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Top Stories January 28, 2015

Horicon Molestation Suspect Apprehended


1/28/15 - A 61-year-old Horicon man has been accused of sexually assaulting a teenager.  Gary L. Koppen is facing six felony charges, four Second Degree Sexual Assault with the Use of Force and two Third Degree Sexual Assault, which are said to have occurred between October 2013 and January 2014.  Horicon Police Chief Joe Adamson says that an arrest warrant was issued on Monday after an approximate three month ongoing investigation led to intelligence that Koppen was in St. Croix Falls in northwest Wisconsin, where he is said to have been staying with his sister.  The chief says that in conjunction with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department and St. Croix Falls Police Department, they were able to bring him in Tuesday with plans to retrieve the man today. The chief also notes that the Horicon man possessed a plane ticket for California on a flight set to leave on Thursday.  Adamson says that Koppen may soon be facing other charges in addition to those in Dodge County as a concurrent investigation is ongoing in Washington County for alleged crimes in the Village of Slinger.  If convicted, Koppen faces up to 180 years in prison.


Watertown Man Charged In Ponzi Scheme


1/28/15 - A Watertown man has been charged in connection with a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Loren Holzhueter (holes-eater) in a securities fraud lawsuit that seeks to freeze his assets. The suit says Holzhueter took in more than $10-million dollars. The 69-year-old runs several companies out of his Watertown office, and investigators allege that he accepted money from customers who thought they were putting funds into "legitimate investment accounts" such as mutual funds. Instead, investigators say Holzhueter used the bulk of the money to support his companies, pocketed some and ran a Ponzi scheme for several years. Holzhueter owns a group of family-owned business including Holzhueter Farms and Quality Tax and Accounting Services. His attorney say the money that investigators accuse of using in the Ponzi scheme were actually funds his company borrowed from clients to finance expansion of his Insurance Service Center, an agency with nearly a dozen offices throughout Wisconsin.


Klomberg on WBEV: Positive Support For More Staff


1/28/15 - Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg says he has gotten positive feedback from legislators as he and other prosecutors around the state lobby for staffing increases. As we previously reported, Klomberg is asking for two new assistant DAs in Dodge County. Statewide, DA’s are asking the state to fund 107 assistants in total. Klomberg and others say staffing levels have been stagnant in recent decades while felony filings have surged. He told us on WBEV’s Community Comment yesterday that local legislators who represent Dodge County in Madison have been receptive to the issue. Klomberg says everybody is saying that it is a legitimate request that comes down to paying for it. It would cost $124-thousand dollars to fund two new Dodge County prosecutors for the next two years, which includes salary, benefits and a state-mandated pay increase after one year. Klomberg says he is as fiscally conservative as they come and does not ask for things he does not need and notes that his request is only a small portion of the overall state budget. If the funding is included in the governor’s budget when its introduced next week, the matter still has to go before the Joint Finance Committee – which Klomberg notes has two legislators that represent the Dodge County area – before heading to the full legislature for a vote. While the Wisconsin District Attorney’s Association supports the statewide effort for more prosecutors, each county is responsible for requesting their own budget. There are actually two components to the funding request: one to fund additional prosecutors and the other to provide annual pay increases to current prosecutors. Prior to the last state budget, prosecutor salaries had been frozen for years which Klomberg says makes it difficult to attract and maintain quality professionals.


Adamson Applauds Horicon Citizen Hero’s


1/28/15 - The Dodge County Executive Law Enforcement Association recently named its 2014 Citizens of the Year at its annual awards banquet.  This year two people, Kathy Ferguson and Pedro Ramirez, shared the honor.  Horicon Police Chief Joseph Adamson says that the two jumped into water to save a family of four whose car was sinking after the driver lost control due to having a seizure-like episode while behind the wheel.  Adamson says that Ferguson and Ramirez join a group of exceptional citizens, including the Horicon man who won the award in 2013 for aiding in catching the robber of the U.S. Bank that occurred in January of that year.


Memorial Fund Established In Lake Ice Fatality


1/28/15 - A memorial fund has been started for the father and son who lost their lives in a tragic accident on Lake Winnebago Sunday. Funds are expected to help Andy Doro’s widow Kelly with expenses for his funeral and the funeral for their son Derek. Contributions can be made at As of early this morning more than $14-thousand dollars had already been donated. The two were on the lake Sunday when their vehicle went through the ice. They both died later at local hospitals.  


Horicon Council Approves Street Project


1/28/15 - Horicon’s City Council approved the street project that was proposed at its recent Committee of the Whole meeting to go out for bidding Tuesday night.  The goal of the project is to bring Pheasant Lane, Robin Road, and Green Tree Road up to the quality of streets in other parts of the city.  A few revisions that were requested by the council a couple of weeks ago were made by Kunkel Engineering as the project plan now includes an additional crosswalk, handicap ramp, and a couple of extra streets signs throughout the area involved.  The project will be advertised Thursday before the bidding period opens on February 13.  Completion of the project is expected somewhere around July 31. 


Senate Holds School Accountability Hearing


1/28/15 - The Wisconsin Senate's version of a school accountability bill is getting more support from educators than a more-stringent Assembly version.  At a Senate committee hearing yesterday, public school officials and advocates supported the idea of giving the same achievement test at all schools that get tax funding. They also favored the continued practice of giving schools more general evaluations on how well they're meeting state standards -- instead of the A-to-F letter grades the Assembly bill proposes.  The Assembly package would let schools choose from a list of achievement tests, which could give private voucher students different exams than those in public schools. John Humphries, who heads the Wisconsin School Psychologists Association, said parents deserve objective information -- and part of that is to use a single statewide assessment. School choice advocates have said it's more important to compare voucher students to each other.  They also favor the Senate's proposal for two state boards -- one to help low-performing public schools improve without sanctions, while refusing to let failing private schools take new voucher students.  The Assembly bill also has that last provision -- but it would convert failing public schools to independent charter schools.  Now that both houses have held hearings, G-O-P leaders will try to come up with a final version that could pass.


Walker Forms Political Action Committee


1/28/15 - Governor Scott Walker has taken another step toward joining the Republican race for the presidency next year.  He announced the formation of a tax-exempt political group to help him boost his possible White House bid.  In a statement to the Washington Post, Walker called his group "Our American Revival" -- a phrase he's been using in his recent speeches at national conservative events. In his statement, Walker said, "Our American Revival encompasses the shared values that make our country great -- limiting the powers of the federal government to those defined in the Constitution while creating a leaner, more efficient, more effective, and more accountable government to the American people."  The new organization comes as Walker spent much of January ramping up his potential White House bid, while finalizing a new state budget he'll submit to the state Legislature next Tuesday. 


Oshkosh Corp Quarterly Income Drops


1/28/15 - The Oshkosh Corporation reports a 40-percent drop in its quarterly net income, due mainly a large decline in its military vehicle business.  Oshkosh reported Tuesday that it made just over 34-and-a-half million dollars from October through December, the first quarter of its new fiscal year.  That's about 20-million dollars less than the same quarter a year ago.  Stockholder earnings fell from 63-cents a share to 47-cents.  Oshkosh said revenues in its defense division plunged from 481-million dollars in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 to 269-million this past fall.  The drop was due to lower U-S defense spending, and an absence of international military vehicle sales. Commercial vehicle sales rose nine-percent, as Oshkosh reported strong orders and higher backlogs in its non-defense vehicle lines.


Columbia County Teen Joins National 4-H Team


1/28/15 - A Columbia County teen is one of eight 4-H members in the country chosen to help plan the 2015 National 4-H Congress. Emily Bowman of Pardeeville, who is with the North Scott 4-H Club, will be part of the National Design Team which consists of Extension educators, 4-H youth, and 4-H adult volunteers. The design team will analyze current youth issues and determine the most effective ways to address them.  Each state was eligible to nominate three 4-H delegates to participate as members of the design team. The Congress offers youth ages 14-19 sessions, seminars, discussion groups, and a service learning experience.  The nation’s most outstanding community leaders, speakers, and educators present the most current and timely information available. Bowman and the other members of the design team will meet in February to begin the process of designing the 2015 National 4-H Congress, which will begin on Thanksgiving day and end the following Tuesday. 


Friday Final Day For Beaver Dam Tree Pick-Up


1/28/15 - A reminder, city of Beaver Dam residents who receive contracted solid waste collection services have until the end of the week to place Christmas trees and boughs street-side for collection by city crews. Trees and boughs must be free of ornaments, lights and stands so they can be chipped. Wreaths and boughs containing roping or wire may also be placed in the Advanced Disposal non-recyclable cart for collection as garbage. City residents can also dispose of Christmas trees and boughs at the Public Works Garage Yard Waste Drop off Site on South Center Street, Monday through Friday. No waste of any kind is accepted from outside of the City or from any contractors. The final day for tree pick-up is this Friday.


Yesterday's Headlines
    - Beaver Dam Mulling Two-Year Borrowing Plan
    - DA: 'Technology Driving Increase In Felony Filings'
    - New Sheriff Plotting Equipment Replacement Plan

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.