Former Monroe County Employee Charged With Sexual Assault
A Sparta man who was the coordinator of the Monroe County Community Service Work Program made an appearance in a Monroe County courtroom this morning after being charged with sexually assaulting two inmates. 28 year old Adam Helgerson was charged with with felony misconduct in office, false imprisonment, third-degree sexual assault and six counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.
Two inmates said Helgerson assaulted them in 2010 and 2011 while they were working for the program. One of the women said Helgerson first assaulted her in December 2010 when he forced her to perform oral sex. He did the same thing later that month while she was hanging Christmas lights at a Sparta park. She said Helgerson assaulted her four more times before the end of February. The second inmate said Helgerson harassed and groped her between July and December. Helgerson admitted to investigators that he assaulted the first inmate three times and might have assaulted the second.
He is the third county worker to be charged with assaulting inmates since 2008. The new case comes just one month after prosecutors charged former Monroe County jailer Jerry Friedl with sexually assaulting an inmate twice in 2011. His next court appearance is set for Friday. Another former jailer, Lt. David Schaldach, was sentenced in 2008 to 18 months in prison for having sexual contact with a mentally ill female inmate in 2002.
Not A Great Day On The Ice
An SUV fell partially through the ice on Lake Onalaska Saturday afternoon during a fishing derby near Red Pines.
The vehicle went in the water about three feet and the driver got out safely.
Soldiers Off To Farm
The Wisconsin National Guard is planning a pair of send off ceremonies this weekend for about 200 soldiers headed overseas. And for one group it won't be handling a security group or looking for land mines. They will be farming.
Colonel Darrel Foyt says a lot of the soldiers were doing agri science learning and instruction at UW-Madison. That ceremony is set for Saturday afternoon at Hartford High School in Hartford. That ceremony will honor about 60 members of the 82nd Agribusiness Development Team.
Gow Wants To See Buildings Renovated
There are 5 or 6 buildings on the campus of UW-L that are not equipped with sprinkler systems. That's because when they were built in the 50's and 60's, they were not required to have them installed. Now, they are required to have them in the buildings. Would that have helped the fire at Drake Hall Sunday?
Chancellor Joe Gow says they want to renovate and place sprinkler systems in all of the older buildings....but at $7 million a crack...finding funding may slow things down a bit.
Flu Season A Mild One
(AP) The Minnesota Department of Health says this flu season is the mildest the state has seen in recent years. New health department data shows 52 people have been hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza since fall, and three people have died.
This time last year, hospitalizations were more than double that number, and there were nine deaths. Some say the mild winter might be a factor, but health officials say there's more to it. Kris Ehresmann with the health department says the flu virus is unpredictable and health officials don't know what to expect each year. She says increased flu activity is associated with low humidity. Also, if people are spending less time congregated indoors, the virus might not spread as easily.