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Top Stories July 29, 2016

Fitzgerald Stepping Down As State Patrol Superintendent


7/29/16 - After almost 50 years in law enforcement, State Patrol Superintendent Stephen Fitzgerald will retire next Friday. He was appointed by Governor Scott Walker in 2011, after serving for 14 years as the Dodge County sheriff. Fitzgerald, who lives in Hustisford, was also a U-S marshal for the western half of Wisconsin. The Republican Walker praised Fitzgerald for leading the State Patrol with a "steady hand." His sons Scott and Jeff both held leadership positions in the Legislature when he was appointed. Scott Fitzgerald is still the Senate's Republican majority leader, while Jeff Fitzgerald was the Assembly speaker when he stepped down at the end of 2012 to become a lobbyist.


Five People Injured In Beaver Dam Car Accident


7/29/16 - Five people were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries following a two vehicle crash in the Town of Beaver Dam yesterday.  The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Highway 151 southbound ramp on Highway 33 at 12:13 pm.  A southbound pickup driven by 81-year-old Harold Dittman of Watertown reportedly exited at Highway 33 but failed to stop at the intersection of the ramp and 33.  Dittman crossed Highway 33 and entered Highway 151’s southbound ramp.  There he struck a van driven by 32-year-old Jauntee Emmer of Beaver Dam.  Dittman, Emmer, and Emmer’s three children passengers, ages nine, eight, and six, were taken to the hospital.  The Dodge County Crash Investigation Team is looking into the mishap.  Assistance was provided by Beaver Dam Police, Fire, and EMS, the Dodge County Highway Department, and Flight for Life. 


Two Seriously Injured In Fond du Lac Plane Crash


7/29/16 - Two Santa Fe, New Mexico men were trying to return to the Fond du Lac County Airport when their single engine plane crashed in the northwest corner of the airport Thursday morning. Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s officials say both the pilot 78-year-old David Spencer and his passenger 71-year-old Rafael Chaves were flown to ThedaCare in Neenah. Spencer had critical injuries and Chaves injuries were serious. The plane experienced mechanical problems and tried to make it back to the airport.


Suspected Fleet Farm Shooter Competent To Stand Trial


7/29/16 - The Fitchburg man accused of shooting an employee outside Beaver Dam’s Fleet Farm has been found competent to stand trial. Dodge County Judge Joseph Sciascia made that determination yesterday in the case against Jared Spencer based on a doctor’s report.  The 18-year-old is facing six felonies and two misdemeanors stemming from the July 2015 incident.  Spencer allegedly shot Fleet Farm’s assistant manager with a handgun after he was confronted about a suspected ammunition theft.  The manager was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Spencer was taken into custody shortly after the incident following a traffic stop on Highway 151 near Columbus.  If he is found guilty on all charges, Spencer faces a combined maximum of over 150 years in prison.  A scheduling conference is set for September 19.  


Horicon Man Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Minor Waives Hearing


7/29/16 - A Horicon man accused of having a relationship with a 14-year-old waived his right to a preliminary hearing yesterday.  Nicholas Bradley will proceed to trial on two counts of Sexually Assaulting a Child Under the Age of Sixteen for allegedly having contact multiple times with a girl he met on Facebook last December.  If he is convicted, the 23-year-old faces up to 80 years in prison.  He will be arraigned August 24. 


Watertown Man Waives Hearing On Burglary Charge


7/29/16 - A Watertown man accused of breaking into his neighbor’s apartment waived his right to a preliminary hearing yesterday.  Jerome Baker will proceed to trial on charges of felony Burglary and misdemeanor Theft.  The 27-year-old reportedly stole $90 in change from the apartment in April to support his heroin addiction.  If he is convicted, Baker faces over 13 years in prison. 


Baldwin, Moore Speak At Democratic Convention


7/29/16 - Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin praises Hillary Clinton's record on health care, while Milwaukee's Gwen Moore slams Donald Trump's descriptions of women. Both federal lawmakers from Wisconsin made their remarks to the Democratic National Convention on its final night in Philadelphia. Appearing with a group of Senate women, Baldwin told how her grandparents had to pay for three months of hospital bills as a child, because she had a preexisting condition and nobody would cover her -- and Baldwin said she entered politics so other kids could get affordable care. Moore called some of Trump's descriptions of women "toxic language" that leads to sexual violence -- and she recalled her own experience of being sexually assaulted, saying women have been "bullied" and "beaten." Clinton accepted the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night, and Moore said the former Secretary of State would fight for women "each and every day."


Event To Celebrate Beaver Dam’s New Kayak Launch


7/29/16 - A new event is coming to the Beaver Dam Lake tomorrow.  The Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association is holding the Great Beaver Paddle at Waterworks Park.  It is a celebration of a newly installed kayak launch.  Association President Bill Boettge says people can either bring their own kayak, canoe, or paddleboard or use one that is provided to try out the new launch.  Boettge says Lake Improvement Association built and donated the launch to the city as part of a plan to offer more recreational uses of the lake.  He says it was difficult for people to get in and out of kayaks prior to the launch opening.  Boettge says there will also be kayaking clinics, demonstrations, live music, and concessions.  Tomorrow’s event runs from 9 am to 4 pm.  The Beaver Dam Lake is 6,000 acres with 42 miles of shoreline and 21 islands. 


Lebanon Fireman’s Picnic Gets Underway


7/29/16 - The Lebanon Firemen’s Picnic kicks off its 84th year today.  Three-days of festivities begin today with a live edition of Uncle Bill McCollum’s WXRO Barn Show.  There will also be a fish fry, and a performance from The Rock River Band at 8:30 pm.  Tomorrow’s events include music throughout the afternoon and evening from the Rocky Mountain Oyster Band and Rebel Grace.  There is also a Lebanon Whitetails baseball game at 8 pm.  Sunday gets underway with a 10 am outdoor church service followed by a chicken dinner at 11 am.  The Lebanon Band is on stage from 1 pm to 3 pm and Brian and The Mississippi Dutchman will follow them until 7 pm.  A free shuttle bus from Watertown will run from 6 pm to 1 am on both Friday and Saturday.  The event is held at Lebanon Firemen’s Park on Highway R. 


BDACT: ‘Guys and Dolls’ Opening Night


7/29/16 - It is opening night for the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre’s main stage summer musical. Guys and Dolls is a critically-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning play that ran for 1200 performances when it opened on Broadway in 1950. The story follows the exploits of gambler Nathan Detroit as he tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck. Meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer Adelaide laments their 14-year engagement. Nathan turns to fellow gambler Sky Masterson for the dough, but Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown. Director Diane Lutz has directed Guys and Dolls before and says it is one of the few productions she would direct again because it is so sharply-written with engaging songs that are both comical and beautiful while also critical to the flow of the plot. BDACT is presenting Guys and Dolls on the stage of the Beaver Dam High School Auditorium beginning tonight with five evening performances at 7:30pm and a pair of 2pm Sunday matinees, wrapping up on August 7. Tickets start at $13 and are available at Rechek’s Food Pride, online at or at the door.


Yesterday's Headlines
- Waupun Mayor Delivers Tearful Farewell
- Property Added To Horicon TIF
- Waupun Police Warn Of Gas Station Scam

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.