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Top Stories August 22, 2017

Dodge County Fair Attendance


8/22/17 - The numbers have been crunched and attendance at the Dodge County Fair this year was about the same as last year. Fair Association Secretary Sharon Keil says the way the week started out she never thought they would end with the numbers that they did. She says they were about 500 people down from last year which is a surprise given the weather. Wednesday and Thursday were really down but she says they came back and turned it around with the final three days. Last year there were 45,700 people through the gates of the fairgrounds outside Beaver Dam, compared to 45,200 this year. Keil says since the year 2000, typical attendance is in the upper-40-thousand-to-lower-50-thousand range with a low turnout of 39-thousand and a record-setting high of 59-thousand. She says it was a real comfortable fair without any incidents or disasters, one of the more smooth-running fairs they have had in a while which the whole fair board is real happy with. The Fair Board tried something new this year, scaling back the nights of music from four grandstand acts to three and kicking off the five-day event with the Badger State Tractor Pull. Because of rains on Wednesday, the tractor pull was cancelled but Keil says they will try the tractor pull again next year because it really did not happen. “So we’ve got one night of entertainment already lined-up for next year,” Keil says adding that she anticipates having two nights of country music and a rock night again next year.


Beaver Dam Council Approves New Website


8/22/17 - The Beaver Dam Common Council last night approved the mayors $10-thousand-dollar request to redesign the city’s website. Mayor Becky Glewen says she has put together a group focused on marketing the city through social media and the website is a major component that she says needs to be updated. The current website was designed six-years ago by eGov Strategies. Glewen says she likes what she has seem from other more modern eGov websites and wants to stick with them. Alderman Robert Ballweg cast one of four no votes. Ballweg was among those who said the current eGov website has lacked a good conceptual design since the beginning and the project should go out to bid to consider other possible vendors. Glewen said she was initially going to fund the website through the 2018 budget process but that would have resulted in the site not being completed until next September. Instead, money for the expenditure will initially come from the city’s general fund allowing the new site be up and running by April.


Beaver Dam Seeking RFPs For Taxi Provider


8/22/17 - The city of Beaver Dam will seek Requests for Proposals next year for its taxi service. The city’s current taxi provider, Running Inc., declined an option for a 2018 extension of its contract. Regional General Manager Karl Schulte with Running Inc told the city’s Administrative Committee last night that his company recently lost several of its full-time drivers to competitors. The terms of the contract do not allow the company to pay its drivers a more competitive wage. Schulte says Running Inc. wants the contract again and the company understands it might not get the bid but it’s in everyone’s best interest to start fresh. He says they are currently above 90-pecent staffing and are in the process of hiring more drivers.  The last time the city sought bids for taxi service there were four bids submitted. The shared ride taxi service is paid for with a mix of city and state dollars.


Deputies Shoot Suspect In Pardeeville


8/22/17 - One person is dead following an officer involved shooting in Columbia County. The incident occurred around 8pm last night in Pardeeville. Authorities responded to a domestic disturbance call and the suspect reportedly fired toward responding officers who apparently returned fire. MedFlight was called to the scene but that was cancelled after dispatch requested the coroner. The deputy involved is reportedly on paid leave while the state Justice Department investigates.


Rubicon Man Accused Of Threatening Arson Victims


8/22/17 - A Rubicon man is facing felony charges for threatening a person who’s barn he had burned down. Kyle Dylan Usher is charged with Threats to Injure or Accuse of a Crime, Stalking and Threatening To Communicate Derogatory Information. Usher spent five years in the juvenile corrections system after he was convicted of burning down two barns in 2012 and ordered to pay $75-thousand dollars in restitution. Almost immediately upon his successful completion of probation, the 20-year-old sent a rambling, 12-page letter to his victims recounting his incarceration and blaming them for losing five years of his life. In the letter, he demanded not only $10-thousand dollars but also that the victims send him a check every month for the exact same amount as the restitution check he pays to the victims. The letter was sent electronically and reportedly included a picture of him holding a gun. He told authorities it was not threatening because it was a BB-gun. A subsequent search of his residence turned up two explosive devices, one of which required dismantling by the Dane County Bomb Squad. Cash bond was set at $25-thousand dollars during an initial appearance yesterday in Dodge County court and a judge will decide next week if there is enough evidence to order a trial.  If convicted, Usher faces a prison sentence of over 15 years.


Beaver Dam Woman Facing Charges For OWI Injury Accident


8/22/17 - A Beaver Dam woman is accused of being under the influence of heroin when she crashed her car over the weekend, injuring her four-year-old daughter. Amber Stieglitz is charged with Operating While Intoxicated Causing Injury with a Minor in the Vehicle. The 28-year-old says she was coming home from a birthday party Saturday night when another motorist swerved into her lane on County Road P in the Town of Fox Lake causing her to enter the ditch, strike a culvert and flip over. Investigators at the scene found no evidence to support her claims and an eyewitness said her vehicle veered off the roadway into a ditch. The child, who was not restrained, was taken to Beaver Dam Community Hospital before being transported to UW Hospital in Madison with contusions, cuts and a possible head injury. If convicted, Stieglitz faces up to two years in prison.  A signature bond was set at $1000 yesterday and a preliminary hearing is on the court calendar next month.


Beaver Dam Man Appears On Child Abuse Charges


8/22/17 - A Beaver Dam man who is accused of abusing his son made an initial appearance in Dodge County court yesterday. Mackaveli Graham is charged with two felony counts of Child Abuse-Intentionally Causing Bodily Harm. Social workers called Beaver Dam police from the emergency room at UW Hospital in Madison in July after the child’s mother brought him in for bruising. The mother had told the social worker that she believed Graham had caused the bruising on his body, which included marks on his face. Medical records indicate that the hospital care was for “non-accidental trauma and multiple bruises after spending five days with his father.” Graham’s girlfriend reportedly told the mother of the child that Graham had punished the 30-month-old for urinating in his pants. Several people allegedly witnessed Graham reprimanding the child. The 20-year-old denied knowing how the child got bruises. He initially told investigators that he would talk to his child when he had difficulty toilet training, then later admitted that he got upset but denied hitting him. Graham is also accused of failure to pay child support.  If convicted, Graham faces up to 12 years in prison. A signature bond was set $1000 dollars and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 7.


Wisconsin Reports First Two Cases Of West Nile Virus


8/22/17 - Wisconsin has recorded its first two human cases of the West Nile virus for this year. The state Health Services department said Monday that the cases were reported in Fond du Lac and Oconto counties, but officials did not say how the two victims fared. The health agency says most who get the mosquito borne West Nile do not feel any symptoms, but there can be severe consequences in some cases if the virus is left untreated. Wisconsin had 13 West Nile cases last year, and the worst year for the virus was in 2012 when a major infestation in the nation's midsection killed five Wisconsinites and infected 44 others.


DNR Says Foxconn Environmental Impact Currently Unknown


8/22/17 - The state D-N-R says it has had no direct contact with Foxconn about possible pollution from the new L-C-D screen plant it seeks to build in Racine or Kenosha counties. Spokesman Jim Dick tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the agency will not know about Foxconn's production process until it seeks pollution permits. L-C-D components typically use zinc, cadmium, copper, chromium, and benzene -- and those chemicals raise concerns among critics who say Wisconsin is giving away too much to get the ten-billion dollar Foxconn plant. Relaxations of environmental laws are part of the three-billion dollar package of state assistance the Assembly passed and the Senate is about to consider. Democrats fear Foxconn will cause the region to lose wetlands, and the Midwest Environmental Advocates say they won't know the potential effect until Foxconn picks a location.


Ryan Holds Town Hall Meeting


8/22/17 - House Speaker Paul Ryan rejects the idea of censuring President Donald Trump for blaming "both sides" for the recent violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia. At a C-N-N town hall broadcast in Racine Monday night, Ryan used Trump's name for the first time on the subject, saying he was wrong to make white supremacists equal with their opponents and the president "needed to do better." After Trump spoke against bigotry earlier Monday night, Ryan was asked if the president has done enough on the subject -- and the G-O-P speaker said, "I don't think any of us have done enough." But he said censuring Trump would create a "partisan food fight." And Ryan said it would demean the value of the issue by making it "us against them, Republicans against Democrats, pro Trump and anti Trump."

Yesterday's Headlines
- DiStefano Replaces Vessey As Beaver Dam Superintendent
- Volunteers, In-Kind Donations Sought For Gold Star Trail
- Thefts From Vehicles Growing Problem In Beaver Dam

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.