Local News Archives for 2024-01

Arrest Made After High-Speed Chase

A 17-year-old Town of Farmington male was charged as an adult and released from custody on a $10,000 signature bond in Washington County Circuit Court on Monday, January 29 with Second Degree Reckless Endangering Safety and Fleeing, both felonies. He was also cited for marijuana/paraphernalia possession.

Dresden Fritsch was arrested early Saturday morning, January 27 after Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies attempted to stop him. A patrol sergeant was driving on I-41 in the Village of Germantown when he observed a car approaching him from behind at a high rate of speed around 1:30 a.m. As the car approached the squad the speed reduced drastically. The squad exited USH 45 near Pioneer Road and re-entered the highway immediately and observed that the vehicle had again drastically increased speed. Dresden’s car was paced at 90 mph.

When the deputy attempted to make a traffic stop on the car, he rapidly increased his speed. The deputy’s squad was operating at around 125 mph and the suspect continued to pull away northbound on USH 45. The deputy lost sight of the car until he approached the STH 33 exit in the City of West Bend. The deputy observed that Dresden attempted to navigate a right turn onto STH 33 but was unable to do so because of his excessive speed. The vehicle collided with the median barrier and went into the oncoming lane of STH 33. The car continued to drive the wrong way down STH 33, however, the speeds were much slower based on damage the vehicle sustained from driving over the median. The vehicle stopped, and Dresden was taken into custody without further incident by deputies. Two juvenile passengers and one adult passenger were also found to be in the vehicle. Two of the passengers were cited for underage alcohol and released to their parents.

Dresden who was convicted of OWI in October of 2023 in an unrelated matter, was operating well outside his occupational license restrictions at the time of this latest arrest. Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis spoke on this incident. “Unfortunately, southeast Wisconsin has experienced several horrific tragedies in the past couple of months related directly to reckless driving and the refusal to stop for law enforcement. Law enforcement must conduct a balancing test when determining whether to pursue it or not. This balancing test requires public safety officials to balance the need to capture with the level of risk the pursuit is causing the public. Often this means that these perpetrators escape capture because we choose to not pursue it. The entire criminal justice system needs to respond accordingly to those who show complete and utter disregard for human life by driving in this manner. The punitive measures taken should be to the level that those who have been caught will think otherwise next time and serve as a deterrent for those who may in the future.”

According to the directive of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicity, a charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

Hartford Planning On A Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

An update was presented during a recent Hartford Parks and Recreation Commission meeting regarding a comprehensive outdoor recreation plan.

It's part of the CIP Capital Improvement Program.

Director of Parks and Rec Randy Wojtasiak provided important details during the recent meeting of the Hartford Parks and Rec Commission.

"We'll assess the existing park system, strategize the best way to preserve, enhance and expand the park system. The updated documents should develop a plan that the city council, park and rec commission and staff can follow over a five year period. The expectations of the firm selected include work that will begin in March of this year. The new plan document must meet DNR requirements for grant funding eligibility for the planning period...which is 2024 through 2028."

This plan will go park to park in the city of Hartford. It will identify which features they have in place, and will also identify growth potential, along with enhancing what they currently have in place.

Various trends and guidelines will be considered.       

Online Scam With Dating Apps

The Dodge County Sheriff's Office recently received a fraud complaint that began on a dating app. The victim in this case, connected with a person on the dating app originally but communication was then moved off of the app to contact by texts and phone calls. The suspect claimed to be living abroad while working on a ship in the ocean. The suspect ultimately began asking for money through pre-paid Apple cards in small amounts, to set up iPhone accounts, claiming it was so they could continue to talk while on the ship. The suspect later claimed some of the equipment on the ship was damaged and they needed to fix it to collect payment of several million dollars. The suspect requested the victim send a large sum of money to complete the repairs with the promise of being paid back. The victim did attempt to send a large sum of money to the suspect, but fraud detection flagged the transaction, and the sum was stopped.

These types of scams can be tricky, as they play on the victim’s loneliness and desire to connect with someone and they often go unreported due to the embarrassment that the victim may feel. Often the victim is in denial due to the bond that has been formed through the relationship.

It’s never a good idea to send money to someone you meet online and do not personally know. Another “red flag” is when a request is made for pre-paid cards, in which you are asked to provide the numbers and pin off the cards.

If you feel you have been a victim of this type of scam, or that your friend or family may have been, please contact the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office to report it.




Watertown Firefighters Battle A Blaze On Maple Street

The Watertown Fire Department responded to a call from the Jefferson County Dispatch Center reporting a fire at 211 N. Maple Street on January 26.

Prior to our arrival, automatic aid was initiated, elevating the incident to a MABAS Box Working Still Level. This action promptly brought additional fire/EMS units and command staff to the scene. Upon arrival, the ambulance crew discovered a detached garage with flames visible. The engine company conducted a thorough walk-around of the garage, revealing flames on all four sides with exposures.

Firefighters effectively utilized two attack hose lines, leading to a swift extinguishment of the fire. Approximately 2,000 gallons of water and 5 gallons of foam were used in the firefighting effort. All occupants and staff were safely accounted for, and no injuries were reported. An investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the fire.

Preliminary estimates indicate fire damages around $55,000 at this time.

The Watertown Fire Department acknowledges the assistance provided by the Watertown Police Department, Watertown Dispatch Center, Johnson Creek Fire, and Ixonia Fire at the scene. Western Lakes EMS and the Hustisford Fire Department provided coverage at the station during the incident, with all other automatic aid companies canceled prior to arrival.

Taking this opportunity, the Watertown Fire Department emphasizes the importance of having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your residence. If you are in need, please contact the Department for assistance.

For further information regarding this incident, reach out to Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Rauterberg at 920-261-3610 or arauterberg@watertownwi.gov.

The Polar Spray Benefits Special Olympics

You can help raise money for Special Olympics. This is part of the Special

Olympics Polar Plunge, which is a Hartford based event. 

The Hartford Fire and Rescue Department will spray everyone down during a “Plunge Challenge.” It will be video taped and then added to the agency’s “Virtual Challenge.”

They need many coaches, athletes, families and friends to take this challenge with the Hartford Police Department and Fire Department.

Participates are encouraged to get friends, family or co-workers to sponsor you to help raise funds for Special Olympics, or you can simply participate...either way is okay. They need people to be there to take a chilly spray for the team!

Anyne, who raises $100 will get the Official Special Olympics Polar Spray T-shirt. Anyone who wants to donate to “Team Hartford” here is the link; Check out Hartford Special Olympics 8-31's team fundraising page for Special Olympics Wisconsin (classy.org)

There will be changing facilities in the fire house, along with hot chocolate a hot dog.

All you have to do is:

1- Let Jackie know if you are interested: jackieinfalt@att.net or cell (262)853-0744

2- Show Up

2- It is optional….raise some funds. Bring the funds with you that day, give them to Sara at the Recreation Center or make arrangements with Jackie. If checks are written, they should be made to Special Olympics Wisconsin. The State Office will give them their portion of the money. Special Olympics Wisconsin uses this money for local, regional and state tournaments. 

Community Notification Issued By The Washington County Sheriff's Office

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the following information pursuant to WI Statute 301.46(2m) which authorizes law enforcement agencies to inform the public of a sex offender’s release when, in the discretion of the agency, the release of information will enhance public safety, awareness and protection. The individual who appears on this notification has been convicted of a sex offense.

Justin J. Charles was released from prison on Jan. 26, 2024. He resides at 1725 Cth NN in the Township of Jackson.

In 2012, Justin J. Charles was convicted of 3 counts of Possession of Child Pornography. Justin J. Charles will be on probation until Nov. 7th, 2030. He will be monitored closely by WI-DOC Division of Community. Justin J. Charles will have numerous rules and restrictions to follow which may including wearing a live tracking GPS unit.

This sex offender has served the prison sentence imposed on him by the courts. He is not wanted by law enforcement at this time. This notification is not intended to increase fear, but rather it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.

Sex offenders have always lived in our communities; but it was not until the Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Law was enacted that law enforcement was able to share this information with the community. 

Questions: Probation/Parole Agent Michaela Nelson 262-335-5665, Sex Offender Registration Specialist Gina Carney 262-335-5665 or Sgt. Michael Hennes at 262-365-5054

21-Year-Old Man Arrested For Involvement In High-Speed Chase

Dodge County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a 21 year old Deforest man, Payton Lopez, following a 10 mile-long pursuit involving extremely dangerous and reckless speeds overnight.

Shortly before 2 a.m. on Sunday, January 28, a deputy observed a car traveling in excess of 80 mph on State Highway’s 16/60 in the town of Elba, a few miles east of Columbus. The speed limit there was 55 mph and the deputy attempted to stop the car. The car immediately accelerated to speeds in excess of 130 mph, and continued eastbound. The pursuing deputy briefly lost sight of the car and stopped pursuing, however a deputy responding to assist, almost immediately found the car and was able to stop it on State Highway 60 in the town of Clyman.

The driver, Payton Lopez, was arrested, and is being held in the Dodge County Jail until charges are reviewed by the Dodge County District Attorney’s Office for fleeing a traffic officer (felony) and THC possession. A 19 year old female passenger was released from the scene without charges.

Fleeing from a law enforcement officer who is trying to conduct a traffic stop, poses an unusually high risk of serious injury or death not only to the occupants of that vehicle, but also to the general public, and to the deputies involved in the pursuit. Individuals who are found guilty of felony fleeing could potentially be confined in a state prison for a year or more, lose their driving privileges, and be fined.

All persons arrested for crimes are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Questions may be directed to Sheriff Dale J. Schmidt

Farm Accident Under Investigation

The Washington County Sheriff's Office Communication Center received a 911 call reporting a farm accident on Saturday afternoon, January 27 around 1:52 p.m.  on Cty. Hwy. E, near Hwy CC. Washington County Sheriff's deputies, along with members of the Hartford Fire and Rescue responded to the location.

First responders located the patient and determined the victim died due to the injuries he sustained. The scene was turned over to detectives and the medical examiner’s office for additional investigation. The death appears to be accidental in nature, and no foul play suspected.

The Allenton Fire Department also responded with special equipment to assist the Hartford Fire Department.

This incident remains under investigation and representatives from the farm are fully cooperative with investigators.

Waste Water Process Improved

The city of Hartford's waste water process received an update.

Ultraviolet Light Disinfection is the final process at the Wastewater Treatment Plant prior to the water discharging to the Rubicon River. When microorganisms are exposed to UV light, they are instantaneously rendered incapable of reproducing and infecting. Removal of the 25 year-old UV unit started this month, the week of January 16. Installation of the new unit should be completed in three to four weeks.

This is a major expense for the plant, according to the City of Hartford, but needed to make sure they are doing everything to return water to the river, which is actually cleaner than water naturally flowing through the river.

A Sea of Blue Jeans at the Hartford Chamber Annual Dinner

The Annual Dinner with the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce was held Thursday night, January 25 at the Chandelier Ballroom.

It was a chance to celebrate and recognize local businesses and members of the community.

The award winners include Forte Bank, for the Hartford Achievement Award. President and CEO Tim Purman talked with WTKM News.

"I'm very proud, on behalf of my staff who work very hard every day to make things happen for customers. We're pleased to be a part of the Hartford community. We support individuals and businesses and help them find success. I'm so pleased to receive this award."                                              

Another special award is the Jim and Dorothy Algiers Service to the Community Award, and it was presented to Ray and Carrie Stelzer, who were honored to be recognized.

"We are just so overwhelmed by it all," exclaimed Carrie Stelzer.                                             

The owners of Scoop DeVille in downtown Hartford received a standing ovation.

The Volunteer of the Year went to the Volunteers for a Beautiful Hartford.

The Schauer Arts Center was recognized as the Business of the Year. Executive Director Mary Brodzeller told WTKM that it's a team effort.

"It's very exciting, this doesn't happen with one person. Our staff works incredibly hard and they are very talented. We get excited every year to do it again. We always try to make things better, and try to surprise people. We want to make it exciting and bring people in to the theater."

Doner Kebab received the Rookie of the Year award.

Brian Fleming is the Ambassador of the Year.

Over 250 people attended the Annual Dinner with the Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce.

The photo features Event Coordinator Courtney MacPherson (L) and Executive Director Kate Carroll, along with WTKM's Dave Stout.

Facility Upgrade For Slinger Police

Plans continue to progress regarding a new police station in Slinger.

Slinger Village President Scott Stortz says the upgrade will provide the department with the latest technology.

"Our current police department, which is currently housed within the Village Hall building has more than outgrown its space. It was built nearly 25 years ago. This space for the police department was originally only intended to be used for 10 to 15 years. It's time to plan for our future needs."

The Village of Slinger has spent around 10 years on comprehensive studies, regarding the needs of a municipal building. It would include a new police station which will be state of the art, with the proper space and equipment which is necessary.

It will provide the Slinger Police Department with what they need to manage the safety of the area, as the village and county continue to grow.

It will be located on eight acres, on Enterprise Dr.


Portable Generator Safety

The City of Hartford reminds you that portable generators are used to generate electricity and are commonly used during storms and power outages. While there are many benefits of using a generator, they can be dangerous if used incorrectly and pose a significant risk to our Line Workers and homeowners if not used properly. Here are a few tips to ensure safe generator use:

1. Professional Consultation: Consult with a licensed electrician to select the appropriate generator for your home or business. Ensure that it complies with national and local safety code requirements.

2. Mindful Connections: Avoid connecting generators directly into household wiring without a proper transfer switch. If a generator is connected to a home’s wiring without a transfer switch, power can backfeed along power lines and electrocute utility lineworkers making repairs.

3. Follow Manufacturer's Instructions: Read and strictly follow the manufacturer's instructions for safe operation. A certified electrician should install a power transfer switch for the correct and secure connection of a generator.

4. Ventilation Awareness: Never operate a generator indoors. Use it exclusively in well-ventilated areas to mitigate the risk of inhaling harmful fumes.

5. Electrical Protection: Always use a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) in damp or highly conductive areas.

6. Load Management: Avoid overloading your generator and use only appropriate power cords when connecting appliances.

7. Cord Inspection: Regularly inspect the cords connecting the generator to ensure they are in good condition.

8. Equipment Check: Regularly check the generator and all its components to ensure they are in good condition.

9. Safe Refueling Practices: Never refuel a generator when it is hot, and store fuel away from the generator to prevent potential hazards.

10. Regular Testing: Test the generator periodically to ensure its working properly.

Congratulations Riya Kalluvila!

Hartford VFW Post 8834 Commander Ron Schnorenberg congratulates Riya Kalluvila as their Voice of Democracy winner.

Her essay earned first place in the competition, put on by the VFW Post 8834. She went on to finish second out of 30 entries at the District level.

Riya is a junior at Hartford Union High School. Congratulations!

Photo by Rod Lehl, Hartford VFW Post 8834.

Fentanyl Becoming Common Place

An incident, which involved fentanyl was investigated by the investigators with the Washington County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Division. 

A 26-year-old City of Racine man was arrested in connection with a probable fatal fentanyl overdose in the Village of Kewaskum. 

The Racine man is accused of setting up a drug transaction with the victim, who came from Racine to the Village of Kewaskum where the drug deal was conducted. The victim is believed to have died a short time later. The victim's official cause of death is pending autopsy results, but initial findings indicate fentanyl was likely involved.

Investigators with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office were requested to assist by the Village of Kewaskum Police Department. 

In this case, the fentanyl was sold in the form of counterfeit oxycodone pills. The pills are blue and have the markings: “M” on one side and “30” on the other side. Counterfeit pills often contain lethal amounts of fentanyl or methamphetamine and are extremely dangerous as they often appear identical to legitimate prescription pills at first glance, and the user is likely unaware of how lethal they can be. In this case, the suspect even bragged about the strength of the fake pills to the victim before the sale.

Unfortunately, these have become all too common place in our community.

The identity of the Racine man is not being released. He appeared in court for a bond hearing, because investigators need more time to investigate this matter before determining what charges will be forwarded to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office. This investigation is only in its infancy, but future charges could include delivery of fentanyl and reckless homicide.

Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis hopes that this arrest made a day and a half after the death will send a message to those who think about bringing these dangerous drugs into the Washington County community.

“In less than 48 hours we were able to identify the suspect, track him down in Racine, and arrest him. This is the type of tenacity that this agency will bring to those who bring fentanyl into our community.”

The Racine County Sheriff's Office and Kewaskum Police Department assisted in this investigation.

Watertown's Main Street Bridge Project Progressing

Plans for the replacement of the deteriorating Main Street Bridge in the City of Watertown are moving forward. Bridge replacement is planned to commence this year, pending the successful completion of essential stabilization work and foundation disconnection at 2 E. Main Street. Additionally, the Bridge Replacement Project is contingent upon the successful bidding and award process through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Allocated funds earmarked in the State of Wisconsin Biennial Budget have been designated to the City of Watertown for the purpose of financing stabilization and foundation disconnection work in the vicinity of the Main Street (Cole Memorial) Bridge. These funds aim to facilitate a safe and efficient replacement process for the Main Street (Cole Memorial) Bridge. “This work would not be possible without the assistance of Senator Jagler, Representative Penterman, Representative Born, Governor Evers, and others at the state level that have worked to advocate for and communicate the unique situation that the Main Street Bridge is in,” Mayor Emily McFarland said. Beginning January 8th, the City of Watertown, in collaboration with contractor McMullen and Pitz of Manitowoc, WI, intends to initiate critical work within the public right-of-way adjacent to the Main Street (Cole Memorial) Bridge and Masonic Temple at 2 E. Main Street. The primary objectives of this work are to stabilize the soil beneath the Masonic Temple down to bedrock for future bridge construction and to remove a concrete structure within the public right-of-way.

Pedestrian access to downtown businesses will be available during the soil stabilization and foundation disconnection work. During the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Bridge Replacement Project, sidewalks will be closed in the bridge project area and pedestrian traffic will be detoured. The stabilization work is expected to be completed over a twelve-week period. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is scheduled to open bids for the bridge replacement project in the spring of 2024, with construction anticipated to follow shortly thereafter. If both projects align, this section of roadway will remain closed for bridge construction. 


New Businesses in Hartford

There are a number of new businesses in the City of Hartford.

City Administrator Steve Volkert told WTKM News about the recent additions and the possible opening dates.

"Qdoba is one of the new businesses, and they are putting in their fixtures at this point. They should be ready to go in the next 60 days. So, that's great and located next to Qdoba is a hair salon and also Jersey Mike's. A lot of people have been talking about it. They are located on Highway 60, at the old Culver's location. Another new business is Tractor Supply, and it's located right across the street from Quad Graphics. We believe Tractor Supply is going to be a great addition to the community. They have been looking at our city for a long time. It's expected to be in the next 60 to 90 days, in terms of their new store opening up."  

On the economic development side, Volkert said companies contact the city, identifying the region, or the desired market they would like to be a part of.

And they believe they will be able to hire the amount of employees they need to be successful.  

Recognizing Richfield Fire Chief Tony Burgard

The Richfield Volunteer Fire Company and Village of Richfield recently recognized Tony Burgard. 


After 19 years of dedicated service, it is with bittersweet emotions that we bid farewell to Fire Chief Tony Burgard as he embarks on a new chapter of his career to serve as Chief with our neighbors in the City of Hartford. Chief Burgard has been an instrumental community leader for the Village and the Richfield Volunteer Fire Company. His ability to navigate and lead under extreme situations is unparalleled. Whether facing the intense heat of a roaring blaze or making critical decisions during emergencies, Chief Burgard has consistently demonstrated a calm and collected demeanor that instills confidence in those around him.

Beyond his tactical expertise, Chief Burgard's empathetic approach is a quality that sets him apart from others. Over the years, he has shown a genuine concern for the well-being of both his Team and the residents of our community. Many times, Chief Burgard has been a reassuring presence when people find themselves in distress, oftentimes meeting them on what might be one of their very worst days. His compassion and understanding have brought comfort to countless individuals during challenging times.

We, the Village of Richfield and the RVFC, extend our heartfelt gratitude to Chief Tony Burgard for his nearly two (2) decades of dedicated service and we wish him continued success in his future endeavors. The neighboring City of Hartford is gaining not just a skilled professional but a compassionate servant leader who has made a lasting impact on our Village and the Towns we serve. Thank you, Chief Burgard, for your service.

The Village of Richfield and the RVFC will be working cooperatively to begin the process of seeking his replacement in the coming weeks and months ahead. It will involve the collective planning of both the Richfield Village Board and the Board of Directors for the RVFC.

About the Richfield Volunteer Fire Company

The Richfield Volunteer Fire Company is a private, non-profit company that provides fire and EMS emergency services for 49 square miles of Washington County. They cover the entire Village of Richfield, the Town of Germantown, as well as sections of the Town of Polk and the Town of Erin. The Richfield Volunteer Fire Company has been serving the Richfield community since 1900.

Serious ATV Injury Crash in Dodge County

An accident was reported on Tuesday, January 23 around 3:41 p.m. 

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office responded. The accident involved a truck and an ATV. The crash occurred in the township of Beaver Dam.

The ATV was operated by a 54-year-old woman from Beaver Dam. The driver sustained serious life threatening injuries and was transported to Marshfield Medical Center by Beaver Dam Paramedics, and later transported to UW Hospital in Madison. The driver of the truck was not injured.

The accident remains under investigation by the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.

Assisting at the scene were the Beaver Dam Fire Department and Beaver Dam Police Department.

Questions may be directed to Dodge County Sheriff Dale J. Schmidt.

New Hartford Fire and Rescue Chief

The Police and Fire Commission is making their recommendation to the Hartford City Council to appoint Anthony Burgard as the next Fire Chief of the Hartford Fire and Rescue Department.

Burgard previously served as the Fire Chief of the Richfield Volunteer Fire Company for the past four years. He has been with the Company a total of 19 years, beginning in 2004. 

Tony Burgard has a bachelor's degree in fire and emergency response from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh.

Current Hartford Fire Chief Paul Stephans announced his plans to retire. 

Hartford Mayor Tim Michalak told WTKM News that Chief Stephans elevated the department to a high level.

"Paul Stephans has been a godsent to this city for many years. It's amazing in terms of what he has done, keeping our paid-on-call fire department the number one ranked paid-on-call fire department in the state. That's not an easy thing to do. We are extraordinarily blessed in our city to have what we have."

The Police and Fire Commission had over 12 applications and conducted six interviews with qualified applicants.

Tony Burgard's first day would be Thursday, February 1, if the appointment is approved by the Hartford Common Council. He will start as Assistant Chief under Paul Stephans until Paul's retirement on May 3, 2024.

Tony Burgard will officially take over as the Fire Chief of the Hartford Fire and Rescue Department on May 4, 2024.

The Police and Fire Commission unanimously approved the recommendation of Anthony Burgard to the position.   

Promotion Within The West Bend Police Department

Lieutenant Eric Grinwald of the West Bend Police Department was recently promoted to Captain. Grinwald was sworn in by the City Clerk during a recent West Bend Common Council meeting. Eric started as a Police Officer with the West Bend Police Department in May, of 1999. In May, of 2007 Grinwald was promoted to Detective and in December, of 2018 to Lieutenant. Eric has served as a Shift Commander in Patrol and Supervisor in Criminal Investigations.

Eric has a reputation of being a thorough investigator, teacher and leader. Eric has served as a Field Training Officer, Unified Tactics Instructor and has been instrumental in training a number of newer officers and detectives. Captain Grinwald will be assigned to Support Services.


Sergeant Dustin Becker was promoted to Lieutenant. Dustin was also sworn in by the City Clerk at the West Bend Common Council. Dustin started as a Police Officer with the West Bend Police Department in January, of 2012. In 2016, Dustin was promoted to Sergeant where he has been assigned as a patrol supervisor.

Dustin serves as leader of the Special Response Team and is one of our primary Unified Tactics Instructors. Dustin has also served as a Field Training Officer for new recruits. Lieutenant Becker will be assigned as supervisor of the Late Watch.

Photo by the West Bend Police Department.

Scam Alert

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office received reports of a scam naming one of their employees. The scammer leaves a message claiming to be one of our deputies, states there is a legal matter to discuss, and requests a callback.

The latest message people are receiving the scammer states "I'm a Jeffco Deputy and you missed court and are pending a 45k fine... "

Do not call back. This is a scam, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. The scammer will use any personal information you leave as a voice message to target you.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office does not call community members to resolve these issues or solicit phone payments. And they will never request gift cards, green dot cards, or cryptocurrency. Other common scams involving law enforcement agencies mention “warrant for your arrest” and “missed jury duty.”

If you wish to report a scam, visit their website or call 303-271-0211.


      Why should you not call back?

If you do call back, it may go to a high-cost international number, meaning you will be charged for that call, and the scammer will make money.

If you engage with a spammer, they will likely label you an easy target. They will attempt to scam you more frequently, believing you will probably fall for their schemes.

Spammers often sell people's identities to other spammers. So, if you do interact with a spammer, your information could be distributed to other scammers, and you will be targeted even more frequently.

It's best to ignore any spammer attempts to reach out, as engaging with them will only worsen things in the long run.

Warming Sites Available

The Washington-Ozaukee Public Health Department has announced various warming sites that are available during the winter season.

It's a designated area open to the public for those who need to take shelter from the extreme weather.

The following host sites do not provide showers, food or other services.


Jack Russell Memorial Library

100 Park Ave. Hartford

Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Senior Friends Inc.

730 Highland Ave. Hartford

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Slinger Community Library

220 Slinger Rd. Slinger

Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


West Bend Community Memorial Library

630 Poplar St. West Bend

Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Kewaskum Public Library

206 First St. Kewaskum

Monday-Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


How The Department of Public Works Cuts Through The Ice

Ice on the roads is a normal occurrence during the winter. And for most people, salt would be thought to be the best option to melt it down. However, hard salt only works to a certain temperature and with the fallen temps, most things won’t work, according to the Hartford Public Works Department.

This year, the DPW used a mixture of liquid chlorides along with hard salt to combat the fallen temperatures this week to help in clearing the ice. Washington County has these liquid chlorides for local municipalities to use when needed, easily available at their Slinger Shop. While it is not perfect, it at least quickens the effectiveness in clearing the majority of frozen patches and stretches.

During the winter, most of the city’s Public Works questions deal with snow plowing. Here is a rundown of the City of Hartford’s snow plowing and salting procedures.

?? The City of Hartford maintains approximately 90 miles of streets, including connecting highways.

?? Every snowfall or storm presents a different challenge based on the temperature, the amount of snow, and the time of day it arrives.

?? During a minor salt and snow operation of two inches or less, the Police Department will notify the Director of Public Works of the necessity to begin salting the streets. It will normally take two hours for four salt trucks to cover the City of Hartford during a minor salting procedure.

?? When two inches or more of snow have fallen, a thorough plowing and salting procedure will clear the snow and ice as quickly as possible. Crews can plow the entire City with nine plows and two end loaders in approximately 5.5 hours. All of the City’s trucks have wing plow attachments. It would take at least another hour to do a curb-to-curb plowing operation and that timeframe depends upon the time of day for the snowplowing/salting operation and the type of snow.

?? Dead-end streets, cul-de-sacs and alleys are very time-consuming. A daytime snowplowing operation takes twice as long as a nighttime snowplowing operation due to traffic and parked cars on the roadway.

?? The Public Works Department plows the main roads first (which are most widely used) as quickly and safely as possible. With the large industrial park and many schools, it is necessary to plow certain streets earlier in the snowplowing cycle than other streets. All state trunk highways in the city and streets leading to the industrial area and schools are plowed first.

?? Snow and ice removal is prioritized based on traffic volumes to provide the greatest level of safety to the greatest number of residents as quickly as possible. Crews will continue post-storm cleanup operations following initial plowing and salting so that all streets will be cleared curb-to-curb. It may be determined to use salt only during warmer weather conditions.

?? Extended snowstorms make snow and ice removal more difficult and less effective. During these snow events, crews will concentrate on clearing the main arterial streets until the snow fall diminishes.

Campbellsport Fire Department Responds to Barn Fire

The clean up effort continues after a barn fire. 

Thursday, January 18 around 3:14 p.m. the Campbellsport Fire Department along with auto aid from the Eden and Lomira Fire Departments and a Rapid Intervention Team consisting of departments from Calumet, Eden, Mt. Calvary, and St. Cloud responded to the Karl Gudex property located at W4027 Swallow Lane, in the Town of Ashford for a skid steer on fire in a barn. As crews were leaving the village limits, a large black plume of smoke could be seen. The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System was immediately implemented to the first alarm bringing addition manpower, equipment, and water from Brownsville, Theresa, Kohlsville, Kewaskum, Town of Fond du Lac, Boltonville, Silver Creek and Beechwood Fire Departments and an additional RIT Team consisting of The City of Fond du Lac, North Fond du Lac, Town of Fond du Lac, and Van Dyne Fire Departments. Upon arrival, crews found a fully involved barn measuring approximately 60’x150’. Shortly after arrival, the roof of the barn collapsed. The first arriving crews initiated an aggressive defensive attack to protect the adjacent machine shed which was five feet from the barn and not yet on fire. The alarm was taken to the third level for tenders bringing additional units from Oakfield, Knowles, Cascade, St. Cloud, Mt. Calvary and Allenton Fire Departments.

The property is located on a long single lane road (driveway) with little to no maneuverability at the end to facilitate a shuttle operation up to first arriving companies. A 2,300 foot long relay pumping operation was put in place down the road (driveway) to Drumlin Drive to provide for more efficient water shuttle operations. The fire was brought under control in approximately 45 minutes upon arrival on scene. Due to the collapsed roof and large amount of hay in the barn, a backhoe from Fleischman Excavating was brought in to assist in fire extinguishment and crews were on scene for over 6 hours before the fire was extinguished. All animals safely made it out of the barn and there were no injuries to fire personnel or private citizens.

It has been reported that a skid steer in the building was the first item to be noticed burning at the time of the 911 call. This unit was reportedly being used prior to the fire and shut down at approximately 2:30 p.m.. There had been no known issues with the skid loader at the time of the fire. While the skid steer appears to be the source of the fire, the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The barn and its contents were a complete loss with no damage estimates at this time.

A total of 17 area departments responded to this incident and approximately 180,000 gallons of water was utilized to extinguish the blaze. A special thank you goes out to Fond du Lac County Dispatch, The Campbellsport Auxiliary, and Fleischman Excavating for their assistance with this event. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this event.

Photo by the Campbellsport Fire Department.

A Team Effort With Snow Removal

Light snow is in the forecast for Friday, January 19 as snow plows find themselves back on the road.

Area road crews have been out all week, continuing to clear out the snow from last Friday’s snow storm, on January 12 that continued into the following Saturday morning.

Hartford City Administrator Steve Volkert told WTKM News about the impact of a storm of that magnitude, which included 15 to 18 inches of snow.   

"On Friday, and Saturday morning...the cost of the labor in order to keep the streets open and the snow plows on the road, was over $15,000. Any other community, that's what it costs for a snow storm on your taxes." 

Volkert said that every department in the City of Hartford stepped up with the snow removal process.    

"We are so grateful to our snow plow drivers, and to all of our departments around the city. Everyone responded and asked how they could help. It was great all the way around." 

In this case, according to Steve Volkert of the city of Hartford, salt would not have helped – it would not have had any effect after the temperature dropped below zero.

Other options include liquid forms of de-icing methods.

Photo by WTKM's Tom Jeffery.

Keeping The Roads Safe This Winter

Last Friday's snow storm, on January 12 which continued into the following Saturday morning, provided many challenges around the area. 

The Village of Richfield Department of Public Works worked ahead last month, in December with their anti-icing brine application. 

The Village of Richfield Department of Public Works took proactive measures to ensure safer road conditions this winter season. 

Frosty pavement during the early morning commutes in December resulted in a handful of motor vehicle accidents, notably those on Monches Road just west of STH 164. Many drivers were unaware of these conditions, as frost may not be visible or has "worn off" from friction by the time some motorists have hit the road. 

To address this issue, they planned to proactively apply anti-icing brine to specific sections of Village roads. This cost-effective measure aims to prevent car run-offs and crashes in critical areas, including hills, curves, intersections, shaded areas, and newly paved roads. 

?? Why Brine?

Brine application is a fast and cost-effective option to protect these areas from early morning frost conditions. The treatment is typically effective for three to five days. Their plow drivers, operating during regular hours, can apply this low-cost product more efficiently than traditional salting operations, especially with 30 to 40 mph windy days. The brine they purchase from Washington County was purchased at a rate of $0.18/gallon. Salt brine is a precise blend of water and salt that not only very economical, it is good for the environment, minimizes damage/corrosion to our plow trucks and residents’ vehicles while still being an effective way of combating Wisconsin's Winter for these types of applications.

To further put that into context, the per ton price of salt has ballooned up in recent years to $87.00 per ton. Each plow truck is capable of hauling 6-8tns. That's potentially $700 in just materials alone on one truck! For an eight person DPW plow operation, that equates to $5,600 in materials. Since they usually fill their trucks twice with salt, that's $11,100 in salt per snow storm, on average.


New Facility in Watertown Helps Young People During Times of Distress

A youth crisis stabilization facility is now open in Watertown, with start-up funding provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The eight-bed center in the former Alyea House at Camp Matz is operated by Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Community Services, under an agreement with the Jefferson County Human Services Department. The center serves young people with mental health challenges who can't stay in their homes safely, but don't need to be hospitalized.

"These facilities provide help for immediate needs and support for future well-being," said DHS Secretary-designee Kirsten Johnson. "Our support of this center is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure Wisconsinites of all ages have access to the right care at the right time in the right setting."

A youth crisis stabilization facility provides a young person an opportunity to recover from their distress in a supportive and structured environment. It is a short-term program designed to help them return home as quickly as possible, with most stays only a few days in length. The services offered by specially trained staff assist the person in developing skills to manage their stress and symptoms and in building connections in their community to help them thrive during times of adversity.

The youth crisis stabilization facility in Watertown is open to boys and girls from all Wisconsin communities. Admission is coordinated through Jefferson County's emergency mental health services program.

The Jefferson County Human Services Department received about $1.3 million in one-time grants from state and federal funds to establish the center in Watertown. An additional annual grant from state funds of $498,000 is being used to support daily operations of the center through 2026.

Wisconsin's statewide network of youth crisis stabilization facilities also includes locations in Milwaukee and Wausau. The Milwaukee center is operated by Lad Lake and serves girls only. The Wausau center is operated by North Central Health Care and serves boys and girls.

Photo by the City of Watertown.

Eight Area Fire Departments Respond To A House Fire In Polk

On Wednesday, January 17 at approximately 2:19 a.m., the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a house fire at a single family residence in the 3600 block of Mayfield Road in the Town of Polk. The fire was reported by the property owner. The caller advised there was an electrical fire in the attic of the two-story residence. The caller was able to use a fire extinguisher to assist in suppressing the fire.

Deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene along with the Jackson Fire Department. The Jackson Fire Department was also assisted by the Allenton, St. Lawrence, Hartford, Slinger, West Bend, Newburg, and Kewaskum Fire Departments. Lifestar Ambulance, WE Energies and the Washington County Highway Department, and Red Cross also assisted.

Mayfield Road was closed for approximately two hours during the investigation and firefighting operation.

There were no injuries to the occupants or any personnel on scene as a result of the fire. The residence sustained moderate damage due to the fire, smoke, and water. Preliminary damage estimates were believed to be around $100,000.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Jackson Fire Department however early indication points to the origin of the fire being an electrical fixture in the attic.

What Constitutes A Snow Emergency?

The City of Hartford recently released information regarding a Snow Emergency.

In every community in the state and beyond, the phrase Snow Emergency is discussed when the community feels that all roads must be cleared of vehicles to allow plows full access, from curb to curb, to get the roads in shape for future driving.

So, what constitutes a snow emergency? In the City of Hartford, the Ordinances reads: (1) Emergency Declarations. The Common Council hereby declares that an emergency exists in the City of Hartford whenever, in the judgment of the City Administrator, a snowfall during any period endangers snow removal and emergency transportation in the City of Hartford. Such emergency is declared to be a serious public hazard impairing transportation and public health, safety and welfare until such time as snow removal operations have been declared completed by the City Administrator.

In the case of Tuesday’s snow, January 9 the snow was falling lightly over a long period of time, allowing the Hartford Public Works Department to keep up. A snow emergency was not declared.

If a Snow Emergency is ever declared, all efforts will be made to let residents know to get all vehicles off the road to give the Hartford Public Works Department the best opportunity to make our roads safe.

Washington County Sheriff's Office Involved In Tactical Incident

The Washington County Sheriff's Office was involved in a tactical incident.

On Tuesday morning, January 16 around 8:14 a.m. the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home in the 5700 block of Debbie Lane, in the town of West Bend at the request of the West Bend Police Department. The police department was actively investigating a violation of a temporary restraining order that allegedly included pointing and placing the barrel of a handgun directly onto a victim.

The suspect, a 41-year-old Illinois man, reportedly fled to the home of his 76-year-old mother in the town of West Bend. Deputies located the suspect's vehicle at the mother's home. Phone contact was made at the home with the mother, and investigators believed the suspect was inside the home.

Due to the recent alleged use of a firearm, and the possible hostage situation, tactical units from the multi-jurisdictional Washington County SWAT team and the West Bend Special Response Team were dispatched to the area at 11:09 a.m. While the incident developed, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office also requested the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office respond with their armored rescue vehicle.

Washington County tactical negotiators were ultimately able to speak with the suspect on the phone, which lead the suspect voluntarily exiting the home and was safely taken into custody.

Investigators learned that the mother was not held against her will during the incident, but she will not face any charges.

The heavy police presence was due to the nature of the incident, but also compounded by the need to rotate tactical operators from exposure to the extreme cold temperatures. Traffic around the subdivision was restricted during the incident.

Hartford Common Council Discuss Road Projects

Hartford Common Council met Tuesday night, January 16 at Hartford City Hall.

The unanimous consent agenda was considered and approved. It includes a quote from J & H Heating for the purchase of a pool heater for the Veteran's Memorial Aquatic Center, at a cost not to exceed $259,224.

Priority road projects were discussed, and Hartford City Engineer John Griffin appeared before the Hartford Aldermen.

"One of the projects has been tentatively approved for funding improvements for North Wilson Avenue in the amount of $46,974."

The second project is a paving proposal to restore the pavement on North and South Wacker Drive, from the Rubicon River Bridge south, to West Monroe Avenue. The estimate is $480,000 and the City of Hartford is looking for 50 percent support from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. 

Those projects were unanimously approved by the Hartford Common Council.

First District Alderperson Joe Kohler recognized the City of Hartford's Public Works Department, and the hard work put in last week during the snow storms.

"Hats off to Darryl (Kranz) and his crew for removing all the snow that we had, it was just outstanding. There is a lot more behind it than just getting behind the plow and driving and clearing off the roads. They did a great job."

Hartford Common Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. at Hartford City Hall.   

Snow Removal Continues in Germantown

The Village of Germantown has reported the amount of snow received is 26.1 inches from last week. By comparison, an average full winter season of snowfall is approximately 36 inches. Regular plowing was completed Saturday afternoon.

The crew is beginning extensive clean-up activities that may take the better part of two weeks. Crews will be addressing drifting, clearing Village sidewalks, hauling snow away from congested intersections, repairing damaged fire hydrants, opening up buried hydrants, dealing with downed trees and branches that are causing safety issues in the right-of-way. They plan to move through the Village in a systematic fashion. These activities take time and equipment and they will make it through everything, but your patience will be greatly appreciated.

They are aware that some mailboxes sustained damage during the snow clearing operation. You can report your mailbox damage to the Village and they can offer some assistance for a temporary fix, but it will take time for them to respond as they work through issues that affect public safety. Anything you can do on your own to make your mailbox functional is your best bet, according to the Village of Germantown. The Village policy is to replace mailboxes that were directly hit by plows. That is an assessment they will make when they get to your location.

The Village of Germantown will be answering calls Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. If they do not answer, please leave a voicemail. If enough information was provided in the message they will log your issue and distribute it to the appropriate crews but will not return the call. Their call volume is high and they want to be efficient with your time. Public Works can be reached at 262-250-4721.

Planning Continues For Annual Day of Service

Hartford Union High School's annual Day of Service will be on Wednesday, May 22. 

It is their belief that students should reach beyond their school walls to explore their passions and give back.

Projects for the Day of Service are planned with the goal of contributing to the positive spirit of our community. Project ideas include elder care, hunger/homelessness/poverty, gardening, animal care, literacy, tutoring, organization, and much more.

If you are interested in hosting a student and/or staff group and allowing them to complete a service project, please contact us using the email listed below.

If you have an idea for the community at large, please let us know about that idea, as well. Large or small, these projects will make a difference for and in our community and instill a sense of pride in our students and staff through giving back.

Hartford Union High School is also looking for community members or groups who are able to provide some financial assistance. They are seeking sponsors for tee shirts and project materials. If you are able to assist with these aspects of this Day of Service, it would help greatly in moving their mission forward into our community.

They are excited to continue this project with the hope of inspiring our youth to continue their service after graduation.

Contact Information:


Watch Out For Your Pets With The Bitter Cold Weather

The frigid temperatures can create a dangerous atmosphere for your dog.

Keep your pets inside with you and your family. Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs are happiest when taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time. Don't leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops.

If your dog is outdoors much of the day for any reason, they must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow them to move comfortably, but small enough to hold in body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches from the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet's life. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. For this reason, short-haired dogs often feel more comfortable wearing a sweater—even during short walks.

Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.

Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

It’s a good idea to make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working this time of the year.

Allenton Fire Chief John Breuer told WTKM News about where it should be placed in the home.

"Your carbon monoxide detector should be on every level of your home. Specifically, around your heating equipment, like a furnace that might be in the basement. Wherever you have the heating appliance. The same thing applies with a gas stove. They can give off carbon monoxide, so you want to make sure you are testing those on a regular basis."  

Chief Breuer told WTKM News that it should be on every level of your home. Especially near gas powered appliances. Maybe a water heater, a furnace, a portable heat source – like a kerosene heater. Any heat source that runs on carbon type fuels can give off carbon monoxide.

It is colorless and does not give off any odor.   

Frigid Temperatures Continue

Bitter cold weather continues.  

It is important to limit your time outdoors as much as you can. If you do have to go outside, dress in multiple layers and cover up your extremities. To prevent frozen pipes, you also want to drip your faucets at home. It is also a good idea to check up on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly.

Kristy Wilson is a Resident Nurse and Nurse Manager with the gardens of Hartford.

"If you don't need to go out to travel and it's bitter cold weather, or icy conditions...do not go out. A persons well-being is more important than the need to go out and run errands or going out to visit someone. Save it for another weather day."                                            

Hypothermia and frostbite can both occur during cold stretches. Hypothermia is when your overall internal body temperature reaches dangerously low levels. This is different from frostbite, which is when your skin and the body tissue below it freezes. This happens in your extremities first when the air is bitterly cold.

Make sure to check on your dogs when they are outside with weather conditions of below zero and wind chills of around -25 to -35.     

Promotions Awarded By The West Bend Police Department

The West Bend Police Department awarded several promotions.

Lieutenant Eric Grinwald was promoted to Captain. Grinwald was sworn in by the City Clerk to his new position. Eric started as a Police Officer with the West Bend Police Department in May, of 1999. In May, of 2007 Grinwald was promoted to Detective and in 2018 to Lieutenant. Eric has served as a Shift Commander in Patrol and Supervisor in Criminal Investigations.

Eric has a reputation of being a thorough investigator, teacher and leader. Eric has served as a Field Training Officer, Unified Tactics Instructor and has been instrumental in training a number of newer officers and detectives. Captain Grinwald will be assigned to Support Services.


Sergeant Dustin Becker was promoted to Lieutenant with the West Bend Police Department. Becker was also sworn in by the City Clerk. Dustin started as a Police Officer with the West Bend Police Department in January, of 2012. In July, of 2016 Becker was promoted to Sergeant where he has been assigned as a patrol supervisor.

Dustin serves as leader of the Special Response Team and is one of our primary Unified Tactics Instructors. He has also served as a Field Training Officer for new recruits. Lieutenant Becker will be assigned as supervisor of the Late Watch.

With the above promotions, the West Bend Police Department currently have an open Sergeant position. There is a comprehensive promotional process underway for that position and we will announce that selection in the near future.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 15.

It is a day to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

It is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage Americans to volunteer.

Serious Injury ATV Crash

On Saturday January 13 at approximately 9:10 p.m. the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office responded to an ATV crash on the Wild Goose State Trail, around 100 yards south of Shady Lane Road in the town of Oak Grove.

The ATV was operated by a 31-year-old man from Watertown. The driver sustained serious injuries and was transported to Marshfield Medical Center by Beaver Dam Paramedics. The passenger, a 30-year-old female subject from Watertown sustained serious life-threatening injuries and was initially transported to Marshfield Medical Center by Beaver Dam Paramedics, and later transported to UW Hospital in Madison.

The crash remains under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office.

Assisting at the scene were the Beaver Dam Fire Department, Juneau Fire Department, Juneau EMS, Horicon Fire Department, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Questions may be directed to Sheriff Dale J. Schmidt.

Significant Snowfall Totals in Washington County

A strong winter storm hit the upper Midwest on Friday, January 12 with blizzard-like conditions and over 15 inches of snow in some areas.  

Over 100,000 customers lost power and were without power for days. Bitter cold set in less than 48 hours after the heavy snow fell. This system was the third round of snow which occurred last week and the second round of Winter Storm Warnings issued. 

We had our first winter storm on Tuesday, Jan. 9. This was the first winter storm after we tied a record low snow amount in December. 

Snowfall totals in inches have been released by the National Weather Service from January 12 to January 13.

Hartford 18

West Bend 18

Kewaskum 17.5

Hubertus 16

Germantown 16.3

Pewaukee 16

Sussex 16

Plymouth 16

Menomonee Falls 14.5

Campbellsport 14

Horicon 14

Ft. Atkinson 12

Oconomowoc 10.5

Beaver Dam 10.5

Mayville 6




Be Safe While Working Outside

It is extremely cold on Monday, January 15 with wind chills of -20 to -30 expected through Tuesday, January 16. With subfreezing temperatures, it's important to remember the "4 Ps" during winter weather. People, Pets. Pipes and Plants are all vulnerable with cold temperatures evident.

??People: Take the time to check on vulnerable family members, friends, and neighbors, and avoid spending too much time outside. Be ready for potential power outages.

??Pets: Bring your pets indoors during cold weather and keep them warm just like you would for yourself. Remember, if it's too cold for you, it's too cold for them.

??Pipes: Prevent your pipes from freezing by covering and insulating them when the weather is expected to be below freezing. Open sink cabinets to let the warm air circulate around your pipes.

??Plants: To ensure your plants don't suffer from the cold, you can either bring them inside or cover them to keep them warm.

For those working outside in these conditions, monitor your physical condition and stay dry. It's a good idea to pack extra clothes and take frequent breaks in a warm, dry area. Dress properly when you are working outside.  

A Blast of Winter

Area schools around Washington, Dodge, Jefferson and Waukesha County are closed on Friday, January 12 due to the weather.

Weatherology Meteorologist Paul Trambley provided the latest update on how much snow to expect.

"Another major storm system is on track, covering our area with significant snow. It's similar to the last system from a few days ago. It will bring more heavy snow and it's expected to begin early Friday morning, January 12. This system will continue all the way through this Saturday morning (Jan. 13) and it's expected to wind down and come to an end by this Saturday afternoon. Blowing snow will also be an issue with this system on Friday."

This Saturday, January 13 expect mostly cloudy skies and temperatures around 20 degrees with a chilly day expected on Sunday, January 14. 

A Winter Storm Warning is in place for Friday, January 12.

Hartford Police remind you to check your vehicle for an emergency kit. Make sure you have a snow brush, an ice scraper and extra mittens and a hat. A blanket is also a good idea and make sure your cell phone is fully charged.   

Quick Action Saved A Life

The Hartford Fire and Rescue Department released a story, and recognized a number of their great members. 

On January 2, a man named Michael was working out at Planet Fitness in Hartford when he suddenly collapsed. There was an off-duty Paramedic, Firefighter, Police Officer and a Nurse that quickly discovered Michael was in cardiac arrest and began resuscitation efforts. CPR was provided and the facilities AED was used, to provide three shocks before the ambulance arrived. Hartford ambulance continued to provide life-saving interventions with rapid transport.

Michael suffered what is called a “Widow Maker Heart attack”, which is known as the most fatal type of heart attack with a 12 percent survival rate. Today, Michael and his wife Sue visited the Hartford Fire and Rescue Department in order to thank the group of first responders that impacted his positive outcome.

They also want to extend gratitude to the ER staff at Aurora Medical Center - Washington County who continued emergency care, as well as Flight For Life Transport System and Aurora Medical Center - Grafton. Responders not pictured include Captain Tim Holzhauer, Lieutenant Harley Truse, FF/EMT Katie Zielke and Hartford Police Officer Cori Whipple.

Unique Water Main Break

The City of Hartford recently reported an incident regarding a water main break.

It occurred on Friday afternoon, January 5, with a water main break in the 500 block of Pleasant Ave. Thirty households were effected for a very short time as the hole was open and closed the same afternoon. This is a six inch main, resting in an unusual subbase and it happened on a day with very mild weather.

Water Main breaks are normally the result of change to the subsurface, including extreme cold or hot weather which will move and compact the subsurface causing stress on the pipes. As the city continues its total street reconstruction program, and replaces many of the older water mains, we should see less and less breaks like this.

City of Hartford Welcomes New Employee

The City of Hartford recently welcomed a new employee. 

The Hartford Finance department welcomed Brittany Neumann, of Kewaskum, to their team as an Account Clerk.

Brittany attended the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Washington County and is enthusiastically starting her career with the City of Hartford. With her strong communication and customer service background, Brittany is looking forward to helping serve finance customers.

Outside of work Brittany enjoys the outdoors, by kayaking and hiking with her dog, Trixie. Welcome to the finance team Brittany!

More Snow in the Forecast for Friday, January 12

Another round of snowfall is in the forecast. Weatherology Meteorologist Paul Trambley provided the latest update on how much snow to expect.

"Another major storm system is on track, heading for our area. It's similar to the last system from a few days ago. It will bring more heavy snow and it's expected to begin early Friday morning. This system will continue all the way through this Saturday morning (Jan. 13) and it's expected to wind down and come to an end by this Saturday afternoon. Blowing snow will also be an issue with this system on Friday."

This Saturday, January 13 expect mostly cloudy skies and temperatures around 20 degrees with a chilly day expected on Sunday, January 14.     

Breakfast on the Farm is June 8

Washington County Dairy Promotion announced this year’s date for their great annual event, Breakfast on the Farm.

It’s Saturday, June 8 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

It will be held at Krueger Dairy KDFC LLC, located at 6985 Farm Lane in Allenton.

Mike Strupp of the Washington County Dairy Promotion Committee told WTKM News about the importance of promoting dairy.

"The biggest thing we do, with events like Breakfast on the Farm, is promote and educate people about the dairy industry. It's the two big things we do, and it's amazing in terms of the impact an event like this can have. People can walk around an actual dairy farm and see what they do every day...see the operation up close."                  

Krueger Dairy KDFC LLC is run by Justin and Samantha Krueger.

They work 700 acres, and milk 180 cows.


Hartford Plan Commission Approves New Development

The Hartford Plan Commission met this week.

There was discussion and consideration regarding a site plan for a location on Independence Avenue, the site of Component Engineering.

Hartford City Planner Jacob Maas explained the zoning district during the meeting.

"Industrial Park zoning district in this case, so all of these propertise budding 1610 are zoned M-4 so it's in compliance. Elevation wise, just to give you a layout of the property...it's a relatively flat area in the back where the proposed development is occurring."        

Maas stated that there is no flood plane on the parcel, so there is no environmental concerns and no violation to the airport.

A parking landscape plan is not necessary in this case.

"But other than that, the planning staff recommends approval for the site plan review for the proposed industrial condo rental units development at 1610 Independence Avenue. Subject to the meeting of the city engineer and utility director requirements."                

Maas said during the Hartford Plan Commission meeting that in regards to the landscape plan, the requirements are met and because it’s the same zoning district, there is no required buffer yard for them being a-budding properties. The use complies with the zoning code, it just needs a conditional use permit.

The motion was approved by the Hartford Plan Commission.

A public hearing followed, regarding a conditional use permit to allow the addition of two steel metal buildings at 1610 Independence Avenue, which was unanimously approved.  

First Measurable Snowfall

Five to six inches of snow fell in Washington and Dodge County on Tuesday, January 9.

An accident near County Highway SS in Pewaukee occurred on January 9, which involved a semi, and caused traffic to be backed up in the westbound lanes.

The driver of the semi was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


The Watertown Police Department has declared a City-Wide snow emergency that went into effect at 11:00 p.m. last night. The Snow Emergency will run for 48 hours.

During the 48-hour period of the snow emergency parking on all city streets and alleys will be banned between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Residents who have no off-street parking available are encouraged to utilize municipal parking lots or make arrangements with neighbors, relatives or friends.

You can monitor the City of Watertown Website at: www.ci.watertown.wi.us or Watertown Police Department website at: www.watertownpolice.com for current snow emergencies and notifications.


Road Conditions A Factor In Fatal Crash

Jefferson County Sheriff Paul Milbrath released a report that on January 9, around 5:40 a.m., Deputies responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash on STH 18 at Hope Lake Rd in the Town of Oakland.
Preliminary investigation at the scene shows that a semi-truck was traveling eastbound
on STH 18 and an SUV was traveling westbound on STH 18. As the vehicles
approached each other a head-on collision occurred. Road conditions are a contributing
factor in the crash. The drivers of the vehicles were the lone occupants.
The driver of the truck was not injured in the crash. The driver of the SUV was
pronounced deceased at the scene.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by Cambridge Fire, Jefferson County
Medical Examiner, and Jefferson County Emergency Communications for traffic
The incident is still being investigated by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

School Crossing Guard Recognition Week

The week of January 7 to January 13 was proclaimed as Adult School Crossing Guard Recognition Week by West Bend Mayor Joel Ongert. This dedicated group of citizens stand faithfully at their posts at busy intersections in all kinds of weather to ensure our children safely get to and from school each day. They are a familiar face every morning and afternoon as kids and motorists travel to and from schools each day.

The West Bend Police Department would like to thank these men and women for their service. On a cold day in the winter, we are reminded of just how dedicated and committed these citizens are to their job. The department’s Crossing Guards for the 2023-2024 school year are:

Mary Abel, Christine Bannenberg, Kerrie Bohn, Diane Bruendl, Mary Corning, Janet Daly, Elizabeth Flitter, Christine Groth, John Groth, Michael Reindl, Bonnie Kertscher-Sallinen, Kathryn Rusch, Steven Rusch, Patrick Sallinen, Ruthann Shaw, Robert Steilen, Sally Taylor, Laura Van Beek, Cliff Van Beek and Amyjo Wahouske.

Please help recognize their service and make their job safer by slowing down around school zones, stopping before crosswalks, and paying close attention to pedestrians, signs, and signals while driving.

Photo by the City of West Bend. 

Busy Day For Hartford Public Works

During the winter season, most of Hartford's Public Works questions deal with snow plowing. Here is a rundown of the City of Hartford’s snow plowing and salting procedures.

?? The City of Hartford maintains approximately 90 miles of streets, including connecting highways.

?? Every snowfall or storm presents a different challenge based on the temperature, the amount of snow, and the time of day it arrives.

?? During a minor salt and snow operation of two inches or less, the Police Department will notify the Director of Public Works of the necessity to begin salting the streets. It will normally take two hours for four salt trucks to cover the City of Hartford during a minor salting procedure.

?? When two inches or more of snow have fallen, a thorough plowing and salting procedure will clear the snow and ice as quickly as possible. Crews can plow the entire City with nine plows and two end loaders in approximately 5.5 hours. All of the City’s trucks have wing plow attachments. It would take at least another hour to do a curb-to-curb plowing operation and that timeframe depends upon the time of day for the snowplowing/salting operation and the type of snow.

?? Dead-end streets, cul-de-sacs and alleys are very time-consuming. A daytime snowplowing operation takes twice as long as a nighttime snowplowing operation due to traffic and parked cars on the roadway.

?? The Public Works Department plows the main roads first (which are most widely used) as quickly and safely as possible. With the large industrial park and many schools, it is necessary to plow certain streets earlier in the snowplowing cycle than other streets. All state trunk highways in the city and streets leading to the industrial area and schools are plowed first.

?? Snow and ice removal is prioritized based on traffic volumes to provide the greatest level of safety to the greatest number of residents as quickly as possible. Crews will continue post-storm cleanup operations following initial plowing and salting so that all streets will be cleared curb-to-curb. It may be determined to use salt only during warmer weather conditions.

?? Extended snowstorms make snow and ice removal more difficult and less effective. During these snow events, crews will concentrate on clearing the main arterial streets until the snow fall diminishes.

?? The City also maintains public parking lots and approximately 2.5 miles of sidewalks, and one mile of alleys. After the streets have been plowed, City crews use small truck-mounted plows and a skid loader to plow the sidewalks. It takes another several hours to remove the snow from sidewalks and parking lots.

This winter, please do your best to keep our streets clear of vehicles when snow falls. When driving during a snow event, please use caution and slow down to prevent unnecessary accidents and property damage. Please know your Public Works crew is working around the clock to ensure your streets are safe.

Closed Due To The Weather

Washington County

Hartford Area Schools

Slinger School District

West Bend School District

Jackson Schools

Kewaskum School District

Germantown School District

Bethlehem Lutheran - Germantown

Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School

UWM-Washington County

Jackson Area Community Center

St. Boniface School, Germantown

St. John's Lutheran School, Newburg

Hartford Food Pantry

Hartford Senior Center

Washington County Senior Dining Program

The Hub of Washington County


Dodge County

Beaver Dam Unified School

Hustisford School District

Lomira School District

Dodgeland School District

Mayville School District

Madison Area Technical College, Watertown

Dodge County Nutrition Program


Jefferson County

Watertown School District

Lake Mills Area Public Schools

Johnson Creek Schools

Ft. Atkinson School District

Palmyra-Eagle School District

Watertown Food Pantry


Waukesha County

Hamilton School District

Kettle Moraine School District

Lake Country Classical Academy

Menomonee Falls Schools

Mill Creek Academy

New Berlin School District

Oconomowoc Area School District

School District of Waukesha

University Lake School, Hartland

Zion Lutheran, Hartland

Oconomowoc Area Senior Center






Weather Eye is reporting the possibility of up to nine inches of snow.

This system will roll into the area tonight, on January 8 with a chance of one to three inches of snow and it is expected to continue through Tuesday, January 9.

The Hartford Police Department is selling the newly created winter parking permits which allows residents to park on alternate sides of the street based on date. The permits can be transferable from one vehicle to another within that same home but must be on the vehicle parked on the road that given night or risk a citation being given.

For more information on this new winter parking ordinance, please check out the City of Hartford website.

Traffic Pursuit and Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash in Dodge County

Sunday evening, January 7 around 5:55 p.m. a Dodge County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle which was reported by a concerned citizen as a possible impaired driver, based on their driving behavior. It was also reported that the vehicle failed to stop for Washington County Deputies who attempted a traffic stop on the same vehicle.

The Dodge County Deputy attempted to stop the vehicle on State Highway 33, near State Highway 67. The driver made the decision to flee rather than come to a stop as required by law. He fled south on State Highway 67 at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The vehicle then traveled west on County Road S. The vehicle continued north on Horseshoe Road at a high rate of speed and failed to negotiate a curve. The vehicle left the roadway into the ditch and struck a tree. Deputies immediately rendered aid and attempted life-saving measures on the driver, the sole occupant of the vehicle. The driver, a 27-year-old male from Hartford, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Assisting with the crash investigation is the Wisconsin State Patrol. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene to assist with the safe removal of an older military-style grenade, or facsimile found in the vehicle. UW Med Flight, Horicon Fire Department and EMS, and the Dodge County Emergency Response Team also assisted with this incident.

Questions may be directed to Sheriff Dale J. Schmidt.

Car Catches Fire in Slinger

On Saturday January 6, 2024 at 10:33 a.m. the Slinger Police Department along with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, and Slinger Fire Department were dispatched to the intersection of Lover’s Lane and Glacier Pass for a vehicle fire.

Upon arrival, Officers observed flames showing from under the hood of the vehicle. Officers attempted to extinguish the fire, with no success. The vehicle became fully engulfed in flames.

The Slinger Fire Department quickly arrived on the scene and were able to rapidly extinguish the blaze. There were no injuries or other property damage reported during this event.

The fire is not suspicious in nature.

Photo provided by the Slinger Fire Department.

Winter Parking-Snow Emergency Declared For January 9 In Watertown

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Watertown area from early Tuesday morning through late Tuesday night with total snow accumulations of six to 11 inches possible.

To assist the Street Department in their plowing and cleanup efforts, the Watertown Police Department has declared a City-Wide Snow Emergency that will go into effect at 11:00 p.m. Tuesday night, January 9th, 2024. The Snow Emergency will run for 48 hours, but can be cancelled earlier.

During the 48-hour period of the snow emergency parking on all city streets and alleys will be banned between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the following morning. Residents who have no off-street parking available are encouraged to utilize municipal parking lots or make arrangements with neighbors, relatives or friends to avoid a potential $50.00 citation. In addition, any vehicle that has been ticketed and remains parked at the same location for 24 or more hours afterward may be towed at the owner’s expense.

Citizens are encouraged to monitor the City of Watertown Website at: www.ci.watertown.wi.us or Watertown Police Department website at: www.watertownpolice.com or search for us on Facebook at Watertown WI Police Department for current snow emergencies and notifications.

Subject Apprehended By Hartford K-9 Unit

The Hartford Police Department was notified that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office were in pursuit of a vehicle heading south bound on Kettle Moraine Rd. from Hwy 175 on Thursday, January 4. The driver of the vehicle had fully extraditable warrants through Illinois, and had been involved in a pursuit with Wisconsin State Patrol the night prior. Hartford officers deployed several tire deflation devices at Gateway Ave. The vehicle was spiked, however, continued onto Hwy. 60.

Numerous police agencies followed the vehicle as it went into on coming traffic in the Eastbound lanes of Hwy. 60. The vehicle was rammed by a Washington County Deputy in order to stop the pursuit. Immediately, the driver fled into a marsh on the south side of the road. The Hartford K-9 unit was directly behind the suspect, and K-9 Flash was deployed from the squad to apprehend him. The marsh contained eight foot high thick grass, which required Officer Parker to carry K-9 Flash. The suspect reached a small river and entered into waist high water. Officer Parker followed and continued to carry K-9 Flash. Once across, the suspect still refused to surrender. K-9 Flash was commanded to apprehend the suspect, sprinted towards the man, and brought him to the ground. Officer Parker and K-9 Flash fought with the suspect until an additional Hartford officer arrived. The suspect was subsequently secured into handcuffs. He was treated for injuries sustained from the K-9 apprehension.

The man is currently in custody at the Washington County Jail for multiple felony offenses.

No officers or civilians were injured during this incident, and there is no continued threat to the community.

Reinvesting in Downtown Hartford

Downtown Hartford businesses will have the opportunity to improve their building through the Facade Improvement Grant Program.

The Facade Improvement Grant Program was established to support and encourage small business to reinvest in the downtown and neighborhood business districts. The Program provides matching grants to small business owners and tenants to assist them in restoring or beautifying their facades or storefronts.

Attractive building facades support and encourage local businesses. They can have a significant effect on the attractiveness and marketability of the surrounding area. The objective of the program is to enhance the visual appearance and economic viability of the downtown by improving facades that are visible from the street. 

It is budgeted every year by the Hartford Business Improvement District, according to Jason Wix, who serves as a member.

"Businesses in the BID District can apply for improvements that they are going to be doing to their building, on the outside whether its windows, a canopy, tuckpointing...we have gone from a $5,000 budget for the Facade Improvement Grant, to this point where we give out $15,000 each year. We will cover half of the project, up to $2,500. It's a great opportunity to keep the downtown looking fresh, and helping the business owners and building owners as well."

The Hartford Business Improvement District had a budget of $15,000 in 2023, and awarded almost all of the money which resulted in over $80,000 in improvements for Downtown Hartford businesses.

Every business owner and building owner, currently serving as BID members in downtown Hartford, will receive an application in the mail.      

Why You Should Check Your Property Tax Bill

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is reminding Wisconsin residents to check their current property tax bill for the lottery and gaming credit. 

The credit provides direct property tax relief to qualifying taxpayers on their property tax bills. Lottery proceeds are paid into a separate segregated state fund. The lottery credit is displayed on tax bills as a reduction of property taxes due.

To qualify for the lottery and gaming credit, you must be a Wisconsin resident, own a dwelling and use it as your primary residence as of the January 1 certification date of the year the property taxes are levied - in this case January 1, 2023. 

To receive the credit, an eligible property owner must file an application with the county treasurer where the property is located, or with the city treasurer if the property is located in a city that collects taxes under state law. A property owner may claim only one primary residence. You cannot claim the lottery and gaming credit on business property, rental units, vacant land, garages or other property that is not the owner's primary residence.

If a property owner is eligible for the credit as of January 1, 2023, but their property tax bill received in December 2023 does not show the credit, they may claim the credit by applying to the municipal (town, village or city) treasurer where the property is located, by January 31, 2024. You can also file a late claim application (if missed the January 31 deadline) with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue by October 1, 2024.

Information provided by the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue.      

Sussex Celebrates 100 Years

The Village of Sussex turns 100 years old this year, and they are excited to celebrate all year long. Throughout the year, Village officials will post photos from past and present day Sussex. If you have photos—old or new—that you would like to share, use their online form to submit them along with a brief description. These photos and the descriptions will be shared on social media, the Village website, and beyond.

Sussex has a rich history.

The first settlers in the immediate area of the future Village of Sussex were George Elliott and Richard Cooling. Cooling opened a blacksmith shop near the four-corners in June 1843. Shortly afterwards other villagers came. There were names such as Frey, Smith, Brown, Champeny, Sims, Stone, Weaver and others. The four-corners area of Sussex were intersected by Main and South Streets (today’s Maple Ave.)

The first business was the blacksmith shop, opened by William Brown about 1849. A Union store was opened in 1854, but was something of a failure, falling into the hands of Richard Cooling. Cooling became the Sussex Postmaster January 6, 1851. Cooling had the combined general store and post office for a decade, finally turning it over to his son-in-law, James Templeton. Templeton was a Civil War veteran who went on to prominent political positions.

St. Alban’s wooden church and its cemetery were constructed at the central core of Sussex. The original church of wood was replaced by a stone church in 1864-66.

1866 saw construction of $1,100 for the Town of Lisbon Hall just to the west of the four corners. 1867 saw the first Main St. School built on the eastern edge of the growing village, a two-room cream city brick structure.

In 1885-86 a great event took place as the first railroad train came through. The Wisconsin Central was located one mile east of Sussex with a new village being started there first called Buck Town, then East Sussex and finally Templeton, after its most successful businessman, politician and postmaster, James Templeton. Both old Sussex and Templeton had separate post offices and rural routes.

Mental Health Awareness Campaign With The Hartford Township Police

The Hartford Township Police Department believes that your mental health is important. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Mental Health affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices.

The Hartford Township Police Department will begin their Mental Health Awareness Campaign called Mental Health Mondays. Mental Health Mondays will occur the first Monday of each month and provide mental health resources available in the area.

The Hartford Township Police Department is encouraging all of us to work together as a community, to help stop the stigma associated with mental health. "It's o.k. to talk about your mental health. You are not alone. Please don't suffer in silence."

If you or someone you know are experiencing a mental health crisis please dial 9-1-1.

Free mental health education for family and loved ones of those living with mental health conditions can be found on namisoutheastwi.org/mental/family-to-family.

A Busy K-9 Officer Flash

Hartford Police Department's K-9 Officer Flash has been busy.

Over the last several weeks, their K-9 team has been deployed 30 times. The arrests have been made by the team of K-9 Flash and K-9 Handler Officer Parker. 

On December 11, 2023 a Hartford police officer conducted a traffic stop on Hwy. 60 near West Side Park. K-9 Flash performed a free air sniff of the vehicle. Cocaine and drug paraphernalia were located and seized.

Another incident occurred December 12, of last year when a Hartford police officer attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle, as the driver had a warrant through the Washington County Sheriff's Office. The vehicle attempted to elude the officer. Eventually the vehicle was stopped, and a high-risk traffic stop was conducted. K-9 Flash was deployed and began barking. The subject gave up immediately.

On December 16, the Slinger Police Department requested K-9 Flash to respond to a suspicious vehicle at their Kwik Trip location. A subsequent free air sniff of the vehicle was conducted. Cocaine and drug paraphernalia were seized from the vehicle. The subject tried to provide a false name but was eventually identified and brought to jail.

On December 20, 2023 the Washington County Sheriff's Office requested K-9 Flash to conduct a free air sniff of a vehicle they had stopped on I-41 near Hwy. 60. The driver was suspected of fleeing from the scene of a drug overdose and using drugs at a gas station. K-9 Flash provided an indication drugs were present during the vehicle sniff. While questioning the man about the K-9 alert, the individual began reaching into his pocket in an attempt to destroy drugs. Deputies and the Hartford officer struggled with the subject in the ditch line. Verbal warnings were given that K-9 flash would be used to apprehend him if he did not comply. The subject stopped resisting and was taken into custody. Fentanyl and drug paraphernalia were seized.

Another arrest happened on December 20, of last year. Hartford police officers conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle on Hwy. 60 near Powder Hill Road. The K-9 unit was requested. K-9 Flash was brought to the scene to deploy to the vehicle, but before the sniff was conducted, the driver noticed Flash and admitted he had drugs within the vehicle. During the probable cause search, officers found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. It was discovered the individual was currently out on a $25,000 cash bond for numerous felony charges which occurred in Fond du Lac county.

On December 21, a traffic stop was conducted by Hartford Police Officers. K-9 Flash was deployed for a free air sniff and indicated that drugs were present inside the vehicle. During the subsequent search, officers found crack cocaine and numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia. Both occupants admitted to smoking the crack two hours prior to the stop. Both individuals were arrested. After arriving at the Hartford Police Department, additional Fentanyl was found hidden on one of the occupants, and the arrested subject attempted to destroy it. The subject was restrained from doing so. Additionally, the subject was wanted in relation to a string of thefts, including multiple thefts of firearms.

In total, nine Felony and 14 Misdemeanor charges have been forwarded to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office from these incidents.

Hartford Police Department's K-9 Flash was obtained from Jessiffany K-9 services in April, of 2022.  

Hartford Electric Teaches Students About Electricity

Staff members from Hartford Electric visited the fourth grade students at Rossman Elementary School, in Hartford to teach them about the power of electricity, safety hazards and best practices to avoid common dangers. Hartford Electric’s Energy Service Manager Ashley Sonsthagen was joined by Lineworkers, Dan Meier and Scott Sauer, to demonstrate the importance of being energy efficient and aware of the potential dangers associated with electricity.

The students learned about the risks of touching or getting near overhead or fallen power lines through a demonstration called Power Town. The demonstration used live electricity, miniature models of cars, houses and people, and simulated scenarios of electrical accidents. The students saw how electricity can cause fires, shocks and injuries if not handled properly. They also learned about the safety measures they should take if they encounter a power line problem.

The second activity, Pedal Power, showed the students how much energy it takes to light up a light bulb. The students used a bicycle to generate electricity by pedaling, and observed how much harder it was to pedal when more light bulbs were connected.

The program was well-received by the students and the staff at Rossman School, who thanked Hartford Electric for their informative and fun presentation. Hartford Electric is proud to support the community through educational opportunities like this and hopes to work with more local schools in the future.

Two Arrests Made After Weekend Chase

There is information regarding an incident from last Saturday morning, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Around 12:56, a deputy observed a blue Dodge Charger on I-41 northbound from Pioneer Rd. The deputy was about to conduct a traffic stop, for multiple equipment violations and the moving violation of unsafe lane deviation when he recognized the vehicle from a previous eluding incident.

On March 19, 2023 another deputy attempted to stop this vehicle for similar violations when the driver fled at speeds more than 130mph. The driver was never identified after the chase ended.

Last Saturday, December 30 the deputy coordinated with another deputy north of the location for the deployment of spikes in the event the operator decided to flee again. As predicted, the driver fled once a traffic stop was attempted and the deputy began to pursue. The chase came to a quick end, just south of CTH K after the vehicle was spiked.

The passenger, a 27-year-old Black Creek man, immediately exited the vehicle and failed to obey commands. As he aggressively approached deputies, he was tased and taken into custody.

The driver, a 26-year-old Appleton man, was taken into custody for eluding.


City of West Bend Receives Urban Forestry Grant

The City of West Bend announced it has secured $25,000 in Urban Forestry Grant funding from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for this year. This annual program helps fund projects throughout the state, focused on increasing the urban forest canopy. Wisconsin allocated more than $800,000 in grants to 58 applicants, and West Bend is honored to receive the maximum award of $25,000.

“We are extremely grateful to the DNR for its support of our urban forestry efforts,” said West Bend Parks, Recreation and Forestry Project Manager Rick Fox. “These funds will support the planting of 150 street trees and park trees throughout the city, and provide essential training to our Forestry team.”

The City of West Bend’s urban forestry project aligns with the ongoing tree replacement program for the removal of ash trees. Removing and replacing these trees curbs the spread of the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect species. The city will use grant funds to train staff to maintain certifications, support the street tree demonstration on 18th Avenue, and promote the existing 18th Avenue Street Tree Demonstration.

Urban forestry provides many community benefits, including cleaner air, water, and soil. 

Firefighters Respond In The City of Hartford

The Hartford Fire and Rescue Department was dispatched to a house fire in the 200 Block of W. Prospect Ave. in the City of Hartford around 1:08 a.m. on New Year's Day, January 1.

A neighbor reported the fire.

The Hartford Police Department arrived on the scene first and confirmed the working fire. Fire personnel conducted primary and secondary searches of the single-family residence and were able to control the blaze quickly. It was determined that the owners of the residence were not home at the time of the fire.

No one was injured, but the house suffered major damage due to the fire. Preliminary damage estimates are around $175,000. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Numerous area fire departments responded, along with Lifestar EMS, Hartford Police, Hartford Utilities, and WE Energies. 

The American Red Cross was notified to assist the owners.

New Year's Eve Chase Leads To Arrest

On New Year's Eve, December 31 around 10:19 p.m. the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office received information that the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office had been involved in a pursuit in their county on Highway 26, near Highway 19. The pursuit had been terminated by Jefferson County and the information was passed on to the Dodge County Sheriff's Office. The vehicle was located by Dodge County Deputies on Hwy. 26 and a traffic stop was attempted. The vehicle fled at speeds reaching 110 mph. Tire deflation devices (spikes) were utilized, however, the vehicle continued to flee, eventually riding on the rims of the vehicle.

The pursuit came to an end after entering the Village of Lowell, and traveling north on N. River St., which is a dead end. The driver fled on foot and the passenger was taken into custody immediately. The passenger was identified as 39-year-old Sara Champion, of Beloit, who was arrested and transported to the Dodge County Jail for resisting/obstructing an Officer, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The driver was later located in the vicinity and was treated for hypothermia after he fell into the river, and also had bumps, bruises and scrapes after falling while running from deputies. The driver, identified as 35-year-old Johnny Shawver, of Janesville, was arrested on warrants, operating after revocation, felony fleeing, and at the time of this story an investigation into potential impairment is underway, but no arrest has been made at this point.

This pursuit tied up a number of resources and the actions of these individuals put the motoring public in harms way, for which the subjects are now being held accountable. Assisting the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in this incident was the Beaver Dam Police Department, Clyman/Lowell/Reeseville EMS, and Lifestar EMS.

It is important to note that all persons are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Questions may be directed to Sheriff Dale J. Schmidt.

Improving Your Mental Health With NAMI of Washington County

Hooked on Mental Wellness Crochet Group was organized for teenagers with a diagnosed or suspected mental health condition.

They meet weekly, on Thursday afternoons from 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the NAMI Welcome Center, located at 279 S. 17th Ave., Ste. 7 in West Bend.

The American Counseling Association has reported that crocheting can help relieve anxiety and depression. The repetition involved can release serotonin, and can be a great coping mechanism for stress, anxiety and depression.

Group members will learn the basics of crocheting, how to read patterns and complete several projects. It's a time to socialize and build critical support networks. It's an opportunity to make new friends, share similar experiences and learn a new coping skill.

NAMI Washington County covers the costs associated with crochet hooks and yarn.

Snacks and beverages will be provided .

Registration is required. Text 920-266-9887 weekly to register for the group.