Memorial tributes written by children were placed outside the residence. Even though the family lived in their home only a few weeks, it doesn't take kids long to bond.
approximately 3:21 p.m., the Grant County Sheriff’s Office was notified of possible gunshot victims inside a residence in the Village of Montfort. Deputies responded to the scene and found 3 victims with gunshot wounds. One 6 year old victim was deceased at the scene. An 8 year old and an adult female victim were Med-flighted to Madison. At this time there is no information stating a threat to the community. This case is currently being investigated and additional information and names will be released at a later time. According to Chief Deputy Jack Johnson, there is no suspect at large. Video
Update - January 13, 2014 - The Grant County Sheriff’s Office has been informed by UW Hospital, that Morgan Slaight died, this morning, as a result of the injuries she sustained on January 2, 2015 in Montfort. The Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate this matter and has made no determination as to what occurred in Montfort on January 2, 2105. The investigators continue following up on leads and await the processing of some evidence. Update: At this time this matter continues to be handled as a homicide investigation. There are several pieces of crucial evidence that will be processed at the Wisconsin Crime Laboratory, which will assist in determining what exactly occurred yesterday afternoon. This process may take several weeks to complete. Until that time, the Grant County Criminal Investigation Unit continues to follow all leads and collect any additional evidence that may be located. The 6 year old victim has been identified as Jaxon Slaight, who was residing with his mother, 27 year old Morgan Slaight and 8 year old brother Joseph Slaight at a residence in the Village of Montfort. Morgan and Joseph are currently in critical, but stable condition at UW hospital in Madison. Be advised there continues to be no danger to the public. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance with this investigation: Montfort Fire and EMS Departments, Fennimore EMS and Police Department, Iowa County Sheriff’s Office, Highland EMS, Muscoda Police Department, Madison Police Department Wisconsin State Patrol Reconstruction Team, UW Madison Police Department, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory – Crime Scene Response Team, UW Medflight, and the Grant County Coroner.
Montfort killing was murder-suicide: Sheriff
Video of Press ConferenceTip-(Click on the HD icon in the lower right corner to toggle it to SD for uninterrupted playback if you are having trouble with starting and stopping. Either way, you may watch in full screen). Grant County, WI - January 16, 2015 - The Grant County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Grant County Coroner’s office have spent countless hours over the past 2 weeks trying to piece together what occurred at 305 E. Main Street in the Village of Montfort on January 2, 2015. On that date, 6 year old Jaxon Slaight was killed, 8 year old Joseph Slaight was seriously injured and their mother, Morgan Slaight, was seriously injured as well. (see story below) It has been a difficult and challenging investigation. The goal of every death investigation, is to determine what occurred, how the person died, and who, if anyone caused the death. This investigation was no different. The detectives spent countless hours interviewing anyone connected to the Slaight family in the Grant & Iowa County area, tracing the whereabouts of Morgan Slaight during the day on January 2nd, as well as looking at all the physical evidence at the scene and studying all potential possibilities to explain what happened. On January 14th, Morgan Slaight succumbed to her injuries and as part of the investigation, an autopsy was performed. After close examination of her injuries, Dr. Corliss, a UW Hospital Forensic Pathologist, determined the injuries were consistent with a self inflicted gunshot wound. Dr. Corliss and Grant County Coroner Ron Sturmer have ruled Morgan’s death a suicide. As a result of autopsy, along with evidence from the Wisconsin Crime Laboratory indicating Morgan had handled the gun, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office is ruling this investigation as a homicide of 6 year old Jaxon, suicide of 27 year old Morgan and attempted homicide of 8 year old Joseph. Currently, Joseph Slaight is showing signs of improvement and although his outcome is still undetermined, there have been some positive signs of healing. We continue to pray for his healing and recovery.
Fennimore man killed in hay bale road accident
On 1-29-2015 at about 6:30 a.m. the Grant County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a traffic accident on Hwy 61 and Circle Road in N. Lancaster Township. Donald J. Martin, 60 of Bagley, Wi, turned south on Hwy 61 from Circle road. Martin was pulling a goose neck trailer with large round bales of hay. The load was not secure and two of the large round bales of hay fell off in the south bound lane of Hwy 61. Robert A Kuhn, 48 of Fennimore, Wi, was traveling south on Hwy 61, when he struck one large bale of hay then traveled into the northbound lane. Nathan M. Harris, 42 of Lancaster, Wi, was traveling northbound when Harris and Kuhn collided head on. Kuhn was pronounced dead at the scene by Coroner Ron Sturmer. Harris was transported by the Lancaster Rescue squad to Grant Regional Health Center, and then later transported to a hospital in Madison. Martin was not involved in the accident and left the area and was located later. This incident is still under investigation. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Lancaster Fire Department, Lancaster EMS, Lancaster Police, Wisconsin State Patrol, Grant County Coroner’s Office, Grant County Highway Department, and Bennett’s Towing
Trains again moving through site of derailment
Dubuque County, Iowa - February 4, 2015 - At approximately 11:20 CT, an eastbound freight train derailed six cars containing ethanol north of Dubuque, IA. Initial reports indicate one car is on fire. The derailment is along the Mississippi River along a remote stretch of track making it awkward for emergency crews to reach the area. A spokesman for the Canadian Pacific railroad stated that “There were no injuries to our crew. Safety is the priority and we take these incidents seriously. CP's emergency protocols were immediately enacted and all safety precautions and measures are being taken as our crews respond to the incident. At this time our focus is public safety and the environment.” Update – Feb. 5, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. - The Canadian Pacific (CP) reports that 15 total cars derailed, plus 2 engines. 14 of the 15 cars were carrying ethanol, and 1 car is still burning. Emergency crews are letting the car burn itself out. CP is working closely with regulators to ensure we are following best environmental practices going forward. There were no injuries to our crew and there is no risk to the public. Update - Feb. 5th - 4:15 p.m. - All fires have burned out, but ethanol in the river. Two cars have been re-railed and removed from the site. Our personnel are now working on transloading ethanol from derailed cars into empties that have been brought to the site. As derailed cars are emptied, they can be safely moved. This leaves 13 cars and 2 engines currently derailed. Of the derailed cars, three are sitting on the frozen river. We have verified that some ethanol has reached the water, but do not yet have an estimate of how much. We take our commitment to the environment very seriously, and are closely monitoring the impact at the site as well as downstream to determine what remediation will be needed. CP is coordinating closely with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure we are protecting the environment as we progress our recovery efforts. We have established 40 separate monitoring sites at 1-mile increments for 10 miles down the river (originally communicated as 10 sites total) downriver that will be able to detect the presence of ethanol in the water, as well as the level of dissolved oxygen. Update - Feb. 7th - The rail line was reopened at approximately 7:30 a.m. local time this morning, and trains are now moving through the site at a reduced speed. All precautions are being taken to ensure operations are conducted safely. All derailed cars have now been removed from the derailment site. A total of 12 tank cars have been moved to a staging area, where they will be cleaned and purged to ensure no ethanol residue or vapors remain. Those efforts are already under way, and will be ongoing throughout today. CP continues to coordinate closely with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure we are protecting the environment as we progress our recovery efforts. We have established 40 separate monitoring sites at 1-mile increments for 10 miles down the river downriver that will be able to detect the presence of ethanol in the water, as well as the level of dissolved oxygen. Results from the first day of testing, which was performed Thursday, have begun to come back. Of the 40 monitoring sites, the two closest to the site on the Iowa riverbank displayed barely detectable levels of ethanol. No other monitoring sites detected the presence of any ethanol. Monitoring will be ongoing based on the plan CP has established with the EPA, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, and the Iowa DNR. CP and our contractors have begun work on a restoration and remediation plan for the derailment site. We will develop this plan in close consultation with regulators.
Sleigh rides in the park
Boscobel, WI - February 7, 2015 - Horse drawn sleighs took people on rides through Kronshage Park as a fund raising activity for the Wisconsin River Trail project that hopes to build a trail from Boscobel to Wauzeka. The first phase would connect Sanders Creek to the boat landing. The horses & sleighs were provided by Three Witches Farm & Stables out of Readstown, WI. View video, come ride along on a sleigh ride. Tip-(Click on the HD icon in the lower right corner to toggle it to SD for uninterrupted playback if you are having trouble with starting and stopping. Either way, you may watch in full screen).
Water monitoring continues on Mississippi following train derailment
DUBUQUE, IOWA – February 10, 2015 - Water samples drawn downstream from a train derailment north of Dubuque on Feb. 4th continue to show minimal impact to water quality in the Mississippi River. The samples taken in approximately 6,000 foot intervals downstream from where the derailment occurred produced a few low level detections of ethanol downstream at levels that would not be toxic to fish. An additional sampling was taken approximately 130 miles downstream south of Muscatine where the leading edge of any ethanol plume was expected to reach over the past weekend. No ethanol was detected in the initial samples taken near Muscatine. Air pumps are being used in the open water where three rail cars fell into the river. The air pumps are being used to evaporate some of the ethanol that might be in the water into the air and reduce concentrations. Because most of the river at the scene of the derailment and immediately downstream is covered in ice, slabs of ice are being cut from the river. The bottom of the ice slabs will be analyzed to see if any ethanol that may have flowed downstream from the spill has been trapped in the ice and in what concentrations. Recovering ethanol that was on the ice of the river near the spill is still a challenge because the ice is not safe enough to support a recovery effort. However, the ethanol levels on the ice are being monitored to see if it is breaking down and evaporating. As conditions allow, slush from a melting tributary immediately north of where the derailment occurred is being vacuumed up and taken to a landfill for disposal. When the rail cars that were in the river were removed, there was frozen sediment attached that contained freshwater mussels. Analysis is underway of the recovered materials to determine what species of mussels may have been impacted.
Drug arrest in Gays Mills, WI
On February 19th, 2015 at approximately 2:30 p.m., Crawford County Sheriff’s Office Investigators obtained and executed a narcotics related search warrant at two separate residences, 137 and 141 Cedar Street in the Village of Gays Mills, WI. The search warrant was the result of a lengthy investigation in the illegal possession and sale of narcotics at these two residences. The occupants of the two residences were, Thomas Coleman, 50 and Rebecca Anderson, 42 (141 Cedar St.) and Gerald Anderson III, 20 and Thomas Holtz, 21 (137 Cedar St.). The search of the two residences uncovered numerous items associated with the suspected illegal sale and possession of narcotics. Subsequent to the search of the two residences, Gerald Anderson III and Thomas Holtz were arrested face charges including possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, possession of LSD, and possession of ecstasy. It should be known, this investigation remains open and additional charges may be brought against more individuals. Assisting in the search warrant were members of the Prairie du Chien Police Department.
Hit & Run driver who rammed police car after accident is now in custody
Update - February 24th at 5 p.m. - The Grant Co. Sheriff’s Dept. reports that Wayne Ferguson has turned himself into the Grant County Jail. See Videointerviewwith Muscoda Police Chief Bill Schramm. Tip-(Click on the HD icon in the lower right corner to toggle it to SD for uninterrupted playback if you are having trouble with starting and stopping. Either way, you may watch in full screen).
On February 23, 2015 at approximately 7:07 pm the Grant County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a hit and run crash on Hwy 133 at W Pine Rd located in Muscoda Township. Christine Gulsrud, age 44 from Richland Center, was traveling westbound on Hwy 133 in a 2003 Jeep Liberty. Wayne Ferguson, age 48 from Muscoda, was traveling eastbound on Hwy 133 in his 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan. Wayne Ferguson, 48 of Muscoda, WI, was the second of two vehicles traveling eastbound.
Wayne Ferguson, 48 from Muscoda.
Ferguson turned northbound on West Pine Rd right in front of Gulsrud’s westbound vehicle. Gulsrud struck the passenger side of Ferguson’s vehicle. Gulsrud and her two passengers, Anthony Davis, age 19 from Abbotsford, WI, and Allyssa Lisney, age 12 from Muscoda were all wearing their seatbelts and sustained minor injuries from the crash. They were all examined at the scene by Muscoda EMS and then released without transport. Gulsrud’s Jeep sustained moderate front end damages and was removed from the scene by Terry’s Towing of Boscobel. Ferguson’s vehicle sustained heavy rear-end damages, losing the rear tire on the passenger side. Immediately following the crash Ferguson fled the scene, traveling eastbound on Hwy 133 on only three tires. Moments later a Muscoda Officer located Ferguson’s vehicle near Hwy 133 and Sportsman’s Dr. Muscoda PD attempted to stop the vehicle. Though, only on three wheels, Ferguson would not stop and a pursuit ensued throughout the Village of Muscoda. At one point during the pursuit Ferguson turned around and rammed the Muscoda squad head on. Ferguson again fled and the pursuit continued. The pursuit ended at Hwy 133 and Sportsmans Dr as Ferguson attempted to ram the Muscoda squad again, this time in reverse. Ferguson missed the squad, however, and ended up putting his vehicle into the ditch. Ferguson then fled on foot. The Sheriff’s Office deployed K9 A-Rod for a track of the suspect. A-Rod lead Deputies on a mile and a half track right to Ferguson’s residence on Thrush Cove, in Muscoda Township. A search of a residence was conducted but Ferguson was not located. Deputies were later informed that someone had picked Ferguson up moments prior to the Deputy’s arrival. During the pursuit, specifically the ramming incident, the Muscoda squad car sustained moderate front end damages. The Muscoda Officer sustained minor injuries. The officer was treated and released without transport by Muscoda EMS. The Muscoda squad was removed by officers, but remains out of service due to the damages. Ferguson’s vehicle was removed by Wegner’s Towing of Richland Center. Authorities believe that alcohol was a contributing factor in this incident and this incident remains under investigation as the Sheriff’s Office and Muscoda PD work together to locate Ferguson. Along with the pending charges from the Muscoda Police Department and the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Ferguson is currently on supervision through Wisconsin Probation and Parole. P&P has issued an arrest warrant for Ferguson. Ferguson is still on the run and anyone with any information as to his whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Muscoda Police Department, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, or Grant County Crime Stoppers. The Sheriff’s Office and The Muscoda Police Department were assisted in this matter by the Muscoda Fire Department, Muscoda EMS, Fennimore PD, Iowa County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Terry’s Towing of Boscobel, and Wegner’s Towing of Richland Center. Arrest* or Charges: Battery to an Officer, Eluding, Resisting, Hit and Run Occupied Vehicle (x2), Keep Open Intoxicants in a Vehicle, Fail to Notify Police of a Crash, and Fail to Yield While Making a Left Turn. Arrest is an indication that probable cause exists to bring charges against an individual with the understanding that every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Work on derailed oil train nearly complete
Update -BNSF MEDIA STATEMENT as of March 7, 2015 at 11:00 am CST – Galena, IL derailment Work to remove the derailed cars at the site of the BNSF Railway derailment, which occurred in a rural area south of Galena, Ill., is nearing completion. Due to its remote location and soft ground in the area, a temporary road is being built to allow heavy equipment to re-rail cars and remove crude oil from the scene. Additionally, the three small remaining fires will be extinguished by a foam truck once the temporary road is complete. Of the 21 cars that were derailed, six cars have been re-railed. Two more cars are expected to be re-railed later today. The remaining cars will be removed from the scene via truck. Once the scene is cleared, BNSF currently anticipates that its mainline track can be operational on Monday, March 9, 2015. As the clean-up process proceeds, BNSF continues to find no evidence of oil in the nearby waterways due to the derailment. Air quality monitoring is also continuing. The cause of the derailment is still under investigation. BNSF Railway employees continue to assist local and federal officials. Protection of the communities we serve, the safety of our employees and protection of the environment are our highest priorities. These priorities have guided us throughout our response to this event. We are extremely grateful for the efforts of the first responders at this incident and the coordination and cooperation offered by local officials to keep the community safe. BNSF Railway sincerely regrets the inconvenience this event has caused to the community. BNSF has established a claims center at the site of the incident to help and assist local residents who may have incurred damage to their property or are in need of temporary relocation With the scene mostly contained, BNSF does not anticipate the need to offer any additional updates.
An oil train of the BNSF Railway derailed south of Galena today, March 5, 2015. This is the second oil train to derail and burn within the last month. The earlier incident was a Canadian Pacific oil train that derailed and burned just north of Dubuque Iowa. Calls went out for assistance throughout the surrounding area with Grant County sending their HazMat unit with numerous firefighters. Dickyville supplied ATV vehicles to reach the site of the crash. Smoke could be seen for miles. The BNSF Railway released the following statement: A BNSF Railway train derailed at approximately 1:20 pm CST in a rural area south of Galena, IL. There are no injuries reported. The train consists of 105 loaded cars, which includes 103 cars loaded with crude oil and 2 buffer cars loaded with sand. BNSF responders are en route. At this time, we do not know the cause of the derailment. In addition to the railroad employees currently on the scene, additional BNSF personnel are en route to be part of the response. BNSF is working with local responders and has notified the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board of the incident. Protection of the communities we serve, the safety of our employees and protection of the environment are our highest priorities. We are guided by these priorities as we respond to this situation. Again, at this point we are not aware of any injuries and no evacuations have been ordered.
Man shot in rural Postville, Iowa
Update - 3/16/15 at 10:57 a.m., The preliminary investigation determined that Jacob Abrams, 24 of Waukon, had pursued a vehicle occupied by Kristy Roney and Austin Roney to a private residence located at 7863 Yellow River Drive in rural Postville. Abrams exited the vehicle and advanced toward Austin Roney and Kristy Roney. Austin Roney fired one shot which struck Abrams. Abrams is in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries. No charges have been filed at this time. Postville, Iowa - On March 15, 2015 at 10:57 a.m., the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a shooting in the 700 block of Yellow River Drive in rural Postville, Iowa. Upon the arrival of the Iowa State Patrol and Allamakee County Sheriff’s Office, an adult male victim was located outside the residence suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The male victim was transported by ambulance to Veterans Memorial Hospital for treatment. An adult male was detained at the scene and transported to the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Office for questioning. A female was also questioned regarding the incident. The names of the parties involved are being withheld at this time. The incident remains under investigation.
Piggly Wiggly holds Grand Opening
Boscobel, WI – March 9, 2015 – Piggly Wiggly's Boscobel Store has spent months remodeling their store one section at a time. Now, it is finished, and it's amazing. Take a look while Tom Richter, president of the Boscobel Chamber of Commerce takes us on a short video tour. Tip-(Click on the HD icon in the lower right corner to toggle it to SD for uninterrupted playback if you are having trouble with starting and stopping. Either way, you may watch in full screen).
Prairie du Chien's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade
Prairie du Chien, WI – March 14, 2015 – Traditionally, the St. Pat's Day Parade is a rather bracing affair that carries such a nip in the air that only the stout-hearted, traditionalist Irish, and fun loving Irish-for-a-day souls attend blowing warm air on their cupped cold hands. Not this year. The unseasonably warm weather brought out a huge crowd that stood happily along Blackhawk Avenue enjoying the warm spring like morning. The parade was much longer than usual, with participants moving at a more relaxed pace. Be sure to watch the video as Tom Nelson again adds the local color and excitement to the parade. Tip-(Click on the HD icon in the lower right corner to toggle it to SD for uninterrupted playback if you are having trouble with starting and stopping. Either way, you may watch in full screen).
Search Continues along WI River for child
Update - April 21, 2015 - The recovery operation will resume today. River search operations were suspended last week due to high water, but river bank searches have continued and cadaver dog teams from Wisconsin K9SOS Search and Rescue and K9 Emergency Response Team (KERT) aided in the efforts.
Update - April 13, 2015 - Richland Center, WI: The recovery operation continued this past weekend to locate 5-year-old Angela Girton who fell into the Wisconsin River on April 6, 2015. Her body has not been found at this time. Richland County Emergency Management and Lone Rock Fire were assisted by the following agencies: Cazenovia Fire Department, Wisconsin DNR, Wisconsin State Patrol, Sauk County Dive team, Blue River Fire Department, Iowa County Emergency Management, local ARES/RACES Amateur Radio Group, Richland County Sherriff’s Department, Lone Rock EMS and many members of the public.
Saturday’s efforts included 5 boat teams, 2 kayak teams, 2 cadaver dog teams, and a search plane that scanned from Angela’s point of entry to Wauzeka and back. Bruce’s Legacy and the Sauk County Dive Team worked the area with zero visibility, high water and strong currents. Sunday’s efforts included 3 boat teams and Bruce’s Legacy collecting and analyzing additional sonar images. Today, members of the search team will coordinate morning and evening times to continue the search. Wisconsin DNR Wardens will also continue to search the river as they are out on normal duty. The recovery efforts have been scaled back due to zero visibility, high water and strong currents. Richland County Emergency Management will be working with the National Weather Service and Prairie du Sac dam to monitor the flow and depth of the river. Once it comes down, we will re-deploy divers and reinstate search efforts; including the assistance of cadaver dog teams. The public is welcome to search the area from the Gotham boat landing to Boscobel. Due to the high water and fast current, we ask that those searching follow all necessary safety precautions. If anyone discovers her body, please mark the location with a flag or ribbon and call the Richland County Sherriff’s Department at 608-647-2106. Additional information will be released as soon as it is made available.
Update - April 10th, 5:30 p.m. - Richland Center, WI: The recovery operation continues to locate 5-year-old Angela Girton who fell into the Wisconsin River Monday night. Her body has not been found at this time. The sonar images that were collected and analyzed by Bruce’s Legacy yesterday were unsuccessful in locating her today. These recovery efforts will continue again tomorrow
Update - April 8th 5:30 p.m. -Richland Center, WI: The recovery operation continues to locate 5-year-old Angela Girton who fell into the Wisconsin River Monday night. Her body has not been found at this time. The Madison Police Department has offered the assistance of a trained cadaver dog to aid the Lone Rock Fire Department and Richland County Emergency Management in their continued search
Update - April 8th -The recovery operation continues to locate 5-year-old Angela Girton, parents Jennifer Christianson and Corey Girton, of Lone Rock.
BREAKING! - (See video above) 4/7/15 Richland Center , WI: At approximately 6:15pm last night a four year old female fell into the north side of the Wisconsin River near the east side of the boat landing in Gotham. Lone Rock Fire and EMS were dispatched at approximately 6:30pm and were assisted by Spring Green Fire, Blue River Fire, Cazenovia Fire, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and Richland County Emergency Management. The search for the child was discontinued at 9:00pm due to darkness and weather conditions affecting visibility. The search resumed this morning at 6:30am. Lone Rock Fire and EMS is currently being assisted by Spring Green Fire, Blue River Fire, Cazenovia Fire, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and Richland County Emergency Management. DNR Wardens are searching by both boat and plane, and the Baraboo Police Department is searching with a drone.
4/7/15 11am update: The Sauk County Dive Team and Iowa County Tech Rescue Team are in route to assist in the search.
Officials understand the emotional impact this has on our community and appreciates all the help that concerned citizens have offered. However, at this time we are asking for people not to self deploy, as there are plenty of resources out on the water. -
Body of juvenile female recovered from WI River
At 5:49 p.m., the Richland County Sheriff's Department Communications Center received a call from a citizen stating he saw what he believed to be a body in the Wisconsin River. Authorities responded and discovered the body of a juvenile female at the location. The body was recovered near the Village of Port Andrew, WI. See background information Update - The body is that of Angela Girton.