•  Steven Sobiek - Portage Business Development Dir. ... (Tuesday, January 6)

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Community Conversations
•  Portage Center for the Arts ... (Thursday, December 18  8:10 AM - 8:20 AM)

Betty Kutzke

•  Portage Area Chamber of Commerce ... (Friday, December 19  8:10 AM - 8:25 AM)

Brad Conrad and Marianne Hanson

•  Columbia County Humane Society - Jen Schkirkie ... (Monday, December 22  10:25 AM - 10:40 AM)

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Homicide Case Continues

The court case of Patrick Kraemer of Wyocena in the alleged homicide of Traci Rataczak will continue after a judge denied the motion to dismiss the charges on Monday. Kraemers attorneys filed the motion after claiming that there was no mention from an autopsy that Rataczaks death was a homicide and a criminal complaint did not state how Kraemer could have committed the murder.


Mauston Construction

Downtown Mauston State Street construction for this coming year has been officially approved by the DOT. Work will begin this spring when the weather allows. Construction will run from Hickory to Hanover Street on State Street. And on State Street south to the railroad crossing. Pedestrian business access will be maintained.


Ash Trees in Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells property owners, who have an ash tree, will be receiving a letter soon on what to do with the tree. The arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer seems imminent and the letter will contain a recommendation from a representative of Arborjet on whether the tree should be cut down or treated.


Replacing Glenn Grothman

A new state senator will be elected next spring to replace Congressman-elect Glenn Grothman as he takes over for the retiring Tom Petri. Candidates can start circulating nomination papers now and they must be filed by January 6th.


Detectors Installed in Arena

Carbon Monoxide Detectors have been installed at the Poppy Waterman Arena. Lake Delton Public Works staff installed 8 of the detectors in the rink on Monday. 81 individuals were sent area hospitals after a leak of the deadly gas on Saturday night.

Three Men Behind Bars

Three men from Wisconsin Dells could face time behind bars after police reported that they robbed a man at gunpoint in November. 19 year olds Guy E. Mountain and Daius A. Brown and 21 year old Mark W. Girton are currently being held in the Columbia County Jail on 1,000 cash bail each. They could face 25 years in prison.


Re-trial In Mauston

A woman from Mauston will face another trial for child abuse charges after her first ended with a hung jury last week. 30 year old Stacy Hartje was charged with first degree reckless injury, child abuse causing great harm and first degree recklessly endangering safety for alleged abuse against a 3 ½ year old boy she was providing day care for in her home.  A new trial date will be assigned in January. 

Mauston Man Charged For Sixth Offense Drunk Driving

A Mauston man charged with sixth offense drunk driving after causing a hit and run crash in a stolen car in Adams county in September and then fleeing police will make his initial court appearance tomorrow morning. 34 year old James Baumgartner’s record includes two drunk driving convictions in Juneau County and one in Columbia county.


Baraboo School Board Passes Transgender Policy

The Baraboo School Board approved a new transgender athletic policy last night, but not without much discussion and debate.

The policy was approved by a 4-3 vote making the school among the first to adopt a plan of its type.


All Dells Ducks Are Now Home

All players on the Wisconsin Dells junior hockey league team are home from the hospital, after being sickened by a carbon monoxide leak on Saturday. The coach of the Dells Ducks said that the last player to return, an individual who was being treated for oxygen therapy at a hospital in Milwaukee, is now back at home.


Mauston Couple Arrested

A Mauston couple were arrested Saturday after police say they stole almost a thousand dollars from a charity to raise money for Christmas toys for those in need. Police say 65 year old Paul Bublitz and his 67 year old wife Mary Bublitz have hosted the “Making Dreams Come True” benefit for nearly 25 years in various cities.



State Headed Towards Peak in The Flu Season

Wisconsin is headed into the peak of the flu season. Tom Haupt, the state's influenza surveillance coordinator, says reported hospitalizations due to flu have increased steadily the past two weeks with the peak in flu cases to arrive with the New Year, with high activity continuing for another month or so.

Arkdale Man Dies

An Arkdale man has now died from injuries suffered when a truck ran into a tree on Highway 21 east of Friendship last Monday night. 30-year-old Patrick Stainbrook of has now died. 23-year-old Timothy Systma of Friendship died at the scene. A 21-year-old Friendship man was also injured. All three men were ejected from the truck.


Badger-Coulee Transmission Line Hearing

A public hearing on the proposed high powered Badger-Coulee transmission line is scheduled for 3 o’clock today at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells. 


Carbon Monoxide Leak in Lake Delton

A zamboni is to blame for the carbon monoxide leak that sent over 80 people to the hospital after a hockey game in Lake Delton Saturday night. Officials said yesterday that the machine produced highly levels of the deadly gas in the Poppy Waterman arena. It will stay closed until the machine is fixed.


Fire at AMPI

Over 300 employees are wondering what’s next after a fire has temporarily shut down AMPI of Portage. As the damage assessment process continues -  AMPI employees are asked not to return to work unless notified by human resources or their immediate supervisor.


Sauk County Man Fined

The state Supreme Court will not give a Sauk County dairy farmer a chance to clear his name after he was convicted of selling raw milk last year. Without saying why, the justices refused to review Vernon Hershberger’s conviction for violating an order by state inspectors not to move his unpasteurized milk. Hershberger was fined a thousand dollars on his conviction.


Transgender Policy In Baraboo

The Baraboo School Board will meet tonight to take a final vote on a new policy that would establish guidelines for including transgender students in co-curricular activities. The meeting begins at 6 o’clock in the Baraboo High School media center on Draper Street.


Attendance at “Living Windows”

An estimated 1,000 people attended Portage’s “Living Windows” event Saturday night.


Circus World Agreement

The State Historical Society and the Circus World Museum Foundation are close to a revised lease and management agreement. The two groups are expected to have their boards act on the revised deal next month.


New Lisbon Man Faces Charges

A 39 year old New Lisbon man faces 20 counts of possession of child pornography. George R. Kloth is in the Juneau County Jail on $20,000 cash bond. 

Booze & Belts Campaign

Law enforcement agencies throughout the region and state are mobilizing their "Booze and Belts" traffic safety campaign starting today in hopes of preventing more deaths on state roads.
Last year there were 527 total fatalities on state roads, 35.1 percent of those deaths were alcohol related and could have been prevented.


Portage’s “Living Windows”

Portages Living Windows will take place from 4-6 tomorrow in Downtown Portage. The event is free and open to the public.


Wisconsin Dells Vehicle Crash

A Wisconsin Dells woman was killed shortly after 11 yesterday morning in a crash in the town of Dellona. 34 year old Nicole V. Houghton was driving a car east on County Road H when it failed to negotiate a curve, crossed the center line and drove onto the opposite shoulder where it collided head on with a pickup truck. Houghton was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead on the scene. The pickup driver only suffered minor injuries.


Juneau Co. Man Charged with Sexual Assault

A Juneau County man was charged late last week with 2nd degree child sexual assault. According to a criminal complaint Michael Klingbiel Jr. of Elroy allegedly had sexual contact with a 13 year old girl in November. He will have an initial court appearance next week for the charges.


Ho Chunk Nation Receives Land

The Ho-Chunk nation will receive land from the closed Badger Army Ammunition plant. Altogether the nation will receive 1,600 acres of the over 7,000 acres of property the rest will go to the DNR.



Merrimac Ferry Closed

The Merrimac Ferry closed for the season late last week. The ferry ran for 222 days this year beginning on April 11th. Over 305,000 vehicles used the ferry this year.


New Swimming Pool in WI Dells

The city of Wisconsin Dells hopes to build a new indoor swimming pool and recreation center thanks to a 3.5 million donation from Bud Gussel. Gussel is giving the money to the city with the understanding that the school district will have time for swim lessons and a swim team.


Montello Student Wins Award

A 20 year old Montello High School graduate has been crowned the winner of the 2014 grain production placement proficiency award from National FFA. Eric Coddington will receive $1,000 in addition to the title.


New Wolf Hunting Quota

Wolf hunters in the region will have a chance to give their ideas to the DNR as they plan to set a new target next year for the state’s quota. DNR staffers are now working on a draft of a new plan to be presented at public meetings in January.


2015 Job Outlook in WI

The state has one of the nation’s brightest job outlooks for 2015 according to a quarterly survey of employers by Manpower Incorporated. The survey says the number of Wisconsin companies adding jobs from January through March is 18 percent higher than the number of firms expecting layoffs. It is also two percent higher than the national net employment outlook. 



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