WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Wausau woman sentenced to seven years prison for stealing from a 95-year-old woman
A Wausau woman will spend just over seven years in prison for stealing 200-thousand dollars from a 95-year-old woman while handling her financial affairs. 47-year-old Laurie Goetsch pleaded no contest in February to six felony embezzlement charges. She was sentenced yesterday in Marathon County Circuit Court. Besides her prison time, Goetsch must spend 12 years under extended supervision. She also has to perform 40 hours of community service. Prosecutors said Goetsch served as a power-of-attorney for the elderly woman -- and she allegedly stole the money over several months in 2013. A court hearing must still be held to determine how much Goetsch will have to repay.
A convicted murderer will spend another two years in prison, for escaping from a minimum security lockup during a work detail in the Northwoods last fall. 55-year-old Todd Brecht was close to having a parole hearing when he left a job at the Saint Germain Golf Course last October first. Prosecutors said friends helped him get to Duluth-Superior and board buses to Orlando Florida, where he was captured three days after he escaped. Brecht also got an additional two years of extended supervision, after he had pleaded guilty to an Oneida County escape charge. He apologized. His public defender said Brecht had a good prison record, and it led him to be considered for a work term at the McNaughton prison. The state corrections department will now decide how-and-where Brecht will complete his prison time. He was convicted of shooting his brother-in-law to death, Buffalo County District Attorney Roger Hartman, in 1985. Brecht lived in Owen at the time. He claimed it was an accident, and he challenged his conviction all the way to the U-S Supreme Court before the justices upheld it by one vote in 1993.
A seven-year-old Racine County girl has died, after her family had pushed for the new state law which allows the use of a marijuana-based oil to treat seizures. Lydia Schaeffer died Sunday at her home in Burlington, before she could benefit from the new treatment. Her mother Sally went to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in January to try and build support for a bill to legalize medical marijuana -- which has gone nowhere for years under the control of both parties in Madison. Once she realized that, columnist Jim Stingl said the Schaeffer family focused its lobbying efforts on legalizing cannabidiol -- and lawmakers approved it after being convinced that it only has a small amount of the main intoxicating ingredient in pot. Stingl said the demand for cannabidiol is so high that the Schaeffers could not get their hands on it until this fall. Sally said that Senator Bob Wirch's office called her this week, and said he would try to re-name the measure as "Lydia's Law." Schaeffer also said she planned to create a foundation to help families afford the cost of cannabidiol, and meet doctors willing to prescribe it.
Authorities in south central Wisconsin said two therapy horses apparently drowned by accident. The horses, named Vicki and Jimmy, were used in therapy programs to help troubled youngsters and older veterans. A kayaker found the horses dead last Thursday in the Baraboo River near La Valle. Officials said the owner assumed the horses were stolen, because there were no signs that they escaped when they went missing in March. Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister said his deputies could not find any evidence that a crime was committed. He said it's not clear how the horses left their farm -- but once they got into the river, they could have been victims of high rushing waters and icy conditions at the time.
A federal appeals court said Milwaukee Police were justified when they sent a gun rights advocate to an emergency mental exam, just hours after she told a doctor she might as well "blow her brains out." A three-judge panel on the Seventh Circuit appellate court in Chicago ruled that 45-year-old Krysta Sutterfield did not have her civil rights violated in 2011. Sutterfield later made waves after she openly carried a handgun into a church in Brookfield, and outside a Milwaukee coffee shop. Her doctor called Milwaukee Police after she got bad news and made a suicidal remark during her 2011 medical visit. Officers could not reach her the first time they went to her house. She later called the doctor, and told him to get the police off her back. Officers busted into her house later the same evening, seized a gun, and placed her in emergency detention. Sutterfield claimed that officers needed a warrant by the time they got to her -- and that her Second and Fourth Amendment rights were violated. Federal Judge J-P Stadtmueller ruled in favor of the police, and so did the appellate panel. But the appeals judges said states should adopt a process for court-ordered warrants in such circumstances, to protect personal privacy rights better.
Four people have pleaded innocent to beating-and-torturing a man, and leaving him in the Northwoods under the assumption that wolves would maul him. 45-year-old Raymond Jones, 38-year-old April Jones, and 21-year-old Justin Bey, all of Wabeno, were arraigned yesterday in Forest County Circuit Court along with 19-year-old Samantha McClellan of Antigo. Prosecutors said a 40-year-old man was attacked in March at a home in Wabeno, apparently because they thought he inappropriately touched a child. Authorities said the victim was left to die in a wooded area near Crandon -- and he was later found near death with two broken ribs, a broken jaw, and a frozen foot. The four adult suspects are charged with a total of about 30 criminal counts including attempted homicide, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and aggravated battery. They're due back in court at various times over the next two months for pre-trial requests and the setting of trial dates. Two juveniles were also arrested in the case.
If you want to see what's happening at Fort McCoy, you'll get your chance this weekend. The Army base between Sparta and Tomah will hold its annual Armed Forces Day Open House from 9-to-3 on Saturday. Folks can take guided tours, fill sandbags, take a marksmanship test, and more. Training efforts will be highlighted -- and there will be displays of military equipment, uniforms, and various artifacts.
Twenty flights were diverted to Milwaukee yesterday, after both of Chicago's major airports were shut down for a few hours. The F-A-A said smoke emerged in a regional radar approach control facility in the Chicago suburb of Elgin. That shut down all air traffic for several hours at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports. Officials said the smoke came from a motor in the facility's ventilating system, and there was not a fire. In the meantime, another routing center in Aurora Illinois handled the region's air traffic. During the shutdown, seven Southwest flights were diverted to Milwaukee's Mitchell Intenational, along with seven United flights, four from American, and one each from Delta and U-S Airways. The Milwaukee County medical examiner said one man collapsed and died while leaving one of the diverted planes. The death was not suspicious. In addition, a few connecting flights from Milwaukee to Chicago were delayed yesterday afternoon. The two cities were the only ones affected by the radar building incident.