Nearly every weekend from April 15 through October 15, my husband and I take a mini-road trip to our estate – er, trailer – on Little Green Lake in Markesan, Wisconsin. For those of us who grew up on the concrete sidewalks of of Milwaukee, Markesan, pop. 1,479, is “Up North.”
Wisconsin folks always argue about where Up North starts. I grant that Markesan is not True North like Minocqua, Wisconsin, separated from Canada by only a couple of hours of lonely road.
This is our fourth year at the lake, and we’ve developed a tradition to start out the weekends. After the hour and a half drive through corn fields and cow pastures, our first stop, before we arrive at the lake, is the town gas station, where Mike jumps out of the car and purchases that week’s issue of the Markesan Regional Reporter.
The high point of the Regional Reporter is a weekly feature on page three. It's called “Police Beat.” This is the high point because after being subjected to a week of world, national, and city news full of murder, mayhem and misery, well…
… It’s a relief to read about “crime” in a little town. My favorite listing of all time was the account of the herd of pigs that got loose in the street in front of the post office.
Many of the listings involve animals, or at least what they leave behind. Dog poop causes much consternation among neighbors and brings many calls to the police.
But there are other issues that police must attend to. From last week’s Police Beat, a sampler:
· A brand-new kid’s bike, just won at June Dairy Days, was stolen from a front porch.
· Police observed an expired license plate on a car and stopped the driver, who said her license had been revoked due to an OWI related offense. She went straight to jail.
· Someone found a stray dog. Police took the dog to the vet. The next day, the dog’s owner claimed the animal from the vet.
· A Markesan resident contacted police stating he had lost his keys. He left a description of the key ring and asked to be called if it was found.
· An apartment manager found items belonging to a former tenant when the manager was changing the locks on the apartment. The manager wanted the police to note that the property was being put into storage for when the former tenant returned.
· Outside a local store, a customer accidentally locked his keys inside his vehicle. Police checked his driver’s license and registration, then gained entrance to the car.
· A customer at a local business reported a purse stolen. A passerby in the parking lot of the business later found the purse, minus the cash, but with other possessions intact. The purse was returned to the owner.
· A tire and a middle rim from another tire was found along the curb in a roadway. Police investigated and found tire tracks going into a nearby retaining wall. Police concluded that a vehicle struck the retaining wall and then traveled over the wall and back onto the road. The cops noticed a white mark on the road coming from the area where the tire was located. They followed the white line, found the suspicious car, and spoke with the alleged driver. The driver smelled strongly of intoxicants and was placed under arrest for OWI, failure to keep vehicle under control, and operating without a valid license.
There’s nothing funny about drunk driving or theft of any kind, and I’m glad the Markesan Police are there to watch over us. But the other police calls are just – comforting, I guess.
Yup, “Police Beat” is a part of what makes Markesan a little piece of heaven for us.