Local News

Mayville Man Arrested, Police Asking Anyone with Information to Come Forward


The Mayville Police Department announced that Charles Taylor Rash, age 23, has been charged with First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child Under Age 12, Sexual Exploitation of a Child – Filming, and Possession of Child Pornography.

On September 8, 2023 the Mayville Police Department executed a search warrant at the residence of Mr. Rash. The warrant was the result of a child sexual abuse material cyber tip originating at Rash’s home internet service. A search of Mr. Rash’s phone found videos of Mr. Rash performing sexual acts with a minor, age 3. Child pornography was also found on Mr. Rash’s phone. Mr. Rash was taken into custody at his home and is currently confined to the Dodge County Jail with a cash bond of $250,000. All indications in this case show that Mr. Rash acted alone.

If you or anyone you know may have any information to assist in this investigation, please call Mayville Police Department Detective Scott Petrack at 920-387-7903 ext. 1303.

As in any criminal proceeding, Mr. Rash is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This investigation is being led by the Mayville Police Department and is assisted by the Horicon Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by the Dodge County District Attorney’s Office.


Chief Ryan Toellner

Mayville Police Department


Increased Attendance at the Veteran's Memorial Aquatic Center

Final numbers with the Veteran's Memorial Aquatic Center in the city of Hartford showed a great year both in attendance and use of tax funds.

Overall, attendance went up from 41,606 to 43,976. Overall cost on the levy continues to be below budget to where the pool again will break even, or show a slight profit. Most public pools or ponds will lose money to the tune of $500 - $1000 per day in operation. The fact that their facility breaks even shows the great deal of management and staff efforts to provide a top notch facility with little to no impact on tax payers.

Attendance at the Veteran's Memorial Aqauatic Center was steady by the end of the season, but not overwhelming according to Hartford City officials. 

Hartford's outdoor pool closed for the season one week prior to Labor Day, which is a similar practice with all supervised municipal pools.

Aquatics and Fitness Supervisor Zack Stupnik says the Thursday night swims worked out well.

"It was very positive for us. The first one had around 350 people, and the second night swim had around 300 people. We had a couple of changes with that, and I think it brought in more people. We changed the prices from normal full price to $3 for residents and $4 for non residents."

Hours for the Veteran's Memorial Aquatics Center were extended on occasion throughout the summer season.    

Looking forward to another great summer next year.



Training For Hartford City Employees

City of Hartford staff members had the opportunity to attend CVMIC training.


As a part of their insurance program, City and Village’s Municipal Insurance Company (CVMIC) provides ongoing training to members of the city staff. They received training on anti-harassment and reasonable suspicion in the workplace.


CVMIC will also conduct safety training throughout the year in different departments. This training session is also augmented by specialized safety training in utilities and public works. Overall, the City of Hartford has a great record in minimizing workplace injuries.

Let The Celebration Begin!

The Medical Center Foundation of Hartford is preparing for their annual Celebration.

This great annual event is Wednesday, October 4 at the Chandelier Ballroom.

Executive Director Sarah Grotelueschen told WTKM News that it's an important event for their programs.

"Our Celebration helps fund all five of our programs. We have our medical transportation program, our S.A.N.E. program which is the sexual assault nurse examiner program, emergency lifeline, our fitness program and of course our adult day services."   

A big highlight is the drawing of names for the $10,000 in cash prizes, there will be door prizes, and raffles including the cash bag raffle, meat raffle, grocery and auction items.

The Medical Center Foundation of Hartford is asking you to register by September 25 by going to mcfhartford dot org or call 262-670-7568.    


A New Mission

Washington County’s Agriculture and Industrial Society, which operates the Washington County Fair and Fair Park and Conference Center, officially unveiled a new mission, vision and strategic goals. AIS hired Economic Development Washington County (EDWC) last year to review its Mission and Vision and conduct focus groups with community leaders to set direction and specific initiatives. The new plan was unanimously adopted by the Board of Directors.  

A common theme in the new direction increases the focus of the organization on agriculture and industry in the community. “While the Washington County Fair continues its reputation as a top fair destination in the Midwest, we think it’s important to be intentional about the direction we are headed as an organization and as a community,” said AIS President Phil Dahlberg. “We have a lot of excitement and energy right now about what the future holds for Washington County Fair Park and how we can increase the give back to our community.”

Highlights of the strategic initiatives include:

• Expanding agricultural and industry events and education;

• Executing organization and governance changes to increase organizational effectiveness;

• Expanding lines of business to support planned technology investments in the facilities;

• Launching a new brand development and marketing strategy; and

• Establishing an AIS foundation to support the community and the organization’s new goals.

Questions about the new mission, vision or strategic goals can be directed to AIS President Phil Dahlberg at phil@dahlberglawgroup.com. To learn more about Washington County Fair Park and Conference Center, visit their website at wcfairpark.com.    

Hartford Fire and Rescue Department Receives Funds From Fire Dues Program

The Hartford Fire and Rescue Department continues to consistently handle its share of calls throughout the week.

Chief Paul Stephans told WTKM News that their department is busy.

"It is busy, and it keeps getting busier and busier. The more frequent, and the number of calls results in the increased frequency of overlapping calls."  

Hartford’s Fire and Rescue Department is able to handle it with updated equipment and an impressive team of dedicated members, many of them are on-call. Those members of the department drop everything when they receive the call to respond.

The department’s new fire engine was recently on display.

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services ceremonial check for nearly $110,000 presented to Hartford Fire and Rescue Chief Paul Stephans yesterday represented the department’s share of funding from the Fire Dues program.

The program requires insurers to pay two percent of premiums collected for insurance against loss from fires.   

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance collects the dues, and DSPS distributes the dues to hundreds of cities, villages and towns across Wisconsin according to a prescribed formula.

This year, Wisconsin fire departments will receive $28.3 million through the program.

This is a major source of funding for state fire departments, which use the money to buy and replace equipment, operate fire prevention programming and training. 

Hartford Fire and Rescue recently purchased a new fire engine made possible by funding through this program.

The Great Outdoors

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is putting out a reminder about the benefits of living an outdoor livestyle.

Bob Nack is one of the team members, and serves as a hunter/angler and recruitment team supervisor at Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

"It's fun to go hunting, and to be sitting in a tree stand or pursuing rabbits or whatever you're doing. It's often the memories you're making with the people you're doing it with, that is really important. It's also a great opportunity for adventure in Wisconsin. If you're sick of the digital world, and technology and want to get away for awhile...you can go create you're own adventure. Wisconsin is great for that, we have a lot of state parks and places to visit in our state where you can find hunting or fishing nearby."                                       

Since the pandemic, a lot of outdoor interests have dropped a bit, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

There is a lot of information on their website at gowild.wi.gov.     

Glider Makes Emergency Landing

A glider lost its rope in Hartford. 


A glider is a fixed-wing aircraft that is supported in flight by the reaction of the air against its lifting surfaces, and whose free flight does not depend on an engine.


A glider was taking off recently from the Hartford Municipal Airport, when it quickly had its tether line snap. The pilot had a 14 year old passenger on board and they quickly landed the plane in a nearby corn field. Nobody was hurt during the emergency landing, while the passenger immediately jumped in another glider. 


This glider club works out of the Hartford Municipal Airport and flies several gliders specifically on weekends. The club was out promoting the excitement of flying gliders to a younger audience of enthusiasts.



Area Law Enforcement Respond To Incident In Germantown

Yesterday morning, around 8:37 a citizen contacted the Germantown Police Department Communications Center and reported a subject wearing what they described as a “tactical backpack” while carrying a “long gun”, walking away from a vehicle near Park Avenue and into the wooded area. 


The Germantown Police Department responded and as a precaution, both Kennedy Middle School and MacArthur School were placed into a “hold” status while the matter was investigated. Officers made contact with the subject who was hunting on the land. It was determined that there was no threat to the schools or the community.


The Washington County Sheriff's Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department along with the Germantown Fire Department and Germantown Department of Public Works assisted.


Running For The First Time In Over 50 Years

History came alive over the weekend, on Saturday September 16 at the Richfield Nature and Historical Park during the Thresheree and Harvest Festival.

"Our mill is running for the first time in over 50 years," exclaimed Richfield Historical Society President Pete Sampson. "The mill itself is 150 years old. Back in 1972, they closed the doors and it sat for over 20 years. And after another 25 years of putting it back together, we finally got it running this year. All of the foundation has been replaced and it looks like it was built six months ago. It looks really nice."

The engine was one of the modes that drove the mill in Richfield through history. The engine on the mill today is not the original, but a similar engine.

The Messer/Mayer Mill has great history that began in 1869, when Andrew Messer built a three-story gristmill. Four years later in 1873, the mill was up and running producing ground flour from wheat grown by area farmers.

This past summer, on July 23 members of the Richfield Historical Society celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the mill at the Richfield Historical Park. 

Farm Safety and Health Week

National Farm Safety and Health Week runs from September 17 to the 23.  


Fall harvest time can be one of the busiest and most dangerous seasons of the year for the agriculture industry. For this reason, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week. This annual promotion initiated by the National Safety Council has been proclaimed as such by each sitting U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944.


Like any business, agriculture can be financially set back by safety violations, injuries, illnesses and deaths. The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety offers safety education and proactive programs to help prevent incidents that affect your agribusiness safety and welfare.

Programs include:

  • Hazardous materials training
  • Respiratory protection programs
  • CPR classes
  • Tractor roll-over protection retrofit programs
  • Tractor certification programs
  • Combine safety
  • Confined spaces
  • Rescue procedures (tractor roll-over, grain entrapment, combine, auger extrication and manure pit rescues)
  • Youth programs
  • Training seminars tailored to specific needs
  • Safety issues in rural communities

Timely Social Media Tips

The Watertown Police Department recently issued some valuable advice regarding online security.

Back-to-school season is an exciting time as kids head back to the classroom — and parents don't want to miss out on getting the perfect photo of their little one's milestone. While many parents want to share their kid's school photos with family and friends, posting these photos online opens the door to online security concerns.

When it comes to sharing school-related photos online it's important that parents carefully consider every photo before uploading it. Does it reveal too much information, including background imagery and street signs? A photo that you take of your kids on your front stoop, in your neighborhood or by the school entrance may contain personally identifiable information, such as your street name, house number, last name or your school's name.

Unfortunately, identity theft is a very real threat when information and pictures are presented effortlessly to online criminals. A more alarming danger is that the photos will make their way to predators.

Consider limiting who can see the photos by posting in closed networks like family groups, turn off location tagging and reduce information about the child’s upcoming school year. It is also important for parents to have regular and open conversations with their kids about the internet and its potential dangers to keep them safe online.

There’s nothing wrong with posting back to school photos but be smart about what’s on social media. Some other options you can put on your back-to-school board are what is the profession they’d like to do in the future, what are their hobbies, likes and dislikes. But as far as pertinent information regarding their identity, try to limit the information you share.

National POW-MIA Recognition Day

The Avenue of Flags will be up on Friday, September 15 in the city of Hartford.

Ron Schnorenberg with the Veterans of Foreign Wars 8834, Hartford Honor Guard, American Legion Post 19 and United Vietnam Veterans.

"Those flags fly at Sawyer Park, and those flags are the coffin flags from deceased Veterans. The families donate the flags to us and then we have them embroidered with the Veteran's name and where they served. The Avenue of Flags is quite a sight." 

The Avenue of Flags are put up in honor of National POW-MIA Recognition Day. We honor the courage of all those prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action.

Americans take the time to remember those who are, or were at one time prisoners of war (POW) and those who are still missing in action (MIA), as well as their families.



13 Fire Departments Respond To Barn Fire


In the early morning, on Thursday, September 14 around 2:45 a.m. the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a barn fire in the 4600 block of Highway 167.  Deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene along with the Richfield Fire Department.  Richfield Fire Department requested MABAS response from Hartford, Jackson, Allenton, Slinger, Lisbon, Merton, Sussex, Pewaukee, Germantown, St. Lawrence, Newburg and Cedarburg Fire Departments. 

There were no injuries as a result of the fire.  

Damage to the barn was able to be limited by the immediate response of the Richfield Fire Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the deployment of the Fire Suppression Tool.  

Initial damage estimate is $50,000.  Highway 167 was shut down for  four hours. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Richfield Fire Department

Buckskinners Are Back In Hartford

The Buckskinners Encampment is happening in the city of Hartford.

It begins on Friday, September 15 and runs through Sunday, September 17 at Woodlawn Park.

Hartford Mayor Tim Michalak encourages area families to attend this event.

"I would encourage you to go to the Buckskinners event, we are one of the few communities around here that has something like that. If you have never gone, please go...it is that turn of the century 1700s to 1800s type of camp that they put on and there are all sorts of things that you can do including a horse ride that goes around the area. It's a lot of fun. I would like to see them maintain it in the city of Hartford."  

It’s a great chance for families to come out and see what life was like with the settlers around the 1750s to 1850s.

There will be live demonstrations, food and handmade gifts.  

Case Moves Forward in Washington County Circuit Court

The Washington County case, which involves a Town of Wayne man who is charged with ten counts, including:

6 counts of intentionally mistreating animals

1 count for failing to provide food

1 count for failing to provide water

1 count, which involves shelter space

1 count which involves outside animal shelter

continues to move forward in Washington County Circuit Court. It’s the State of Wisconsin v. Russell Quaas.

A hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, September 13. Quaas was not in court, but his attorney did appear along with the prosecuting attorney for the state.  Counsel anticipates filing the Motion to Dismiss, and the court orders motion to be filed within15 days - once the motion is filed, it will be scheduled. 

A plea hearing was scheduled for November 1, 2023 at 1:15 pm.    

Quaas was believed, allegedly to be operating a non-licensed dog breeding business out of a property in the Town of Wayne. The investigation began when Washington County Sheriff's Deputies received an anonymous complaint about dogs being tied to trees and not having proper shelter.

All of the 35 dogs involved in this case survived, and were cared for at the Washington County Humane Society and all of the dogs were adopted.  

History Comes Alive in Richfield

This weekend it’s the Richfield Historical Society’s 24th annual Thresheree and Harvest Festival at the Richfield Nature and Historical Park.

It’s happening this Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17.

The Mill will be featured this weekend during the Thresheree event, according to Richfield Historical Society President Pete Sampson.

"This is actually the 150th year of the mill that we're celebrating this year. After almost 25 years we'll actually have it up and operational, or somewhat limited with it's operation and it's been our goal for a long time. And we will have it run during the Thresheree for the first time in probably 50 years, or more. It's great."                                                

Steam engine threshing and the old tractor parade are a part of it, along with horses plowing and many demonstrations.

There will be hands-on activities for the kids.

The History Room will have wedding pictures on display in the Welcome Center, which is something new this year.


Hartford Common Council Discusses Taxes During September 12 Meeting

Hartford Common Council met on September 12, at Hartford City Hall. 

There was discussion and consideration of the 2024 to 2028 CIP Budget.

Hartford Mayor Tim Michalak addressed this item during the meeting last night. 

"I think the biggest thing from my perspective, that it's got to be impacting a lot of individuals...especially those people who are holding a couple of jobs and go out for a quick bite to eat. It's alarming for me to think that people who are paying the taxes are not going to be able to maintain anywhere near the lifestyle, and I've had people tell me that they don't do a number of things they used to do because they simply can't afford it. If we have this undesignated fund balance, and I would like to see those dollars within the next 24 months used to offset any real possible tax increase, or I'm going to veto whatever is signed and we'll go around the dais and let everybody vote to raise people's taxes. My thing would be use our undesignated fund balance and do not raise the taxes until we can see what's happening with this economy."       

Hartford City Administrator Steve Volkert addressed council members, and responded last night.

"You are passing the budget tonight, based on the numbers I'm giving you. I can't tell you today if this is going to raise your taxes. If all things do come true, just in 2024 alone your mill rate would go up, tax on a $300,000 house to $6 just on debt. The average over four years is an increase of $24, on average total over the next four years."   


Hartford Council members unanimously approved the item.

During the Hartford Common Council meeting, Business Improvement District President Jason Wix appeared in order to request that the common council consider allowing BID parking passes in the Park Avenue – Mill Street parking lot.

There was no vote on this item last night, but it will be brought back during the next Hartford Public Works meeting, and then it will move on and be presented before the Hartford Common Council.          

Area Homes and Businesses Evacuated

On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 12 around 12:41 p.m. members of the Slinger Fire Department were dispatched to the area of Kettle Moraine Drive, south and west of Commerce Blvd. for a report of a natural gas line that was struck.


Crews responded and located the main that was hit in the 600 Block of Kettle Moraine Drive.  Crews assessed the area for a reading of natural gas and evacuated several area residences and businesses. WE Energies  responded and contained the leak.

Crews were then able to clear the scene.


Kettle Moraine Drive south, from Parkway Drive to west Commerce Blvd was closed for around one and a half hours during this call.


Attempted Break-In Under Investigation

On Wednesday, September 6 around 10:41 p.m. West Bend police officers responded to an attempted burglary at a residence in the 700 block of South River Rd.

The homeowner chased the subject on foot after the attempted break-in. The subject is described as a stocky white male, who was dressed in a gray hoodie and blue jeans and was trying to gain entry to the residence.

Responding officers were unable to locate the man and the investigation continues.

City of Hartford Centerlines Spruced Up

Sometimes, a fresh coat of paint will do the trick.


360 gallons of paint were used to paint centerlines throughout portions of the City of Hartford.  Hartford road crews were assisted by Washington County Highway crews, who have the equipment to more efficiently paint this level of roads. While the City does pay the County for this service, it is a cost savings as the process is completed in a much quicker time frame than if the City of Hartford's crews did it alone with the city's equipment. 


City officials are reminding drivers that they should slow down and watch for fresh paint whenever they see crews working on the painting process on the roads. All precautions are used to protect the workers and the fresh paint, so please steer clear of these barricades and cones.

Watertown Police Chief Announces Retirement

Chief Robert Kaminski, a devoted figure in the Watertown Police Department, has officially announced his retirement, bringing a 32-year career to a close. Chief Kaminski, has served as the Chief of Police since October of 2018, has a remarkable journey within the department that spans from his beginnings as a Patrol Officer to the highest level of leadership. Chief Kaminski's extensive service record tells the story of his unwavering commitment to the Watertown community:

• 1991-1998: Patrol Officer

• 1998-2002: Field Training Officer

• 2002-2004: Patrol Sergeant

• 2004-2009: Investigations Sergeant

• 2009-2018: Captain of Police

• Oct. 2018 – Present: Chief of Police

Notable milestones in Chief Kaminski's career include his attendance at the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, in 2007, where he gained invaluable insights into law enforcement leadership and techniques. He has also been a driving force in various law enforcement associations, having served as the Past President of the Jefferson County Chiefs and Sheriff Association, President of the Dodge County Executive Law Enforcement Association, and a proud member of both the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police and Wisconsin Police Executive Group.

Chief Kaminski expressed his sentiments on his retirement, saying, "I spent my entire career working for the City of Watertown, and have enjoyed every aspect of my time here. There have been many changes in the City and in the Department over 32 years. It's been exciting seeing all the changes along the way. I look forward to retirement and spending more time with family and friends."

Throughout his tenure, Chief Kaminski has been a symbol of dedication, leadership, and community service. His contributions to the Watertown Police Department and the broader community have left an indelible mark, and his retirement marks the end of an era.

“Chief Kaminski is not only the Chief of Police, but he is a foundational member of our city’s leadership team,” Mayor Emily McFarland said. “His commitment to his department, to our city team, to this community, and to his profession is not something you see every day; we will miss him tremendously,” McFarland said.

Chief Kaminski will retire at the end of 2023.

National Police Woman Day

It's a day to honor and recognize the great women who serve.


Tuesday, September 12 is set aside to recognize the dedication, contributions, and achievements of women in law enforcement.


We would like to honor the incredible women working for area departments. These women are not only deputies, detectives, court bailiff’s and supervisors, but they work as field training officers, school resource officers, and D.A.R.E Officers. Along with being members of our many teams and units including Honor Guard Unit, Underwater Search and Recovery Unit, Peer Support Team, Civil Disturbance Unit and are Negotiators on the Tactical Enforcement Unit.


WTKM would like to thank them for their service and dedication as it has made a difference in our community.


If you see one of the ladies out today, wish them a Happy National Police Woman Day.

Unleash Your Brave Benefit

An event to support a special young girl is Saturday, September 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Monches Ballpark.

It's an event for Warriors For Emmie.

There will be a bags tournament, dunk tank, kids games and face painting. 

Emersyn was diagnosed with Medullablastoma, a cancerous tumor of the brain at the age of six. Over the last seven months, she has endured countless surgeries, aggressive chemotherapy and invasive radiation treatments in tandem with persistent physical and occupational therapy to rebuild motor skills, relearn basic activities like talking, walking and swallowing.

Emersyn's care has required frequent trips to Children's Hospital for treatment and around the clock hands-on care for all her physical needs at home. 

All of the funds raised go directly to Emersyn, and her future care.

The Warriors For Emmie Facebook page has more information. 

We Will Never Forget

September 11 is a day we will never forget.

Most of us remember where we were and how life changed that day, on September 11, 2001 when the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil in U.S. history occurred.

Scott Henke was the mayor of Hartford at the time. 

"The federal government was adamant...we have our airport closed and they needed to hear that from the highest elected official. It was one of those things that, as I walked down Main Street in downtown Hartford to go to City Hall...people were different that day and were changed. I had some citizens stop me and ask if we were going to be okay. You know, just the reassurance factor that we are going to be okay and we need to unite and stand behind our country."  

The September 11 attacks were a series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks committed in 2001 by 19 terrorists. Nearly 3,000 people were killed. The attacks involved the hijacking of four planes, three of which were used to strike significant U.S. sites. 

A ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on September 11, 2023 at Bernd Park, near the Hartford Fire and Rescue Department in the city of Hartford.


Flags are on display at the West Bend fire station in honor of the firefighters who lost their lives in the 9-11 attacks.


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