April 24, 2014
Former sub pleads guilty in ring theft
Accused of stealing ring at NKE last year
SCOTT DE LARUELLE
Uniﬁed Newspaper Group
A former substitute teacher in the Oregon School District was charged last week with one felony count of theft stemming from an incident at Neth-erwood Knoll Elementary School last year. According to online court records, Hideki Yoshida, 44, of Madison, pled guilty on April 15 to a felony charge of theft of movable property between $5,000 and $10,000. According to court records, there was a finding of deferred prosecution or sentence in the case, and charges would be dismissed if he follows the rules of the program and does not commit new crimes. He had faced up to six years imprisonment or fines up to $10,000 or both.According to the crimi-nal complaint, Oregon police talked to Nether-wood Knoll principal Dan Rikli in October after he was told by a parent that a female student had brought a diamond wedding ring to school in January 2013, and it had since been miss-ing. The girl said she had dropped the ring while classes were switching and a teacher, identified as Yoshida, picked it up and put it on a table. She had not seen it since, but didn’t say anything because she was scared about losing it. On Oct. 24, an Oregon police officer contacted Yoshida about the miss-ing ring, and after initially denying he knew anything about it, admitted to the officer he “had an addiction to stealing” and that he took the ring home and threw it in the garbage. The officer said Yoshida told him “he steals things he does not need and then discards them.”Oregon School Dis-trict superintendent Brian Busler said when district officials first learned about the story from a parent and spoke to Yoshida, he told them he didn’t take the ring. Busler said district officials reported the incident to the Oregon Police Department and “made the decision to stop hiring” Yoshida and remove him from the sub-stitute list. Busler said Yoshida emailed district officials on Oct. 28, 2013, resigning as a substitute teacher at the district.
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Town of Rutland
Radio tower debate returns to spotlight
The years-long battle to build a radio tower in the Town of Rutland is about to go public again.Opponents of the pro-posed 486-foot tower – which could someday ser-vice an FM radio station in Stoughton – are expected to air concerns Tuesday at a public hearing of the Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Commit-tee. And on May 5 and 6, Rutland’s plan commission and town board, respective-ly, are expected to review the proposal, too.Tomah-based Magnum Communications has tried for years to build the tow-er in a farm field between Oregon and Stoughton. But its plans were denied in 2011 by the town board, which agreed with oppo-nents who said the tower’s size and lights would mar the rural landscape and harm nearby property val-ues. The Dane County Board later backed the town’s decision.Magnum appealed, but a Dane County judge upheld the town’s decision last September.However, the company reapplied with Rutland in February, citing a new provision tucked into last year’s state budget that said Wisconsin municipalities can’t deny broadcast tow-ers unless they can prove the structures would harm public health or safety.Rutland chair Dale Beske on Monday declined to speculate whether the new state law means Magnum will get its way. He said the town’s attorney is still “reviewing the statutes,” and he hadn’t determined if the plan commission or town board would act on Magnum’s new application at their upcoming meet-ings.The county’s ZLR com-mittee won’t vote on Mag-num’s proposal until after the town does so, said committee member Patrick Miles, the Dist. 34 county board supervisor. But he expects opponents will speak out at the April 29 public hearing.Asked if the change in state law trumps the coun-ty’s ability to deny rezones or conditional use permits for towers like the one pro-posed by Magnum, Miles also deferred comment.“I am guessing that will be part of our discussion” at next week’s meeting, he said.Among opponents of Magnum’s plans are mem-bers of Preserve Our Rural Landscape, a Stoughton-based non-profit group led by president Jim Danky. In an email to group mem-bers earlier this month, he encouraged them to attend all three meetings.The saga over the tower prompted a story last month by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journal-ism, which found that state Rep. John Klenke, R-Green Bay was listed in drafting records for the new state provision governing com-munication towers. Klenke did not respond to requests for comment from the Cen-ter or the Hub.The tower would service FM channel 95.9 WBKY, currently in Portage. Pro-ponents of the tower – including many munici-pal and school officials in Stoughton and Oregon – have said a radio station could improve communi-cation during emergencies and air local broadcasts of local sporting events.The site near Old Stage Road was chosen because it fits inside a small seg-ment of land that wouldn’t interfere with other area FM radio frequencies, company president Dave Magnum has said.
If you go
Public hearing of the Dane County ZLR committee
The application to build a 486-foot radio tower in the Town of Rutland
7 p.m. Tuesday, April 29
Room 351, City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Madison
Retirement spurs position changes
SCOTT DE LARUELLE
Uniﬁed Newspaper Group
With the impending retirement of longtime Oregon School District employee Anita Koehler, the district announced some position changes within school adminis-tration this week, to take effect July 1.Koehler has worked in the district for 16 years as an associate principal at OHS, building princi-pal at Brooklyn Elemen-tary and more recently the director of instruction and student achievement. Dis-trict superintendent Brian Busler said she’s been an “outstanding administra-tor” and credited her par-ticipation in the Wisconsin Education Effectiveness project with district teach-ers and administrators.Koehler will be suc-ceeded in that role by Rome Corners Interme-diate School principal Leslie Bergstrom, who has worked in the district since 2003, serving as an assistant principal at OHS for five years before join-ing RCI. She co-chairs the Mental Health Task Force, Educator Effectiveness Committee, working with the Achievement Connec-tions Leadership Commit-tee and the Teacher Com-pensation Committee. In 2011, she completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Edgewood College. In a press release from the district this week, Bergstrom described her service at RCI as the “per-fect principal’s job” and something she will miss. Her new role has been a long-term career goal, though, and she’s excited to have the opportunity to work with all staff in the district.Busler said RCI par-ents, students and staff are sad to see Bergstrom go, but that her “knowledge, experience and skills work-ing with people make her a perfect match for the Director of Instruction and Student Achievement.” She will be succeeded as RCI principal by Michelle Gard, who has worked in the district since 2005 as a speech/language teach-er, administrative intern, 4K principal, associate principal at Prairie View Elementary and this year served as interim principal at Prairie View Elementary during principal Heather Sveom’s one-year leave of absence with her family in Guam. “We are so fortunate to have an experienced school principal like Ms. Gard,” said Busler. “She stepped in this past year at PVE and brings a wealth of experi-ence and skills to her new role.”Gard said she’s excited about joining the RCI team as it brings her back to her first experience in educa-tion when she worked with fifth- and sixth-grade stu-dents.
Annual school safety day is May 3
Children of all ages and their families are invited to the Oregon Police Depart-ment’s annual Safety Day, set for Saturday, May 3 at Prairie View Elemen-tary School. There will be a variety of emergency vehicles and personnel from the Oregon Police Department and K-9 unit, firefighters and EMS personnel, village public works members and more on hand to talk to children and parents about safety issues. Car seat check information will be avail-able, local hospitals will have a presence at the event, and the Med Flight helicopter from UW Hos-pital is scheduled to make a visit. The Lions Club will provide free vision screenings, and breakfast snacks and refreshments will be provided. Ham and turkey sandwiches will be served on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 10:45 a.m. All kids will get goody bags.
If you go
Oregon Police Department Safety Day
9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 3
Prairie View Elementary School, 300 Soden Drive
OPD’s Cindy Neubert, 835-3111 ext. 241 or firstname.lastname@example.org