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Top Stories June 20, 2017

Felony Charge Filed Against Former Mayville Police Chief

 

6/20/17 - Formal charges of felony Misconduct in Office have been filed in Dodge County court against the former Mayville Police Chief. Chris MacNeill stepped down in March after 17 years with the department. MacNeill reportedly altered documents in 2011 to help the son of a Mayville police officer get into the army, changing the report from being a “drug possession” case to a “school medication violation.” MacNeill defended that decision but denied knowledge as the why the six-page report is now missing two pages though he nonetheless took responsibility. The changes were apparently made so that the teenager could get into the military. Former Mayville Police Chief William Linzenmeyer, who retired six-months after the pill incident, brought the altered document to the attention of the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation. Watertown police interviewed Linzenmeyer at his home and he said that he warned MacNeill that if he changed the report he would be fired. Linzenmeyer was not able to explain why he waited until 2016 to report the records change. MacNeill is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on June 26.

 

WBEV-WXRO’s Uncle Bill Honored With Street Name

 

6/20/17 - The Beaver Dam Common Council last night unanimously approved changing the name of a street to honor a local, living legend. Stoddart Street, which runs for about two blocks in front of the WBEV-WXRO studio’s, is being renamed ‘Bill McCollum Way.’ Station Manager Emeritus John Moser told city officials last night that the name change was the idea of Good Karma Brands owner Craig Karmazin to honor someone with deep roots in the community. The city now has to order the street signs which could take several weeks to arrive. In the meantime, a formal unveiling is in the works around the time of Bill’s 53rd anniversary at the station, which is on the Fourth of July.

 

Fish Kill Estimated At Between 5K-10K

 

6/20/17 - Preliminary numbers suggest between five and 10-thousand fish were killed last week on the Beaver Dam River apparently when the dam was adjusted for a street project. City Attorney Mary Ann Schacht says the city is not confirming anything until the investigation is complete. Mayor Becky Glewen last night updated the city council and indicated that the fish kill may be related to the closure of the dam to stop the flow of water so that concrete could be poured downstream for the culvert replacement project on Cooper Street. She says on Thursday, the city began to gradually lower the water that was coming through the dam to the minimal level allowed by the DNR. Glewen said a member of the public notified a city department head of the fish kill Thursday night and three hours later, just after midnight on Friday morning, they reopened the dam. The fish died downstream below the dam because water levels were so low. While it remains to be seen who or what is to blame for the fish kill, the mayor says moving forward there needs to be a better communication in place. President of the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association Bill Boettge says most of the fish lost were game fish. He says the association spends roughly $20,000 a year stocking pan-fish and game fish in the lake, with the plan to stock more wall-eye this fall at $4 apiece. Boettge says the group does not currently have the means to restock the lake but he does say that it should not affect fishing to any great degree.

 

Sexting Now Illegal For Minors In Beaver Dam

 

6/20/17 - he Beaver Dam City Council last night approved an ordinance that prohibits sexting by minors. The law is modeled after similar ordinances in other Wisconsin communities. Prior to adoption, if two underage children exchanged images of themselves by text message, the only recourse was to file felony charges or to do nothing. The ordinance now allows for a municipal penalty that does not require becoming a lifetime registered sex offender.

 

Warrant Issued For Domestic Violence Suspect

 

6/20/17 - An arrest warrant has been issued for a New Glarus man accused of making threats against his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend. Joshua Kingston did not show up to his initial court appearance yesterday and is facing one count of felony Threats to Injure as well as two misdemeanors charges of Unlawful Phone Use and Disorderly Conduct. On May 6th, a Watertown police officer was dispatched to speak with a woman in regards to threatening messages she received from an ex-boyfriend. She said she recorded a phone conversation she had with Kingston on May 2nd. The 28-year-old allegedly told her he would come to Watertown and kill her current boyfriend. The officer made contact with Kingston who said that the conversation never occurred. When informed that it was recorded he said that it had not been him on the phone. If convicted, Kingston faces over six years in prison.

 

Illinois Teen Accused Of Assaulting Dodge County Minors

 

6/20/17 - Cash bond was set at $5000 yesterday in Dodge County court for an Illinois man accused of assaulting two minors last summer. Seth Oltmanns of Mount Morris is facing three felony counts of First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child and seven felony counts of Possession of Child Pornography. The alleged incident occurred while Oltmanns was staying at a relative’s house in the Town of Lomira in July and August of 2016. According to the criminal complaint, the 18-year-old took suggestive photos of two young boys he was watching and saved it to his phone. The mothers of the boys contacted the police and reported the abuse in late August. In October, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office was able to make contact with Oltmanns who was living in Illinois. Oltmanns initially denied the claims but later admitted to taking the pictures and to touching one of the boys inappropriately. If convicted, Oltmanns faces a combined maximum of up to 355 years in prison. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 3rd.

 

Whitewater Man Convicted For Break-In

 

6/20/17 - A Whitewater man was found guilty yesterday of stealing power tools in a residential burglary in Watertown. Riley Redenius pled no contest to reduced charges of misdemeanor Theft of Movable Property. Last September, Redenius stole over $400 in power tools. An accomplice, Nickolas Ulrich, was previously convicted of felony Theft. The stolen items were recovered by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The 19-year-old Redenius will have to serve two years of probation after serving 60 days in the Dodge County Jail.

 

Fitzgerald Weighs In On Redistricting Decision

 

6/20/17 - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is pleased the United States Supreme Court has issued a stay on a lower court’s order that would have required redrawing legislative maps. The Juneau Republican says the high court will be hearing Wisconsin’s appeal in the redistricting case. He says we will see what that determines moving forward. Fitzgerald says they feel comfortable with the maps that were drawn almost eight years ago. He says the maps are still well within the Voters Rights Act and within the concepts of redistricting. Fitzgerald says they also certainly meet all the standards of the federal courts and what the state courts have put in place. He says the Supreme Court’s decision could have repercussions on other redistricting cases for other states. Fitzgerald says the state is only a couple years away from a new census and more redistricting decisions.

 

Legislators To Meet With Budget Analysts Today

 

6/20/17 - Assembly and Senate leaders plan to meet with state budget analysts today (Tuesday) to discuss issues in finalizing the next two year package. WisPolitics Dot Com says Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald will meet with officials from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau -- but a spokeswoman for Fitzgerald could not say which of the remaining issues will be addressed. Reports say the proposed increase in state aid to public schools is one topic to be discussed, after Assembly Republicans recently proposed a plan that includes a 150-dollar increase in state aid per student this fall and 200-dollars the following year. The fiscal bureau has said the total Assembly package would raise property taxes by 92-million dollars for the year starting in the summer of 2018.


 

Top Stories June 21, 2017

Farmer Cleared In US Open Blimp Threat

 

6/21/17 - Washington County sheriff's deputies say a landowner made an apparent "vague threat" against an advertising blimp, two hours before it crashed at the U-S Open golf tournament. But after meeting with the man, officers were convinced he was not a threat -- and foul play is not suspected in last Thursday's incident. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash of the blimp about one mile from where the national pro golf major was being played near Hartford. Pilot Trevor Thompson was seriously burned as panels ripped from the blimp's side before it fell. On Tuesday, deputies said a nearby landowner complained that the blimp's noise was scaring his farm animals -- and he asked if he could "shoot it down," but officers were convinced that the man was just being sarcastic.

 

Arrest Warrant Issued For Woman Suspected In Attack

 

6/21/17 - An arrest warrant has been issued for a Vesper woman who failed to appear in Dodge County court yesterday on charges that she attacked a Beaver Dam woman. Kaylee Derrie is charged with felony Burglary and False Imprisonment along with Child Abuse because the victim was a minor. In February, Beaver Dam police were dispatched to a stabbing on Park Avenue. The 17-year-old victim told investigators that her ex-boyfriend and Derrie attacked her, punching and choking her and stealing her phone so she could not call for help. The victim defended herself by stabbing Derrie in the back three times with a folding knife. Derrie fled with the ex-boyfriend, who is also a minor and was in possession of a nine-millimeter handgun. Both were later arrested by Washington County deputies. The 18-year-old Derrie reportedly met the ex-boyfriend during a stint at a mental health facility and continued the relationship on social media. The two allegedly hatched a plan that involved confronting the victim at her home, stealing pills from the residence and driving to Chicago to commit suicide. The ex-boyfriend denied involvement telling authorities that Derrie was stabbed by a homeless man. He said that he wanted no harm to come to his ex-girlfriend, he just wanted to say good-bye one last time. If convicted, Derrie faces up to 24-and-a-half years in prison.

 

Sun Prairie Murder Victim Identified

 

6/21/17 - A man killed in Sun Prairie has been identified as 33-year-old Thomas Leonard of Marshall. Police say he was shot to death early Sunday in the parking lot of an apartment complex. Officials say Leonard appeared to be targeted. A 34-year-old Cottage Grove man is a person of interest in the case. He's being held on a firearm violation while Sun Prairie Police continue to investigate.

 

Fond du Lac Woman Guilty Of Vehicular Homicide

 

6/21/17 - A Fond du Lac woman has been found guilty of homicide nearly four years after she crashed into a man as he crossed a road to get his mail in rural Waupaca County. 45-year-old Kristin Carlson pleaded "no contest" Tuesday to a charge of Homicide By Negligent Operation of a Vehicle. A sentencing hearing is scheduled in September. In July of 2013, Carlson hit 81-year-old Fred Lick while driving up to 30 miles over the speed limit in front of his driveway, killing him instantly. Investigators later determined Carlson received a text message just 23 seconds before she called 9-1-1. Lick's family waited more than two years for charges to be filed in the case.

 

Racine Man Convicted In Beaver Dam Residential Theft

 

6/21/17 - A Racine man was found guilty yesterday of stealing money from a wallet from a Beaver Dam house. John T. Gayden pled guilty to reduced charges of misdemeanor Battery, Resisting an Officer and Theft of Movable Property. In February, police responded to a report of a robbery that occurred in Beaver Dam. The victim had followed his attackers to the Rogers Hotel and in talking with police noted that he knew one of the suspects. Gayden was in custody later that same day for underage drinking and was questioned by police about the theft. The 18-year-old at first denied the claim but then admitted to stealing close to $560 dollars from the wallet. He said he needed the money for food and added that he chose the victim because of a feud between the victim and an associate of his. Gayden was placed on probation for two years.

 

Bats At Devil’s Lake Wiped Out By White Nose Syndrome

 

6/21/17 - One of Wisconsin's most popular state parks has been hit hard with the fungal bat disease white nose syndrome. A naturalist at Devils Lake State Park near Baraboo says it lost nine of every ten brown bats during the past year. The park now has about 20 left, not enough to offer a bat-watching program at the park this summer. The state D-N-R says the deadly bat disease has been confirmed in 14 counties – including Dodge County – covering much of the southern one third of the state plus counties close to the Mississippi River. White nose syndrome first arrived in southwest Wisconsin three years ago, raising concerns for cave explorer as well as farmers who rely on bats for eating insects before they can damage crops.

 

Dodge County Board Establishes Again, Nutrition Councils

 

6/21/17 - The Dodge County Board agreed last night to create the Commission on Aging and Disability Services. The new commission merges together the Aging Council and the Aging Disability Resource Center Council. Human Resources and Health Development Director Rebecca Bell says the change was done because it was discovered that both groups were talking about the same things so they decided to streamline operations. Bell says the nine-member group will discuss and give recommendations on the services the county provides to the elderly. The board also approved the creation of the Nutrition Advisory Council. Bell says the ten-member council had already existed prior to the board’s vote last night. She says there had yet to be a county resolution recognizing the council which oversees home delivered meals and nutrition sites for the older adult population. Both groups meet every other month, with the next meetings being held in August.

 

Dodge County Refinances Old Debt

 

6/21/17 - Dodge County will save close to $830-thousand dollars by refinancing old debt. The Dodge County Board last night approved the sale of over nine-million dollars in bonds. Financial advisor Ehlers Incorporated says Wells-Fargo of North Carolina had the lowest bid out of the six groups that applied. The original $16.3-million-dollar in borrowing was used to finance the county highway shop in Juneau and phase two of the Clearview project.

 

State Highway 23 Project Experiences Another Setback

 

6/21/17 - The State Highway 23 expansion project has been dealt another blow.  A federal appellate panel has dismissed state officials' efforts to obtain over $168 million in federal funding to widen the 19 miles of Highway 23 between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac.  In 2011, the group One Thousand Friends of Wisconsin sued to stop the project, claiming a federal environmental impact statement was incomplete and without it, the federal government could not release any money.  US District Judge Lynn Adelman went on to agree.  The state then appealed, but now a three-judge panel from the Seventh US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the state’s case for receiving those federal funds. 

 

Rosendale Police Seek Vandalism Suspect

 

6/21/17 - Rosendale Police are looking for tips from residents about vandalism to a storage shed at Taylor Park. A window was broken out of a small storage shed either Monday or early Tuesday. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has additional information is asked to contact Rosendale Police at (920) 872-5050.