3/11/14 - One person was killed in a head-on collision involving a semi and a car near Sun Prairie early Tuesday morning. It happened around 2am on Highway 151 near County Highway N. Authorities say the car was driving the wrong way in the southbound lanes when the accident occurred. A 28-year-old man driving the car, without its headlights on, reportedly died at the scene. The southbound lanes of Highway 151 were closed for over four hours.
3/11/14 - A former Waupun police lieutenant entered a “not guilty” plea at arraignment yesterday in Green Lake County for a multi-county crime spree last summer. 44-year-old Bradley Young is charged in Green Lake County court with seven felony charges -- including Burglary and Vehicle Theft. Prosecutors said Young broke into grocery stores in Berlin, Markesan, and Waupun -- burglarized a restaurant and stole a pick-up truck in Green Lake -- crashed the truck after a police chase across the state in Barron County -- stole another vehicle near Rice Lake -- and entered a cabin near Spooner where he was surrounded by officers and eventually gave himself up. The 22-year veteran of the Waupun Police Department resigned in the wake of that spree. Young has a status conference in a Burnett County case in early May and a plea hearing in Barron County in late May.
3/11/14 - A Burnett woman accused of raising her children in deplorable conditions made her Initial Appearance Monday in Dodge County court. Secoy Koch-Miller is charged with misdemeanor Child Neglect and felony Child Neglect Resulting in Bodily Harm. Dodge County Human Services obtained a search warrant of her residence in November after the father of her infant daughter altered authorities to the alleged dangerous living conditions. Koch-Miller lived in the home with her mother and two children, the infant and a toddler. Officials say the residence was that of a typical “hoarder” with boxes stacked throughout the residence and belongings blocking access to some rooms. There were allegedly bugs, rotting food, black mold and a pungent odor of animal feces and urine. The refrigerator was broken and filled with rotting food covered in maggots. There was only cold-running water and several large holes where plumbing fixtures had once been located. The pets were removed and the children were placed in foster care. Both children were covered in bug bites. The toddler’s hair was full of spiders and spider eggs. The infant had bruising around her eye. Bond was set at $1000 yesterday (Mon) and she is prohibited from having unsupervised contact with her children. A judge will decide in May if there is enough evidence to order a trial. If convicted, the 25-year-old could spend over six years in prison.
3/11/14- The Beaver Dam School Board last night approved a $50-thousand dollar adjustment to the current budget. The school’s eight tennis courts have experienced extensive cracking from recent freeze-thaw cycles. The board examined several options in committee, some of which would have cost more than a quarter million dollars. The Director of Building and Grounds recommended – and the board approved – repair of the cracks and an additional overlay of the courts at a cost of $50,000. The repairs should extend the life of the court by four to five years but the life cycle could be extended another three years with a $5000 investment in year three. The project will not be paid directly from the tax levy but instead from monies leftover in the Capital Projects Fund that went unspent after recent renovations at Prairie View and the High School.
3/11/14 - The Columbus School Board will allow closing of three of the eleven district polling places during the May 20th referendum election. The resolution was passed at last night's board meeting. The Columbus School District covers parts of Columbia, Dane and Dodge counties. Upon request from the townships of Otsego, Fountain Prairie and Lowell, the school board passed a resolution to allow those townships to close for the special election. The handful of voters from those townships will be allowed to cast their votes by absentee ballots or at a nearby polling place. Three or less families from the school district reside in each of these townships. Keeping these polling sites open with three election officials on duty all day was considered to be impractical.
3/11/14 - State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald touted his party’s historic property and income tax cuts when he was our guest Monday on WBEV’s Community Comment. His chamber last week approved a half-billion dollar tax cut using a newfound billion-dollar budget surplus. The Juneau Republican tells us that one of the biggest concerns he hears from constituents is property taxes. He noted the three major tax breaks championed by Republican leadership starting with the state budget adopted last June, the $100-million dollar property tax cut last fall and the new package headed to the governor after it returns to the Assembly. Fitzgerald says the legislature is slowly chipping away at what has been a burden for many taxpayers. The package is returning to the Assembly to act on changes that Republican leaders recently negotiated. One of those changes would cut state spending by 38-million dollars, so the next budget starts with a smaller deficit in mid-2015. The average property tax bill would be cut by 131-dollars in December, and the typical income tax cut for next year would be 46-dollars. Also, manufacturers and farmers would get an additional income tax break. Fitzgerald defended the bill from minority Democrats who call that a corporate giveaway to the wealthy. He understands the opposition but says the revenue is equally pushed through the withholding tables in a way that every echelon will see some tax relief. He says the goal is to continue to reduce the level of taxation in Wisconsin. The governor is expected to sign the tax cuts in law after it clears the Assembly.