5/29/15 - The United States’ Senate will be in session this weekend with hopes of reaching a compromise that would extend the Patriot Act. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed a measure that would allow the continuance of certain key provisions of the Patriot Act, which is set to expire on Monday. The legislation was first signed into effect by President George W. Bush in October 2001 as part of an effort to combat terrorism. Most recently, President Barack Obama signed the Patriot Sunsets Extension Act in 2011 to allow some of the act’s main elements to stay in effect for an additional four years. Congressman Glenn Grothman was on today's edition of WBEV’s Community Comment and says those who are holding the bill up object to the lengths he and his colleagues went to restrict the federal government’s abilities. He is in favor of the bill proposed by fellow Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner and says that a gap in coverage is likely if dissenters continue to hold up the bill. Grothman says a brief extension of the current act could be agreed upon to avoid a lapse in coverage and give the legislators more time to finalize a new bill. He does not see the senators who have objected to the bill swallowing their pride and agreeing to the House’s version without compromises being made.
5/29/15 - A Green Lake County man connected to a multi-county crime spree waived his right to a preliminary hearing in a Dodge County Courtroom yesterday. Maxwell Decker is accused of stealing four cars in three counties while narrowly eluding capture on two separate occasions. He is charged in Dodge County with Fleeing an Officer, Burglary with a Dangerous Weapon and Theft. Prosecutors say he stole a car in Berlin last August sparking a nearly 12-mile pursuit down Highway 175 into Dodge County that ended with the driver disappearing into nearby cornfields. A second vehicle was taken and later recovered in the Fond du Lac County Town of Oakfield, where a third vehicle was then reported stolen. Decker allegedly sparked a second police chase early the following morning again into Dodge County this time through the city of Beaver Dam at 100mph. The vehicle was abandoned near Breezy Point Road as the suspect escaped a second time. Later that same day it was discovered that someone broke into a Town of Trenton home, stole a firearm, ammunition and a vehicle. He was apprehended in Jefferson County the following day. Decker remains jailed on a $100,000 cash bond.
5/29/15 - A Waupun man will proceed to trial after Dodge County Judge Steven Bauer found probable cause at his preliminary hearing yesterday on a felony charge of Attempting to Flee or Elude a Traffic Officer. Jordan Bader was allegedly traveling at speeds over 40 miles-per-hour down Waupun’s Main Street in the early hours of March 18. The officer who clocked Bader’s speed turned on his lights and siren to pursue him. The 23-year-old accelerated to speeds over 100-miles-per-hour and kept fleeing. Bader finally stopped and reportedly said he would prefer a ticket without the loss of any points so he could keep his license. If he is convicted, Bader faces up to three-and-a-half years in prison. An arraignment hearing is set for June 17.
5/29/15 - There has been a rash of vehicle thefts in Beaver Dam reported in the past week. According to police briefings, there have been a dozen thefts reported since last Friday, including five on Monday and three more on Wednesday. Among the items stolen: cash, firearms and electronics like GPS devices and cell phone chargers. As we reported earlier, a 26-year-old Beaver Dam was charged yesterday after a weekend arrest for going through a neighbor’s vehicle; additional charges are pending. Early Thursday morning, a 50-year-old Beaver Dam man was arrested on Walnut Street with a flashlight while rifling through cars; no formal charges have been brought yet in that incident. Police Detective Ryan Klavekoske says the common trend with the recent thefts is that all the vehicles have been unlocked. The Beaver Dam Police Department urges the public to always lock their vehicles and secure their belongings.
5/29/15 - Since April 2014, beekeepers have lost over 40% of their bees. Wisconsin has been hit especially hard as it is one of eight states where the population loss has been upwards of 60%. Wisconsin Honey Producer’s Vice-President Matt LaForge says the number of bees lost has been above average for last five or six years and claims this has been the hardest hit to the population since the 1800’s. LaForge says a number of factors including: nutritional stress, pesticides and sprays, and various diseases are combining to cause the large number of deaths. While he notes that many of the hardest hit states are in the crop belt where plenty of sprays are regularly applied, LaForge says many bees that are far removed from agricultural areas are also being affected. He says research is being conducted at the federal level in an effort to narrow in on a cause and come up with a treatment LaForge says beekeepers are being hit hard by these losses as constantly replacing hives can cause a large financial burden. He notes that these people cannot be lost as they are vital to ensuring bees are brought to plants that need pollination. LaForge encourages folks to buy their honey from local beekeepers to help keep them in business. He says people can also make a positive impact through planting flowers that bloom either early in the spring or late in the fall as those are the times when bees need them the most.
5/29/15 - Two Dodge County legislators are calling on the Department of Health Services to reconsider the placement of two child sex offenders in the Brownsville area. State Senator Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau and State Representative Mark Born of Beaver Dam said in a joint press release they want to the stop placement because they would be living right next to two young children. The legislators were (quote) “shocked and dismayed by the lack of notice given to both the community and their elected officials.” After hearing about the matter on Tuesday, the two legislators reached out to the Department of Corrections and the Secretary of Health Services to express their disappointment at the lack of consideration given to the Town of Leroy community. 29-year-old Jonathan Miller and 57-year-old Robert Larson were the subject of a public informational meeting in Brownsville on Wednesday. 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. Their court-ordered release to W2691 State Highway 49 in Brownsville is scheduled to happen no later than this Monday, June 1. Born and Fitzgerald say Wisconsin law gives Health Services the ability to revisit placement decisions for these circumstances and they say the agency has a responsibility to the people of the Leroy community to stop the placement until a more suitable location can be found.