WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Bears fan stun gunned his Packer-loving wife after Monday's game
A Chicago Bears' fan is charged with a felony, after he allegedly singed his Packer-loving wife with a stun gun outside a bar in Dodge County. Authorities said it was part of a bet that 42-year-old John Grant had with his wife on Monday night's Green Bay-Chicago game, which the Packers lost 27-to-20. They were running a semi-truck that stopped at Dan's King Pin tavern in Mayville for the game. Afterward, officials said the two were smoking outside the bar when Grant fired three shots with his stun gun, hitting her twice in the rear and once on her thigh. She had burn marks, but did not seek medical treatment. When they got back to the truck, authorities said Grant got angry, threw his wife's dog out of the rig, and wouldn't let her in. She went back in the bar and called police. An officer later found the stun gun and arrested Grant, who's from the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park. He appeared in Dodge County Circuit Court yesterday on a felony count of possessing an electric weapon. Grant is free after posting a 500-dollar bond. He's due back in court in December.
A Milwaukee man who spent 23 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit might be compensated more by the state than what he expected. Robert Stinson was seeking 115-thousand-dollars. Yesterday, the state Senate voted unanimously to pay him 136-thousand. West Bend Republican Glenn Grothman said he thought Stinson deserved more. Grothman also sponsored a similar bill two years ago to compensate Stinson, but it went nowhere in the Legislature. The new measure now goes to the Assembly. The State Claims Board granted its maximum of 25-thousand-dollars, and it asked lawmakers to approve more. Stinson was convicted of raping and killing a 62-year-old woman in Milwaukee in 1984. He was freed five years ago with the help of the Wisconsin Innocence Project at U-W Madison, which obtained D-N-A evidence and a signed confession from another man.
A civil case is finally about to proceed against convicted killers Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey. Relatives of Teresa Halbach filed the wrongful death suit in 2006 -- and Sheboygan County Circuit Judge Angela Sutkiewicz was just recently assigned to the case. The civil suit has been on hold because of a slow-moving series of unsuccessful criminal appeals by Avery and Dassey -- who were both convicted of killing the 25-year-old Halbach on Halloween of 2005 near Mishicot. She was at the Avery family's auto salvage yard taking photos for Auto Trader Magazine when she was raped, shot, and burned-to-death. The case drew worldwide attention because Avery had just been released from prison two-and-a-half years before the slaying. He served 18 years for a rape he didn't commit. Avery was among the first in the U-S to be acquitted by D-N-A evidence, only to be convicted with the help of D-N-A.
Wausau Police say a girl who went missing when she was 16 now has three children in Mexico -- and she wants to come back to America. Police said yesterday that Connie Lynn McCallister left with her ex-boyfriend in 2004. Captain Greg Hagenbucher said she married another man, and they now have kids age-3, 5, and 7. McCallister was listed with the National Center for Missing-and-Exploited Children until about three months ago. A church missionary found her and contacted the center. She went to school in Athens, west of Wausau, and a church there is raising money to bring McCallister and her children to America. It's not known if she wants to return to central Wisconsin -- and police have not said if her husband would come with her. McCallister's mother now lives in Florida, and she still has family-and-friends living in the Wausau region.
A Milwaukee man, whose girlfriend disappeared almost a month ago, has pleaded innocent to 17 felony charges of possessing child pornography. 38-year-old Kris Zocco entered the pleas yesterday, after he waived a preliminary hearing. Milwaukee authorities said Zocco was the last person to see 27-year-old Kelly Dwyer before she vanished on October 10th. Zocco has not been arrested in Dwyer's disappearance -- but he is a person-of-interest in the case, and police have been rummaging through garbage at a landfill looking for evidence. Zocco has been arrested twice on other charges since Dwyer's disappearance. A judge rejected Zocco's request to reduce his quarter-billion-dollar bond in the child porn case. All parties involved will meet on December 5th. A trial date could be set during that conference. A similar scheduling conference is scheduled November 19th on five drug charges against Zocco -- including the maintaining of a drug house.
A north central Wisconsin woman has struck a plea deal in a federal embezzlement case. 37-year-old Amy Rajek of Merrill pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Madison. She agreed to pay almost 422-thousand dollars in restitution to G-3 Industries, where prosecutors said she forged a large check belonging to the firm. The company has plants in Mosinee and Menomonee Falls, and it makes a variety of parts for manufacturers. Federal Judge William Conley has scheduled a sentencing for January 10th. Rajek could get up to 10 years in prison and a quarter-million dollars in fines.
A winter weather advisory continues until nine this morning in northwest and north central Wisconsin, stretching as far east as Eagle River. Forecasters now expect 2-to-5 snow totals for that region -- and it should be gone by afternoon. The National Weather Service said a low pressure system was aiming toward Wisconsin overnight -- and once it gets here, it will shift to the northeast. Gile in Iron County had two inches of snow in two hours last evening. Poplar and Clam Lake each had two inches early this morning. Actually, the storm is dumping a lot more precipitation in southwest Wisconsin -- and it's all rain, as temperatures stayed above freezing. Readstown in Vernon County picked up one-and-three-quarter inches of rain by four this morning. That could have been a foot-of-snow or more had it been just a few degrees cooler. Viroqua had almost one-and-a-half inches of rain, and La Crosse almost an-inch-and-a-quarter. Once it all ends, a cold front will put its clutches on. Highs tomorrow will be in the 30's-and-40's, with dry weather from tonight at least into Friday.
The 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War will be observed on Friday at the State Capitol in Madison. The state Veterans' Affairs Department is putting on a public event called "Operation Dust-off -- Vietnam Remembered." It will include a motorcycle rally led by veterans, numerous displays in the Capitol, and a ceremony in the Rotunda. The speakers include U-S Veterans' Affairs' official John Garcia, Medal-of-Honor winner Gary Wetzel, and Vietnam veteran George Banda. After the ceremony, the nearby Wisconsin Veterans Museum will have an open house to show a new Civil War exhibit.