•  Portage Area Chamber of Commerce ... (Friday, July 17)

Brad Conrad and Marianne Hanson

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Community Conversations
•  Portage Center for the Arts ... (Thursday, July 2  8:10 AM - 8:20 AM)

Betty Kutzke

•  Portage Area Chamber of Commerce ... (Friday, July 3  8:10 AM - 8:25 AM)

Brad Conrad and Marianne Hanson

•  Jen Schkirkie - Columbia County Humane Society ... (Monday, July 6  10:25 AM - 10:40 AM)

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Sexual Assault of Mentally Ill Victim

A 19 year old Portage man who faces felony charges of 2nd degree sexual assault of a mentally ill victim is scheduled to be in court today. Michael P. Powell has a sentencing/hearing scheduled for charges that were issued in the spring of last year. Powell allegedly had sexual acts with a 29 year old woman who has the mental capacity of a 12 year old. He could face nearly 75 years in prison if convicted of all charges.


E.Coli at Devil’s Lake

The north shore beach of Devil’s Lake State park has been closed due to high levels of E. Coli. The results are based on a sample of water that was collected on Monday according to the state park’s website. E. coli is a form of fecal coliform bacteria. The beach will remain closed until the bacteria is no longer found, which at the earliest would be this Friday. The south shore beach does remain open.


Land Returned To Ho Chunk Nation

Property along the Wisconsin River at Baraboo will be given back to the Ho Chunk Indian tribe today. The federal government took nearly 16 hundred acres of land from the nation’s ancestors and today the land will be returned with a land transfer taking place along with a round dance and public tours of the land. The transfer is part of a larger defense department bill passed by Congress last December.


North Freedom Man

A man from North Freedom could face 40 years behind bars for allegedly having inappropriate contact with an under age girl. 20 year old Devin Garcia was taken into custody and has a court date scheduled for next month.


Shooting Range in Columbia County

The DNR board has approved a ten acre shooting range in Columbia County. A citizens committee chose to build the range at the Mud Lake Wildlife area after a number of other possible sites were investigated. The range could be open as early as later this year. 

Thief In Court

A man accused of being involved with a string of thefts from unlocked vehicles last summer is scheduled to be in court today. 24 year old Jesse M. Cooper of Portage was allegedly involved with a group of individuals who committed up to 18 cases of theft from unlocked vehicles in the Portage area between August 15th and 28th of last year. Cooper faces two counts of misdemeanor theft and two counts of felony bail jumping and is scheduled for a plea/sentencing hearing today.


Drowning Victims Identified

A man and his five-year-old son who drowned Friday in the Wisconsin River near Lodi were publicly identified yesterday.  Columbia County authorities said 29-year-old Elliott McKenna of Lodi and his son Andrew were on a sandbar that gave way.  Three others were rescued -- a woman and two boys.  Sheriff's deputies were called early Friday afternoon, and were told that people were screaming for help on the Wisconsin River in the town of Dekorra.  Divers found the young boy about three hours after they arrived.  His father was found two hours later.  


Milwaukee Woman Arrested

A woman from Milwaukee is in custody after an incident at a Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells. Police were called to the Mt. Olympus Water & Theme park around 2:30 in the morning on Sunday for a report of a woman being loud and causing a disturbance. 20 year old Julie Ann Taylor was arrested and caused injury to a police officer during the incident. If convicted of battery to a peace officer she could face up to six years in prison and $10,000 in fines. She will be in court of the incident next month. 

Woman Charged With Recklessly Endangering Safety

A Portage resident charged with recklessly endangering safety and neglecting a child will be in court today. 27 year old Melissa A. Packard is accused of giving the drug seroquel to two children under the age of 5 as a sleep aid. The drug is primarily used to treat people with schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. Packard is scheduled for a plea/sentencing today. Two other individuals 35 year old Christine Lynn Georgeson and 48 year old Frederick Harvey Jr. are also charged in the incident.


Father & Son Drown in River

A father and son died Friday after falling into the Wisconsin River near Dekorra. Emergency Crews responded to the river a little after 1 on Friday afternoon when five people fell into the river. The four year old boy died after being rescued from the river and his 29 year old fathers body was found several hours after the rest of the party had been rescued. Names of those involved have not yet been released.


25 year old Kills A Pedestrian

A 25 year old Sauk City man is accused of striking and killing a pedestrian with his car late last week.  Police said that Adam M. Sutter was speeding through a red light and turned into the path of a 36 year old woman who was in the crosswalk. Sutter was booked on a possible charge of driving under the influence. The crash remains under investigation.


Baraboo Woman Dies In Crash

A woman from Baraboo is dead after a one vehicle crash yesterday afternoon on Interstate 94 near Menomonie. The accident occurred shortly before 2 yesterday when 74 year old Jerome L. Thiessen lost control of a 1951 studebaker pickup and rolled into a ditch. Thiessen was taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries, while his passenger 85 year old Vera M. Scoles died in the incident. The crash is still under investigation.

Milk Production Up

The state’s milk production continues to grow by leaps and bounds.  New figures from the U-S-D-A show that Wisconsin raised its output by more than three times the national increase in May.   The state does still remain second in milk production behind California, where a massive drought continues to hurt dairy producers. 


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