WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Prosecutor's decision to drop case causes protests
MILWAUKEE - About 100 people demonstrated outside of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm's office yesterday. They vowed to vote Chisholm out of office, after he refused to file charges a week ago against three white shoppers who detained an alleged black shoplifter in West Allis.
Sixteen-year-old Corey Stingley died from positional asphyxia in late December of 2012, about two weeks after being restrained at VJ's Food Mart. Police said he was trying to steal alcohol at the time. Milwaukee County Board members Russell Stamper II and Khalif Rainey said the incident was painful for the county's black community. In a statement, the supervisors said quote, "This incident, when combined with countless others, only compounds distrust in the very institutions meant to protect our citizens." The Milwaukee County medical examiner ruled Stingley's death a homicide. The DA said there was no proof that the shoppers' actions created a substantial risk of harming Stingley.
Former Racine Mayor Gary Becker was sent to jail last night for violating a state correctional treatment order. Becker was under extended supervision, after he completed a three-year prison sentence for arranging a sexual encounter with whom he thought was a 14-year-old girl. State corrections' spokeswoman Joy Staab would not say what the treatment violation was. Becker was in his second term as Racine's mayor when he was arrested in early 2009 for trying to arrange sex with a teen on the Internet. He resigned soon after. Becker was actually chatting with a state Justice agent who was conducting a sting operation. He resigned soon after his arrest. Becker later pleaded guilty to attempted child enticement and attempted sexual assault. Five other felony counts were dropped in a plea deal.
Former Superior and Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson is serving a 22-day jail sentence in southern Wisconsin. That's after a Sauk County jury found him guilty of his second drunk driving incident. It happened in May of 2012 in Baraboo. Bergson must also pay a 12-hundred dollar fine. He'll also lose his driver's license for 15 months. Bergson was a long-time police official and mayor in Superior, before he was elected as Duluth's mayor. He was in that office when he was picked up for OWI following an accident in Washburn County in northwest Wisconsin. Bergson lost his re-election bid in a primary in 2007. He also faces a trial in Dane County for a third drunk driving arrest from last September. Bergson has a pre-trial hearing in that case on February 12th.
A Milwaukee woman has registered to run for governor as a Democrat. Marcia Mercedes Perkins filed her initial papers with state officials earlier this week. WKOW-TV in Madison said the state Democratic Party doesn't know Mercedes Perkins, and she does not have a campaign Web site at the moment. Former Trek Bicycle executive Mary Burke of Madison is the only Democrat actively campaigning against Republican Governor Scott Walker. Another potential candidate, state Senate Democrat Kathleen Vinehout of Alma, dropped out of the race yesterday as she recovers from a broken arm from a snow-related traffic crash.
Two Sheboygan Falls high school basketball players had a one-game suspension lifted by school officials, after they were suspected of flashing gang signs in a newspaper photo. The family of Jordan and Juwaun Jackson challenged the suspension, which was lifted in time for them to play last night. Sheboygan Falls lost that game to Plymouth, 78-39. A school committee held a closed-door hearing yesterday, attended by the Jacksons' parents -- and the boys' suspensions were lifted during that proceeding. The boys denied flashing gang signs for their recent pose in the Sheboygan Press. They said they were giving a hand-signal used by basketball stars to celebrate a successful three-point shot. The American Civil Liberties' Union looked into the matter. The group has asked for information about several Sheboygan Falls school policies, and they say they'll keep investigating. ACLU state director Chris Ahmuty wrote that the district quote, "may have engaged in the kind of biased discipline recently condemned by Attorney General Eric Holder." School officials refused comment.
Most of Wisconsin will not get any snow today, after a low-pressure system to the west made an unexpected shift. Southwest Wisconsin still expects 3-to-4 inches through this afternoon -- and Pepin County could get 1-to-5 inches on the eastern edge of a system in Minnesota's Twin Cities area. The rest of the Badger State is supposed to stay dry, with highs reaching into the lower-20's. There's a chance of snow showers in the far north tonight, with overnight lows warmer than last night in the single-digits and teens. Clouds are expected to move in tomorrow, with highs reaching the freezing point in some areas. It was below zero in parts of Wisconsin this morning. Green Bay was the state's cold spot at five o'clock, with three-below.