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Top Stories March 30, 2015

Casper Funeral Service Held Sunday In Kiel


3/30/15 - Law enforcement from throughout the nation attended Sunday's funeral service in Kiel for State Patrol officer Trevor Casper.  The 21-year-old was on his first day of solo patrol last Tuesday, when he and alleged bank robber Steven Snyder died in a shootout in Fond du Lac.  Over a-thousand people attended the service at Kiel High School, where Casper graduated in 2011.  State Patrol Captain Anthony Burrell called the state's youngest trooper a hero with a "servant's heart" who was eager to get out on the road.  Burrell said everyone in the patrol's Northeast Region would miss Casper's smile, laughter, and friendship.  Governor Scott Walker thanked Casper's family for sharing their son with everyone.  A visitation was held earlier in the day at the school, in which honor guards from various law enforcement agencies took turns every ten minutes as two long lines of mourners walked past.  Officers from numerous states wore black ribbons on their badges. Deputy commissioner Ramona Prieto of the California Highway Patrol said an officer's death-on-duty affects all law enforcement -- so it's important that they come together to mourn.  Many from Casper's home town also paid their respects.  Flags were at half-staff throughout the community, and a number of Kiel businesses put up signs of support and sympathy.  Casper will be buried in a private service today.  Walker has ordered flags at the state facilities to remain at half-staff through Tuesday.


Two Injured In Accident Near Lomira


3/30/15 - Two people had to be transported to the hospital following a vehicle accident in Lomira.  The incident occurred late Sunday morning when the driver of a 2004 Dodge Dakota truck that was heading northbound on US Highway 41 near the State Highway 49 overpass lost control of the vehicle and entered the median.  The truck rolled multiple times, came to rest on its passenger side, and continued to slide into the highway’s south bound lane where it was struck by a Freightliner.  Both the truck’s driver, 45-year-old Tammy M. Ragsdale of Kenosha, and passenger, 50-year-old Richard A. Ballwanz of Waukesha, were transported to Theda Clark Hospital with serious injuries.  27-year-old Andrew J. Fritchen was driving the semi and left the scene uninjured.  Highway 41 south bound was closed for roughly three hours while the crash was being investigated by the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistance was provided by the Dodge County Crash Investigation Team, Dodge County Emergency Response Team, Brownsville Police Department, Fire Department, and First Responders, Fond du Lac EMS, and Mayville EMS.  The cause of the crash remains unknown.


More Details Today In Berit Beck Murder


3/30/15 - We're expected to learn more today about the arrest of a Kenosha man for the 1990 murder of 18-year-old Berit Beck.  Sixty-one year old Dennis Brantner was booked on Friday, the same day he had a pre-trial hearing in Kenosha County Circuit Court on an unrelated charge of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.  A trial in that case is set for April 13th.  Fond du Lac County sheriff's officials have called an 11 a-m news conference to release more information about the arrest in the Beck murder.  Online court records show that Brantner is not charged in the slaying as of early today.  Authorities said Beck was heading from her home in Sturtevant to a work seminar in Appleton when her vehicle was abandoned in a Fond du Lac parking lot.  Her body was found six weeks later in a ditch near Waupun.  Last October, a search warrant affidavit disclosed that Brantner's fingerprints were on several items found in Beck's van -- including a bleach kit she bought the same day she vanished.


Allenton Woman Arrested For Seventh OWI Offense


3/30/15 - An Allenton woman was arrested over the weekend for seventh offense Operating While Intoxicated. According to the Wisconsin State Patrol, a vehicle operated by Ann Marie Bromberg was stopped Saturday evening around 6pm on Highway 175 in Washington County. The 55-year-old was allegedly swerving. Upon making contact with the driver, the trooper noticed an odor of intoxicants and that she had trouble standing on her own. After an investigation, Bromberg was arrested on charges of OWI, and a probation violation, and was transported to the Washington County Jail.


New Faces In Columbia County Judicial Race


3/30/15 - Columbia County residents will be presented with a choice for its Branch One Circuit Court Judge.  With current judge Daniel George preparing to retire, it will be a pair of new faces on the ballot although both Troy Cross and Todd Hepler have considerable legal experience.  Cross has worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Columbia County for over sixteen years and has seen over eighty jury trials.  Cross says that his goals are to fight crime, ensure a safe community, and establish a drug court to fight heroin and other substance problems in the county.  Hepler has been in general practice for the last ten years as he works for the Boardman and Clark firm which operates out of Lodi, and he has practiced in upwards of sixty different areas of law.  Hepler says that his goals are to speed up the legal process and streamline the calendar to ensure justice can be served in a prompt manner.  Election Day is just eight days away as ballots will be cast on April 7.


Horicon Police To Step Up Parking Enforcement


3/30/15 - The Horicon Police Department plans to renew its effort at enforcing one of the city’s often-overlooked policies.  Police Chief Joseph Adamson says that the two-hour parking restriction in the city’s downtown area is frequently violated.  He says the lack of enforcement of the policy is the result of the department having a finite amount of resources.  While he does not see this as a major issue at the time, Adamson’s goal is to keep it for becoming one.  He says that his officers will be placing notices on cars in the Highway 33 business corridor that are found to be abusing the parking limit.  Adamson says that the notices will be issued as part of a grace period that is being given with hopes that the education process will lead to cooperation from residents.  He says there is no timetable as to how long this period will last but notes that he does not expect to be issuing fines in the near future.


Columbia County Discussing Its Economic Future


3/30/15 - Jason Scott and Errin Welty of the Wisconsin EDC held a recent discussion on the economic future of Columbus. The topic was "what can be done in downtown Columbus to retain and attract new businesses?" The program included a workshop with input from City representatives from the Office of Economic Development, the CDA, Chamber of Commerce, and local business owners. Wisconsin Development consultant Jason Scott said Columbus had a strong potential for economic growth. Officials intend to use opinions from the program in future City economic development projects.


Change In Chief Justice Could Be Nearing


3/30/15 - If Wisconsin voters decide to change the way the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is chosen, it’s certain a change will be made almost immediately.  Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh are considered to be the high court’s liberal minority, though elections for positions on the court are nonpartisan.  The Wisconsin Constitution says seniority determines which justice is the chief, who serves as the lead administrator for the state court system.  Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature passed the amendment in two consecutive sessions, meaning it goes before voters April 7th.


Funeral Services Planned For Bill Darling


3/30/15 - A private church funeral is planned for Bill Darling, the husband of Wisconsin Senate finance co-chair Alberta Darling.  The family says a public memorial service will take place sometime in June, but a date has not been set.  Bill Darling died suddenly on Saturday while awaiting kidney and pancreatic transplants at a Miami hospital.  Senator Darling said her husband was on a waiting list.  He had dealt with diabetes for many years along with his two sisters.  Bill Darling was a long-time ear, nose, and throat surgeon.  He worked for many years at the Moreland Medical Center in Waukesha.  Darling met his wife Alberta at U-W Madison, when they were undergraduate students.  The couple married in 1967.


Brush Pickup For 2015 Starting In Beaver Dam


3/30/15 - The week of April 1 through April 7 will be the first scheduled week of brush and shrubbery collection services for the year.  City of Beaver Dam residents are advised to place neatly piled loose tree limbs and shrubbery cuttings up to 7-inches in thickness and 8-feet in length at the street edge by 7 am on the first solid waste collection day of each month.  The cuttings are to be stacked so that all cut ends are facing the street or the direction of vehicular travel on the residence side of the street.  Waste is not to be placed out more than 24 hours prior to scheduled collection days, and no brush or shrubbery cuttings are allowed in the Advanced Disposal waste carts.  Brush is only to be set out on curbs one time per month as any violations of the policy will be tagged with a warning.  If not removed within the allowed timeframe, the city will remove the brush at the property owner’s expense.  Cuttings may also be disposed at the Department of Public Works Yard Waste Drop-Off Site located at 640 South Center Street on weekdays from 7am to 3:30pm and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.


330 Chinchilla’s Found In Waukesha House


3/30/15 - A house in Waukesha was deemed uninhabitable Sunday, after 330 chinchillas were found living in cages.  Police were asked to check on the family's well-being -- and once they entered, officers were overcome by the smell of ammonia and animal urine.  A fire battalion chief told reporters that adults were breeding and selling the chinchillas, and the high ammonia levels made the home unlivable.  Waukesha's Humane Animal Welfare Society removed the chinchillas, plus two cats.  Officials said almost two dozen of the chinchillas were dead.  Some of those were inside the house, while others were found in the home's garage.  Police continue to investigate.


Yesterday's Headlines

Fall River Races Heating Up As Election Nears

        - Public Hearing To Be Held For Horicon Project
        -Mayville Provides Update On Salt Supply, Plowing Figures

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.