Florida man charged with OWI and driving stolen semi in Dunn County

A Florida man who is accused of stealing the cab of a semitrailer in St. Paul and crashing it after fleeing from police while driving drunk in Dunn County will appear in court next week.

50-year old Todd Fine faces felony charges of attempting to flee or elude a traffic officer and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent. He also faces a 2nd OWI charge.

According to the criminal complaint, a Wisconsin state trooper saw a semi with no trailer traveling east on I-94 in Menomonie on April 20th with an electrical connector dragging behind it causing sparks. When the trooper tried to stop the semi, the driver sped up, and a chase began with speeds of 80 and 90 miles-per hour. The semi eventually crashed just south of Highway 12, and the driver, identified as Fine, had to be extricated. Fine had a blood alcohol level of .12 at the time of the crash. The semi was owned by Breakthru Beverage Minnesota of St. Paul, and the company had reported it stolen.

Woman accused of exposing her children to meth

An Eau Claire woman is accused of exposing her 3 young children to meth, and letting them fend for themselves for food.

29-year old Kristy Wyant was charged this week with 3 misdemeanor counts of child neglect. A $500 signature bond has been set for her, and she is not allowed to have contact with her children unless it’s approved by the Human Services Department.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities received a report April 5th about concerns for Wyant’s 3 children, who are 9, 6, and 3-years old. Authorities say they got a report about Wyant and her friend using meth in Wyant’s bedroom while the children were in the house. The report also says when 2 of the children knocked on the bedroom door, Wyant opened it, blew meth smoke into the face of one of the children, and began shouting at them. Tests revealed at least one of the children tested positive for meth. Wyant later admitted to smoking meth with her friend in her bedroom 3 different times in March. She returns to court July 6th.

Teens involved in plane crash have been identified

We now know the names of those involved in the plane crash south of Chetek earlier this week.

Just after 6:30 on Wednesday evening, the Barron County Sheriff’s Department received several calls of a plane crash. Responders found the plane wreckage located in the Red Cedar River south of Chetek about 3 miles.

Two subjects were pulled from the water. 18-year old Hunter Gillett of Cameron was taken to the hospital and then later air lifted to Rochester where he is in serious condition. 17-year old Owen Knutson, of Chetek was pronounced dead at the scene.

Knutson was the pilot of the 2 seater Piper Fixed Wing single engine plane. The two took off from a private air strip on the Knutson Property south of Chetek.

The FAA along with local agencies are all handling the investigation.

2 teens hurt in crash in Trempealeau County

2 teens were hurt in a crash in Trempealeau County this week.

The Sheriff’s Department says they received a call about a 1-vehicle crash with injury on Sjuggerud Coulee Road in the Township of Pigeon just after 7:00 Tuesday night. When they arrived on scene, they discovered 2 males fled the scene of the crash. They found out during the investigation that the driver’s mother arrived and drove them back to her house in Pigeon Falls. The driver and passenger, who are both 15-years old, were later located and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The investigation showed the vehicle was traveling north on Sjuggerud Coulee Road when the driver failed to negotiate a curve, went into the ditch, and rolled several times.

Area man charged with his 8th OWI

A Rice Lake man is facing his 8th OWI charge.

55-year old Mark Sorenson is also charged with felony counts of meth and bail jumping. He is accused of causing a crash Saturday night in the Village of Prairie Farm while he under the influence of meth.

Court records say police saw a man and woman who they believed to be under the influence of meth get out of a vehicle that had crashed in a ditch at the intersection of Highways A and F. Sorenson came walking from another area to the scene, and admitted he was driving the car when he crashed. He failed field sobriety tests, and a package of meth was found in one of his socks when he was taken to jail. He has a preliminary hearing set for June 27th.

Man charged for crash that killed his passenger

A Chili man is facing charges for crashing his truck and killing his passenger in Clark County.

35-year old Steven Faber faces 3 felony counts, which includes homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. Faber was injured in the crash as well, which happened on March 10th on Starr Road in the town of Lynn. His blood alcohol level at the time of the crash was nearly 3 times the legal limit.

His passenger, 35-year old Andy Mallory of Chili, was pronounced dead at the scene. Both of them were not wearing seat belts. Court and police records say Faber was driving his truck at high speeds and swerving to avoid horse-drawn buggies in the area. He lost control, entered a ditch, and rolled several times before coming to a rest.

Sex offender being released in Eau Claire

Authorities would like to inform us of a sex offender being released in our area. Keith D. Stoffel will be released from prison on June 6.

Keith Stoffel was convicted in 2002 of 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child in and upon release will be residing at a DOC monitored residence in the 100 block of Randall Street in the City of Eau Claire. The DOC has informed the Eau Claire Police Department this placement is temporary as they work to find a long-term placement for Stoffel.

Stoffel’s conditions of release include no contact with juveniles, no use of the Internet or electronic devices, lifetime sex offender registrant and lifetime GPS monitoring.

New interim president named for Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce

The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has a new President.

Scott Biederman of Musky Tank has been named the interim president beginning June 5th. Biederman will serve in the position until a new president and CEO begins. The current president and CEO, Bob McCoy, will retire on June 2nd. Biederman will also resign from his position on the board of directors effective June 2nd.

Teen pregnancy rate dropping in Eau Claire County

Recent data shows that teens continue to make healthy choices around pregnancy prevention. Nationally, teen birth rates continue to go down and are at a record low.

While here locally, the number of births to women under age 20 in Eau Claire County has also continued to decline in the past year–from 62 births in 2013 to a low of 39 births in 2015.

In Eau Claire County, the teen birth rate also continues to be lower than the Wisconsin average.

Man going to prison for meth

A Eau Galle man is going to prison after pleading guilty to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to deliver in May 2016.

46-year old James Montroy was sentenced to 7 years in prison and 5 years of extended supervision in Dunn County Court Monday. During his sentencing, District Attorney Andre Nodolf said Montroy was a career criminal who was going to distribute meth throughout the community. He also initiated forfeiture proceedings for over $2,000 worth of cash seized from Montroy. Half the cash will go to the Wisconsin School Fund, while the other half will be forfeited to the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office.