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Top Stories April 28, 2017.

Mayville Man Not Competent For Quadruple OWI Homicide Trial


4/28/17 - A Dane County judge ruled Friday morning that a Mayville man is not competent to stand trial in the drunk driving deaths of four people last fall. Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke made that determination after reviewing a neuropsychological report on Brysen Wills who was seeking to help with his own defense. The 33-year-old is charged with 15 felony counts for a head-on Interstate crash last November. Among those killed was 26-year-old Clenton Hall of Waterloo, 28-year-old Kim Radtke of Pewaukee, 26-year-old Katey Pasqualini of Milwaukee and 23-year-old Patrick Wasielewski of Lake Mills. Prosecutors say Wills had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit when he drove the wrong way on I-94 near Deerfield at speeds above 90miles-per-hour as a state trooper was in pursuit. With the defendant being found not competent to stand trial within the statutory commitment period, the case has been suspended. 


Student Admits To Suspicious Note At Mayville HS As Prank


4/28/17 - There was no disruption in classes at Mayville High School today following the discovery of a suspicious note. The Mayville Police Department learned Thursday night about the note found at the high school. During the overnight hours, several students were interviewed by police. It was determined that a 15-year- old student wrote the note as a prank. That student was not in school today. The Mayville police are working closely with the school district to fully investigate this matter. Acting Police Chief Ryan Vossekuil says he does not believe there is a credible threat to any Mayville school at this time.


Most Dairy Farmers Find Buyers For Milk


4/28/17 - All but a few farmers who lost Grassland Dairy as their main milk buyer will now have other buyers. Fifty-eight Wisconsin farms that were contracted with Grassland are having their sales cut off Monday because of a trade dispute with Canada. Mullins Cheese of Knowlton, The Rolling Hills Cooperative, and the Dairy Farmers of America – or DFA -- have stepped in to help, among others. Tony Senn with Swiss Miss Dairy in the Town of Fox Lake has been working with DFA to find a solution. Senn says that solution is not ideal but it will help farmers keep their heads above water. Senn says the difference between contracts with Grassland and DFA is about 50-cents-to-one-dollar less per hundred weight. He says that for his farm of 100-to-120 cows that translates to a loss of about $800-per month. Senn says the farms are locked into contracts for the next six months, even if the trade dispute is resolved. He says this is a short-term solution and work still needs to be done to address overproduction issues. Senn says all but three dairy farmers in the region were able to secure contracts with DFA. The dairy farms that did not are in the Watertown area, one has four cows and another has 12 and both of those farmers will be retiring while a third is still working through the process.


Local Authorities Participating In National Drug Take Back


4/28/17 - Wisconsinites are being encouraged to turn in their unwanted medicines and other health products, to keep them out of the hands of prescription drug abusers. The State Justice Department will hold a "Drug Take Back Day" Saturday at various locations throughout the state. It's part of the agency's "Dose of Reality" campaign to fight opioid and heroin abuse. People are encouraged to turn in their unwanted prescription and non-prescription medicines, ointments, non-aerosol sprays, creams, patches, and more; liquids must be in their original packages. The Fox Lake and Juneau police departments will host a National Take Back event from 10am-to-2pm tomorrow while Horicon and Randolph will hold theirs from 11am until 2pm. The Columbus Police Department will be collecting items at Fireman’s Park from 9am until noon. All the local police departments participating in the event also have a drug drop box at their facility; some are available during business hours while others are open 24-7. Other police departments with drop boxes include Beaver Dam, Waupun, Lomira, Waterloo, Watertown, Rosendale and Oakfield in addition to the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in Juneau.


More information, including locations, is available online at or


Sheriff Warns Of Heroin, Meth Dangers In Monthly Column


4/28/17 - Dodge County residents are being warned about the dangers of heroin and methamphetamines. In his April column, Sheriff Dale Schmidt says it his goal to continue to educate the public about the drug epidemic that is taking so many lives. He says that many heroin addictions begin with the use of pain medications resulting from injuries to help deal with pain. They then find that heroin is a cheaper option than the pain pills that are available in the black market. Schmidt adds that simple economics switches someone from pain pills to heroin. Schmidt says that methamphetamines have been slowly making its way into Dodge County as an alternative to heroin and has a different type of high. It speeds up the system as opposed to slowing down the system. Schmidt adds that most users realize that their chances of overdosing are much slimmer but it greatly reduces their quality of life in the long run and makes them more dangerous to law enforcement because they can become more aggressive. Schmidt writes in his article at this is not simply a law enforcement problem, but a community problem and that it will take help of everyone to combat these issues.


Settlements Reached With Lincoln Hills Psychologist


4/28/17 - A psychologist who was fired from the state's Lincoln Hills juvenile institution has reached a settlement after he was let go last December. Reports say Derek John failed to respond to requests for help from more than 20 inmates in a three month period. As part of his settlement, the state Corrections Department recently agreed to call John's firing a "resignation." This comes after chief psychologist Vincent Ramos was fired in late 2015 for being underdressed while photographing interns in a hotel room -- and Ramos has given up his state psychologist's license as a settlement. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quotes state officials as saying that adequate psychology services are now being provided at Lincoln Hills, which has been the subject of a two year federal investigation into alleged inmate abuses. It's not known when the probe will be completed.


Milwaukee County Jailers Blame Each Other For Inmate Death


4/28/17 - Two Milwaukee County jailers and their boss blame each other for not reporting that a prisoner's water was shut off one week before he died. The finger pointing took place on the fourth day of an inquest into last April's death of 38-year-old Terrill Thomas, a bipolar inmate in solitary confinement. Jail Lieutenant Kashka Meadors and officers James Ramsey Guy and John Weber gave different accounts of what happened, each saying they thought somebody else wrote notes in jail logs that Thomas' water was cut off -- and Meadors said she thought the matter was resolved before she went home. Two other Milwaukee sheriff's officials have testified about policy violations that resulted in an order that Thomas' water be cut off. The inquest is expected to be finished early next week, when a jury decides whether to recommend charges to the district attorney.


Unemployment Remains Low In Region, State


4/28/17 - Unemployment in the region remains on a downward trend. Also, double digit unemployment has disappeared in Wisconsin counties in recent months. According to figures released by the state Department of Workforce Development, jobless filings in Dodge County were at 3.5-percent in March, a full-percentage point below last year’s numbers and eight-tenths of a percent below February. Columbia County was at 3.4-percent last month and Jefferson County was at 3.8-percent, both also down eight-tenths from the previous month and around a full-percentage point from March 2016. Green Lake County dropped two full-percentage points from last year to 4.6-percent and a point-and-a-half from February. Washington and Fond du Lac counties are tied for the fourth lowest unemployment in Wisconsin at 3-percent even. Dane County has the state's lowest unadjusted rate at 2.5-percent while Iron County has the highest at 7.9-percent. The statewide unadjusted rate for March was three-point-seven-percent -- and the seasonally adjusted Wisconsin rate, announced last week, was three-point-four, the lowest since April of 2000.


Bulk Pickup In Beaver Dam Begins Monday


4/28/17 - Beaver Dam residents have this weekend to get their large garbage items together pick-up. Bulk pickup begins on Monday and continues through Friday. Bulk waste is defined as, but not limited to, furniture, wooden doors and windows and rolled carpet, not exceeding 4’ to 6’ in length. The state’s E-Cycle law prohibits the collection of desktop and laptop computers, printers, fax machines, cell phones, DVD players and computer monitors. In addition, no metal items like bed springs, doors, windows and pipes will be collected.  No bundled or loose piles of building materials will be collected either.  Building materials like lumber must be broken down and placed in the weekly collection cart.  Items should be placed at the street edge no later than 7am on the day of collection and cannot be placed out sooner than 24 hours prior to the scheduled pick-up. The next curbside bulk pickup will not be until this October.


Yesterday's Headlines
- Mayville PFC Appoints Interim Police Chief
- Waupun Referendum Interest Lower Than Projected
- Columbus School Board Holds Organizational Meeting

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.