On Friday 4/3/2020 Richland County Dispatch received a 911 call of a 2 vehicle crash on US Hwy 14 near Hwy 58. Sheriff’s Deputies, Richland EMS, Richland Fire and the RC Police Dept responded. According to the Sheriff’s Dept, a 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass operated by Daisha R. Sass, 20 of Richland Center, was westbound on Hwy 14 when it slowed due to cattle that had been on the roadway and were making their way to the ditch. Another westbound vehicle, a 2007 Dodge Dakota pick up operated by Joseph Durst of Lone Rock failed to notice the Sass vehicle had slowed. The truck struck the car in the rear causing extensive damage to both vehicles. One person suffered minor injuries but was not transported by EMS. Richland Center Fire assisted law enforcement at the scene with fuel clean up and traffic control. The incident remains under investigation.
On Monday evening at 7:18pm the Richland County Dispatch Center received a call of a 1 vehicle crash on Cty Hwy B just east of Penny Lane. Richland County Sheriff’s Deputies, Lone Rock Fire & EMS as well as Ithaca 1st Responders were all sent to the scene. According to Deputies, a 2004 GMC pick up truck operated by 36 year old Kevin P. Schmitz of rural Spring Green was eastbound on Hwy B when the truck left the roadway on the south shoulder and struck a driveway. The truck became air born and landed in the ditch. Kevin Schmitz was injured and transported by Lone Rock EMS to the Richland Hospital for minor injuries. Investigators determined alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash and Schmitz was arrested for Operating While under the Influence, 1st Offense.
Other Agencies Involved: Lone Rock EMS, Lone Rock Fire, Ithaca First Responders
FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation
March 31, 2020
Looking for some more information about COVID-19 fraud? The United States Department of Justice set up a new website to consolidate information: https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus
Be aware that criminals are attempting to exploit COVID-19 worldwide through a variety of scams. There have been reports of:
- Individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud.
- Phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received – Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.
Criminals will likely continue to use new methods to exploit COVID-19 worldwide.
If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, you can report it without leaving your home through a number of platforms.
- Contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Report it to the FBI at https://tips.fbi.gov
- If it’s a cyber scam, submit your complaint through http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Chief Billy Jones of the Richland Center Police Department reports that an investigation conducted by the Richland Center Police Department has culminated in the arrest of a Richland Center man and woman for various drug related charges.
Chief Jones stated that on 3-29-2020, Officers from the Richland Center Police Department, with the assistance of the Richland-Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force and the Richland County Special Response Team, executed a Search Warrant at an apartment in the City of Richland Center. During the search of the apartment, heroin, Suboxone, various items of drug paraphernalia, and a small amount of methamphetamine were located. As a result of the subsequent investigation the following people were taken into custody:
Harry J. Hale, 26, and Rebecca L. Dailey, 25, were arrested on the tentative charges of Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Narcotic Drugs, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The case has been forwarded to the Richland County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
The Richland-Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force is a Tri-County combined investigative unit. Locally, members from the Richland Center Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department are assigned to the Drug Task Force to investigate and combat area drug trafficking and abuse.
Chief Jones stated that highly addictive substances, such as Heroin and Methamphetamine, continues to be a focus of the Drug Task Force as it has continued to be an increasing problem in the area, which has seen an increase in narcotic overdoses, some even resulting in death. Chief Jones added that narcotic and methamphetamine distribution and/or usage has also been shown to be a major contributing factor to numerous other crimes against persons and property.
In addition to the Drug Task Force and Special Response Team, the Richland Center Police Department was assisted in this investigation by the Richland County Sherriff’s Department, Richland County EMS, and the Richland County District Attorney’s Office.
Chief Jones would like to remind citizens to report any suspicious activity by notifying law enforcement. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Richland Area Crime Stoppers at 647-2583 and may be eligible for a cash reward.
Key information about Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment during Shelter-in-Place order:
- Most providers are serving clients and patients via tele-health, and can provide therapy and treatment via Skype/video or phone calls. Ask about this possibility.
- For those who need more intensive treatment, essential mental health and SUD treatment may still be done in person on a limited basis.
- Link to Hot- and Warm-lines + online and texting resources for live support and help
- For a list of online recovery and other support groups, see below in this list
Online Addiction Recovery Meetings and other Mental Health Support Groups:
- AA online recovery groups: http://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php
- NEW RESOURCE: Digital All Recovery Meetings: WEconnect and Unity Recovery are partnering together to offer 4 times daily all recovery meetings to anyone in the world. Meetings will follow an open format and are available to anyone in or seeking recovery. Meetings will be 7 days a week at 9 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM, 9 PM EST. Join directly by navigating to http://unityrecovery.zoom.us/my/allrecovery in your browser or from your smartphone.
- Find a NA web meeting: https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/text-results.php?country=Web&state=&city=&zip=&street=&within=10&day=0&lang=&orderby=distance
- Find Smart Recovery online community resources and meetings: https://www.smartrecovery.org/community/
- Resources vetted by NAMI for mental health support and online therapy: https://nami.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360024615074-Are-there-any-online-resources-for-therapy-support-groups-or-mental-health-apps-
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America Online Support Group: https://adaa.org/adaa-online-support-group
- If you feel overwhelmed, call 800-985-5990 to speak to a trained crisis counselor or text TalkWithUS to 66747. Spanish speakers can call the hotline and press 2 for support or text Hablanos to 66746 (DHS)
- Suicide prevention hotline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 800-273-TALK (8255)
Local and National Resources for Farmers:
Agricultural disaster preparedness planning workbook:
- ready-ag-workbook.pdf, https://extension.psu.edu/readyag-workbook
Center for Dairy Excellence
DATCP COVID-19 information and resources page:
Harvest of Hope: provides emergency funding (up to $1,500) to farmers. Information and application at:
UW—Extension resources regarding COVID-19:
General Mental Health Support:
From UW—Madison health minds:
- free access to their Healthy Minds App—customized set of resources to support healthy minds
- Calm in the Storm App—short meditations
- “Coping with Stress During an Infectious Disease Outbreak” (SAMHSA) https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4885.pdf
- SAMHSA “Taking Care of your Behavioral Health” https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/tips-social-distancing-quarantine-isolation-031620.pdf
- From Suicide Prevention Resource Center, a collection of resources for MH supports for COVD-19. http://www.sprc.org/news/resources-support-mental-health-coping-coronavirus-covid-19
- Be Kind to Your Mind: Support your Mental Health during Covid-19: https://www.southwesthealth.org/my-healthy-life/mental-health-covid19/?fbclid=IwAR2dluqV0JADB8L1Na45Ie_GbgQghnycG0DcqZUQVOBrT226nxKC99FtpBk
- Suicide prevention hotline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 800-273-TALK (8255)
Financial Stability and Economic Support
- Federal Act regarding sick leave (up to 80 hours), and other emergency funding: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/19/818322136/heres-what-is-in-the-families-first-coronavirus-aid-package-trump-approved
- State unemployment Q&A updated for COVID-19 acceptance: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/covid19/public/ui.htm
- The CARE Act – financial and economic supports to families and businesses passed by US Congress: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/26/821457551/whats-inside-the-senate-s-2-trillion-coronavirus-aid-package
- Find local resources for housing, transportation, food or other household economic needs. [Link to 211]
Local County Public Health Resources
- Iowa County: https://www.iowacounty.org/departments/COVID-19
- Green County: https://gcpublichealth.org/coronavirus/
- Lafayette County: https://www.lafayettecountywi.org/healthdepartment/page/coronaviruscovid-19-updates
- Richland County: https://covid.co.richland.wi.us/
- Grant County: http://www.co.grant.wi.gov/docs_by_cat_type.asp?doccatid=110&locid=147
I am healthy and want to help my community. What do I need to know to keep myself and others safe and healthy while doing helping work? Helping work might mean taking groceries or medications to neighbors who can’t leave their homes, working at a local pantry, or even starting an art-making campaign for nursing home residents outside their building.
- Wash hands frequently, and upon leaving and entering any building (your home, grocery stores).
- Clean doorknobs and smartphones ( how to clean your smartphone) at least daily.
- Only leave home if you are experiencing no symptoms of illness.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others, or better, drop items at the curb our outside their door, using clean hands.
- Use phone, text, or video calls to communicate, minimize or eliminate in person contact and communication with people outside your home.
- Remember the best way to not spread the virus is to think and act as if you actually are sick.
- Donate money to community funds and organizations that you know are stepping up to serve the community.
Mutual Aid groups are platforms for communities to identify what people need and figure out ways to get them what they need, a way of crowd-sourcing solutions in difficult times. Learn more about how to set up your own Mutual Aid group in your community:
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a report of a person impersonating an officer.
The incident occurred on Tuesday evening in Rockbridge Township on St Hwy 80. A male in a black passenger car with a spot light and red and blue emergency lights, pulled over a vehicle and approached it. The male was wearing a brown uniform. The uniform did not have a name or a badge on it. The male asked the citizen if they had a permit to be out driving. When the answer was no the male got back into his car and left.
As part of the investigation, authorities have obtained information that a male in a black Chevrolet Impala with a spot light on it and red and blue warning lights matching the same description did the same thing in southern Grant County and also in Iowa County as recent as yesterday.
The male is described to be in his mid 30’s with short brown hair. He does not have facial hair.
Sheriff Bindl reminds residents that local Law Enforcement wear a name tag and a badge as part of their uniform every day. If something doesn’t feel right, call 911 and try to give as much information as you can for law enforcement.
If anyone has more information, please contact the Sheriff’s Department at 608-647-2106.
**Effective March 27, 2020 all DNR burning permits are suspended until further notice**
What does this mean?
- All DNR burn permits suspended and will no longer be issued (written or electronically)
- NO burning debris piles in barrels, on the ground, grass or wooded areas
- Small campfires for warming or cooking are ok but, strongly discouraged; burning debris in a campfire ring is NOT considered a campfire
How will I know when I get a burn permit and/or burn debris again?
- Check website dnr.wi.gov, keyword “fire” and the DNR social media for the up-to-date status
- DNR will continue to remain in compliance with department leadership mandates and recommendations and will evaluate wildfire and pandemic risks as the situation evolves
Why is this being done?
- Spring in Wisconsin has the highest fire risk; debris burning is the #1 cause
- After snowmelt and before green-up when vegetation is dry (March-May)
- People are traditionally doing yard clean-up and choose to burn to dispose of yard waste, increasing fire risk
- Increase social distancing/decrease person-to-person contact and decrease geographic travel of emergency responders and firefighters
- Teleworking and reduced number of available staff may result in compromised emergency response and can result in rapid wildfire growth
- Reduce smoke impact to those with compromised respiratory functions and firefighters
Are public services still being provided?
- Fire and emergency response personnel are prepared to respond as usual
- They are operating on more strict standard operating procedures (e.g., one person per vehicle, sanitizing equipment, precautions when interacting with others, etc.)
- Response time may be slower (see above)
- Fire detection measures include citizen reporting and patrol aircraft; report fires early, dial 911
What if I have a special situation/need?
- Special burning permits may be allowed for time-sensitive reasons and with a site inspection (e.g., agricultural site prep or land clearing development)
- Contact your local forester to discuss; please allow extra response time
- You may be asked to video or photo the site and email or text images
Sheriff Jim Bindl of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department reports that, on 1-17-20, Agents from the Alcohol Tobacco Enforcement division of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) requested assistance of local law enforcement while inspections were conducted at the four taverns in the village of Cazenovia. As law enforcement entered Rumor’s tavern, a “protective sweep” of the establishment was performed to determine who may be present. During the protective sweep a male subject who had an active felony arrest warrant was located.
Joseph M. Lobsinger, 33 of Cazenovia, was taken into custody for the felony warrant without incident. During that arrest, Lobsinger made reference to a firearm being nearby. A loaded, but cased, rifle was then found within close proximity to Lobsinger. Lobsinger was subsequently arrested for Felon in Possession of a Firearm. In addition to the open felony case in Sauk County for which the arrest warrant had been issued, Lobsinger was also out of custody on three open felony cases in Juneau County and one in Richland County. Therefore, Lobsinger was also arrested on both Felony and Misdemeanor Bail Jumping charges.
Also during the protective sweep of Rumor’s tavern, drug paraphernalia associated with the consumption of methamphetamine was observed in plain view by law enforcement. The Richland County District Attorney’s Office was contacted and a Search Warrant for the establishment was obtained.
During the subsequent search of Rumors tavern, various items associated with drug use and distribution were located and seized as evidence. The Rumor’s tavern manager, Carla Zimmerman, was not present during the search and would not provide law enforcement with her location. However, based on the contraband located during the execution of the Search Warrant, once located, Zimmerman, 54 of Cazenovia, is to be arrested on the tentative charges of Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place.
All charges have been forwarded to the Richland County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
In addition to Agents from the DOR, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department was assisted on scene by the Richland-Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force, the Richland Center Police Department, the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation.
Sheriff Bindl states that local and State agencies consistently work together to combat those involved in the use/distribution of controlled substances and the criminal activity often associated with it, and that this investigation was a great example of that cooperation. Sheriff Bindl added that the public also plays a critical role in assisting law enforcement with this effort.
Any citizen who has information concerning any illegal activity is encouraged to call the Richland Center Police Department at 608-647-2103 or the Richland County Sheriff’s Department at 608-647-2106. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Richland Area Crime Stoppers at 647-CLUE (2583) and may be eligible for a cash reward.
The Richland County Sex Offender Registration Program Notification Team and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department are releasing the following information pursuant to Wisconsin State Statute 301.46(2m) which authorizes law enforcement agencies to inform the public of a sex offender’s release when, in the discretion of the agency, the release of information will enhance public safety, awareness and protection.
The individual who appears on this notification has been convicted of a sex offense that requires registration with the WI Sex Offender Registration Program (SORP). Further, this individual’s history places him in a classification level that reflects the potential to re-offend. This sex offender has served prison time for charges stemming from sexual assault incidents in 1976 and 1977.
He was released from prison in the spring of 2019 and has lived in northern WI. During that time he has not re-offended. He has been approved to live in Richland County by the WI. Dept. of Corrections, Division of Community Corrections. On January 9th, 2020, he will be released to reside in Marshall Township, Richland County, WI.
This person is NOT wanted by Law Enforcement
This community notification bulletin is not intended to increase fear; rather, it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.
Convicted sex offenders have always lived in our communities, but it was not until the Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Law was enacted that law enforcement was able to share this information with the community.
NOTE: Citizen abuse of this information used to threaten, intimidate or harass registered sex offenders can be a violation of the law and will not be tolerated.
The State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections is in charge of supervision of Richard D. Sugden. Special conditions of supervision include:
- House Arrest with GPS bracelet
- Required to have approved person/monitor with him at all times outside the home.
- Comply with sex offender rules
- Comply with rules of electronic monitoring & GPS tracking bracelets
- Comply with all requirements as lifetime registrant of the WI. Sex Offender Registry
Sex Offender information:
Name: Richard D. Sugden Age: 64 Male, White
Height: 5ft 10 in Weight: 194 lbs Eyes: Blue Hair: Bald
Offenses: Rape (1976), First Degree Sexual assault (1977) – Offenses occurred in Richland County, WI
Residence: 20686 Balsley Lane, Richland Center,WI.
Department of Corrections, Division of Community Corrections 608-647-4848
To learn more about the Sex Offender Registration Program in the State of Wisconsin, or to obtain information on registered sex offenders living in Richland County, please visit the sex offender registration website at www.offender.doc.state.wi.us/public/
Sheriff James J. Bindl
Date: December 23 2019
For more information contact: Sheriff James J Bindl
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department to participate in ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ holiday campaign December 13 through New Year’s Day
To help save lives and prevent needless tragedies, The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is joining law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin during the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday campaign from Friday, December 13, 2019 through New Year’s Day.
“The holiday season is a festive time for many, but it can quickly turn tragic if drivers make the dangerous and irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel impaired, “Sheriff Bindl said.
Last year in Wisconsin, alcohol-related crashes resulted in 160 deaths and nearly 3,300 injuries. While alcohol-impaired drivers are a serious concern, law enforcement faces a growing challenge with drug-impaired drivers – people whose ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by legal or illegal drugs including prescription and over-the-counter medications. To help combat impaired driving, Wisconsin has:
- About 6,000 police officers trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) to help detect and remove impaired drivers from the roadways;
- 301 highly-trained Drug Recognition Experts – among the most in the nation;
- 23 multi-jurisdictional high-visibility enforcement task forces operating throughout the year, across the state.
There are several ways citizens can help:
- Never allow someone to get behind the wheel impaired. Find a safe alternative to get them home. If you plan to celebrate, identify a sober designated driver;
- Report impaired drivers to law enforcement by calling 911. Provide as much detail as possible on the driver, vehicle, and location;
- Download the free “Drive Sober” mobile app from the WisDOT website. The app includes a “find a ride” feature to help locate mass transit and taxi services;
- Some taverns and restaurants have programs to provide patrons a safe ride home. Visit tlw.org/ and click on Safe Ride;
- Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up – every trip. Watch your speed and eliminate distractions.
“Safety along our roadways is not just a law enforcement issue,” Sheriff Bindl said. “Preventing crashes, injuries and deaths requires the cooperation of all motorists and citizens.”