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DHS says its 'proud' of controversial facility

In a letter to Senator Jon Erpenbach and Representative Fred Clark, the secretary of Department of Health Services said she is "proud of the care and caution that Dungarvin and Care Wisconsin exercised" in planning for a mental health care facility in Baraboo.

The companies don't need a license to house 26-year-old Jeremy Felix at 616 Sauk Avenue. Neighbors and Baraboo Police have voiced concerns about Felix's violent history. Lt. Rob Sinden said there have been at least a dozen reports of employees injured at the facility since Felix moved in February.

The DHS said Dungarvin and Care Wisconsin took 18 months to plan Felix's placement. The report said Baraboo's police chief was made aware of the situation 10 days after Felix moved in.

Reedsburg hockey recovers after former treasurer's sentence

Reedsburg youth hockey club members are conflicted about whether their former treasurer, who pleaded guilty to stealing from the group, got a strong enough punishment.

Dan Lehman pleaded guilty and a judge ordered him Aug. 13 to pay the hockey club $80,000. He'll continue on electric monitoring for four years, according to online court records.

Lehman won't serve prison time unless he fails to pay the money back, which is scheduled to be made in payments of at least $400 a month.

"A lot of people in the community thought it was a pretty light sentence," said Deb Rosholt, the hockey club's president. "For hockey to continue to do well, we needed to recover as much money as possible. If he were to have gone to prison, we wouldn't have gotten anything back."

State offers tour of Badger Ammunition Plant

State offers tour of Badger Ammunition Plant

The former Badger Army Ammunition Plant near Baraboo will be open to the public for free tours on Saturday.

The state Department of Natural Resources is opening the property from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for automobile tours. A similar tour was offered in October 2012 and more than 1,100 vehicles passed through the gates.

Tour maps are available on the DNR website at dnr.wi.gov.

The DNR is currently working on a plan for using the sprawling site of the former Badger plant, which has been designated as the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area.

The plant closed in 1975. The DNR owns 3,800 acres of the site.

DOJ: Baraboo man charged with bank robbery

A Baraboo man was charged with aiding and abetting aggravated bank robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank in Baraboo, according to a State Department of Justice release.

Chance D. Pagel, 32, of Baraboo, faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison for taking money by force, violence and intimidation from the Wells Fargo Bank, according to the release. He is charged with taking more than $5,000.

Pagel robbed the bank June 6 around 10:05 a.m., police said. He entered the front door wearing a mask, pointed a gun at the tellers, demanded money and started opening and taking money from the teller drawers.

West Nile found in Sauk, Milwaukee counties

West Nile has been found in two dead crows in Sauk County and in mosquitoes in Wisconsin's largest city.

The Sauk County Health Department said the dead birds were tested for West Nile virus on Aug. 9.

According to Milwaukee's health department, officials there have confirmed the virus in mosquito pools for the first time this year.

The mosquitoes were collected and tested as part of the department's surveillance and prevention efforts.

?When we find these dead birds, we really just want to let people know that it?s out there. We want them to be aware and take the precautions. We want you to know the symptoms of West Nile Virus and if you think you have it, we want you to go to the physician or contact them as soon as possible,? said Matt Kachel an environmental health sanitarian.

There's been one confirmed case of West Nile virus in a human so far this year in Wisconsin, in a Dane County resident.

Fence installed at Baraboo mental health facility

Fence installed at Baraboo mental health facility

A fence is being installed at a mental health facility in Baraboo that houses a man with mental disabilities and a violent past. Both neighbors and officers are raising concerns.

"This fence is not a secure fence that is designed to keep a violent person contained," Lt. Rob Sinden with Baraboo police said.

Jeremy Felix, 26, is the mentally disabled client staying at the home. In 2010, Felix was convicted of attempting to strangle and suffocate a care worker at a Wisconsin Rapids facility, and police said his violence has continued against workers in Baraboo.

Baraboo police said the fence is about 6 feet tall and is still under construction.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration started an investigation because of reports that Felix has injured at least 10 employees.

Sinden said two more reports of injuries have come to his attention in the past couple of weeks.

Man drives onto soccer field; suspected of OWI

A Baraboo man was drunk when he drove on a Reedsburg High soccer field during a practice Thursday, according to Reedsburg police.

Mitch J. Fletcher, 27, drove onto the west soccer field at the Reedsburg Area High School at about 8 p.m. while 20 players and coaches were on the school?s east field, according to police.

Investigators said Fletcher drove through the field, struck a goal and fled the scene. No students were in contact with Fletcher or near his vehicle.

Fletcher was found at South Albert Avenue and West Main Street where he was arrested on suspicion of operating while intoxicated, criminal damage to property and resisting an officer.