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Top Stories August 22, 2014

Green Valley Raises Concerns About Funding Changes


8/22/14 - Officials with Green Valley Enterprises held a meeting Thursday night to inform their clients about legislative changes in the capital that could affect their services. The Beaver Dam non-profit serves the developmentally disabled in the Dodge County area offering, among other things, adult day care services and on-site jobs to help their clients transition into the workplace. Kristin Hansen with Green Valley says that proposed changes could affect the lives of all of those they serve. The wording changes would eliminate Medicare or Medicaid dollars for facilities like Green Valley.  Hanson says the vast majority of the people they serve receive the funding.


State Representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam says the state is getting involved and he would like to see more clarity from the Department of Health Services before going forward with the policy. He says he does not think Health Services has done a very good job of informing people about the changes. Born says they need to do a better job of receiving input and finding out more about what programs Green Valley provides. He says if the definitions are not best for the communities in Wisconsin, Health Services should tell the federal government they want to see changes. It is not only the officials that are concerned about the proposed changes.


Guardian John Rigotti says the policy would take away a lot of satisfaction and joy from those who partake in the services provided. Rigotti says the programs provide a sense of pride, self-worth and it gives those participating in the program an opportunity to interact with friends and co-workers. If the policy follows through, Green Valley along with every other service provider in Wisconsin will have to come up with a compliance plan to the new policy by March of 2019. Green Valley is encouraging its supporters to write to the DHS to stop the policy from changing. Letters to the DHS are being accepted until September 2nd. For more information visit


Three Killed In Jefferson County Wreck


8/22/14 - Three people were killed in a single vehicle crash that occurred Thursday afternoon in Jefferson County. Sheriff Paul Milbrath says the wreck happened just before 1pm on Jefferson County Highway D in the Town of Hebron. According to the preliminary investigation at the scene, and an eyewitness, the vehicle was traveling southbound on County D when the driver lost control around a curve and struck a utility pole. All three occupants were pronounced dead at the scene. The accident remains under investigation.


Weeklong Jury Trial Scheduled In Wyleski Murder Trial


8/22/14 - A weeklong jury trial is now on the calendar in February for a Beaver Dam woman accused of murdering her boyfriend 13 years ago. 38-year-old Leah Waldhart is charged in Columbia County in the killing of Curtis Wyleski near Fall River in 2001. The 42-year-old died of an apparent cocaine overdose but without the presence of cocaine in his nostrils, investigators cannot say for certain how the drug was ingested. A witness came forward when the cold case was re-opened in 2012 and told investigators that Waldhart confessed the murder saying she gave him cocaine to kill him and pushed him into a ditch when he collapsed. If convicted of First Degree Intentional Homicide, Waldhart could spend the rest of her life in prison. The jury trial is slated to begin February 2.


Guilty Plea In Murder Of West Bend Purdue Student


8/22/14 - A Purdue University student pleaded guilty Thursday to killing a fellow student from Wisconsin.  His lawyer said 23-year-old Cody Cousins did not seek a plea deal before he was convicted of murder.  That leaves the door open to a consideration of Cousins' mental state when he stabbed-and-shot 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend.  It happened January 21st in an electrical engineering classroom on Purdue's main campus in West Lafayette Indiana.  Boldt was serving as a teaching assistant at the time.  A motive was never disclosed.  Cousins' public defender said in May he would check out the possibility of an insanity defense.  A judge will decide the question of Cousins' mental state when he's sentenced on September 19th.  Both Boldt and Cousins were electrical engineering students at the time of the slaying.


Most John Doe Documents Ordered Unsealed


8/22/14 - A federal appeals court in Chicago agreed Thursday to unseal twenty-four documents related to the John Doe investigation into Governor Scott Walker and the state's recall elections.  The Seventh Circuit Appellate Court said ten other documents should be sealed.  Court officials said the actual release might not come until next week.  The records involve the two-year-old John Doe probe into allegations that the governor and other top Republicans worked illegally with outside conservative groups on campaigns for G-O-P Senate candidates, including Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau and the governor himself.  The governor denies such a thing.  The John Doe was halted by a judge in May, but prosecutors are appealing that decision.


Nehls Not Running As Write-In


8/22/14 - Former Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls tells us that he will not run as a write-in candidate for sheriff in the November election. There had been talk Nehls would consider running, even a few signs in his hometown of Fox Lake. He supported his immediate successor, the current Sheriff Pat Ninmann, in the August 12 Republican primary. Dale Schmidt won that election, and with no opposition on the ballot this fall, Schmidt is slated to be sworn-in come January. Nehls says the voters have spoken and he will not run as a write-in. He did not, however, rule-out a bid for sheriff in four years.


No Word Yet On Photo IDs At Polls In November


8/22/14 - Wisconsin voters will have to wait awhile to find out if they'll have to show photo I-D's at the polls on November fourth.  Yesterday, the federal appeals court in Chicago said it would not act on the state's request to restore the voter I-D law, until after the court hears oral arguments in the case on September 12th.  The state is appealing a ruling from Federal Judge Lynn Adelman which found the Wisconsin I-D law unconstitutional.  Attorney General J-B Van Hollen asked the court to at least temporarily put the law back into place while the appeal is being considered -- thus requiring voters to show I-D's in the November fourth elections.


First Human Case of West Nile Confirmed


8/22/14 - Wisconsin has confirmed its first human case of the West Nile virus for this summer.  State health officials say the mosquito-borne virus infected a resident of Ashland County.  The first confirmed case comes about a month later than a year ago.  The State epidemiologist says a relatively cool summer has kept mosquito populations down.  Last year, the Badger State had 16 confirmed West Nile cases and five probable ones, with two deaths.  Those were small numbers compared to 2012, when a major West Nile infestation in the nation's mid-section caused five deaths and 44 confirmed human cases in Wisconsin.  Health officials say most people who get West Nile never feel symptoms like fever, headaches, and muscle aches and most West Nile infections go unreported unless the symptoms are serious.  Also 20 birds have been infected with West Nile this year, including one from Dodge County.


Weak Tornado Confirmed In Fox Valley


8/22/14 - The National Weather Service now says a weak tornado landed in the Fox Valley earlier this week.  Officials said yesterday that a weak twister came down late Monday afternoon about two miles southeast of Medina in Winnebago County.  Two utility poles were pushed over, and there was no damage reported to any buildings.  Wisconsin has had plenty of hailstorms and downpours in recent weeks -- but the Weather Service says the cool summer has kept tornadoes to a minimum.  Meteorologist Jeff Last of the Weather Service in Green Bay says his office has issued only about half the average numbers of warnings this season.  The area has had above-average rainfalls.  Coloma in Waushara County had a one-point-four-inch downpour yesterday.  Warm and humid conditions are expected through the weekend in the Badger State.  There's a chance of showers and thunderstorms each day.  Highs will be in the 70's and 80's today and tomorrow.  Parts of southwest Wisconsin could get into the 90's on Sunday.


Yesterday's Headlines
    - Beaver Dam Council Unanimously Accepts Watermark Grant
    - Operations Committee Tables Bidding For Watermark
    - Kennedy Upset With Media For Announcing Grant

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.