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Top Stories January 21, 2017

Clyman Man Headed To Prison For Homicide


1/21/17 - A Clyman man will spend seven years in prison for failing to get help for a friend who died of a heroin overdose. In November, Gabriel Brandl pled “no contest” to felony First Degree Reckless Homicide in connection with the death of Holly Nehls last May. The 30-year-old drove around the Watertown area with Nehls and their drug supplier. She was fine after shooting up…for about ten minutes and then she went unconscious. Brandl says he assumed she would “snap out of it” and drove around for three hours debating the right thing to do. Later in the evening, Brandl noticed Nehls was no longer breathing. He attempted CPR, was 99-percent sure she was dead, and started to feel guilty because he should have brought her to the hospital sooner. Brandl will also spend 13 years under extended supervision, was ordered to pay $6,700 in restitution, and must give a public speech at an AA or similar meeting where he tells the audience he killed a person and explains the pain it caused. 


School Districts Heading To Referendum


1/21/17 - Two Dodge County school boards voted this week to go to referendum this spring.  Voters in the Hustisford and Mayville school districts will see questions on the April 4 ballot.  In Hustisford, the spring referendum includes the same items as the question that failed by 80 votes this past November.  However, the price tag increased by $235,000 to $5,825,000 due to cost bumps throughout the construction market.  If successful, the mill rate would increase by $1.59, meaning the owner of a $150,000 house would pay an extra $238 per year.  The referendum would cover a variety of facility upgrades at John Hustis Elementary School including the creation of a safe, secure entryway, renovation of the existing gym into a larger cafeteria space, a new gymnasium, a new hard surface playground and parking lot, and three additional classrooms.  In Mayville, the referendum question seeks $24,500,000 to make safety and security improvements at all three district buildings along with various improvements at the high school.  District officials anticipate a successful referendum would add $2.21 to the current levy of $8.81, costing homeowners an extra $331 per year.  Mayville voters previously rejected a $23,000,000 referendum in 2015. 


Beaver Dam Looking To Install Eagle’s Nest


1/21/17 - The Beaver Dam Operations Committee this week gave the go-ahead to install an eagle nest at the Waterwater Treatment Facility. Director of Utilities Rob Minnema says a city employee pointed out the increase in bald eagles in the area and a conversation was started with a local birder, Jack Bartholmai, on placement and other needs. Minnema says there will be no cost to city taxpayers and the minimal funds needed should be covered by donations. His hope is to eventually have a camera on the nest with a link available on the city website. The structure may be up in time for this season but Minnema is more optimistic about next year.


Wisconsin Utility Reports Spike In Phone Scams


1/21/17 - Wisconsin’s largest utility says there's an "alarming spike" in telephone scams. We Energies says more than 100 of its customers were called in recent days by thieves who claimed their electricity would be shut off if they didn't get a prepaid debit card and pay their overdue bills immediately -- and at least two customers followed the callers' orders and lost money. It's illegal for utilities to shut off power in Wisconsin between November and mid-April when the state's winter moratorium is in place. Also, We Energies says it never asks customers to use prepaid debit cards. Utility spokeswoman Amy Jahns says Thursday's reports of scams represents almost one ninth of the 880 scams reported for all of last year -- and the Wisconsin Public Service utility and Alliant Energy have also seen increases in scam attempts involving their customers. 


Rat Virus Infects Wisconsinites


1/21/17 - Health officials are trying to determine how a rare rat virus got two people sick in Wisconsin and six others in Illinois. The cases have been linked to two rat breeders in Illinois, and officials say those breeders sold rats to Wisconsin facilities. The health agency in the Badger State says all eight people had direct contact with the rats, and they picked up the Seoul virus -- which can cause flu like symptoms and renal disease in the most severe cases. Both Wisconsinites with the Seoul virus have recovered, and all but one of the six Illinois patients did not show any symptoms. Officials have not said where the infected rats came from, and the breeders are not selling pets while they work with state and federal agencies to learn the cause of the outbreak.


Judge Won’t Dismiss Charges Against UW Student


1/21/17 - A judge has refused to dismiss four charges against a suspended University of Wisconsin-Madison student accused of sexually assaulting and harassing multiple women. 21-year-old Alec Cook appeared in court yesterday. He faces a total of 21 charges stemming from cases dating back to March 2015. His attorneys asked a Dane County Circuit Judge to dismiss two counts of stalking, a sexual assault charge and a disorderly conduct charge. The judge ruled that the charging complaint lays out enough detail to show that Cook's alleged stalking victims suffered emotional distress and that Cook should have known he was causing them stress. The judge said the charging complaint also provides enough details to support the disorderly conduct and sexual assault counts.


Second Wisconsinite Wins On ‘Price Is Right’


1/21/17 -  In the 45 years "The Price is Right" has been on television, only six Wisconsinites have played on the air -- and just two have won the daily showcase, both from Eau Claire and both within the past few weeks. 22-year-old Kimmy Neve, a U-W Eau Claire student from DeForest, won $63,000 in prizes on a show aired this week on C-B-S that was taped in October. That's less than one month after viewers saw 59-year-old Deb Kidd win $60,000 in prizes in a show taped in November. Neve said she laughed when she learned that Kidd won, and Kidd said she was in "utter disbelief" that Neve won so soon after she did. Neve won two cars among other things, and Kidd's big prize was a Mediterranean cruise.


Sausage Class Returns To Dodge County


1/21/17 - One of Dodge County’s most popular courses is back for another year.  The UW-Extension Office is holding its sausage class next month.  Participants will learn to make a wide variety of sausage and take home five pounds of the finished product.  The focus this year is on chorizo, hot Italian, and ring bologna.  The class, which will be held at the County Administration Building the evening of February 13, is limited to 50 participants on a first come, first serve basis.  Registration costs $25, and forms are available on the Extension page of the Dodge County website. 


Yesterday's Headlines
- Prison Time For Fatal Crash
- Trucker Charged In Burglary
- Man Accused Of Fleeing Police

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.