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2014 in the news
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Jan. 3: Cade Milford Justman, son of Suzanne and David Justman of Platteville, is the first baby born at Southwest Health in 2014.
Jan. 6: Schools throughout the Tri-States close for two days after temperatures drop below 20 below zero and wind chills drop below 40 below zero. The temperature drops 53 degrees in Platteville between Jan. 4 (32) and Jan. 6 (21 below zero). A car fire, a barn fire and two house fires are reported, the latter of which is blamed on efforts to thaw freezing pipes.
Jan. 6: Larry D. Kallembach, 56, Platteville, is charged in Crawford County with theft by false representation — special facts. He was accused of purchasing $6,490.89 in items from an auction conducted by a Prairie du Chien auction service through a check from the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta. Kallembach is also charged in Walworth County with theft by false representation of more than $10,000 and forgery — uttering, for allegedly purchasing seven antique tractors with a $39,250 Federal Reserve Bank check.
Jan. 7: The Platteville Rotary Club holds its first meeting of 2014, after having been dormant for 20 years.
Jan. 7: At-large Ald. Patrice Steiner files a notice of noncandidacy, ending her term on the Platteville Common Council. Three candidates — Brian Chapman, Amy Seeboth and Darrel Browning — file to replace Steiner.
Jan. 10: Platteville and Iowa–Grant schools close early because of freezing rain, which resulted in a multiple-car pileup on U.S. 151 between Platteville and Dickeyville, and a jackknifed tractor–trailer on 151 south of Mineral Point that blocked southbound traffic for 7½ hours.
Jan. 13: Clarity Clinic of Dubuque, which offers counseling for unplanned pregnancies and parenting classes, opens in Platteville.
Jan. 14: The towers of WPVL (1590 AM) on Platteville’s north side are taken down, replaced by a new tower north of Platteville for WPVL’s new transmitter. The towers were installed when what used to be WSWW radio went on the air in 1955.
Jan. 14: A task force appointed by the Platteville Common Council recommends a Municipal Building renovation plan, including all the offices now on the second floor to the first floor, move Rountree Gallery into the second floor, and convert the rest of the second floor to meeting and community space.
Jan. 16: UW–Platteville hosts a forum on proposals to reform state taxes, with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and state Secretary of Revenue Rick Chandler.
Jan. 21: Grant County Emergency Management Director Steve Braun tells the Grant County Board that Grant County led Wisconsin in the number of federally declared disaster areas, eight, in 14 years.
Jan. 25: Dale Halverson, 52, dies after he falls on ice on Pine Street in Mifflin, which was covered in ice and snow, and strikes his head.
Jan. 25: Despite below-zero wind chills, the Platteville Driftbusters Snowmobile Club Radar Run is held as scheduled, including the bikini races.
Jan. 26: Blizzard warnings are issued after 40-mph winds create whiteout conditions, with 131 cars reported off Grant County roads. At one point, all roads into Platteville and U.S. 151 from Platteville to Dubuque are closed. Fire trucks south of U.S. 18 are called out around 7 p.m. to patrol main highways to rescue motorists from stranded vehicles. Platteville firefighters rescue 11 people from seven disabled vehicles.
Jan. 27: State Sen. Dale Schultz (R–Richland Center) announces on WISC-TV in Madison that he isn’t running for reelection to the 17th Senate District seat he’s held since 1991.
Jan. 27–28: Schools are closed for the second time in a month because of bitter cold temperatures and wind chills. The temperature goes from 26 Jan. 26 around noon to 10 below zero by Monday at 8 a.m. Jan. 28 is the fifth day Platteville schools have been called off in the 2013–14 school year.
Jan. 30: A stipulation agreement ends a lawsuit between the Town of Kendall and two town residents over alleged violations of the state Open Records Law. The residents had sought financial reports and unapproved town board minutes dating back to June 2013, but the town board had refused.
Feb. 3: James M. Kruger, 36, Madison, is ruled competent to stand trial on 15 Grant County charges in connection with a beating, carjacking and hostage situation that started in Cassville and ended near Blue Mounds Sept. 10, 2013.
Feb. 4: Grant County Deputy Sheriff Rick Hottenstein, his K-9 dog Diego, and a 3-year-old girl are hurt in a crash on Wisconsin 80 north of Arthur.
Feb. 10: A confirmed case of measles is reported in eastern Grant County.
Feb. 10: Twelve horses are seized from a Town of Wiota pasture as the result of an investigation of animal neglect.
Feb. 12: Demolition of the old Culver’s restaurant, which was destroyed by fire in November 2013, is delayed after an excavator that was being used to remove debris fell into the building’s basement.
Feb. 12: Lance Rice, who has autism, stops at Potosi Brewery on his tour of American breweries as part of a film on the history of American brewing.
Feb. 18: Amy Seeboth and Darrel Browning finish first and second in the Platteville Common Council at-large primary election.
Feb. 18: Platteville High School presents “Heroin: Not Just a Big City Problem” on the growth in use of heroin in the Tri-States. One statistic reported is that 29 people died of a heroin overdose in Wisconsin between 2000 and 2007; in 2012 199 people died.
Feb. 18: The Grant County Board discusses whether all committee meetings should be recorded, as county board meetings are recorded.
Feb. 20: Four people are injured in two five-car crashes that occur within moments of each other on Wisconsin 80/81, due to whiteout conditions.
Feb. 24: Homeowners in Dickeyville are required, and residents in Livingston and Potosi are asked, to run water continuously to avoid water main freezing.
Feb. 25: The Platteville Journal marks its 115th anniversary.
Feb. 25: The Platteville Community Arboretum asks the City of Platteville for $150,000, on top of the $50,000 the city pledged one year earlier, for the proposed $1.2 million paving and lighting of the Rountree Branch Trail.
Feb. 25: The Platteville Common Council votes to accept the city hall task force report. No further action has been taken since then.
Feb. 27: UW–Platteville students participate in the second annual Nearly Naked Run, with clothing donated to Family Advocates and Grant County Social Services. The run is held one week later than originally scheduled due to ice.
Feb. 28: The Platteville Journal receives seven awards at the annual Better Newspaper Contest — first place in page design–feature, page design–sports, and best circulation promotion; second place in Open Records/Freedom of Information and page design, and third place in editorial pages and breaking news.
March 1: Iowa–Grant’s Luke Nowak wins the WIAA Division 3 160-pound wrestling title.
March 3: Grant County Corporation Counsel Todd Infield, 44, dies of complications one week after a stroke. Infield was also the village attorney for Montfort, Livingston, Rewey and Potosi.
March 9: Grant County sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Breitsprecker announces he is running for sheriff, one week after Sheriff Nate Dreckman, who was appointed in 2012, announces he is running for election.
March 10: For the second time in the school year, the Platteville School District makes changes in its administrators. The School Board approves hiring a principal for Neal Wilkins, undoing a decision made in November to have Westview Elementary School principal Don Shaw also serve as principal at Neal Wilkins. Lisa Finnegan, who started the school year as Platteville Middle School, and then became Platteville High School assistant principal and the school district’s assessment and instructional technology coordinator, will have the assessment and IT position full-time next school year.
March 14: Robert Stietz, 65, Gratiot, is found guilty in Lafayette County Circuit Court of intentionally pointing a firearm at a law enforcement officer and resisting or obstructing an officer. The jury acquits Stietz of four other charges — first degree recklessly endangering safety, endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, and additional intentionally pointing and resisting charges. The charges were the result of a November 2012 standoff between Stietz and two Department of Natural Resources game wardens on the last day of the gun deer season.
March 19: Former Grant County probation and parole agent Sherry Buswell is sentenced to 18 months in prison and 18 months extended supervision for taking more than $8,000 from her clients. Buswell previously pleaded guilty to 21 felony charges.
March 20: Timmy Lansing Johnson Jr., 25, Dickeyville, is arrested in Platteville for allegedly taking a car parked at a Dickeyville business and driving it to Platteville. Johnson is also accused of trying to bribe a Grant County sheriff’s deputy on his way to the Grant County Jail.
March 29: The Wisconsin men’s basketball team, coached by former UW–Platteville coach Bo Ryan, beats Arizona 64–63 in overtime for the Badgers’ first Final Four berth since 2000. Ryan won four NCAA Division III national championships at UW–Platteville.
April 1: Amy Seeboth wins the Platteville Common Council at-large race over Darrel Browning to replace retiring Ald. Patrice Steiner. Incumbent Grant County Sup. Vince Loeffelholz of Dickeyville loses in the only contested County Board race, to Dan Timmerman, while incumbent Lafayette County Sup. Patrick Shea loses Lafayette County’s only contested county board race, to Larry Ludlum.
April 7: The Platteville School Board hears a facilities study that considers three potential building options — upgrading all four school buildings, moving fourth grade from Platteville Middle School to Westview Elementary School, and moving seventh and eighth grades to Platteville High School and closing one of the school district’s elementary school buildings — besides doing nothing and doing maintenance and safety upgrades.
April 9: Antwan D. Williams, 32, Mineral Point, is bound over for trial in Iowa county Circuit Court on 11 drug-related felony charges in connection with the death of Anthony T. Russell, 27, Dodgeville, Dec. 21, 2003.
April 11: Seven fire departments, two EMS units, the state Department of Natural Resources and Grant County Emergency Management fight a grass fire west of Livingston.
April 12–14: The entire panorama of Wisconsin weather showed itself off — 79-degree temperatures, followed by the season’s first severe weather Saturday; the year’s biggest rainfall to date, 2.43 inches, Sunday; and then snow overnight.
April 15: The Grant County Board votes for Sup. Bob Keeney of Mount Hope as board chair. Keeney defeats Sup. Larry Wolf of Lancaster to become the third new board chair in three years.
April 21: The state Department of Natural Resources reports that white nose syndrome was found in 2 percent of bats in a Grant County mine. White nose syndrome is a fungus that causes hibernating bats to frequently wake from hibernation, which can cause them to starve or become dehydrated before spring.
April 22: The Platteville Common Council votes to take over 15 houses formerly owned by Darrel Kallembach. The houses were purchased with more than $300,000 in fines in a sheriff’s sale in 2013.
April 23: The dialysis unit at Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County in Darlington closes because of insufficient patient use.
April 25: Dunkin’ Donuts makes more than 400 dozen doughnuts, eight times the usual Friday volume, to fill orders for the Boots and Badges fundraiser to raise money for more Automated External Defibrillators in Platteville. The doughnuts are estimated to contain 1.5 million calories.
May 3: Downtown Platteville holds the first Kick Start Tourism event, which features the premiere of Discover Wisconsin’s episode “Motorcycling — Wisconsin’s Western Ride.” The episode was filmed in part around Platteville, including during the 2013 Hometown Hog Roast.
May 7: Timmy Lansing Johnson Jr., 25, is sentenced to five years probation, including 24 days in jail, on charges of felony bail jumping, bribery of a public official, felony driving and operating a vehicle without consent, misdemeanor taking and driving a vehicle without consent, misdemeanor bail jumping, disorderly conduct, fraud on a taxicab operator as a repeater, and two counts of resisting or obstructing an officer.
May 10: UW–Platteville’s 192nd Commencement includes two local students, Robinson Flaig of Platteville and Brian Majerus of Dickeyville, who are two of the three valedictorians in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science.
May 12: The Platteville School Board votes to extend iPad use to next school year’s seventh-graders, as well as next school year’s eighth- through 10th-graders, who are already using iPads.
May 17: Clyde Wagner of Livingston flies to Washington, D.C., as part of the Badger Honor Flight. Wagner was a World War II veteran who was injured in Germany in February 1945.
May 19: A bear is seen by several people around Banfield Road near Potosi. The bear may have been a bear sighted west of Fennimore four days earlier.
May 20: Lyle Habel, Bill White and Jack O’Neill of Platteville fly to Washington as part of the Dubuque Honor Flight. White served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Habel was a veteran of the National Guard and Navy who served at the end of the Korean War. O’Neill served in the Army from 1954 to 1956, with his last year in South Korea. The flight is the last Dubuque Honor Flight, after the organization announces it is disbanding after completing its mission to get World War II veterans to Washington.
June 4: Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D–Milwaukee) touts the candidacy of 17th Senate District Democratic candidate Pat Bomhack of Spring Green. Bomhack initially planned to run in the 51st Assembly District (a race he lost in 2012), but decided to run in the 17th instead, apparently at the behest of state Democratic Party officials. The first 17th District candidate, Ernie Wittwer of Hillpoint, says, “As a citizen, I find it to be offensive. … His endorsement of a candidate in a primary election in the 17th District makes it clear that he has no respect for our form of government or the people that live in this district.”
June 6–7: Belmont’s Tucker Wedig wins the Division 3 discus and shot put titles at the WIAA track and field championships in La Crosse. Wedig sets a new Belmont record, beating the record of his throwing coach, David Kamps, set in 1984.
June 8: Drew Montana Striegel, 20, Rice Lake, is arrested on a probation violation after an altercation at a Platteville bar. Striegel was sentenced to two years prison and two years extended supervision in April 2011, when Striegel was 17, and also sentenced to three years prison, three years extended supervision and three years probation in November 2011 on a battery by prisoners charge.
June 9: Maureen Vorwald and Colleen McCabe of Platteville get Grant County’s first same-sex marriage license, one week after a U.S. district judge rules that the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage violates the U.S. constitution.
June 10: Donald Joseph Tweedy, 17, Gays Mills, turns himself in to authorities one week after he was wanted for two vehicle thefts. Tweedy is accused of stealing his mother’s car in Bell Center June 3 and driving it to Dubuque, where, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, “several attempted burglaries” took place in Dubuque. Tweedy then allegedly drove the car to Platteville, where a chase with police ended on East Business 151. Tweedy is also accused in connection with a pickup truck theft in the Town of Platteville late June 5; the truck is found in Dubuque June 6.
June 12: The National Brewery Museum library at the Potosi Brewery reopens after several months of renovations.
June 12: Timmy Lansing Johnson Jr., 25, Dubuque, is released from the Grant County Jail after serving a jail sentence as part of a probation term on nine charges. Forbes is given a ride to Platteville. That afternoon, Merle Forbes, 79, Platteville, picks up a fare at Rountree Commons. The passenger robs, stabs and beats Forbes and puts him in the trunk of Forbes’ taxi, driving to La Crosse.
June 13: Around 1:10 a.m., four hours after an Attempt to Locate bulletin was issued by the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, Forbes’ taxi is spotted by a La Crosse police officer, driven by someone who doesn’t match Forbes’ description. The ensuing chase at speeds of up to 115 mph ends when the taxi crashes into an SUV near Holmen. Timmy Lansing Johnson Jr., released from the Grant County Jail one day earlier, is arrested and charged with six La Crosse County felonies.
June 15: Colton Vondra of Platteville and Cole Johnson of Belmont qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo by, respectively, finishing fourth in boys’ cutting and fifth in bull riding at the Wisconsin High School Rodeo in Richland Center.
June 16: An EF2 tornado forms just west of the UW–Platteville campus and proceeds east-southeast, causing damage to three UWP dorms, Engineering Hall and Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium, then moving through the Harrison Park neighborhood, destroying several houses, and Business 151, destroying the Shell gas station and damaging several businesses. The tornado’s path ends at Hillside Cemetery, where more than 100 gravestones are damaged. Considerable tree damage occurs on campus and along Business 151 and Rountree Branch. At the same time, an EF1 tornado causes damage to apartments near the Platteville Golf & Country Club. The entire city, except for buildings with generators, is blacked out.
June 17: By midnight, firefighters and ambulances from throughout Grant County are staged at Piggly Wiggly, while Platteville firefighters and the two EMS ambulances check for damage in Platteville and in rural areas. Gov. Scott Walker tours Platteville’s tornado damage and declares a state of emergency in Platteville, after an emergency meeting of the Platteville Common Council. UW–Platteville closes campus, and a band camp and engineering camp are canceled.
June 22: The Southwest Wisconsin Auto Club car show at the Mitchell–Rountree Stone Cottage is canceled after 20 minutes because of forecasted severe weather, which fails to materialize.
June 29: An EF2 tornado destroys a house on Grant County Q near Fennimore, high winds destroy a shed on Fairplay Road in Jamestown, and an EF2 tornado touches down in the Town of Ridgeway.
June 30: A funnel cloud is reported near Livingston, while winds of more than 80 mph cause damage in Lancaster, and storm damage is reported in Rewey.
June 30: In a radio interview, UW–Platteville athletic director Mark Molesworth says the artificial turf at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium has to be replaced, along with the four light towers.
June 30: Platteville High School principal Jeff Jacobson leaves at the end of the 2013–14 school year to become the Dodgeville School District superintendent. Jacobson’s replacement is Timothy Engh, the dean of students at Merrill High School.
July 1: Southwest Health takes over Dean Clinic–Platteville after purchasing the clinic.
July 4: The Platteville firefighter memorial in City Park is dedicated to start the 4th of July Celebration. The memorial commemorates past firefighters, including the three who died in the Forehand Block fire in 1919.
July 7: Eight months after a fire closed Culver’s and three weeks after the store opened for one day before the June 16 tornadoes, the restaurant holds its ribbon-cutting.
July 7: The Platteville Plan Commission hears proposed plans for the Library Block — West Main Street, South Chestnut Street, West Pine Street and South Elm Street — in which the current library and buildings would be replaced by a mixed-use development, including a library twice the size of the current library. The proposed project would increased the taxable value of the block from the current $900,000 to $19 million to $21 million.
July 8: The Platteville Common Council approves an unpaved trail in Knoll Wood Park, one month after the trail proposal was tabled after more than 40 area residents registered opposition to the trail. That sparked a month of meetings between area residents and Platteville Human Powered Trails to change the plan to deal with residents’ concerns.
July 9: Carrie Gates of Platteville is released from a Madison hospital. She was the most seriously injured tornado victim June 16, suffering two broken neck vertebrae, two broken spine vertebrae and five broken ribs, which caused both of her lungs to collapse. Gates was sucked out of the top floor of the Gates duplex, landing in the front yard of the next-door house. The Gates duplex was ripped off its basement foundation.
July 10: Nathan Martin Sensenig, 9, dies when he becomes trapped in a grain bin in a Town of Liberty farm.
July 11: The Chicago Bears make a $50,000 contribution to the UW–Platteville Pioneer Relief Fund for students and employees who had losses from the June 16 EF2 tornado. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first Bears training camp at UW–Platteville.
July 12: Former Platteville police officer Richard Zenz, 65, dies after he collapsed after helping rescue a motorist in a burning car in Jackson County. Zenz was an officer in Platteville from 1971 to 1991, after which he moved to Iron River and became its police chief.
July 14: The U.S. Small Business Administration declares Grant County a federal disaster area as a result of the June 16 tornadoes and other severe weather through June 18.
July 15: The Grant County Board votes 10–6 to eliminate longevity pay as part of consolidating the county’s six former union contracts into one pay scale.
July 21: Jesse D. Flogel, 37, Montfort, is sentenced to one year in jail, four years extended supervision and seven years probation on a charge of hit-and-run involving death in Iowa County Circuit Court. Flogel was charged in the death of Tondelaya Bennett, 40, Montfort, in a motorcycle crash northeast of Montfort June 16, 2013.
July 21: Results of Platteville Public Schools surveys indicate a preference to move fourth grade to Westview Elementary School out of five potential options to renovate school district buildings.
July 28: The Madison-based MacIver Institute for Public Policy obtains thousands of emails sent to state Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D–Middleton) from government employees over the Act 10 public employee collective bargaining reform debate in 2011. Grant County Circuit Judge Robert VanDeHey had ruled in April 2013 that Erpenbach could choose to withhold senders’ email addresses, but the state District II Court of Appeals overruled VanDeHey’s ruling.
July 31: The City of Platteville receives 88 bids for the 12 houses owned by Darrel Kallembach that the city took over after a 2013 sheriff’s sale.
Aug. 1: The Platteville summer swim team raises $1,200 for the Platteville Tornado Relief Fund through its annual Swimthon.
Aug. 5: Cade Kirkpatrick, 24, Montfort, and Danielle Abbott, 30, are arrest on methamphetamine charges after a vehicle was seen parked near Lil Tykes Daycare in Montfort, with the occupants reported to be “acting strange.”
Aug. 8: Jerry S. Thill, 53, Dubuque, drowns in the Mississippi River near Potosi.
Aug. 12: Grant County Sheriff Nate Dreckman defeats sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Breitsprecker in the Republican primary. Lafayette County Deputy Sheriff Reg Gill defeats Darlington police chief Jason King in the Republican primary. Tony Kurtz of Prairie du Chien wins the three-way Republican primary in the Third Congressional District. Dodgeville Mayor Todd Novak wins the four-way 51st Assembly District Republican primary.
Aug. 13: Ernie Wittwer of Hillpoint is reported the winner, by two votes, over Pat Bomhack of Spring Green in the 17th Senate District Democratic primary.
Aug. 14: The Potosi Brewery hosts a Small-Town Downtown forum, produced by Wisconsin Downtown Action Council, Wisconsin Rural Partners, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and presented by UW–Extension.
Aug. 20: Following official county canvasses, Ernie Wittwer’s lead grows to seven votes over Pat Bomhack in the 17th Senate District Democratic primary. Bomhack requests a recount.
Aug. 20: Lafayette County Deputy Sheriff Michael Gorham completes a 110-mile solo bike ride and march from Benton through Belmont to Madison, in memory of Army Sgt. Jakob Roelli of Darlington and Staff Sgt. Jesse Grindey of Hazel Green.
Aug. 20: Timmy Reichling, 47, Darlington, is sentenced to 25 years in prison and supervised release for the rest of his life on a federal charge of production of child pornography.
Aug. 26: The Platteville Common Council tables a vote on awarding the 12 Kallembach house bids after Ald. Amy Seeboth-Wilson noted that the city’s Request for Proposal had stipulated that the city would score the bids, when the bids had not in fact been scored.
Aug. 28: The Platteville Hillmen play the first of their two home-on-the-road games against Holmen at Cuba City, followed by playing Viroqua at Potosi Sept. 5. The games were moved because repairs to Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium, including replacement of the artificial turf, weren’t completed in time for the PHS season. Platteville played just two home football games.
Aug. 29: The state Government Accountability Board declares Pat Bomhack the winner in the 17th Senate District Democratic primary. The vote margin swings to Bomhck after 110 votes from the City of Monroe go missing. City of Monroe clerk Carol Stamm told the Wisconsin State Journal the ballots may have been placed next to a stack of unused ballots that were also destroyed. Wittwer decides against a recount because the chances of overturning the results were “slim.”
Sept. 2: The first day of school are also the first days for two new Platteville principals, Platteville High School principal Tim Engh and Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center Kristoffer Brown.
Sept. 8: The Platteville School Board votes to rent the O.E. Gray building library, its adjoining rooms, and one classroom to the Platteville Public Library during Library Block reconstruction between May 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016.
Sept. 9: The Platteville Common Council votes to sell the 12 Darrel Kallembach houses to six different bidders. The total bids — only three of which were the highest bids for a particular property — total $322,109.76, which is to go toward the $350,000 the city spent on satisfying liens and maintaining the houses until sold.
Sept. 9: Revisiting a subject that took up most of 2012 to decide, the Common Council also votes to extend, by one hour, two-hour parking on downtown streets.
Sept. 11: The Belmont School and Community Fair celebrates the 100th anniversary of its first fair. The fair includes an appearance by the UW Marching Band attended by more than 1,000 people.
Sept. 14: A man is stabbed in a residence on Oak Street in Platteville. Police announce that “information obtained indicates there is no danger to the public.” The reported victim was taken to Southwest Health by a friend, but left before receiving treatment, then was seen at a local business seeking first-aid supplies.
Sept. 15: The Iowa–Grant School Board votes to begin a high school track program in the 2015–16 school year.
Sept. 15: On the 10th day of fall classes, UW–Platteville reports two records in enrollment, 8,805 students and 7,975 undergraduate students, the latter 36 more than in the fall of 2013.
Sept. 16: The state Department of Public Instruction announces the 2013–14 school report cards, which rank Platteville Public Schools 27th highest in the state. Platteville Middle School is the area’s highest graded middle school, Platteville High School is the area’s second highest graded high school, and Westview Elementary School is the area’s second highest graded elementary school and third highest graded school overall.
Sept. 16: Bruce Kroll, owner of Culver’s in Platteville, appears on the syndicated Steve Harvey show to talk about how he paid his employees’ salaries between the November fire and July reopening. Kroll was joined, to his surprise, by his employees.
Sept. 18: Carlos F. Martinez, 44, Aurora, Ill., is killed in a head-on crash on Wisconsin 133 in the Town of Potosi. Martinez’s semi caught fire in a head-on crash.
Sept. 22: The Platteville School Board decides to create a sixth section of first grade because of unexpectedly large class sizes — 24 per class instead of 22 the school district had projected.
Sept. 23: The Platteville Common Council votes to merge the city’s Shared Ride Taxi and the UW–Platteville shuttle on a one-year trial run.
Oct. 4: Seven fire departments fight a corn dryer fire between Dickeyville and Platteville for 4½ hours. The call was Platteville’s fourth fire call of the day.
Oct. 5: Grant County’s 15 soldiers who died during the Vietnam War are commemorated in a Salute to Veterans event in Lancaster.
Oct. 10: Wisconsin Mining School 1949 graduate Arthur Masbruch gives UW–Platteville the largest gift in the history of the university.
Oct. 10–11: For the first time in many years, Platteville High School and UW–Platteville hold their Homecoming parades on consecutive days. The home teams win the Homecoming football games.
Oct. 13: The City of Platteville holds a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Platteville Municipal Airport expansion project. Two months later, the Common Council votes to annex the airport into the City of Platteville, which will result in higher property taxes for owners of hangars.
Oct. 14: The Platteville Common Council tables reducing speed limits by 5 mph on Business 151 between the west city limits and East Side Road. Ald. Barb Stockhausen proposed reducing the speed limit due to pedestrian safety issues, but the council wasn’t able to agree on if, or where, speed limits should be reduced.
Oct. 15: Jessie Lee-Jones starts as the new director of the Platteville Public Library, replacing the retired Carolyn Schuler.
Oct. 22: Voters in the 17th Senate District receive a mailer from the state Democratic Party saying that “Pat Bomhack has the Dale Schultz Stamp of Approval.” The mailer has a photo of Bomhack, who is running to replace Schultz in the 17th Senate District, and a quote from Schultz that “Pat Bomhack is a good fit for the district because his values and positions on the issues people care about, from my perspective, are similar to mine.” Schultz doesn’t endorse Bomhack against Rep. Howard Marklein (R–Spring Green), but on WEKZ radio’s Sly slow, Schultz says, “I think people are smart enough to read between the lines, and I encourage them to do their own research and come to their own conclusion.”
Oct. 28: The Platteville Common Council approves a $172,000 revolving loan fund loan for the new owner of the building at 25 E. Main St. for interior improvements. The building, the site of the offices of The Platteville Journal, had a scaffold in front of it since spring when pieces of the façade began falling onto the sidewalk. The new owner, Wall Properties LLC of Prairie du Chien, had received an $80,000 loan from the city Downtown Redevelopment Authority to finance work on the building’s experior.
Nov. 1: The Potosi Brewery Saloon, the former Legion Bar, holds a ribbon-cutting.
Nov. 1: Platteville beats Lakeside Lutheran in four sets to clinch its first WIAA state volleyball tournament berth in 20 years.
Nov. 4: Gov. Scott Walker, state Rep. Travis Tranel (R–Cuba City) and U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (D–La Crosse) and Mark Pocan (D–Madison) are reelected. Rep. Howard Marklein (R–Spring Green) defeats Pat Bomhack to win the 17th Senate District seat of the retiring Sen. Dale Schultz (R–Spring Green). Republican Todd Novak defeats Democrat Dick Cates Jr. to win Marklein’s 51st Assembly District seat by 59 votes.
Nov. 6: Timmy Lansing Johnson Jr. pleads no contest to first-degree reckless homicide, armed robbery with use of force and kidnapping charges in connection with the death of Merle Forbes, 79, Platteville, June 13. Johnson previously had pleaded not guilty to a first-degree intentional homicide charge. The plea agreement reduces his maximum sentence on the homicide charge from life in prison without possibility of parole to 60 years in prison.
Nov. 7: The New Music Weekly Country Internet Main Chart top 85 has on top “Livin’ on Borrowed Time” sung by UW–Platteville lecturer Stephen Shepherd.
Nov. 10: More than a month after Dustin A. Boeck, 30, South Wayne, was last seen, Boeck’s body was found in a Town of Wayne field by a farmer.
Nov. 13: After a recount extends Republican Todd Novak’s lead from 59 votes to 65, Democrat Dick Cates Jr. announces he will not seek a recount in the 51st Assembly District election.
Nov. 15: Southwest Health holds the grand opening for its expansion project, which includes its Orthopedic Institute, Women’s Center and The Edge sports performance facility.
Nov. 19: Bishop Robert Morlino of the Catholic Diocese of Madison stops a speech to UW–Platteville students in UWP’s Doudna Hall five minutes after it started because of the presence of former members of Platteville’s Catholic churches and Journal editor Steve Prestegard. Morlino’s speech continues at St. Augustine University Parish, which is owned by the diocese.
Nov. 20: The community quality of life improvement initiative UNITE (Unified Neighbors Improving Their Environment) is introduced at Good Morning Platteville.
Nov. 21: Amos King, 22, rural Cuba City, dies in a manure spreader accident in the Town of Elk Grove.
Nov. 22: Joseph L. Shepherd, 70, Shullsburg, dies after a car crash in the Town of New Diggings, though a “personal medical emergency” may have contributed to Shepherd’s death.
Nov. 24: Platteville High School ranks 31st and Potosi High School 60th among Wisconsin’s 511 public high schools in an online comparison by Niche K–12.
Nov. 24: Three weeks after Platteville High School’s first state volleyball tournament appearance in 20 years, the school board meeting includes a group of parents who want volleyball coach Yvette Updike replaced over allegations of “abuse, verbal abuse and bullying” and “harassment, both to players and parents.” A larger group of supporters of Updike, including other parents and former players, speak at the meeting. After an executive-session discussion, the School Board takes no action. One day later, Updike receives a letter from Platteville Public Schools superintendent Connie Valenza that says she won’t be renewed as coach.
Nov. 25: The Platteville Common Council votes to annex the Platteville Municipal Airport into the city and rezone the airport. The annexation will increase property taxes for the airport’s hangar owners.
Nov. 25: The Platteville Common Council accepts the resignation of City Manager Larry Bierke after Bierke decides not to accept the city’s 2015 contract proposal over his pay and a residency requirement. Bierke’s last day will be May 1.
Dec. 1: The state Department of Justice announces a settlement with the owner of the former D.T. Liquor and Convenience Store in the Town of Smelser. William Davis of Galena is fined $7,560 and ordered to complete environmental restoration of the site by Jan. 1, 2019. After underground fuel storage tanks were removed, testing reveals soil concentration of diesel fuel 870 times the levels allowed, and concentration of gasoline 1,000 times the levels allowed by state regulations.
Dec. 6: UW–Platteville holds its 41st and final Badger Camp Telethon.
Dec. 10: Platteville School Board President Brian Miesen announces after more than 45 minutes of comments about Platteville High School volleyball coach Yvette Updike that “the district will be seeking new candidates for the position.” Updike states during the meeting that she believed that a group of parents undermined her ability to coach, including holding practices for some players outside of school, and that Platteville Public Schools administration did not address her concerns with those parents. Updike says she got a text message immediately following the Hillmen’s loss to Waukesha Catholic Memorial in the WIAA state volleyball tournament Nov. 7 that “You won’t be interfering next summer I promise you.”
Dec. 16: The Grant County Board breaks a tie, so to speak, between the Town of Platteville board and the town’s Plan Commission over rezoning 8.23 acres of land designated for farmland preservation for residential development. The Plan Commission had approved the rezoning, but the town board opposed the rezoning.
Dec. 17: Platteville High School graduate and former UW football player and assistant Paul Chryst is named UW–Madison’s football coach, one week after Badger coach Gary Andersen leaves to become the coach at Oregon State. Chryst, the quarterback of PHS’ 1983 state champion football team, is the son of former UW–Platteville football coach and athletic director George Chryst, who hired UW assistant Bo Ryan to coach at Platteville.
Dec. 18: Platteville High School football coach Scott Statz, whose 2013 team got to the WIAA Division 4 football championship game, resigns after 14 seasons, 11 of which include playoff berths.
Dec. 19: A man with his face painted black and carrying a knife robs Dominos Pizza of cash around 2:15 a.m. Shortly afterward, a Mineral Point business clerk notifies police that someone was washing his face in the business’ bathroom. Iowa County authorities arrest Ryan J. Barthel, 39, Madison, for armed robbery.