WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Stolen vehicle in Milwaukee contains important flash drive
MILWAUKEE - Authorities in Milwaukee are looking for a stolen car that contained a flash drive of important information.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says the flash drive contains personal information on six-thousand city employees and about three-thousand spouses or partners. The car stolen belonged to a Dynacare employee, a health care firm contracted with the city. The car was stolen on October 22, along with a purse containing the important flash drive. Mayor Barrett says he is upset with the company because the city did not find out about the incident until yesterday and that personal information was on a flash drive. The city is planning corrective measures to prevent the incident from ever happening again.
Authorities in northwest Wisconsin said a man was shot with his own weapon, after he confronted his ex-girlfriend and her lover at a cabin in Burnett County. Sheriff's deputies said they found 53-year-old Ronald Aune at a hospital in Wyoming, Minnesota, where he was still being treated at last word for a gunshot wound. Aune is from Forest Lake, Minnesota. Burnett County prosecutors said Aune walked entered the cabin last Saturday night and yelled for Christine Johnson, who was hiding under a bed. After he couldn't find her, officers said he told her boyfriend Edwin Frank to get into Aune's truck. Prosecutors said Johnson walked out of the cabin, distracted the two men, and grabbed the gun -- and it fired during a struggle. Frank reportedly hid the weapon in the cabin and called 911. When he's extradited to Wisconsin, Aune will face seven criminal charges that include kidnapping, false imprisonment, reckless endangerment, trespassing, and disorderly conduct.
A La Crosse woman is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, after she allegedly strangled her boyfriend's dog. Police said the 32-year-old woman busted into her boyfriend's apartment early Thursday morning, and used a choke collar to kill the man's basset hound. The man told officers that he was out Wednesday night with the woman -- but he would not let her enter the apartment later on. She faces possible La Crosse County charges of causing death by animal mistreatment, criminal damage, and disorderly conduct.
A man wanted in Minnesota was charged in Superior yesterday for allegedly trying to grab a police officer's gun as he was being apprehended. Superior Police and Douglas County investigators spotted 39-year-old Todd Carter on Wednesday as he was entering a vehicle. The Duluth News-Tribune said he was wanted since May for skipping out on a court appearance in a drug case in Carlton County Minnesota. Police said they followed Carter to a parking lot, and he tried running away after the officers confronted him. They reported tackled Carter, and he got into a scuffle for about three minutes when he allegedly tried grabbing an officer's gun. Once they subdued him, Carter was taken to a hospital for injuries suffered in the incident.
A 72-year-old man was killed in a Sheboygan County crash last night. The Sheboygan County Sheriff’s office says the unidentified Glenbeulah man struck a semi, which was backing out of a property onto County Highway A in Greenbush. The crash remains under investigation.
A new bill up for a hearing next week could make it easier for Wisconsinites to sue energy developers of wind turbines for “physical and emotional harm”. The bill is sponsored by Republican State Senator Frank Lasse, a De Pere Republican and an outspoken opponent of wind energy. Under the bill, people living within a mile-and-a-half of a wind turbine would be allowed to sue for reimbursement on medical expenses, relocation costs and drops in property value. Researchers have long stated that property values for nearby wind farms are not impacted. However, bill co-sponsor Glenn Grothman, a Republican of West Bend, says his constituents have seen their property values “gone through the floor”.
A Wood County sheriff’s deputy is serving a 12-hour suspension after losing an AR-15 rifle. Chief Deputy Randal Dorhorst tells WSAW-TV that the deputy accidentally left the rifle on the trunk of his squad car and drove off. A motorist found the rifle on the side of State Highway 34, just outside of Wisconsin Rapids… he returned it to the department on Thursday.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is asking Governor Scott Walker to reconsider $10-billion in federal funds to help expand Medicaid. During a visit at a Milwaukee clinic on Friday, and says after visiting with Wisconsinites the state should accept funding over the next 10 years. Sebelius adds that funding will help pay for uncompensated costs being paid by taxpayers and hospitals. Governor Walker has been adamant about declining federal funds.
A Milwaukee teen has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the shooting death of a man. Kaleel Buchanan pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless homicide in court, he was sentenced today. Court records show Buchanan, 14 at the time, got into an argument with the victim, Dennis Smith Jr., in 2012. After a phone call to his mom and “father figure”, who allegedly gave a gun to Buchanan and shot Smith. After his initial prison sentence, Buchanan will spend the following 20 years under supervision.
Authorities say a Kenosha woman was killed Friday morning when her car caught on fire and crashed into a dump truck. Kenosha Police are still investigating the crash and have not released the identities of those involved, but say nearby residents pulled the woman and a 14-year-old teen from the burning car. Emergency crews attempted to revive the woman on the scene, but were unsuccessful. The teen was airlifted to a hospital, the dump truck driver suffered minor injuries.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to let insurance companies sell individual health policies that do not meet the standards set in the Affordable Care Act. The vote was 261-157. La Crosse Democrat Ron Kind joined all five Wisconsin Republicans in supporting the bill. Kind and 35 other Democrats joined virtually all majority Republicans in passing it. The other Wisconsin Democrats -- Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan -- joined most of their party in voting no. Supporters said the bill would ease the plight of millions of people who've received cancellation notices because their insurance does not match up to the Obama-care standards. The White House threatened to veto the bill. Meanwhile, President Obama was arranging a meeting with insurance CEO's, to discuss his change of policy from yesterday. It delayed the higher mandatory policy standards for a year, in the wake of hundreds-of-thousands of people losing their coverage. In Wisconsin, insurers were allowed earlier to extend their policies for a year. As a result, the Obama change was not expected to have a large impact in the Badger State.
As Thanksgiving gets closer, you'll find something to be thankful for at the grocery store. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation says the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner has gone down for the second year in a row. The Farm Bureau said the price of a dozen food items in 21 cities dropped about one-percent from last year, to 48-dollars-and-40-cents. That includes things like the turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, buttered rolls, relishes, beverages -- and of course, pumpkin pie. The new decrease comes on the heels of a three-and-a-half percent price drop in 2012. The Farm Bureau said 2011 was the highest price for a Thanksgiving dinner since the group began its surveys in 1992. The bureau's Amy Manske said the amount of turkeys in cold storage were at historic lows a couple years ago -- and that's why prices jumped back then. Since then, they've stabilized. The average turkey price dropped almost three-and-a-half percent from 2011.
A new state audit shows that about one-of-every-five dollars hidden away by University of Wisconsin campuses was not committed for a specific purpose. The non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau took a look at $755-million in reserves that turned up at UW campuses this spring. State lawmakers were so upset at the news about the surpluses, they froze university tuition for the first time since the UW and the old Wisconsin State University systems merged in the early 1970's. Today, a new Audit Bureau reported showed that almost 61-percent of the reserves had documents showing some kind of plan for spending the money. Another 15-percent was designated for purposes related to their original allocations. And almost five-percent were intended to be reserves all along. The remaining 19-percent was undocumented. Auditors said there was either no plan to spend that money -- or the documentation was not available.
The man shot by Milwaukee Police in a neonatal unit at Children's Hospital yesterday is now in a jail cell. 22-year-old Ashanti Hendricks has been released from another hospital, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to one of his hands. Jail records said he was booked for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, a second offense for marijuana possession, and eluding an officer. The report said other charges are pending. Hendricks is still awaiting a court appearance where bond can be set. Police said Hendricks was visiting his baby when police learned where he was. Officials said he was wanted, and he had a long rap sheet -- and that's why they went to the hospital's seventh floor to confront him. Police said Hendricks put the baby down and ran down a hallway, showed a gun to officers chasing him, and was shot in the hand. The shooting officer was 27, with nine years of experience in law enforcement. He was put on administrative leave, while the case is being investigated.
Wisconsin's drought conditions eased up a little bit during the past week. The U.S. Drought Monitor said 49-and-two-thirds percent of the state's land area was abnormally dry or worse this week. That's down by almost four full percentage points from the week before. Also, officials say the Mauston-Sparta-Tomah region is no longer in a severe drought. That leaves a stretch from Ellsworth-to-Fairchild as the only part of the Badger State that's severely dry. A larger part of central Wisconsin is now drought-free, but the official drought territory still covers about the southwest half of Wisconsin. Rain and thunderstorms are expected tomorrow in the southern part of the state. After that, colder and drier weather is due in for much of next week.
When an ex-firefighter leaves a federal prison, he'll go directly to a state lockup to serve more time for setting a number of arson fires in northeast Wisconsin. A state judge in Marinette County gave 29-year-old Drew Christensen a five-year prison term yesterday. That was a day after Federal Judge William Griesbach of Green Bay ordered a 10-year term for burning down the Klondike Community Church and two taverns over the past four years. Christensen's Marinette County conviction was for burning down Jessica Miller's home at Stephenson, after she and another man convinced him to destroy her house so she could collect the insurance money. The judge ordered them to pay back the insurance company almost $300,000. He also told Christensen to spend five years under extended supervision when his prison terms end. A judge in Oconto County could give Christensen even more time on Monday, when he's due to be sentenced for burning down a mobile home and a garage. A federal prosecutor called Christensen a "serial arsonist." His lawyer said it was the only way he could let out his aggression, after he broke up with his fiancée and his brother died in a car crash five years ago.
A village in the Fox Valley has come up with a plan to replace a former paper mill. The firm of AIM Development is working with other developers and the Village of Kimberly to fill bring new life to 98 acres where New-Page closed a paper plant five years ago. The plan includes a mix of homes and businesses which include single-family houses, apartments, town-houses, office buildings, restaurants, and retail stores. Officials have not given a timetable for the project -- and the costs have not been made public yet.