McHenry has been convicted of First Degree Intentional Homicide in the August death of 43-year-old Michael Soeller.  Soeller’s body was found at the Randolph Motel in the Town of Fox Lake by the manager of the facility who had not seen the victim in several days and noticed a bad smell coming from the unit. The manager found Soeller in the bedroom with a large pool of blood next to his body by the bed. McHenry told investigators that Soeller tried to rape her and she stabbed him with a pen knife after the incident as she was trying to defend herself. She will be sentenced on September 17.


Beaver Dam Man Sentenced To Prison For Super Bowl Shooting


7/7/15 - A Beaver Dam man was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison for firing a gun at another man during an altercation over a woman. Fredrick Hodgkins was convicted on felony counts of Second Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety and Intimidating a Victim. The incident happened on the afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday on the 900 block of Madison Street. Hodgkins supplied the woman with drugs in exchange for sex and then became jealous when he learned about her relationship with the other man. The 43-year-old pulled a pistol and pointed it at the victim, then struck him on the head with the gun before firing one round right next to his ear. He then threatened to kill the victim and two other men if they called police. In addition to the five years in prison, Hodgkins will be under extended supervision for another five years and must stay sober at all times.


State Budget Package Considered Today


7/7/15 - The Wisconsin Senate will consider the proposed state budget today -- and a cut-back in the prevailing wage might be returned to the package.  Senate President Mary Lazich said the G-O-P has not rounded up enough votes quite yet -- but it's said to be close.  Majority Republicans have been split on what to do with the 84-year-old minimum wages paid to contractors for highways and other public works projects.  However, there's been growing support in recent days for a plan by Senate Republican Frank Lasee to repeal the prevailing wage for local government projects -- and limit it to the federal wage for state government work.  In those cases, the prevailing wage would apply to projects costing more than 48-thousand dollars for workers in one trade, and 100-thousand for those in two-or-more trades.


Beaver Dam Looking To Bolster Downtown Street Signs


7/7/15 - Beaver Dam’s Operations Committee recommended two design options for the city’s new downtown street signs.  The committee looked at four choices last night and selected two with similar vintage patterns.  Engineering Coordinator Ritchie Piltz says the signs are rectangular with a rounded top meant to depict the Swan City Park band shell.  They have a blue background with white lettering.  The city is hoping to start installing these signs throughout its downtown redevelopment district as streets are redone.  The first streets to get these new signs would be the Highway 33 and Spring Street areas that are being worked on this summer.  The sign cost for those areas alone is estimated around $2,000.  Funds would either come from the city’s capital improvement project account or from the downtown grant program.  According to Piltz, the old signs might be put back up temporarily until the new ones arrive.  The Landmark Commission will look at the committee’s recommendations with the hopes of narrowing it down to one design at its meeting next month.


Dodge County Projected Less Library Payments Next Year


7/7/15 - If current numbers hold steady for the rest of the year, Dodge County will spend less money in library reimbursements than it did in 2015.  Libraries had to submit their annual reports to the county clerk by July 1 so the reimbursement numbers can be included in next year’s county budget.  County Administrator Jim Mielke shared the year-to-date numbers at yesterday’s Executive Committee meeting.  He says the 2016 allocation is projected at $634,000 which is $28,000 less than the 2015 payment.  He says that’s primarily due to the difference in non-resident circulation.  Mielke says there is a base circulation cost of $2.32.  Beaver Dam, Iron Ridge, and Watertown’s libraries would all currently be bumped up to that number since they each currently below that figure.  As for what library association Dodge County will be a part of going forward, Mielke says it’s too early to tell.  Jefferson County recently voted to leave the Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System, leaving Dodge and Washington Counties as the only members.  Mielke says it’s possible for Dodge County to go forward with that two library system or join another area group, like the South-Central Library System that includes Columbia County or the Winnefox Library System that includes Fond du Lac and Green Lake Counties.  That decision will likely come next year. 


Dodge County Looking To Add Asst. Corporation Counsel Position


7/7/15 - Dodge County is looking to create a new position in the Corporation Counsel’s office.  The idea is to add a new assistant corporation counsel starting January 1.  County Administrator Jim Mielke says that is to help the department keep up with its increasing workload.  If the county board approves the position, it can be considered for the 2016 budget as long as the funding is available.  The county is also looking to replace its director of human resources since the current director, Joe Rains, is retiring next month.  Two rounds of interviews are scheduled in the coming weeks with hopes that they can have the new director start in September.  Since Rains also serves as the deputy administrator, Mielke has appointed Clearview Director Jane Hooper to fill that opening. 


Green Lake Company Awarded Beaver Dam Sewer Project


7/7/15 - The Beaver Dam Common Council awarded the contract for a storm sewer installation project at its meeting last night.  Kopplin and Kinas Co. Inc. of Green Lake was awarded the project which will run from Jefferson Street to Marsh Trail on Judson Drive.  They were the lowest of three bidders at just under $63,000.  No date was given for when the project will get underway.


Watertown Teen Among Six Students In Alleged Break-In


7/7/15 - A Watertown teen had his bond set at $1,000 yesterday for a variety of charges stemming from a home break-in.  Donovan Cagney is facing felony counts of Burglary and Possession of Narcotic Drugs and misdemeanor counts of Criminal Damage to Property and Theft, all as a party to a crime.  He was allegedly part of a group of six high school students that left school early one day to break into one of the involved teens’ houses to steal pills, alcohol, and money from the kid’s parents.  17-year-old Bradley Chavez of Watertown is facing the same four counts and had a warrant issued for his arrest yesterday.  17-year-old Joseph Janasik of Watertown was found guilty on four misdemeanor counts tied to the break-in yesterday and will serve 60 days in jail and be on probation for two years.  The other three students involved are all under the age of 17.  If they are found guilty on all counts, Cagney and Chavez each face over 17 years in prison and could have their licenses suspended for up to five years.


Juneau Man Accused Of Breaking Into House


7/7/15 - Signature bond was set at $1,000 for a Juneau man accused of breaking into a house and stealing.  Thad Seifert is charged with Felony Burglary and two counts of Misdemeanor Theft.  The 46-year-old is not allowed to have direct contact with the alleged victim and cannot have any controlled substances without a prescription.  Seifert has a preliminary hearing scheduled for August 27. 


UW Schools Learn Extent Of Funds Cut From State Budget


7/7/15 - UW Milwaukee will take the largest hit under the $250,000,000 cut in state funding to the university system in the next state budget. Campuses were told yesterday what their total shares will be.  The state's second-largest campus in Milwaukee will get a total operating-base budget of $31,800,000 in the next school year.  That's down by over 5%.  The flagship at Madison has a total operating base of $20,400,000, a cut of 0.75%.  The base budgets include all sources of revenue -- not only state aid -- and they're based on the state budget as endorsed last Friday by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee.  Of the eleven other four-year U-W schools, six get increase in the coming year's base budgets -- Whitewater, Eau Claire, Stevens Point, Oshkosh, and River Falls.  The Board of Regents will act on the new budget later this week.


Tornados Touch Down In Northeast Wisconsin


7/7/15 - Tornadoes touched down along a 50-mile stretch of northeast Wisconsin late yesterday afternoon.  No injuries were reported.  The National Weather Service Web site listed three twisters in Waupaca and Shawano counties.  Media spotters reported up to five tornadoes in those two counties plus Oconto.  The Weather Service will inspect damage in all three counties to see what actually happened.  Two homes were damaged, a barn was destroyed, and other farm buildings were damaged in the Waupaca County town of Dupont.  A mother and three children escaped injury when a tornado hit while they were inside.  Trees and power lines fell in Oconto County, and much of Wisconsin had heavy rains. Rhinelander had two-point-three inches of rain last night, after River Falls in far western Wisconsin had seven-and-two-thirds inches earlier in the day.  In Middleton, trees were snapped off in a late night downburst. Almost 29-hundred We Energies' customers were still in the dark early this morning in the Brookfield, Greendale, Sturtevant, Burlington, and Whitewater areas.  Heavy rains fell in much of Wisconsin last night.


Yesterday's Headlines
- BDUSD Director Named To Statewide Position
- Former NCAA Star Coming To Beaver Dam
- Motorcycle Deaths Up In Wisconsin

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.