WKEB Local News Archives for 2019-03

Medford company lowest bidder at $16.9M for work on new road serving Foxconn site

Medford company lowest bidder at $16.9M for work on new road serving Foxconn site

By Nick Williams  – Reporter, Milwaukee Business Journal

Mar 25, 2019,

  A Medford-based pavement and construction company was the lowest bidder for a contract for work on a new road serving Foxconn Technology Group's manufacturing site in Mount Pleasant.

   James Peterson Sons Inc. bid at $16.9 million for nearly two miles worth of grading, landscaping, concrete paving, traffic signals, traffic signage and removal work for Wisconn Valley Way, a multi-lane access roadway that will extend between highways KR and 11 and connect to Braun Road, the main road bordering the plant.

  Michels Corp. of Brownville bid at $17.2 million for that contract, followed by Menomonee Falls-based Super Western, Inc. at $18.4 million, according to bid results posted by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

  Wisconn Valley Way is being built to accommodate development traffic and control access to manage safety and mobility at the Foxconn site. Foxconn said it will break ground this summer on its LCD screen fabrication plant in Mount Pleasant. The plant would start operations in the fourth quarter of 2020 and house 1,500 jobs.

  The contract for this Wisconn Valley Way project is projected to be completed in May of 2020.

  Last summer, James Peterson Sons submitted the lowest bid of $16.3 million to reconstruct Braun Road into a six-lane, divided highway. In November, Michels Corp. was the lowest of three bidders at $14.9 million for a contract to expand Highway KR and construct the Wisconn Valley Way and Highway KR intersection.


Body of Abbotsford Marine killed during WWII identified


WSAW.com-Marine Corps Capt. Lester A. Schade, 27, of Abbotsford, Wisconsin, killed during World War II, was accounted for on July 26, 2018, according to Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

  In April 1942, Schade was captured by enemy forces and held as a prisoner of war in the Philippine Islands. On Dec. 14, 1944, more than 1,600 Allied prisoners were loaded aboard a Japanese transport en route to Japan. The ship was attacked by American carrier planes, killing a number of American prisoners.

  Survivors were transported aboard two other ships to Formosa, present day Taiwan, where they were loaded onto another ship, Enoura Maru, which was also attacked by American carrier planes. According to records, Schade was aboard the Enoura Maru when it was attacked Jan. 9, 1945, and was listed as missing, presumed dead as a result of the incident.

While survivors of the Enoura Maru bombing reported that the bodies of the men killed on the ship were cremated by the Japanese and buried at Takao Harbor, historical evidence indicates that not all the remains were cremated. One survivor stated that the Japanese suspended the cremation prior to completion.

T  he American Graves Registration Service recovered remains from graves and a cemetery around Takao in May and June 1946. The remains, which could not be identified were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, including one set, designated Formosa X-546A.

  On Oct. 31, 2017, following thorough historical research and analysis by DPAA historians, X-546A was disinterred from the Punchbowl for analysis.

  To identify Schade's remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as historical and material evidence.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

  Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,917 service members still unaccounted for from World War II (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable).

  Schade's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in the Philippines, along with the other MIAs from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for. 




Unity man convicted in double homicide case sentenced to life without parole

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Court records show the 27-year-old Unity man convicted of killing two people last January is sentenced to life without the possibility of parole Friday afternoon in Marathon County Circuit Court.

Tyler Zimmerman agreed to the terms of a plea deal in December. In exchange for the guilty plea, four other counts were dismissed.

The Colby-Abbotsford Police Chief said Cierra Hardrath, 21 and Duane [Hostetler] Lopez Jr., 25, were killed and one person, Megan Dupee, 18 was injured following the shooting Jan. 20, 2018. It happened on the 400 block of East Maple Street in Abbotsford.

Police say they got a call from Dupee about the shooting minutes after 3 a.m. When officers responded, they found the two people dead.

Chief Jason Bauer said the sole suspect, Zimmerman, was found near the crime scene and was taken into custody. Bauer said Zimmerman was Hardrath's live-in boyfriend.

Zimmerman told police he believed Hardrath was cheating on him. According to court documents, Zimmerman said Hardrath told him she was going to watch a movie at a friend's house and she left their home in Owen around 8 p.m.

Zimmerman told police he did not believe her, so he checked her Facebook Messenger and found she was having conversations with other men. He explained he tracked Hardrath's phone using the "Find My Phone" app on her tablet, then drove to the home on the 400 block of East Maple Street in Abbotsford.

According to police, the home belongs to Hardrath's ex-boyfriend, Parker Knautz. Knautz told police Hardrath had come to visit him and his two children. He said she eventually went to sleep in his bed, but he went to his children's room, as they were calling for him, and ultimately fell asleep there.

Once Zimmerman got to the home, Lopez Jr., [Hostetler] a tenant at the home, answered the door. Zimmerman asked for Hardrath, but Lopez Jr. said he did not know her. Eventually he let him in and led him to the bedroom where she was sleeping.

Zimmerman said he talked with Hardrath and referenced cheating, then shot her. Panicked, he said he turned around and shot the person standing in the doorway, Lopez Jr. On his way out, he shot Lopez Jr.'s fiance, Megan Dupee, 18.

Investigators said Zimmerman said he drove to his work to try to tell his boss everything. He left a voicemail on his phone saying he was sorry and he messed up. Zimmerman then wrote a Facebook post saying, "Farewell everyone, I'm sorry for all that I have hurt from this..." During this time, Dupee called 911 and police arrested Zimmerman shortly after near the home.

Police spoke with Zimmerman's boss who told them Zimmerman purchased a handgun a few months ago when Zimmerman and Hardrath seemed to be having issues. He prefaced he did not believe the purchase was unusual at the time.

Investigators asked Zimmerman if he knew he was going to shoot Hardrath when he got to the home. Zimmerman respond, "kind of, in a way."

Zimmerman faces a mandatory life sentence. Only his parole eligibility will be discussed at his sentencing hearing.

Update on missing man that was last seen on February 24th in the Village of Gilman.

          Update on missing man that was last seen on February 24th in the Village of Gilman.


 On February 24,2019 at 1:36 p.m. the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office received a report that 21 year old John R. Shest had walked away from the Phoenix House located in the Village of Gilman, in western Taylor County.  Shest was last seen leaving the Corner Store in Gilman on foot in a westerly direction after purchasing alcohol. Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Gilman Police Chief searched for Shest but were unable to locate him. The Sheriff’s Office continued efforts to locate Shest but no new information became available.


  On March 14th Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputies  in a continued effort to locate Shest again searched the area and with the snow cover diminishing located Shest deceased at 3:14 p.m.


  Shest was found partially buried in snow south of the village of Gilman. Based on his location it is believed Shest had walked down the rail road tracks leading out of the village in an attempt to be undetected. The incident remains under investigation but no foul play is suspected.


2019-05 | 2019-04 | 2019-03


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