WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Twin Cities woman sentenced to federal prison for robbing banks
A suburban Twin Cities' woman has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in a federal prison for robbing five banks -- two in western Wisconsin and three in Minnesota. 23-year-old Ranya Al-Huthaili of Roseville Minnesota was also ordered to pay back what she stole -- over 20-thousand dollars in all. Al-Huthaili was arrested last September outside a shopping mall in her home city. Authorities said she bought a laptop with the money she stole that day from the Dairy State Bank at Menomonie in Dunn County. The other Wisconsin heist occurred four days before that at First State Bank-and-Trust in Hudson. In each hold-up, officials said she handed a note to a teller which demanded money.
A Beloit man is jailed under a 100-thousand dollar bond, on a charge that he killed a woman with her van as he tried fleeing from police. 40-year-old Christopher Rutherford made his first appearance yesterday in Rock County Circuit Court on a felony count of first-degree reckless homicide. He's scheduled to complete his formal initial proceeding tomorrow, which will give him time to get a lawyer. The incident occurred on Mother's Day, when 47-year-old Sheila Rosenbaum called 9-1-1 about an unwanted person at her home. Officers said they were trying to arrest Rutherford when ran from a home, got into the victim's van, and struck her with the vehicle before driving off. Police fired shots at the van -- which Rutherford crashed. He ran off before he was quickly caught. He was treated for a gunshot wound, and was taken into custody after he left the hospital on Tuesday.
At least one boy stepped up the dare, after Midwest authorities have repeatedly warned against jumping into cold waters in a social media charity stunt. The "Cold Water Challenge" dares people, mostly teens, to post videos of themselves jumping into cold waters. If they don't post within four days, they're told to donate 100-dollars to a charity. In one of the latest reported incidents, police said a Marshfield teenager lit his clothes on fire before jumping into a pond near a rural road. A friend captured the video and put it on Facebook -- where it was removed after police spoke with the boy and his parents. Fond du Lac teenager Kayla Jacob struck razor-sharp zebra mussels when she jumped into Lake Winnebago -- and she hurt herself so badly, she won't be able to take part in school sports for much of next year. A 16-year-old from Minnesota died in another stunt. Law enforcement and medical officials have urged people not to take part in "cold water challenges" -- but instead take part in organized Polar Plunges where safety precautions are taken and emergency help is readily available.
Chippewa Indians in Minnesota do not have the legal right to decide where a proposed crude oil pipeline should be located between North Dakota and Wisconsin. Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman of Saint Paul ruled yesterday that the Chippewas' long-standing treaty rights do not give them veto power over a right-of-way for the new pipeline. The environmental group "Honor the Earth" pressed the issue. It said the proposed Enbridge Energy pipeline could hurt tribal rights to hunt, fish, and gather wild rice in ceded territories off reservations. Lipman ruled that an 1855 treaty which ceded Minnesota's Chippewa land to the federal government did not forbid new rights-of-way on the land that was sold. Enbridge attorney Christine Brusven said there was no legal precedent for the plaintiffs' request. Enbridge wants to create a new pipeline from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields across northern Minnesota to a refinery in Superior.
The driver of a school bus struck-and-killed a six-year-old pedestrian. It happened about 3:50 yesterday afternoon on Milwaukee's south side. Police said the youngster was crossing Cesar Chavez Drive when he was hit by a bus driven by a 24-year-old Milwaukee woman. No children were on the school bus at the time. The victim died at the scene. Police say the driver is cooperating with officers who continue to investigate the incident.
As Memorial Day approaches, some Wisconsin communities are already making special efforts to recognize their fallen service personnel. In Rhinelander, Military Road has been re-named Adams Way in honor of Sergeant Ryan Adams, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009. He was in a convoy that was attacked by rocket-propelled grenades. In Wisconsin Rapids, a ceremony will be held tomorrow morning at the Wood County Courthouse. That's where 24 legacy stones will be dedicated, a new name will be listed on a memorial wall, and 414 flags will be placed on the courthouse lawn in honor of Wood County residents who've died for their country.
The port of Duluth-Superior is celebrating National Maritime Day with a special event this afternoon. The day is observed each May 22nd -- the date of the first Trans-Atlantic voyage of a steam vessel back in 1819. Adele Yorde of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority said the observance began a way to honor the Merchant Marine, which delivered supplies to troops in both wartime and peacetime. It evolved to become a salute to veterans and the entire maritime industry. Today's event in Duluth will include an address from Pat Labadie, a founding director of the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center.