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Rusk County News


MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) — Dan Glaze was heard once again.

The voice of the Rusk County Sheriff’s deputy was heard inside a Dunn County court room Tuesday, as part of a call he made back to fellow deputy Gina Olson in dispatch center on the night of Oct. 29, 2016.

“110 Rusk County. Suspicious vehicle,” Glaze is heard to say in the recording. “Out on Broken Arrow. Probably just a half-mile from 2-7.

This was the first instance of a reported issue on the property of Doug Nitek – the man accused of shooting and killing Glaze later that night.

It was a portion of a nearly 6-hour recording of law enforcement communications entered in as evidence in Tuesday’s first day of the trial against the 45-year-old Nitek. He is facing 31 counts connected to the shooting death of Deputy Glaze.

A jury of 15 people from Rusk County – 10 women and five men – began being inundated with details from the prosecution surrounding the events of Oct. 29, 2016. This included, at times, graphic descriptions of the wounds and deteriorating physical condition of Deputy Glaze. Several of the law enforcement officials who took the witness stand Tuesday identified Glaze having “a massive head wound” and slumped in the driver’s seat of his squad car.

“The defendant, Doug Nitek, chose to murder Dan Glaze,” Amber Hahn, an attorney for the State of Wisconsin, said Tuesday. “Each action was a choice.

“He steadied the rifle. He aimed the rifle, putting the target – the driver’s side of that squad car – into the crosshairs. He made sure the safety was in a firing position and he pulled the trigger.”

When it was time for the defense’s opening statement, however, attorney Charles Glynn said part of the defense’s case will be to call into question some of the decisions made by law enforcement, including Deputy Glaze himself.

“There’s no offense meant by that, but it’s our obligation,” he said to the jury. “It’s our Constitutional obligation to defend Mr. Nitek and to ask those questions.”

‘I’m not going to sit here and try to tell you Doug is going to be awarded with the Ladysmith or Rusk County ‘man of the year’ or ‘citizen of the year’ or the Jaycees are going to honor him with something. He’s made some really bad choices in his life … but that doesn’t take away those rights that we talk about in the Constitution.”

He described to lead state prosecutor Richard Dufour what he, Deputy David Fenstermacher from the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department, and Officer Jacob Schmidt from Ladysmith Police saw as a description of Glaze’s condition after he was shot.

“Officer Schmidt made a comment that Deputy Glaze had a massive head wound,” Stolp said.

“And, what happens then?” Dufour asked.

Officer Stolp replied: “Deputy Fenstermacher also said something to the effect of ‘Dan is twitching.’”

The trial is scheduled to last until Oct. 5th.


Just after 6 PM Tuesday, a City Officer was dispatched to an address on Roesler Avenue to respond to a theft complaint. A female subject said someone removed a Children at Play warning sign from her yard. The Officer looked around the area but did not locate the sign.

Housing inventories tightened in August, putting strong upward pressure on home prices, but a continuing string economy resulted in a solid increase in home sales according to the most recent analysis of the existing home market by the Wisconsin REALTORS Association. August home sales increased 3.3 percent compared to August 2017, and the median price increased 5 percent to $189,000 over that same 12-month period. Inventories have remained weak throughout the year, which has kept year-to date sales down slightly compared to 2017. Specifically, sales for the first eight months of 2018 are 1.9 percent lower than the January through August period of 2017, and median prices were up 6.9 percent over the same period. This is more than twice the annual inflation rate, which has ranged between 2.1 percent and 2.9 percent throughout 2018.

For Rusk County the median price in August was $104,900 compared to $90,000 in August of last year. Year to date the median price is $115,000 compared to $108,500 in 2017. Sales in Rusk County was 21 in August compared to 29 in August of last year. Year to date, sales are at 118 compared to 134 last year. The national economy is growing at a robust pace, which has given a strong boost to consumer confidence.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican state Sen. Steve Nass is looking to kill or delay new regulations Gov. Scott Walker ordered to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease.

Walker ordered the Department of Natural Resources in May to develop rules requiring deer farmers to upgrade their fences and restrict deer carcass movement.

Deer farmers have balked at upgrade costs but the DNR board approved a rule in August calling for farmers to upgrade within a year and generally banning deer carcass movement out of CWD-affected counties. The rules go into effect Oct. 1.

Nass leads the Legislature’s rules committee. He has scheduled an Oct. 1 vote on suspending the rule. Nass aide Mike Mikalsen says the carcass movement rules are too onerous to implement this year and the DNR is underestimating fencing costs.

Madison (AP) – Wisconsin’s crime labs are suffering from multiple shortcomings, including poor morale and accepting too much evidence from police, according to a report released Tuesday commissioned by the state Department of Justice.

Attorney General Brad Schimel hired Florida International University’s National Forensic Science Technology Center in June to review operations at the labs, which have been struggling with processing delays. The review cost the department about $43,000.

The center’s 24-page report ticked off a host of problems, most notably that employee turnover has become such an issue that the labs are in a constant state of training, which pulls trainers off casework. That forces other analysts to take on the trainers’ work, pulling them off casework, too.

A number of factors are playing into turnover, the center found. Entry-level analysts are making more than senior and advanced analysts because the market rate for their positions is outpacing DOJ salary increases for the more experienced workers, leading to low morale. Administrative staff pay is so low that they’re constantly seeking employment elsewhere, the center said.

“The pay structure must be reviewed and adjusted as soon as possible. … This is causing cascading issues across the entire bureau,” the report said.

The report went on to note that the labs’ performance metrics are confusing and aren’t consistently enforced. Staffers feel supervisors don’t keep them informed and their ideas are often ignored, the report added.

The labs also aren’t following their own evidence acceptance policies, resulting in incomplete evidence submissions and analysts working cases the labs shouldn’t have undertaken.

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