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Teen gets jail sentence for role in holiday attack, theft PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Bill Schanen IV   
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 20:00

Port resident who pleaded to two felonies avoids prison but must still serve eight months

    A Port Washington teenager who pleaded guilty to two felonies for conspiring to attack and steal money from a girl on Christmas Eve avoided prison but was sentenced to jail Tuesday.
    Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy withheld a prison sentence and placed Benjamin S. Bergman, 18, on probation for three years. As a condition of probation, Bergman must serve eight months in the county jail.
    The judge followed the recommendation of District Attorney Adam Gerol, who said Bergman has a juvenile record that includes delinquency judgments for battery, sexual assault, reckless injury and delivery of marijuana.
    Bergman pleaded guilty in April to being party to the crimes of felony theft and child abuse.
    “What we have before us is a serious incident,” Gerol said.
    According to the criminal complaint, at about 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 24, police were called to the Port Washington home of the 16-year-old victim, who told officers she had been outside waiting for a friend who was going to sell her a pack of cigarettes.
    She said a car pulled up and Bergman, who was her friend’s then-17-year-old boyfriend, got out, presented her with what appeared to be an open pack of cigarettes and asked for money. Bergman, she said, grabbed $25 out of her hand but dropped a $5 bill before pushing her down and returning to the car.
    Then, she said, Bergman’s accomplice, Kailey Ann Cantrall, got out of the car, jumped on top of her and punched her in the head and neck. The girl’s father, who heard his daughter screaming, ran outside and pulled Cantrall off her.
    When interviewed by police, Bergman said he and Cantrall had planned to have him sell the girl an empty box of cigarettes and run back to the car. Then, he said, Cantrall, who didn’t like the victim, would attack her.
    Cantrall, who was 16 at the time of the attack, was waived into adult court and also charged with felony theft and child abuse. But in March she pleaded no contest to reduced charges of misdemeanor theft and battery and was sentenced to probation.
    During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Bergman’s lawyer, Jamie LaVora, said Bergman took responsibility for his actions by being honest with investigators.
    “This was a situation where the police had to do a lot of investigation,” LaVora said. “Mr. Bergman was the only kid involved in this who told the truth.”
    Bergman apologized for his crimes and said he has resolved not to associate with bad people. “I know now that it’s better to have no friends or just a few friends than it is to have bad friends,” he said.
    Malloy said that while it’s reassuring that Bergman realizes he can’t associate with bad people, it must be made clear that the crimes he committed won’t be tolerated.
    “This was pretty flagrant,” Malloy said. “You beat someone up and take their money and there are going to be consequences.”

Daily Press

Street fest returns for Memorial Day weekend PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:34


Ozaukee Press staff

Memorial Day weekend will be filled with activity in Port Washington, with the Community Street Festival filling downtown on Sunday and holiday activities on Monday.

The ninth annual street festival, sponsored by Port Washington Main Street Inc., will encompass Franklin Street throughout downtown.

More than 80 vendors and businesses will be part of the event, which runs from noon to 5 p.m.

“We have more vendors than we’ve had in previous years,” said Main Street Co-Executive Director  Cathy Wilger. “All the new businesses in town are participating, too, so this is a great opportunity for people to come out and see what they have to offer.”

Parking on Franklin Street will be prohibited from 10 a.m. Sunday until 6 p.m. to accommodate the festival.

The Jackie Brown Band from Racine will perform at the south stage at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Franklin Street while Noell Kaylene and Co. of Oshkosh will play the north stage at the intersection of Franklin and Jackson streets. Both bands will perform from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

At the Performing Arts Stage in front of Port Washington State Bank, Alex Simmonsa of Oostburg will perform classic rock and country music from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Doc Rube will play there from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and 4th Dimension, a saxophone quartet from Port Washington High School, will play at 4 p.m.

There will be an arts and crafts area as well as a children’s area, which will include everything from a bounce house to chalk drawings.

The princesses will be on hand for a tea at Baltica Bistro and Tea Room that will run until 3:30 p.m. Parents are asked to call ahead for reservations.Daily Press

Afterward, the princesses will be available for families to take photographs.

The Port High football team will offer a football experience for youngsters, and the Port Washington Fire Department will have a truck on hand. 

Those attending the festival will be able to have a say in marketing the city this summer.

Port Main Street Inc. is renting a number of billboards for the summer months, and has held a photo contest to select images for these signs.

The photographs under consideration will be displayed at the Port Exploreum, 118 N. Franklin St., and people can vote for their favorite image during the festival.

On Monday, May 30, the Memorial Day events sponsored by the Van Ells-Schanen American Legion Post 82 will begin with a 10:30 a.m. parade through downtown. 

The parade will begin at the corner of Wisconsin Street and Grand Avenue, head east on Grand Avenue, north on Franklin Street and then follow Pier and Lake streets to Veterans Memorial Park.

A program at the park will follow. Amy Luft will be the master of ceremonies and Ozaukee County Veterans Services Officer Kevin Johnson will be the speaker. 

The Badger Boys and Girls sponsored by the Legion post will also be introduced.

The Port Washington High School and Thomas Jefferson Middle School bands will perform patriotic songs.

To salute deceased veterans, a wreath will be placed in the park and taps played. A rifle salute will also be presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5373.

Those attending are asked to honor fallen soldiers with silence during this portion of the event. 

Following the program, ice cream and soft drinks will be provided by the Legion to youngsters.

PWHS begins search for new band director PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:31

Board accepts resignation of instructor credited with helping establish acclaimed instrumental music program

The Port Washington-Saukville School Board on Monday accepted the resignation of Port Washington High School Band Director Alan Dust, who along with his predecessor are credited with establishing an acclaimed instrumental music program.Daily Press

“Josh and Alan put together a band program at Port High that is second to none,” Supt. Michael Weber said, referring to former band director Josh Haake, whom Dust replaced five years ago.

“Alan has just been such an asset for the school and its students.”

Dust, who worked in Fredonia’s Northern Ozaukee School District before coming to Port High, said he and his wife Alana are leaving the area to return to the East Coast.

He noted his wife just graduated from Marquette University with her second master’s degree and they are now thinking about having children.

“We’ve had a lot of long conversations about this,” Dust said. “We love it here, but we decided to raise a family near family.”

Dust is from New York. His wife is from New Hampshire.

“Neither of us has a job yet,” he said. “It’s really a blind leap of faith for us.”

Dust credited his students for the success of Port High’s band program.

“I think the band program is very strong,” he said. “I can’t say enough about the kids and how mature they are.”

In a Facebook post last week, Dust wrote, “To all my students, it’s hard to know where to even begin, so I will just say thank you. I hope you have learned half as much from me as I have learned from you.”

Dust said the band program has also thrived because of community support. He noted that through the work of the Port High Music Booster Club, the school was able to purchase a Steinway grand piano and has raised nearly $20,000 for new instruments.

He said community support for the music program is also evident in the audiences at high school concerts.

“This is really such a wonderful community to be a part of,” he said. “I go to the store and people tell me what a wonderful concert it was.”

Dust will finish the school year and plans, at least for now, he said, to teach summer school.

The district is advertising for his replacement.

County server glitch leaves governments in the lurch PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 18:42

Problem that began last week snarls operations for Ozaukee municipalities

A problem with Ozaukee County’s computer servers has left much of the county and several municipalities without email and access to their files for nearly a week.Daily Press

The system was to be brought back online Wednesday “with the hopes the problem will be resolved,” county Director of Information Technology Jason Dzwinel said.

E-mails could not be sent or received at county addresses since last Thursday. Municipalities using the county’s e-mail servers facing the same fate include the city of Port Washington, the villages of Saukville, Fredonia and Belgium and towns of Port Washington, Saukville, Fredonia and Belgium.

Grafton and Mequon are on different e-mail and website servers and were not affected.

In addition to emails, many municipal websites are down since they are hosted on the county’s system.

The issue reached the point that some county employees were given the option to take vacation since they couldn’t accomplish much at work.

“It’s up to the departments; it’s up to them to decide if they can be utilized. If not, they have the option of taking some time off,” County Administrator Tom Meaux said.

The county had an issue with the storage on its virtual servers, which caused a delay in the network, Dzwinel said.

“It’s functioning very slowly so users don’t have access to email and many of the software programs we use,” he said.

Latency issues were noticed last week, Dzwinel said, and staff began looking for the problem.

“The difficulty is in diagnosing the issue because there are so many pieces and parts to the network,” he said.

By process of elimination, Dzwinel said the problem was found with the county’s C drives, meaning in addition to no e-mail access, employees can’t access any of their files, either. The affected municipalities face the same problem.

Servers from one virtual storage area are being moved to another virtual storage area.

“It’s our hope that that will clear things up, and it should. Unfortunately, it’s a slow process because it’s a big network,” Dzwinel said.

“We have a disaster recovery plan in place for most disasters. This one was so unique and out of the box at the SAN level that that was the cause and length of the outage,” he said.

Municipalities are anxiously awaiting the solution.

“It’s crippling us, pretty much. Anything to do with e-mail or the county server we can’t do anything with,” Fredonia Village Clerk Sandi Tretow said.

Phone calls and faxes have filled in during the interim.

“You’ve got to make do. There are a lot of things you find you can do not using e-mail. That can only go for so long, you know,” Tretow said.

Port Washington Police Chief Kevin Hingiss said officers are “doing things the old-fashioned way,” writing reports out by hand. The department can still do background and license plate checks since those procedures use a state-run system, he said.

“If anybody is sending us e-mails and wondering why we are not responding, that would be it,” he said.

Port Washington got hit with a double whammy as it had a separate, unrelated issue with its Time Warner modem. Internal phone and fax lines went down Tuesday morning. Phone reception would sometimes get muffled and internal phone extensions didn’t work without calling outside the system, Administrative Assistant Judy Klumb said.

The city has adjusted accordingly.

“We’re getting a lot of filing done. Instead of e-mailing agendas, we’re mailing agendas,” Klumb said.

“It’s really hard not to have e-mail to work with. You don’t realize how much you need it. Thank goodness it’s not a payroll week.”

Dzwinel said Hewlett-Packard, which runs the county’s storage area network, has been on the scene, along with a number of vendors that serve different parts of the network.

“It’s just all hands on deck until we have a solution,” he said.

Man charged with homicide for selling drug in fatal overdose PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 18:36

Milwaukee resident accused in Percocet deal that led to death of Port High graduate

A 55-year-old man was charged Monday with first-degree reckless homicide for allegedly selling the drugs that contributed  to the overdose death of a 27-year-old Port Washington High School graduate and Fredonia resident in December.Daily Press

Milwaukee resident Michael Roby is charged with selling the narcotic pain medication Percocet to a woman who purchased it on behalf of Jacob Tietz on Dec. 29, according to the criminal complaint filed in Ozaukee County Circuit Court. 

The next morning, Tietz was found dead of “mixed drug toxicity of which Percocet was a substantial factor,” the complaint states.

Roby has been held in the county jail since January in lieu of $35,000 bail in connection with a separate but related drug charge.

According to the criminal complaint, sheriff’s deputies responding to a rescue call were told by Tietz’s father that he discovered his son’s body in his bedroom at 11 a.m. Dec. 30.

Near the body was a tissue with dried blood, a rubber tourniquet and other materials used to “cook” and inject drugs, the complaint states.

Deputies also found Tietz’s cell phone, which they used to track down a woman he was communicating with about buying drugs.

The woman was arrested later that day and told authorities that Tietz contacted her about buying drugs. She said she knew Tietz had a drug problem because they had attended alcohol and drug abuse counseling sessions together in the past.

The woman said she made arrangements with Mike, whom she later identified as Roby, to buy 16 15-milligram Percocet tablets. At 3:15 p.m. on Dec. 29, she said she picked up Tietz at his home and, after stopping at an ATM where he withdrew money, they drove to meet Roby, according to the complaint. 

At the designated meeting location, which is not specified in the complaint, the woman got into Roby’s vehicle and paid him $200 provided by Tietz for the Percocet tablets, the complaint states.

Then she and Tietz drove to a nearby McDonald’s, where Tietz snorted some of the Percocet, she said.

About a week after Tietz’s death, the woman agreed to help authorities set up a sting that allowed them to arrest and charge Roby with conspiracy to deliver narcotics-armed with a dangerous weapon while results of the autopsy were pending.

On Jan. 5, the woman called Roby and told him there was “a kid up in Fredonia that has like $400,” according to the complaint.

She said she negotiated a deal with Roby, who agreed to sell her $400 worth of 20-milligram Percocet tablets at $14 each, and arranged to meet him, the complaint states.

Members of the Milwaukee drug unit, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Ozaukee County Anti-Drug Task Force descended on the meeting location and, as they were attempting to make the arrest, Roby swallowed the contents of a pill bottle.

When told by officers he could die of an overdose, Roby said, “I don’t care,” according to the complaint.

Authorities discovered a loaded gun near Roby.

Roby has pleaded not guilty to the drug delivery charge. He’s scheduled to make his initial court appearance on the homicide charge on June 16.

The homicide charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and 15 years of extended supervision.

The drug delivery charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, although that can be increased by three years if the person convicted was armed, and five years of extended supervision.

PW-S district to buy 1,800 laptops for students PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 19:02

Board’s approval of Chromebook purchase reaffirms effort to provide computers for everyone in grades 5 through 12

The Port Washington-Saukville School Board on Monday approved the purchase of 1,800 Chromebook laptop computers, recommitting to an initiative launched three years ago that provided all middle and high school students with computers they use as their own.Daily Press

“We were leaders in terms of one-on-one devices for our students three years ago, and it’s been very successful,” Director of Business Services Jim Froemming told the board.

The computers will cost $440,500 and be paid for with $250,000 from the district’s technology fund, $100,000 in utility savings due to a mild winter and another $100,000 in operational savings, Froemming said.

Three years ago, the district invested about $1 million in Apple iPads for fifth through seventh-graders and Chromebooks for eighth through 12th-graders. Computers were also purchased for labs, or learning centers, at elementary schools.

The investment reflected the belief that modern teaching and learning strategies are significantly enhanced by giving each middle and high school student a computer to use at school and at home during the school year. 

Officials remain committed to that belief but are tweaking their approach.

Although iPads lend themselves to interactive learning, they proved problematic in other regards. Without keyboards, they cannot effectively be used by students to compose essays or take standardized tests. 

In addition, the iPad is an application-based device, which makes maintaining the software on hundreds of the tablets time consuming and costly.

That’s why the district is abandoning iPads in favor of the Chromebook, which is a laptop computer that runs the Chrome operating system. It’s designed to be primarily used while connected to the Internet and mostly uses applications and stores data in “the cloud.”

They are also significantly less expensive than iPads. The district will purchase Dell Chromebooks for $193.50 each. It will also have to pay a licensing fee and buy protective cases, bringing the total cost per laptop to about $245. The district paid $450 for each iPad and more than $300 for each Chromebook three years ago.

The new computers will be distributed to students at the start of the new school year in September.

In the meantime, the district will sell or repurpose as many of the 3-year-old devices as possible.

Students and teachers will be able to purchase their iPads for $70 or their Chromebooks for $30 at the end of the school year. 

Some computers will be reassigned to elementary schools and retained as backups. Some will also likely be made available to private schools, which have expressed an interest in them, Froemming said.

The district tentatively plans to offer those that remain and are in decent condition to the public from June 8 through June 10 for $80 per iPad and $35 per Chromebook. Although buyers would have 48 hours to return the devices, there is no “express or implied warranty” beyond that, Froemming said.

The district currently leases most of the student computers and can return those they don’t sell or repurpose for credit.

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