WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Missing Beloit baby found in Iowa
BELOIT - Kayden Powell -- the six-day-old baby who went missing from his home near Beloit -- was found alive-and-well this morning outside a gas station in Iowa.
Town of Beloit Police chief Steven Kopp told reporters that the infant was found by an officer checking various places near West Branch Iowa -- where a woman described as baby's aunt was stopped by police yesterday. FBI Acting Special Agent G.B. Jones said the officer heard a newborn crying, and found Kayden wrapped up in a tote bag and blankets outside a gas station along Interstate-80 in West Branch. That was around 10:15 this morning. Officials said the child was in good condition. Federal, state, and local officers had been looking for Kayden since early yesterday, when his mother found him missing from his bassinette at their Town of Beloit home. Officials had earlier said that the woman who was stopped had left the home of Kayden's parents around 1:30 yesterday morning, heading back to her residence in Colorado. Kopp said last evening that she was not a person-of-interest in the case -- but she was held anyway, on an unrelated outstanding warrant from Texas. An investigation continues.
Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin want a federal investigation into the rapid rise of propane fuel prices. La Crosse Democrat Ron Kind and Sherwood Republican Reid Ribble have joined 10 other members of Congress from the Midwest in seeking a House committee hearing on the subject. The request was made today in a letter to House Energy-and-Commerce chairman Fred Upton of Michigan. They called the propane shortage, and the resulting price hikes, a problem that's not going away. They said a formal hearing could explore whatever resources are available to moderate supplies, and relieve quote, "skyrocketing prices during the coldest time of the year." According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a gallon of propane in Wisconsin cost an average of $3.94-a-gallon on Monday. That's down from $4.49 the previous week -- but it's still almost twice the price of $2.16-a-gallon two days before the New Year.
A Milwaukee woman with severe dementia has died from hypothermia. The medical examiner's office said 94-year-old May Turtenwald fell on Wednesday in her bedroom -- and when her son found her, she had a body temperature of just over 77-degrees. Officials said her furnace was off, and natural gas was emitting from her stove. The medical examiner's report said Turtenwald was apparently acting confused at the time. Earlier today, we learned that hypothermia also killed 55-year-old Jeffrey Nash at his home in Wisconsin Rapids. Police said he was afflicted by a medical issue and apparently passed out. Officials said Nash might have been dead for up to a week before a relative got curious and found his body on Wednesday.
Two Milwaukee men were charged today in the theft of a five-million-dollar Stradivarius violin. 41-year-old Salah Jones and 36-year-old Universal Allah were due in court this afternoon on charges of being a party to robbery. Allah was also charged with possessing marijuana. The alleged getaway driver, a 32-year-old woman, has not been charged as of early afternoon. Milwaukee Symphony concert-master Frank Almond had just performed a concert with the 300-year-old Stradivarius on January 27th when he was robbed while heading to his car. Police said he was shot with a stun gun just before the robbers drove away. Officials said they used unique traces from the weapon to help find the suspects -- and they also got a tip from an acquaintance of Allah's. Jones was considered the main suspect in the theft. He was also linked to the theft of a $25,000 statue in Milwaukee 19 years ago.
Wisconsin has recorded the season's first child death from the flu. State health officials said today that a youngster from northern Wisconsin has become the first pediatric patient to die from the flu virus. Officials did not say how old the child was, or where the person was from. An undetermined number of adults have died from the flu in Wisconsin this winter. They include a pregnant woman, and another woman who had just given birth. Also, relatives of a 52-year-old Hartland man told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he died from the flu, despite being otherwise healthy. Like many who have come down with the disease this winter, the man never got vaccinated. The H1N1 swine flu is the prevailing strain of flu this season.
State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says there is quote, "no appetite" among his fellow Republicans to punish low-performing schools. Fitzgerald told the Associated Press today that the Senate would take up a watered-down school accountability bill before the current session ends. He said it would include requirements to report various types of performance data. However, Fitzgerald said it would not seek to close failing schools or make them become charter schools -- which state Senate Education Committee chairman Luther Olsen (R-Berlin) wanted to do. Olsen was ready to get his committee to adopt the measure last week, before he pulled it back because he didn't have the votes to approve it. Now, Fitzgerald says work is being done on the package. Assembly Republicans are also said to be cooking up a school accountability bill. Governor Scott Walker says he wants something passed before the session ends in early April.
A state Assembly Democrat says six years in office is enough. Baraboo Representative Fred Clark said today he would not run for re-election this fall. He was first elected in 2008. Three years later, Clark ran in a recall election for the Senate against Republican Luther Olsen of Berlin -- and Olsen prevailed.