CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Man arrested on battery charges after striking fellow diner with a glass boot
A 44-year-old man is under arrest for attacking a fellow diner at a Madison restaurant with a glass drinking boot. It happened early yesterday morning. Police said the victim was talking with friends when the suspect came up to their table and starting to them. Officers said the attacker was upset about something that came up in the discussion -- and he grabbed the glass boot and struck the 28-year-old victim. The man was taken to a hospital to treat a wound that needed several stitches. The 44-year-old suspect was booked on a possible charge of substantial battery.
Close to 300 people die each year in Wisconsin by abusing prescription pain-killers which have a synthetic form of opium. State figures obtained by Gannett Wisconsin Media show that 297-to-329 people each year have died from opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin from 2006-through-2012. All but six counties have recorded such deaths. The highest death rates per capita include counties of all sizes -- larger places like Milwaukee and Kenosha, and smaller counties like Adams and Langlade. The drugs contain the core ingredient in heroin, and that's why they're considered stepping-stones to heroin abuse. Victims include teens looking to get high, but they also include older pain sufferers who become addicted to their medications. Dorothy Chaney of the Wisconsin Community Health Alliance tells Gannett that most households have prescription narcotics at some point -- and that's where the addictions often begin. The State Crime Lab has seen its opioid cases rise from 170 in 2004, to 640 last year.
A missing teenager from a campground near Portage was found dead yesterday. Rescue divers found 17-year-old Thomas Biggs of Beloit around two p-m in a pond close to a trailer where his family was celebrating the July Fourth weekend. He was last seen late Friday afternoon near the trailer at Blackhawk Park near Portage. Columbia County officials said Biggs apparently drowned, although his family said he could swim. An autopsy is planned for today or tomorrow, which could provide more answers.
A federal judge in Green Bay will hear arguments this morning in a lawsuit from U-S Senator Ron Johnson on Obama-care benefits for his colleagues and staffers. The Wisconsin Republican said the administration overstepped its authority, by granting federal tax subsidies for congressional personnel to use the Obama-care purchasing exchanges regardless of their incomes. Johnson filed his lawsuit in January, saying the subsidies amount to special treatment that's not afforded to other Americans. Federal Judge William Griesbach is presiding over today's hearing, in which the government will seek a motion to drop the lawsuit while claiming that Johnson had no legal right to file it. Johnson insists he has legal standing to sue, because he's being harmed by having to take part in program he believes is illegal. The government disagrees, calling the subsidies a fringe benefit that Johnson and his staff do not have to accept. The health reform law required lawmakers to use the exchanges, so they could know what their constituents were going through.
Police officers shot and killed a man in Racine yesterday. Police were called to a home around 12:15 yesterday afternoon, and were told that a man there was suicidal. Officials said police shot the man after he threatened the officers, and refused to drop a weapon -- the type of which was not disclosed. The man later died at a Racine hospital. No names were immediately released. The Racine County Sheriff's Department was called in to investigate the shooting.
An S-U-V slammed into the main post office in Oshkosh late yesterday. At last word, police said one person had minor injuries. Police did not release other details. Media reports said the damaged part of the post office was open to the public 24-7, and there was glass on both the inside and outside. The Oshkosh facility is located near Wittman Airport.