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WKEB Local News Archives for 2014-01

  Timothy R. Phillips, the 42 year old Medford man who was arrested on Tuesday, January 28th after a stand off with local law enforcement, was in court on Friday, January 31st for his initial appearance.

  Mr. Phillips received a 10,000 dollar cash bond.  Further conditions of the bond include no consumption or possession of alcohol and no possession of firearms.

  The Taylor County Sheriff's Office has requested the following charges against Mr. Phillips to the Taylor County District Attorney's Office...

  *Endanger safety by intoxicated use of a weapon

  *Second degree reckless endanger safety

  *Resisting arrest

  *Disorderly conduct

The Taylor County District Attorney will make the final charging decision.


The firing of Taylor County Sheriff Sgt. Dave Bender was justified according to a decision rendered by Judge Patrick Madden.  Bender was fired after he was accused of using “excessive force” during an arrest of Shawn Steen.  Four members of the Taylor County Personnel Committee considered 13 hours of testimony before voting to support Sheriff Bruce Daniels termination of Bender’s employment.

Following the committee’s decision, Bender appealed and Judge Madden was assigned to review the case.  Judge Madden issued his finding which read:  The facts present a question of both certiorari review and statutory review predicated upon the holding of Klinger versus Oneida County.  Specifically the Court finds:

1.    The committee had appropriate jurisdiction.

2.    The theory of law was correct.  The committee weighed the evidence and found just cause to terminate.

3.    The Board’s actions were reasonable and are not subject to the Court’s substituting its analysis for that of the board.

4.    The evidence was substantial and convincing.

A.   Bender violated the use of force policy.  Four officers reported Bender’s force was not warranted.  Chief Woebbeking yelled for Bender to stop.

B.   Bender violated truthful reporting policy.  Substantial evidence in the record supports the findings that Bender violated the policy regarding truthful and complete recording.  Bender’s report fails to include physical strikes.

In reliance on Klinger, which was a case decided by this court, the court concludes that the committee acted within its authority correctly, reasonably and made a proper determination by applying the facts to the law.  The committee properly relied on the majority of officers to reach its conclusion.

Therefore, the court affirms the Taylor County process and findings, that ruling was made by Judge Patrick Madden.

Dave Bender was the commander of the county’s S.W.A.T. Team when the incident occured.

After Sheriff Bruce Daniels took office in 2007 he instituted what he called “Golden Rules”; 20 standards which all of his officers agree to abide by.  The standards deal with integrity and use of force.  In addition,  Rule number 12 states:  “If you cheat or steal I will fire you.”

 The firing of Taylor County Sheriff Sgt. Dave Bender was justified according to a decision rendered by Judge Patrick Madden.  Bender was fired after he was accused of using “excessive force” during an arrest of Shawn Steen.  Four members of the Taylor County Personnel Committee considered 13 hours of testimony before voting to support Sheriff Bruce Daniels termination of Bender’s employment.




  Beth Dixon Vanderberg of Medford was a teacher in the Peace Corp from November of 2005 to January of 2008.  She was sent to the southwestern African nation of Namibia where she met her future husband.  Recently, Beth and her father in law Johanne visited with K99's Russ Gowey.    Johanne shares with Russ some of Namibia's culture, people and history.  He also shares with Russ his impressions of Medford and Wisconsin's winter weather..................................


Russ Gowey w/Beth & Johanne Part 1



Russ Gowey w/Beth & Johanne Part 2



Russ Gowey w/Beth & Johanne Part 3












On January 28th, 2014, at approximatley 12:45 P.M., the Taylor County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center received a report of a man with a gun.  The caller reported that she had confronted the man who was brandishing a long gun.  She attempted to persuade the individual to put the gun down but he refused.  She reported that he then entered the residence at W5336 Perkins Street, just east of Medford in the Township of Medford and a short time later discharged the firearm through a window.


Emergency responders from the Taylor County Sheriff's Office, Medford Police Department, Wisconsin State Partol, Medford Ambulance Service and Medford Area Fire Department responded to the area.


An approximately one hour stand off ensued.  Telephone contact was initiated with the individual who reported he would commit "suicide by cop".  Negotiations continued and ultimately the individual agreed to leave the residence but refused to relinquish his firearm.  Officers on the scene repeatedly ordered the man to drop his weapon.  He eventually complied with the orders given and officers made contact with the individual.  After a brief physical confrontation, the individual was taken into custody.


Timothy R. Phillips, a 42 year old Medford area resident was taken into custody in relation to this incident.  A further investigation is pending at this time.


The Taylor County Sheriff's Office wants to assure residents in the area of this incident that this appears to be an isolated incident and that there should be no further safety concerns related to this matter.


On Tuesday, January 28th, the Taylor County Sheriff's Office issued a press release asking for the public's help in identifying a burglary suspect.


As a result of this press release, the sheriff's department received several phone calls identifying the suspect as 33 year old Travis G. Hamm of Thorp.


At approximately 8 pm Tuesday evening, Hamm turned himself in to the Taylor County Jail.  Hamm is currently being held in the Taylor County Jail on preliminary charges of Burglary and Theft.




Steven W Bowers

Detective Sergeant, Taylor County Sheriff's Office


you may click the photo's for a larger version




Medford area residents Keith and Darla Wrage recently adopted an 8 year old son from China.  As a part of the adoption process, the Wrage's traveled and toured parts of China.  Included on this trip to China were the Wrage's high school age sons Tate and Ty.  Ty Wrage, a Medford Area Senior High School sophomore, stopped by the K99 Radio Studios in Medford and shared some of his experiences in China with K99's Patrick Porten....


Ty Wrage w/K99's Patrick Porten



   Medford Area Senior High School student, Sarah Lundy, a junior, recently traveled to Chicago to attend an audition for NBC's very popular singing competition program "The Voice".  Sarah is no stranger to being on stage.  She has performed in productions put on by the Medford Area Senior High School and Middle School Drama and Music Departments as well as with the Medford Area Community Theatre. But this, as Sarah discovered, is a totally different animal.  Sarah shares her experience with K99's Patrick Porten...................................


Sarah Lundy w/K99's Patrick Porten



1/22/14  Taylor County Board Dwells On Health Care


The Taylor County Board met Wednesday, January 22nd, with nearly an hour spent on one issue:  the amount of money spent annually on Taylor County employee health insurance.  Supervisor Raymond Soper presented the background on a resolution which he drafted.  Soper told the board that they have addressed wages but not benefits.  He indicated that the goal of the resolution was to set a goal of paying the same toward health insurance that other employers in the county pay.  Soper said that the county pays 70% more than area employers.  He indicated that the county pays $3.7 million yearly for benefits. 


Supervisor Lester Lewis rejected Sopers’ comments.  Lewis indicated that county employees will pay 5% of their health insurance in 2015 and an additional 5% annually until they reach a 20% threshold in 2018. Supervisor Zenner felt the board is already working on the issue.  Supervisor Mildebrand amended the motion to read 4 steps of 5% increases from 2015 through 2018.  The amended motion failed by a 9 to 6 vote.  Soper’s original resolution also failed by a 9 to 6 vote.  Supervisor Mildebrand told the board he felt it took 25 or 30 years for the health insurance issue to evolve and it wouldn’t be “fixed” in one year.


In other county business the board unanimously approved the powerline impact fees to help repair the Jump River community center, the Centennial Community Center and the Medford Swimming Pool renovation.


They authorized the purchase of 40 acres of land which will provide public access to over 700 acres of county owned land.  Money for the purchase comes from timber sales on county land.


The 2014 contracts with the county’s professional, non-professional and highway employees were approved.


The compensation plan for elected officials passed on an 11 yes and 4 no vote count.


The 2014 annual report from the Taylor County Health Department was approved.
The last order of business involved IT Committee chairman David Bizer asking the board their opinion of working with an electronic i-pad type device.  Bizer showed the group his child’s workpad which cost under $200 and featured many capabilities of a computer.  Bizer cautioned the device probably wouldn’t totally eliminate paper or cost less,but it could offer more immediate information.  After an informal vote the county board approved pursuing more information on the technology.


Medford Woman Charged For Animal Neglect


A 29 year old Medford woman is facing a criminal complaint after she allegedly moved out of a house and left her pets behind.  The Taylor County Sheriff’s department was notified by a Medford neighbor that a dog was continually barking inside the house next door, but that no one appeared to be living there.  Officers responded and saw the dog peering out of a window.  While they were at the Maple Street house the renter, identified as Callie Neuman drove by.  Officers stopped Neuman and she ultimately gave permission to enter the home.  In the criminal complaint Officer Lisa Kauffman wrote that the whole floor was covered with excrement and the smell was overwhelming. 


The rental home is now due for a major cleanup as the Health Department declared the place as not habitable for human living and that measures need to be taken to make it fit for human living.


Neuman told officers that she had left food and water for her 2 cats and dog before she moved in with her boyfriend.  She said he is not allowed to have pets and she just didn’t have the time to take better care of her pets.


District Attorney Kristi Tlusty has charged Callie Neuman with 3 counts of “Fail to provide proper food and drink to confined animals” which are Class A Misdemeanors.  If found guilty, each count could entail a fine of up to $10,000, or imprisonment of up to 9 months or both.


Public safety is more important than financial considerations.  Judge Ann Knox-Bauer made that clear Tuesday afternoon.  The man accused of killing a deer hunter with his vehicle in Taylor County was in court as his attorney requested a bond modification.  James Winchell is being held on $50,000 cash bond.  Attorney Van Wagner asked the judge to change Winchell’s bond to a signature bond which would allow the defendant to attend an intensive alcohol abuse prevention program for 28 days in Chippewa Falls.  District Attorney Kristi Tlusty objected citing her concerns that Winchell was a flight risk.  Judge Knox-Bauer denied the request citing the fact that Winchell faces homicide charges on what is his 5th charge of O.W.I.  Winchell is accused of killing one man and seriously injuring another as they stood on the side of the roadway following deer hunting. The Judge indicated that bond is designed to not only insure a defendant’s appearance in court but also to provide public safety.  There was further concern that the treatment program is not under strict supervision and participants sign in and out on their own accord.  James Winchell remains in the Taylor County Jail under a $50,000 cash bond.  A settlement conference is set for March 14th at 10 A.M.




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