Saturday State News Briefs: Man charged with providing heroin used in fatal crash
WAUSAU - Authorities say a Central Wisconsin man is charged with providing heroin used in a fatal crash.
The Wausau Daily Herald reports 22-year-old Kyle Kennedy appeared in Marathon County Court to face charges of delivery of heroin, obstruction and bail jumping. Police says the Wausau crash in March killed a Rothschild man and his 4-year-old son was critically injured. Police say the victim had heroin in his system.
The Wisconsin State Supreme Court agreed to rule on whether the state's Domestic Partner Registry is constitutional. The Wisconsin Family Action group has tried three times to get the justices to consider throwing out the registry - and the court finally agreed to consider it. Former Governor Jim Doyle and legislative Democrats created the registry in 2009. It allows same-sex couples to have a fraction of the legal benefits that married couples have. Family Action contends that the registry violates the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unions. When Republicans took control of state government in 2011, they agreed that the registry must go - and they had the state stop defending the lawsuit. The gay rights group Fair Wisconsin is now fighting to keep the domestic registry in place. A Dane County judge and an appellate court have both ruled that it's constitutional.
A Wisconsin native is finding success with a mobile app, leading the fisherman to where the fish are biting. The app is called Fishidy, using success charts to track the hot spots and has it's own social networking. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the app's creator and Sun Prairie native, Brian Jensen, got the idea after coming back empty handed from a fishing trip in Northern Minnesota. The app is found in Wal-Marts across the state.
Union workers have received layoff notices at a South Milwaukee Caterpillar plant. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that up to 300 workers, roughly 40-percent of the plant, will be let go. The Illinois-based company sent the notices just three days after the Milwaukee United Steelworkers' chapter worked out a six-year labor contract with the plant.
The Experimental Aircraft Association has reached an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to pay a one-time fee of $447,000 to cover staffing at AirVenture in Oshkosh. Spokesman Dick Knapinski says the agreement comes under protest. The agreement covers the cost of staffing 87 FAA air traffic controllers and supervisors. 28 members of the U.S. Senate, including Wisconsin Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson, sent a letter to the FAA, asking for an explanation behind the fees - the FAA has yet to respond to the letter. Knapinski says AirVenture in Oshkosh will go on and visitors deserve nothing less than the best air safety and services. The week-long event kicks off July 29.
A former head of Wisconsin's prison system has been named to the same post in Colorado. Rick Raemisch will replace Tom Clements, who was shot to death at his home in March - apparently by a former inmate who was released four years earlier than expected due to a paperwork error. The inmate, Evan Ebel, was killed in a shootout in Texas soon after Clements was murdered. Raemisch is a former Dane County sheriff who spent eight years in Wisconsin's corrections agency as a head of community corrections, deputy secretary, and then secretary. Since 2011, Raemisch has been the dean of the Madison College School of Human and Protective Services. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says his state will be served well by Raemisch's diverse and long-time experience in various aspects of law enforcement.
A woman killed in her Madison duplex was identified this afternoon as 25-year-old Julia Majette. Police said two men entered the duplex on Wednesday night - and one of them shot-and-killed Majette and wounded her 34-year-old husband. A relative identified him as Daunte Vance. As of this afternoon, Madison Police said have not identified suspects or a motive. The Dane County medical examiner said Majette died at the scene from gunshot wounds. Officials said at least two of the couple's children witnessed the incident. Police said her husband was hospitalized with numerous wounds, but they were not considered to be life-threatening. There was an earlier report that the husband was not cooperating with police investigators. But that has changed, and police say Vance is now speaking with detectives.
A maker of envelopes in Appleton says it will close by August sixth if its parent firm cannot get extra financing - or if it cannot sell to another company that would keep the business going. National Envelope of Frisco Texas has filed for Chapter-11 bankruptcy - and it filed a required 60-day notice with the state about possible layoffs. The National Envelope plant in Appleton has 153 employees. The firm says it would close 11 plants throughout the U.S. including the Appleton facility, if it cannot arrange a sale or financing by its deadline.
A half-million-dollar bond was set today for an Eau Claire County man suspected of killing a woman who lived with him. 41-year-old Ying Xiong had a bond hearing. He has not been charged yet, but that could happen before his next scheduled court appearance on Tuesday. He was arrested in Mosinee on Wednesday. Authorities said Xiong killed Panhia Vue, who was found badly burned in a shed at their home in Altoona on Tuesday. Investigators said there were signs of a struggle in a bedroom of the home.
Wisconsin Republicans are not being as generous as they sound in giving public schools more state aid in the next budget. According to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, public schools will get an extra $100 per student next year, and then $150 the following year. When the Joint Finance Committee endorsed the education part of the budget, it was said that public schools would get an extra $150-per student in each of the two years. The fine print from the Fiscal Bureau shows that schools got one-time aid of $50 per student this past year - and that particular funding won't be repeated this fall. An aide to Senate Education Committee chairman Luther Olsen (R-Berlin) said the GOP knew all along about the actual funding plan, and school business managers were probably in-the-know as well. Assembly Democrat Cory Mason of Racine had asked the fiscal bureau to clarify the matter. He said schools would get $42-and-a-half million-dollars less this year than what the proposal made it appear.
A federal clean-up of the Sheboygan River has been completed. The EPA said today that $80-million in dredging and habitat restoration projects are now finished. As a result, the Sheboygan River is no longer officially an "area of concern." It was among the EPA's list of toxic hot spots which were identified in 1987 as part of the Great Lakes Water Quality agreement. EPA officials said the lower part of the Sheboygan River served as a repository for fecal coliform bacteria, phosphorus, PCB's, and other pollutants. They resulted in the development of algae blooms, contaminated sediments, and advisories for eating fish.
Milwaukee Police said a shooting death yesterday morning does not appear to be a random act. Officers were called at 9:40 to a north side neighborhood. They found a 28-year-old man dead from a gunshot wound. Investigators were trying to identify a suspect and a motive as of early afternoon.
Josh Inglett lost a major state appointment after signing a Walker recall petition - but he did not vote in the recall election itself. Inglett is the UW-Platteville student who had a university Board of Regents' appointment pulled out from under him. Governor Scott Walker appointed him on Monday to a two-year term as a student representative. But Walker's office withdrew the appointment on Wednesday, after it became known that Inglett signed the recall petitions two years ago. Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel checked Inglett's voting records - and they showed that he only voted once in his life. That was in August of 2011, in a recall contest for Senate Republican Luther Olsen's seat. Inglett's home town is Portage, where his father is a Lutheran minister. He has never voted in a scheduled general election or primary.
Sharon Wand is due back in court June 25th, on charges that she stole items from patients at a nursing home, while she was recovering from a fire that her husband set. The 27-year-old Wand is the estranged wife of Armin Wand III, who's in prison for the rest of his life for burning down the couple's Argyle home and killing four of their children. Authorities said Sharon Wand stole jewelry, electronics, and sentimental knick-knacks from residents of the Bloomfield Manor nursing home near Dodgeville. That's where she was getting treatment from burns suffered as she ran away from her burning house last September. She has since been transferred to a center near Platteville. Three sons in the Wand home were killed, along with Sharon's unborn child. She was charged in two different complaints in May with a total of three counts of theft and two counts of criminal trespass. The status of her case will be reviewed at her next court hearing. Earlier this week, Armin Wand's brother Jeremy struck a plea deal that convicted him in the fire and the children's deaths.
A UW-Stout student from Minnesota, and a Minnesota college grad from Wisconsin are among 51 contestants in the Miss USA Pageant on Sunday night. 26-year-old Christine Zamora of Greenfield will represent the Badger State in the pageant. 21-year-old Danielle Hooper of suburban Saint Paul represents Minnesota. Zamora graduated from the U-of-M in Minneapolis in business-and-retail management. She now works as a client specialist at Milwaukee's O.C. Tanner Company. Hooper will be a senior this fall at the Stout campus in Menomonie, majoring in management and retail merchandising. Hooper made headlines last month when she went to the Menomonie High School prom with Charlie Gainey, a student with Down's Syndrome who was nominated to the prom court.
A gun rights' group has asked a judge to throw out Wisconsin's new rules for getting state permits to carry concealed weapons. Wisconsin Carry Incorporated says the permanent rules which took effect on June first are way too extensive, and they fly in the face of a legislative order that they be kept simple. Wisconsin Carry says it mainly objects to the size of classes that applicants must complete in order to get concealed-carry permits. A single instructor can have no more than 50 students. Wisconsin Carry says an instructor can handle up to five times that many. The group holds the instructional classes. It says the 50-student limit will make it very difficult to find all the volunteer instructors they would need. Also, Wisconsin Carry chairman Nik Clark says he's concerned about the large number of rules in a manual that covers 47 pages. He said that if the current Justice Department is willing to go this far, a future Justice Department could add even more regulations - including the passage of a test to get a permit. Concealed carry has been the law in Wisconsin since November of 2011. Almost 200-thousand state permits have been issued.
Iranian citizens in Wisconsin are voting in their home country's presidential election. A voting booth is set up at the Midway Hotel-and-Suites, where Iranians are casting paper ballots. Six people are running for president. If no candidate gets over half the votes, a run-off contest will be held next Friday. Voters are choosing a replacement for incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It's the first election since a disputed contest from 2009, which led to unrest for months. The Reuters News Service says the contest is not likely to improve rough relations between Iran and West - but it could bring a softening of an antagonistic style from the Iranian leader.
An eighth-grader from Brookfield has won a contest for the best science-related business plan. Sara Linderman of Pilgrim Park Middle School in Brookfield won the "Wisconsin Youth Entrepreneurs in Science" competition put on by the state's Technology Council. She created a music app called "Song Judge." It lets musicians record a selected song, and then get a score based on things like tone, articulation, and tempo. Linderman plays the flute in school. She created the "Song Judge" app to find a way to review her own practices in preparing for auditions and competitions. Linderman was among 70 entrants in the contest. She presented her plan to over 250 people this week at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference.