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Top Stories July 30, 2015

Deadline Coming Up For Leadership Beaver Dam


7/30/15 - This Saturday is the application deadline to be part of Leadership Beaver Dam’s 2015-2016 class.  The nine month long course is put on by the Chamber of Commerce and looks to train its students on how to be community leaders.  The class meets for one daylong workshop each month from September to May. The topics covered include learning about the city’s history, government, and education system.  In addition to the workshops, students work in teams to complete a service project of their choosing.  They report on their results during the final meeting.  The cost is $550, which includes supplies and meals.  That can either be paid by a student, employer, or sponsoring group.  Anyone living or working in Beaver Dam is invited to apply.


Third Fatal Wisconsin Place Crash In Five Days


7/30/15 - Wisconsin records its third fatal plane crash in five days. Two people died just after six last evening, when a small private aircraft burst into flames at Timmermann Airport on Milwaukee's northwest side. A sheriff's spokeswoman says Timmermann was not the intended landing spot. Media reports say the pilot signaled that his landing was not working out. The F-A-A and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. Eight people have died in Wisconsin plane crashes this past week. Two Kentucky men were killed last weekend when a home-built plane crashed in Kenosha County on its way to the E-A-A show in Oshkosh. On Monday night, four Hudson area men were killed when their plane crashed and burned in Polk County on the way to a golf outing.


EAA AirVenture Turnout Highest In A Decade


7/30/15 - Great weather and a better economy are credited for what could be the largest crowds in a decade at the E-A-A's Air-Venture. According to the final numbers, 550-thousand people attended the week-long international aviation convention ending last Sunday in Oshkosh. That's around two-percent more than a year ago. Some aviation milestones and a world-record skydiving attempt also helped bring out the crowds -- along with the usual displays, speakers, air shows, and other entertainment. E-A-A Spokesman Dick Knapinski says 23-hundred people from a record 80 countries registered at the event's international tent. Knapinski says organizers are not getting much of a break. Planning is already underway for the 2016 Air-Venture.


Prosser Defends Vote In John Doe Probe


7/30/15 - State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is defending his recent vote to end the John Doe probe into Governor Scott Walker's 2012 recall election campaign. Prosser was among a 4-to-2 majority which halted the state's probe into allegations that Walker and other G-O-P recall targets illegally coordinated campaign fund-raising with outside groups. The special prosecutor wanted Prosser and Justice Michael Gableman to withdraw, saying both received campaign money from some of the John Doe targets. Prosser issued a 15-page statement yesterday, explaining why he didn't need to step aside. He says one of the targets played a minor role in his re-election bid in 2011. Prosser also says his campaign manager -- the same one as Walker -- was not a target of the John Doe.


Waupun Man Accused Of Assaulting Dog


7/30/15 - A Waupun man is accused of sexually assaulting a dog. Prosecutors say Ronald Mueller had inappropriate contact with the canine several times in February. The 55-year-old is facing a felony charge because the assaults on the dog were allegedly done in front of a teen he is said to have later touched inappropriately. He is now being held at the Winnebago Mental Health Facility. Muller is scheduled to make his initial appearance in a Dodge County courtroom on August 10. If convicted, the charge carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison.


Woman Accused Of Smuggling Tobacco Into WCI


7/30/15 - A Manitowoc woman is accused of trying to smuggle chewing tobacco into the Waupun Correctional Institution. Michelle Olson is charged with one felony count of Deliver Illegal Articles to an inmate. According to the criminal complaint, the 48-year-old was caught at the prison last month with the contraband in a breath mint container. She reportedly tried to hand the container to her inmate under a table in the visitor’s area of the state prison. The inmate told his mother that if she does not to bring tobacco to him then do not bother visiting. Olson now faces three-and-a-half years in prison, if she is convicted. She is scheduled to make her initial appearance in Dodge County court next month.


WCI Inmate Accused of Battering Cellmate


7/30/15 - An inmate at Waupun Correctional is accused of assaulting his cellmate. Marcus Berry is charged with felony Battery By Prisoner for an incident at the institution in April. The fight reportedly erupted after Berry told his cellmate to get him oranges that were being passed out in the unit but the cellmate refused. The 27-year-old Berry repeatedly punched the other prisoner even after attempts failed to subdue the two with a Taser gun and pepper spray. Berry accused the victim of stabbing him with a pencil. Berry could have an additional six years added onto his sentence if he is convicted. An initial appearance is scheduled in Dodge County court late next month.


State Will Not Investigate Dells Theme Park Ride


7/30/15 - Wisconsin will not investigate the failure of a ride at a Wisconsin Dells theme park earlier this month. A large cable snapped on the Catapult ride only seconds before it was to launch two people into the air at Mount Olympus Water and Theme Park. The state Department of Safety and Professional Services will not look into the cable failure, saying it only investigates accidents involving injury or death. The Catapult was taken down, so the agency was unable to check on whether the ride had been repaired properly.


‘Remarkable Homes’ On Display Tonight In Columbus


7/30/15 - They are called "remarkable homes" and there are several in Wisconsin, including a half dozen in the Columbus area. The history of these historic buildings will be showcased tonight at a special presentation at the Fireman's Park Pavilion.  The Columbus Area Endowment will be presenting "Wisconsin Remarkable Homes and The Columbus Historic District" at 6:30 pm. Television host Michael Bridgeman will be in attendance along with local historians. Bridgeman is host of PBS’s "Remarkable Homes of Wisconsin." The program was inspired by the Wisconsin Historical Society's book "Wisconsin's Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes." The book will be available for sale after the program. Tonight’s activities begin at 5:30pm with food and refreshments. The Remarkable Homes presentation will begin at 6pm. Tickets to "Remarkable Homes" are available at the Public Library and Senior Center.


Bucks Arena Requires City, County Approvals


7/30/15 - It might be awhile before construction begins on a new Milwaukee Bucks' arena, even after Governor Scott Walker signs the state's financing package. City aldermen and Milwaukee County supervisors must still give their blessings. The quarter-billion dollar arena package includes 47-million that's yet to be approved by the Milwaukee Common Council, for a parking structure and tax incremental financing. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is getting heat for his plan to give ten acres of vacant downtown property to the Bucks for just a dollar. Officials say it would reduce the county's state aid by four-million dollars a year for the next two decades. State lawmakers have given their final approval to the arena, which the N-B-A wants in place by mid-2017 or else the Bucks could leave.


State A-G Discusses Possible Open Records Law Changes


7/30/15 - Attorney General Brad Schimel described “messing with” open government laws Wednesday as “like touching the third rail”. He discussed the issue with a crowd of more than 100, referring to recent unsuccessful attempts to pass changes to the open records law. The changes would have kept private virtually all records and communication made by lawmakers; huge public outcry caused lawmakers to drop the idea. Schimel went on to say he was hoping for recommendations for changes in the law that would bring it up-to-date with modern technology.


Former DNR Leader Talks Reorganization


7/30/15 - A former leader of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the agency's reorganization plan won't do any good. On Tuesday, the D-N-R initiated a program to divide water quality protection between two divisions, and leave other environmental protection programs under a so-called “business support” division. Former secretary George Meyer says that what is needed are more workers to cover programs and solve the problems. Meyer believes this is especially necessary in the area of environmental regulation, due to the uptick in factory farms and industrial sand mining.


Corn and Soybean Crops Faring Well


7/30/15 - A break from the heavy rains and storms is music to the ears of Wisconsin farmers. The National Ag Statistics Service says last week's sunny-and-warm weather is exactly what the doctor ordered for pollination in both corn and soybeans. Eighty-two of the Badger State's corn crop was good-to-excellent as of Sunday, along with 84-percent of the soybeans. Both are ahead of the average for the past five years. Also, 20-percent of the second hay crop is in -- along with 22-percent of the winter wheat, and 12-percent of the oats. Six-percent of Wisconsin's potato crop is also harvested, with 91-percent good to excellent.


White House Christmas Tree From Wisconsin


7/30/15 - The White House will have a Christmas Tree from northeast Wisconsin. The Whispering Pines Tree Farm in Oconto won a competition by the National Christmas Tree Association -- which has provided the official White House tree since 1966. Presidential staffers will get to choose the tree that will be featured in the Blue Room. Whispering Pines provided the trees for Governor Scott Walker's conference room at the State Capitol in both 2012-and-'13. The White House tree will be the first from Wisconsin since 2011, and only the second since 2003.


Second Installment Of Property Taxes Due Tomorrow


7/30/15 - A final reminder: taxpayers who postponed the second installment of their property taxes, the payment is due on Friday. Dodge County Treasurer Patti Hilker says letters should be postmarked no later than July 31. She also says to make sure you check the balance of your first installment receipt to ensure proper payment because your second payment is not the same as your first payment.  Payments can be made with a credit or debit card online or by calling an 800-number ( or 800-272-9829) or at the Treasurer’s Office, (127 East Oak Street) in Juneau. Hilker says if you come in now, there are no lines and no waiting, unlike waiting until the last minute. Office hours are weekdays 8am until 4:30pm. There are additional fees to pay online or by phone. Taxpayers mailing after the deadline are subject to interest and a penalty of ten point five percent (10.5%)… and for the second installment that is retroactive to February 1.

Yesterday's Headlines
- New Superintendent Named At Columbus Schools
- Gas Leak Forces Downtown Beaver Dam Evacuation
- Dodge County Humane Society Adoptions Increase

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.