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Top Stories May 27, 2015

Horicon Council Approves Contract For Road Project


5/27/15 - At its meeting last night, the Horicon City Council approved engineering and service costs for an upcoming project to make improvements to a street whose current condition ranks among the worst in the city.  Mayor Steve Neitzel says the job would include the resurfacing of roughly 1,800 feet of Washington Road between where Highway 33 turns to the north and Valley Street.  In addition to that resurfacing, a new water main would be installed, an extension would be added on to the sewer system, and work would be done on the existing storm sewer.  Kunkel Engineering estimates the cost of the project to be a tad under $875,000.  According to Neitzel, this work would bring Washington Street up to city standards by adding a curb, gutter, and sidewalk.  He says it is very similar to the work being done this year on Pheasant Lane and Robin Road.  The plan is to get the project out for bid early next year.  Neitzel expects it could be completed within three months of the start date.


Procedural Concerns Delay Horicon Police Action


5/27/15 -  The Horicon City Council voted to table discussion on funding a new police officer position at last night’s meeting.  The matter was put on hold until June’s Committee of the Whole meeting so multiple procedural questions could be addressed.  One concern was that the agenda only called for action on funding the position, not its creation.  Also, the city may have to go through a budget amendment process to finance the roughly $38,000 needed to fund the position for the remainder of the year as that money is not currently available.  That would involve additional meetings and a public hearing.  This all stems from Officer Steve Williams going on a medical leave in late March.  Williams is still on the payroll through 2015 through accrued personal time.  Police Chief Joseph Adamson says the shortage has been covered through a combination of: increased hours by him and his lieutenant, full-time officers being tasked with more shifts than usual, and part time workers.  The department does not want to continue covering Williams’ hours by paying overtime as it has already exceeded its overtime projections through the first four months of the year.  According to Adamson, bringing on another full-time officer could fix the problem before there is any negative impact via the service provided to the citizens of Horicon.  If the City Council does approve the creation of and funding for the new position, the Police and Fire Commission would then begin the hiring process.


Sex Offender Meeting Tonight In Brownsville


5/27/15 -  A meeting tonight in Brownsville will provide detailed information about a sex offender being released into the community next week. 29-year-old Jonathan Miller and 57-year-old Robert Larson will be living at W2691 State Highway 49 in Brownsville.  Larson was sentenced in 1994 to 20 years in prison on a charge of First Degree Sexual Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. Miller was designated a sexually violent person in 2005 when he was 19-years-old. Tonight’s meeting will provide detailed information on the history of the offenses along with pictures of the sex offenders. It begins 6:30pm at the Brownsville Community Club on West Main.


Dodge County Man Found Guilty Of Election Fraud


5/27/15 - A Dodge County man was ordered to 40 hours of community service for voting multiple times in the November election.  John Rohde voted in both the Town of Beaver Dam and the Town of Calamus on November 4.  He had been charged with a felony but pled to reduced misdemeanor fraud charges. The 51-year-old voted using the address of a woman he is prohibited from seeing because of a no-contact order.  Rohde, who actually lives in Horicon, told authorities that he did not have a piece of mail to prove his address so proceeded to vote elsewhere instead.   


Theresa Man Enters Not Guilty Plea On Embezzlement Charge


5/27/15 - A Theresa man suspected of embezzling from a gas station entered a not guilty plea at arraignment yesterday.  According to the criminal complaint, Randal Mittelstadt used the money he took to support a gambling habit. The 47-year-old allegedly stole $6282 from the cash register of the Ultimart gas station in Theresa between October and December of last year.


Day Two Of Testimony In Slender Man Case


5/27/15 - A judge in Waukesha will hear a second day of testimony before deciding if a 13-year-old girl should be sent to juvenile court in the Slender Man stabbing case.  Defense experts testified yesterday that Anissa Weier has a very small likelihood of committing future crimes -- and she has a high likelihood of getting treatment.  Both are factors that could cause Judge Michael Bohren to move Weier out of adult court -- where she and 12-year-old Morgan Geyser are charged with attempted homicide.  Both are accused of stabbing fellow middle school classmate Payton Leutner 19 times a year ago this weekend, in apparent allegiance to the online horror character Slender Man.  Forensic psychologist Anthony Jurek testified that he saw no signs of anti-social behavior in the 13-year-old Weier.  He said it appeared that the girl had a hard time dealing with her parents' divorce, and she was struggling to be accepted at a new school. The defense also tried showing that Weier and Geyser could get more extensive treatment services at the secure Copper Lake facility in northern Wisconsin than they're getting now at a juvenile detention center.  Geyser's request to move her case to juvenile court will be considered next month.  A juvenile delinquency finding could give the girls more treatment, and they could be freed at age 25. If they stay in adult court, they face possible prison terms until they're 60.


Bird Flu Remains An Issue In Minnesota


5/27/15 - The bird flu continues to hang on in neighboring Minnesota.  The Gopher State reported new cases yesterday for the first time in a week.  Six commercial turkey farms were hit with the H-5-N-2 virus, including one with a flock of more than 46-thousand birds.  Minnesota now has 94 avian flu cases -- much more than Wisconsin's total of ten.  The Badger State has not confirmed a new case since May 4th.  Yesterday, the Wisconsin Agriculture Department lifted a six-point-two-mile quarantine zone around Chippewa County's only bird flu site -- a turkey farm where the entire flock of 87-thousand birds were killed in April.  The farm itself is still under a quarantine.  Also, a ban on moving poultry to shows and exhibitions continues through Sunday in all four Wisconsin counties where the bird flu struck -- Chippewa, Barron, Juneau, and Jefferson. 


State Budget Review Wrapping Up


5/27/15 -  As usual, the Wisconsin Legislature's finance panel has saved the hottest items for the final week of its state budget review -- which begins today.  Lawmakers have talked about reducing Governor Scott Walker's 300-million dollar cut in state funds for the U-W System.  G-O-P co-chair John Nygren says a deal is getting closer on the size of the cut.  Also, we'll find out if you'll pay more to register your vehicle.  There's still lots of opposition to Walker's plan for borrowing one-point-three billion dollars for highway projects.  With the news that the economy is not expected to generate extra tax revenues, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos talked about raising vehicle registration fees.  Also, G-O-P leaders are trying to get a revised prevailing-wage law into the budget.  Vos was not pleased that Assembly Labor panel chair Andre Jacque called for a hearing and a vote today on a full repeal of the wage law -- which requires contractors for public works projects to get wages close to those of similar projects in their areas.  Finally, negotiators are said to be close to a financing deal for a new Milwaukee Bucks' arena.  All these issues could come down to the finance panel's final hours of budget deliberations on Friday -- and what's sure to stretch into early Saturday morning.  Today, the committee will consider splitting up the worker's compensation program among three state agencies to try and make it more efficient.  Some labor attorneys oppose the move, saying it would dismantle a system that keeps a lot of industrial injury cases out of court. Officials point out there are no changes in the system's basic rules.


Assembly Speaker Concerned With Hurried Prevailing Wage Repeal


5/27/15 - Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos apparently does not think much of an effort to ram through a repeal of the state's prevailing wage law.  He said that by forcing the issue now, it could hurt efforts to reform the situation later in the current legislative session.  The Assembly's Labor Committee has a public hearing and a vote on a full repeal of the prevailing wage law today. Vos repeated yesterday that his chamber does not have enough votes to pass a repeal of the 80-plus year old prevailing wage law. It requires that contracted employees for state-and-local public works projects be paid similar wages to those working on other projects in the area.  Those in favor say it might save the state up to 300-million dollars a year.  Critics say the workers' lower wages could result in shoddy repair projects.  Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau recently said he does not have the votes for a full repeal -- but it's possible that a reform could be inserted into the next state budget.  


Lawmakers Give Hunters The Nod On Wearing Pink


5/27/15 - Wisconsin lawmakers confirmed yesterday that they want to let hunters wear "blaze pink" in the woods, as well as blaze orange.  As promised, supporters held a news conference in Madison to announce the proposal.  They said blaze pink would encourage more women to hunt -- and apparel-makers could work together with non-profit groups to get more women-and-men interested in hunting. 


Lake Days Announces Music Acts 

5/27/15 - Beaver Dam Lake Days has announced its musical acts for this year. Organizer Doug Sackett says three national touring acts are on the bill for the four-day event on Beaver Dam’s lake front this July. The first act is Every Mothers Nightmare. A favorite from MTV’s Headbangers Ball, the Memphis-based rock act had two singles chart on Billboard including Walls Come Down which made it to number-16 and Love Can Make You Blind which reached number-3. The second act is the Ozzy Osbourne-Black Sabbath tribute act Aultimate Ozzy. The VH-1 award-winning cover band is the only band that has been endorsed by the Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. The third act is called Let It Rawk. Their all-hits show is comprised of members of 1980’s hair metal bands including Stryper, Warrant, LA Guns, Dokken and Great White. Beaver Dam Lake Days will be held July 9th through the 12th at Tahoe Park.


Yesterday's Headlines
- Kitchen Fire Damages Beaver Dam Home

- Sex Offender Meeting Wednesday in Brownsville
- Dodge County Officials Uncertain Of Extension Cut Impact

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.