Connector newsletter - April 2017

Connector newsletter

Hundreds gather to honor life of Wisconsin State Trooper Anthony Borostowski

Joe Starr, Wisconsin DOT

Hundreds of law enforcement representatives from throughout the state and nation, public officials and private citizens came to Sparta, Wis., on April 17 to pay their respects to Wisconsin State Trooper Anthony Borostowski who died while in the line of duty on April 11.

Borostowski receiving awardBorostowski, 34, was working the overnight shift on April 11 in Sauk County when he was involved in a fatal single-vehicle crash while traveling on eastbound I-90. His car entered the south ditch and struck a tree. 

Law enforcement attending Borostowski's funeral came from as far away as Florida, California, Oregon and Texas. Following the indoor funeral -- attended by more than 1,500 people -- and outdoor committal service, the day's events culminated with a lengthy procession of law enforcement vehicles with emergency lights activated. Division of State Patrol, along with the entire Wisconsin DOT family, are mourning the loss of Borostowski, who was a member of the 60th Wisconsin State Patrol Recruit Class along with Trooper Trevor Casper who died in the line of duty in March 2015. Borostowski furneral

"Trooper Borostowski was a public servant through and through," said State Patrol Lt. Col. Steve Krueger, referring not only to Borostowski's law enforcement service but also to his military service. Borostowski was a drill sergeant and medic in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, serving since 2004 with deployments to Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

He received multiple awards as a soldier, including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal and National Defense Service Medal. His awards also extended to his work with State Patrol, receiving the State Patrol's Lifesaving Award for his heroic efforts in January 2015 to keep someone alive with CPR until emergency responders arrived.

Borostowski grew up in Oak Creek and was a 2001 graduate of Oak Creek High School. He was active in his free time and enjoyed golf, softball, and playing guitar and video games. He is survived by his mother and father, Cynthia and Stanley Borostowski, Sparta; his very special friend, Anna Duncan, Racine; aunt, Mary Inhoff-Philbert, Oak Creek; uncle, Tom Inhoff, Greenfield; and many cousins, and great aunts and uncles.

Borostowski is the seventh officer to die in the line of the duty while serving in the Wisconsin State Patrol. The crash is under investigation by the Sauk County Sheriff's Office.

Wisconsin State Patrol welcomes 41 officers to its ranks

Joe Starr, Wisconsin DOT 

After more than six months of intense training, 41 Wisconsin State Patrol cadets were sworn in at an April 7 graduation ceremony in La Crosse, Wis.

62nd Recruit ClassThe new officers began their training as cadets in the 62nd Recruit Class at the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy at Fort McCoy on Oct. 2, 2016. Their comprehensive training has prepared them for law enforcement careers as either State Patrol troopers or inspectors in one of five regions in the state. Troopers generally patrol highways to enforce traffic safety and criminal laws while inspectors focus primarily on enforcement of motor carrier (large trucks, buses and other commercial motor vehicles) safety laws and regulations.

“Throughout their rigorous training, our newest officers displayed the mental, physical and emotional strength needed for the State Patrol’s traffic and public safety missions,” said Capt. Paul Matl, commander of the State Patrol Academy. “They successfully completed training in an array of subjects including traffic and criminal law, firearms marksmanship, emergency vehicle operations, crisis management and traffic crash investigations. They will continue their training and education throughout their careers.”

Related links

Division of State Patrol

Return to top

Fly-ins, air shows are family friendly events

Airplane rotors

Aircraft inspire our imagination. We hear a buzzing plane prop or low roar of a jet and instantly look to the sky, wondering where they are going and what they are seeing from their cloud-high seats. We want to know what is it that allows these machines to pull from the earth and soar skyward.

Air shows and fly-ins are an opportunity to satisfy these curiosities. Events are going on year-round at airports throughout Wisconsin. They provide a chance for the public to see aircraft up close and talk to the pilots who fly them.

“Fly-ins are for the community,” said Scott Brummond, program chief with Wisconsin DOT's Bureau of Aeronautics. "They are family friendly events that usually revolve around a pancake breakfast or a barbecue. Children get especially excited. They can look at the planes, talk to the pilots and, in some cases, even go for a ride.”

Many of the events are themed by aircraft type, says Brummond. “You can go from the gathering of the Warbirds (Korean/WWII era aircraft) in Waukesha and that same day travel to Kenosha and see the gathering of the Pitts Special (light aerobatic biplanes designed by Curtis Pitts).”

Details on the Warbird and Pitts Special events, along with other Wisconsin fly-ins and air shows coming in May, are found below. A full list of events happening year round with the most up-to-date information is available on the Fly-ins page.

May Fly-ins

​Date Event/Airport ​Activities ​Contact
​May 13

​Spring City Aviation – Milwaukee Monthly Fly-in Breakfast

Milwaukee Timmerman Airport (KMWC)
Milwaukee, WI

8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Join Spring City Aviation for fun, flying, camaraderie and a great continental breakfast! Breakfast is free for the PIC with 30 gallon fuel purchase (100LL or Jet-A). We’ll be giving away door prizes each month. Hope to see you here!
Gavin Leake
(414) 461-3222
​May 14

​VFW All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast

Reedsburg Municipal Airport (C35)
Reedsburg, WI

​8 a.m. – Noon
Pancakes, French toast, eggs, hash browns, sausage, biscuits & gravy, drinks, all for $8.00
VFW Post 1916
(608) 524-1435
​May 20​EAA Chapter 444 open house
Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ)
Waupaca, WI
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

See aircraft on display and Young Eagles rides for kids ages 8-17. There will also be burgers, brats & hot dogs for a small donation. Plus cool cars! Fun for the whole family!

Bard Hahn
(920) 409-0927
May 27 ​Gathering of Pitts
Kenosha Regional Airport (KENW)
Kenosha, WI
Inaugural Kenosha Regional Airport gathering of Pitts Specials (planes, pilots & enthusiasts).
Fuel discounts for fly-in participants.
Opportunity to meet other pilots, do a little hangar flying and participate in seminars (tbd).
Fly/In or Drive/In
Event held rain or shine!
Scott Drenner
(262) 664-5611
​May 27Gathering of Warbirds
Hosted by Commemorative Air Force Wisconsin Wing
Waukesha County Airport (KUES)
2525 Aviation Road, Waukesha, WI
​10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Gathering of Warbirds will feature Korean War & World War II era aircraft in the air and on the ground.
This event is family-friendly featuring historic and modern military aircraft, aircraft tours & rides and education activities for all ages. It’s aimed at anyone who enjoys seeing historic & modern military aircraft and fighter jets fly throughout the day. The event will also honor veterans with a free hat presented to the first 200 veterans who attend. Entrance fee is $15 per vehicle. Food vendors will be onsite. For information, including how to schedule a ride in the B-25 Miss Mitchell or Vultee BT-13, visit

Related links

Wisconsin DOT Fly-ins page

Wisconsin DOT air travel page

Return to top

Wisconsin makes move to 7-character auto license plates

Terry Walsh, Wisconsin DOT

License plateWisconsin recently made a switch from six- to seven-character auto license plates when combination options for the former were exhausted after more than 30 years of issuance.

The move to the seven-character plate started in late April after Wisconsin DOT's Division of Motor Vehicles' (DMV) supply of six-character Wisconsin license plates ran out at its central office. Local DMVs and 3rd party vendors will continue to issue the six-character plates until inventories run out.

There was plenty of interest in the creation of a new number combination as the end of the alphabet and the license plate series neared. “All of the number combinations were used, and we needed to find a large range of plate numbers to use into the future,” said DMV License Plate Issuance Unit Supervisor Jeremy Krueger.

"The new combination should last a while," said Krueger, adding that "the additional character will yield 100 million combinations." The six character plates yielded about 20 million combinations since they debuted in 1986.

The combination on the current design reversed from letters to numbers (WRZ-999 to 123-ABC) in 2000. The new configuration will return three letters beginning with AAA- then followed by four numbers (AAA-1001). Plate artwork will stay the same.

Currently, approximately 3.5 million vehicles have standard Wisconsin license plates. The Department of Corrections will continue to make Wisconsin's license plates. Of the character combinations used, I, O and Q are excluded because they resemble numbers.

Related links

Get title and plates

Return to top

Wisconsin DOT working with partners on US 2 improvement project in Superior

Diana Maas, Wisconsin DOT NW Region 

Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Dave Ross on April 3 joined the city of Superior, Superior-Douglas County Chamber of Commerce and the Superior Business Improvement District for the official groundbreaking at US 2 (Belknap Street) in Superior, Wisconsin. Groundbreaking

WisDOT, the city of Superior and Superior Water, Light and Power started a reconstruction project to replace approximately 1.4 miles of concrete roadway, upgrade the storm sewer system, and improve roadway safety and access, utilities, parking, sidewalk, street lighting and partial bike accommodations.

Improvements will also be made on most of the connecting side streets north and south of Belknap Street, extending back to the respective alleys. The project will begin just west of the Banks Avenue and Belknap Street intersection, continue east on Belknap Street and end just past the intersection of Hill Avenue.

Chippewa Concrete is the prime contractor for this $23 million project, which is funded with a mix of federal; state; city; and Superior Water, Light and Power dollars. The project is scheduled for two years; construction will be suspended in November 2017 before starting again for phase two in April 2018. The project is scheduled for full completion in spring of 2019.

"It is through collaboration with the city of Superior, the Superior-Douglas County Chamber of Commerce and the proactive work of the Superior Business Improvement District that WisDOT is able to engage with all stakeholders to make for a productive construction process," said Wisconsin DOT Project Manager Brendan Dirkes. "Ultimately, the end product will provide residents, business owners and the traveling public with a safer roadway, smoother ride and more efficient traffic flow for many years to come."

Related links

Belknap project page on 511WI

Return to top

'Steer It, Clear It' is May law of the month

You're driving on the highway, it's rush hour and you see brake lights in front of you. You apply the brakes to meet pace with the slowing traffic, but as you do you are jolted when a car hits you from behind. What now?

"Any traffic crash -- even a minor fender-bender -- can be traumatic for everyone involved," says Wisconsin State Patrol Capt. David Fish. "It's important that motorists involved in a crash maintain composure and take steps for their own safety and the safety of others on the road."

The first step, even if it's a minor crash, says Fish, is to check for injuries and call 911 if medical assistance is needed. "If no one is injured, motorists need to follow the steps contained in the 'Steer It, Clear It Law.'” 

If no one is injured and the vehicle can be driven, the Steer It, Clear It Law requires motorists involved in crashes to move their vehicles to a safe location away from traffic. The vehicles should be moved to a location, such as a highway shoulder, a side road, an on or off ramp, a parking lot or a crash investigation site, where they will obstruct traffic as little as possible. Once the vehicle is at a safe location, drivers can contact law enforcement and exchange information. The Steer it, Clear It Law also grants immunity from civil damages to any person who removes a crashed vehicle from traffic as well as debris in the roadway or other obstruction.

“Vehicles involved in crashes that are left in the roadway contribute to traffic back-ups that may cause additional crashes,” says Fish. “Moving the vehicles away from traffic also helps law enforcement officers and other responders to quickly remove disabled vehicles and clear the crash scene so that normal traffic can resume.”

The State Patrol offers the following advice for motorists involved in a crash:

  • If your vehicle is disabled, do not risk injury by trying to push it out of traffic by yourself.
  • If your vehicle cannot be moved, stay inside with your seat belt fastened for protection until responders arrive.
  • To help prevent additional crashes, warn oncoming traffic of the crash by turning on your hazard lights or raising the hood of the vehicle.

Related link

Wisconsin DOT Law of the Month page

Subscribe to newsletter emails