Car full of people arrested for theft to businesses

On November 28, 2015 at about 10:53 AM the Grant County Sheriff's Office received a call from the Dollar General Store in Cuba City, WI regarding a retail theft that had just occurred. The manager there reported that three adults had entered the store and left, with full bags, without paying for anything. The manager was able to get a license plate on the vehicle they left in. The description of the vehicle given by the manager matched the vehicle associated with the registration plate.
   At about 1:36 PM the investigating deputy located the vehicle on Hwy 80/81 near the Platteville Airport. The deputy stopped the vehicle and identified the occupants. The driver, Larry Crawford, 56, of Darlington, eventually admitted to being involved in the theft at Dollar General. The female passenger, Vanessa Germany, 42, of Darlington, also admitted that she was involved as well. The third person involved in that theft, Donna Braxton, 57, of Madison, was no longer in the vehicle. Crawford and Germany both told the deputy that Braxton was involved in the theft as well. The two women had carried large bags in and out of the store. The items had been put in the bags and carried out.
   While investigating this theft, the deputy located several open packages for BB guns, and an air-soft gun, in the vehicle. Through talking to Crawford, the deputy was able to learn that those items had likely been stolen this afternoon from a store in Platteville. The two backseat passengers, Earl Blackmon, 18, of Darlington, and a 17 year old male from Milwaukee, WI, had taken these items. The deputy contacted the Platteville Police Department with this information. Through the investigation the deputy was able to get confessions, from the Blackmon and the juvenile male, stating that they had each taken BB/Airsoft guns from both Wal Mart and Kmart in Platteville. This information was relayed to the Platteville PD officer.
   In the end, the deputy issued a citation for Retail Theft to Germany for the incident in Cuba City. The Platteville Police Department will be issuing citations to Blackmon and the juvenile male regarding the incidents in Platteville. The Sheriff's Office was assisted at the traffic stop by the University of Platteville PD.

Adopted son allegedly breaks into home,
assaults Mother - charged with attempted murder

Update - The attacker was the former adopted son of the victim, Theresa L. Thoma, 63.
An arrest warrant was secured today in Clayton County District Court for the arrest of 25 year-old Brandon James Thoma on a charge of Attempt to Commit Murder, a Class B felony.  The charge stems from an incident that occurred on the morning of November 10th at an Elkader home.
   Thoma drove a car from Pella, IA to Elkader where he intended to kill another person.  He broke into the home after the victim’s husband left for work and assaulted her by striking and kicking her repeatedly.  The victim was found by her husband when he returned from work.  She was taken to Central Community Hospital by ambulance and later transferred to University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City.
   Law enforcement officers were able to determine the identity of the suspect, who was eventually located in Madison, WI. The Clayton County Attorney’s Office is working on securing extradition for Thoma from Wisconsin.
   Agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, as well as deputies from the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Elkader Police Department in their investigation.
   “The filing of a criminal charge is merely an accusation and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”

Got Snow?

Home Snow Sandy

Southwest Wisconsin received a pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm dropping somewhere between 7-12” of snow in our area.  What a way to start todays deer hunting season.

Are the good old days back?

Home Gas 199

The Port service station on Hwy. 18 in Bridgeport posted a shocking price on their sign, $1.99 for regular gas today, Wednesday November 18, 2015.  Manager Dave Kelly said the price will mostly be short lived as the price is already heading up again.  Nice though, to see gas under $2.00 again.

Large number of scam calls to area residents

The Crawford County Dispatch Department has gotten numerous calls today November 10, 2015 from residents receiving the IRS scam phone call. 
   Typically the caller tells you that they are with the IRS and that you owe an amount of money for back taxes and penalties.  This is a scam, the IRS will not call you and ask you to pay back taxes and penalties by phone.  Please hang up on the caller and if they call back hang up again. 
   They will threaten you with an arrest warrant or imprisonment and tell you that they will be sending an agent to your resident to arrest you, again hang up on them.  Also don’t give out any of your personal information over the phone, do not give bank account numbers birth dates, social security numbers give them nothing.  I promise you that no one is going to come and arrest you if you simply hang up on these individuals.
   It is not necessary to contact our department if you receive this phone call.  Please only contact us if you happen to give out your personal information or have paid them money.   Anyone with elderly parents, friends or acquaintances please contact them and let them know of this scam and what to do if they receive this type of call. 
Sheriff Dale McCullick, Crawford County Sheriff’s Department 

Another BNSF train derails north of La Crosse,
A Canadian Pacific train derails in Watertown
Make that 3 trains in 3 days, with Des Moines

Update - Nov. 9th, 2015 - Two dozen RR cars carrying coal derailed in Des Moines County Iowa after hitting a road grader according to KCRG-TV9.
Update - Another derailment on Sunday, November 8th - A Canadian Pacific train derails in Watertown, WI.  Some of the cars were carrying crude oil, but there were no reports of fire according to WISC-TV.

There has been a multi-car train derailment north of Alma, WI at 8:50 a.m. Saturday, November 7, 2015.  Some of the cars were carrying ethanol and there have been reports of leakage into the Mississippi River,  Hwy. 35 was closed for part of the day.

Citizen groups up in arms over rail safety

The Citizens Acting for Rail Safety (CARS) issued the following statement regarding the current train derailment.
This is the third derailment on the Upper Mississippi River Wildlife Refuge in the past nine months on about a two hundred mile stretch of Mississippi River from the Twin Cities to Dubuque. We are in the middle of waterfowl migration along the Mississippi Flyway and the details of how much denatured ethanol has leaked into the river are yet to be determined. There is also a power plant just downriver from the accident. 
   The potential risks for a disaster to the environment, our towns and infrastructure are real. Why must we wait for a human and ecological catastrophe for government to take action and halt the unsafe transport of hazardous material along the river through our towns and wildlife refuges? Ethanol spills in the past have caused major fish kills and this spill site sits along one of the largest tundra and trumpeter swan fall viewing sites in the country.
   It is way overtime for the Federal Government to work with the  Governors of Wisconsin, MN, and Ill to improve rail safety and address the ever increasing risks of hazardous spills along the Mississippi River. We once again demand the States and Federal Government review this risk in a fully public Environmental Impact Statement.  If the rails cannot be made safe, then these hazardous materials must be removed from the rails.

Fatal crash near Airport Road - Lancaster

On 11-7-15, at around 12:15 am, the Grant County Sheriff's Office received a call of a one vehicle crash on Hwy 35/61 near Airport Road in South Lancaster Township. 
   It was found that the driver, Kaila M Fouks, age 25 of Lancaster and formally of Hudson, drove off the road after seeing a deer.  The vehicle then drove up the embankment, struck a utility pole, and overturned.  Fouks was partially ejected and was killed in the crash. 
   The passenger, Jeremy Fishnick, age 29 of Lancaster, was also ejected during the crash.  Fishnick received minor injuries, but as a precautionary measure, was airlifted to UW Hospital in Madison. 
   Assisting at the scene was Lancaster Fire, Lancaster EMS, Lancaster Police, Scenic Rivers Energy, Bennett's Towing, Grant County Coroner’s Office, and the Hudson Police Department.  The crash remains under investigation.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015


High: 36, Low: 27

High: 36, Low: 28
Partly Cloudy

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