CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Man gets warning for lighting fireworks as his vehicle gets the worst of it
A northern Wisconsin man was let off with a warning for lighting illegal fireworks -- and it's just as well, since he had vehicle damage as a result. Lincoln County authorities responded to a pick-up truck fire late Saturday night at a business near Tomahawk. A neighbor had already put out the fire with an extinguisher before fire-fighters could get to work. Investigators said the man admitted firing bottle rockets -- and one of them landed in the bed of his 13-year-old pick-up truck. The bedliner caught fire -- and it caused damage to the box, tailgate paint, and tail-lights. No one was injured.
State officials are thinking about having guards work longer shifts at a second prison next year, after the idea got good reviews at the first place it was tried. Correctional officers at the Prairie du Chien prison have been working 12-hour shifts instead of eight since January. The Corrections Department tried the idea to see how it would affect the prison's budget, operations, and morale among guards. According to a department survey, 60-percent of Prairie du Chien employees thought the move saved money -- and 78-percent said it's now easier to balance their work-and-personal lives with fewer actual days on the job. Those numbers have officials considering the same experiment next year at a second medium-security prison with twice as many inmates -- the one at Redgranite in Waushara County. A prison sergeant there, Jennifer Murphy, is not wild about it. She and her husband both work at the prison, and Jennifer is afraid the longer shifts would make it impossible to get child care for their five-year-old youngster with special needs. Murphy put it this way to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- "People are going to lose custody of their kids over this."
Eight apartments in Madison were evacuated, after authorities said somebody in the building spread chemicals in an apparent suicide attempt. Police and fire-fighters were called to the apartment complex around 8:45 last night. One person was taken to a hospital. The extent of the injury and the person's condition were not immediately disclosed. Neither was the type of chemicals that were spread. A block around the building was closed while a haz-mat team handled the situation. The site was cleared around two this morning.
Two skydiving accidents in southeast Wisconsin killed a man and injured two others. A 44-year-old Racine man died after his parachute became entangled with another man's chute, and he plunged to his death. That happened around 5:30 yesterday afternoon at the Sylvania Airport in the Racine County town of Yorkville. The second diver escaped serious injury after falling into a group of trees near a roadway. Officials did not say last evening how seriously the survivor was hurt. The second mishap occurred late yesterday morning at Fort Atkinson's airport in Jefferson County. Officials said an experienced female skydiver in her mid-30's missed her target -- and she taken to U-W Hospital in Madison as a precaution. Jefferson Fire Chief Ron Wegner tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she apparently pulled up late with her parachute and landed in a cornfield. He said the woman was "alert and joking" when talking to rescuers, and she's expected to survive.