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WISCONSIN STATE NEWS BRIEFS: New charges for inmate who attacked officers at Lincoln County jail

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

MERRILL - New charges are being considered against a Lincoln County Jail inmate who allegedly attacked three correctional officers. The incident was reported yesterday morning at the jail in Merrill. Officers were called to the cell-block after learning that a 28-year-old Waupun man had a seizure. They were attending to him when the inmate reportedly jumped up and struck a female jailor. Officials said the prisoner was being moved to a holding cell when he bit a second officer, and was shot with a Taser stun gun. A third officer was hurt while removing a Taser probe. The inmate and all three officers were checked out at a Merrill hospital before being cleared. Deputies were reviewing footage of the incident before deciding what charges to seek. Reports said the prisoner was being housed in Merrill because of overcrowding at the Portage County Jail in Stevens Point.

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Marathon County’s new sheriff is not waiting for a committee’s recommendations to reduce the possibility of another guard being attacked. Scott Parks said his department adopted new rules for prisoners, gave Taser stun guns to corrections’ officers, and added film on windows so inmates cannot see guards walking down a hall when they’re on the phone. Inmate Fredrick Morris has pleaded insanity to charges that he attacked corrections’ officers Julie Christensen and Denny Woodward at the Wausau jail in March. A jail study committee was formed in response to that incident. Its recommendations for jail improvements are expected a week from today, Parks, who became the sheriff a few weeks ago, says he looks forward to the panel’s ideas. In the meantime, Parks says he’ll seek two more jail staffers for next year – and to consider 12-hour shifts for the corrections’ officers, to guarantee adequate staffing at critical times. 

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For the first time tomorrow, we’ll learn about numerous sex abuse incidents in the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese which date back for decades – and what the church did and did not do about them. The archdiocese will release thousands of pages of documents as part of an agreement connected with the church’s two-and-a-half year old bankruptcy case. Archbishop Jerome Listecki says we should quote, “prepare to be shocked.” In his weekly letter to church members, Listecki said there are “terrible things described in many of the documents.” The church will release parts of 42 priest personnel files, plus depositions from former Milwaukee Archbishops Tim Dolan and Rembert Weakland, retired Bishop Richard Sklba, and defrocked priest Daniel Budzynski.

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One of the people in charge of a botched federal sting operation in Milwaukee has been assigned to a new post. B.J. Zapor has been named the head of the Phoenix office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. He was the head of the Upper Midwest ATF office in Saint Paul, whose personnel have been under fire for botching an undercover storefront in Milwaukee last year. It was designed to round up illegal guns and related suspects – but the store was broken into, four of the wrong people were arrested, and an ATF agent had his machine gun stolen. After the operation was shut down last November, Zapor was promoted to an ATF post in Washington that supervises eight field divisions. In Phoenix, he’ll try to clean up the damage from “Operation Fast-and-Furious,” in which agents allowed two-thousand guns to get to criminals. One of them killed a Border Patrol agent. Iowa U.S. Senate Republican Charles Grassley questioned putting Zapor in charge in Phoenix, given what happened in the Milwaukee sting. 

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Three people have been arrested in Milwaukee for allegedly hiding a dead man’s body in an apartment. A 24-year-old man, a 22-year-old woman, and a 35-year-old man face possible charges. Police said the body of 62-year-old Glenn Willis was found on Friday. Investigators are waiting for the results of an autopsy, which is expected to determine how Willis died.

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State and local authorities are investigating the death of an experienced windsurfer on Lake Winnebago. Searchers found the body of a 71-year-old Sheboygan Falls man on Saturday evening along the shore near Fond du Lac. That was about two-and-a-half hours after his windsurfing board was found washed up along Winnebago’s east shore. Investigators are waiting for a final medical report on the victim before determining the cause of death. They do not suspect foul play. Gusty winds appeared to play a role in the incident. The state DNR is heading the investigation into the mishap. The victim’s name was not immediately released, pending notification of relatives. The owner of a windsurfing business told the Fond du Lac Reporter that the man had enjoyed the sport for many years. 

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Authorities in northwest Wisconsin continue to investigate the death of an elderly man who was run over by a vehicle in front of the Saint Croix Casino in Turtle Lake. Officers said 79-year-old Donald Hatalla of Turtle Lake was hit by a truck on Highway 8. He died at the scene. Authorities said it was dark and rainy at the time of the mishap – and alcohol was not a factor. 

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A music festival was held yesterday in Manitowoc in memory of Amy Krueger, one of the 13 people killed in the Fort Hood shooting massacre in 2009. Three classic rock bands which included Krueger’s family members performed at the event. Proceeds are being given to the Camo Quilt Project in Plymouth, which makes camouflage blankets for members of Krueger’s Army Reserve stress control unit. Funds are also going to go Fisher House, a home to be built at Milwaukee’s VA Medical Center for families of wounded soldiers. The 29-year-old Krueger, from Kiel, was killed at Fort Hood along with Russell Saeger of Mount Pleasant. Alleged shooter Nidal Hasan faces a military trial that’s now scheduled to begin August sixth. His proceedings have been delayed several times over various issues – including whether Hasan can wear a beard during his trial. A judge ruled last week that jurors can hear the dying words of a soldier who was six weeks pregnant. Hasan, who was training with the Madison medical unit before it went to Afghanistan, is scheduled to enter new pleas in the case tomorrow. He faces the death penalty if convicted

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Madison is one of the most popular places in the country for the sales of hybrid vehicles. Edmunds.com says the gas-and-electric cars accounted for four-point-two percent of all new cars and trucks sold in Wisconsin’s Capital City last year. This year, Edmunds says registration figures show that hybrids have four-point-seven percent of the Madison automotive market. Edmunds’ analyst Jeremy Acevedo says progressive towns with college campuses are more likely to embrace hybrid technology.

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Hundreds of Wisconsin child care workers are going to college for the first time, so the places where they work can get higher ratings and new business. The state’s two-year-old “Young Star” rating system gives a meager-looking two-star rating out of five to about two-thirds of the state’s 4,600 child care centers. The Wisconsin State Journal says most centers won’t get higher ratings until more of their workers get college training – but many staffers wonder if it’s worth staying in jobs that pay 11-dollars an hour once they get degrees. The state offers college scholarships for child care workers that total almost five-million dollars a year. Some centers also subsidize part of an employee’s college tuition, in exchange for commitments to keep working at those centers for a certain amount of time. The State Journal says many such arrangements include bonuses and-or pay raises to those completing the training. State officials said they designed the first ratings so that most would get two stars – but day-care centers say many parents will look at a facility’s two-star rating, and then conclude that it’s not good enough. 

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AIDS is still a major health threat – but lots of folks in Milwaukee apparently don’t believe it. On Saturday, only 31 people were tested for the HIV virus at an event sponsored by over 30 local health agencies. That’s about a-third of the 90 people who were tested there a year ago. At one Milwaukee pharmacy, only two people came in during the National HIV Testing Day last week. Seventeen showed up there in 2012. The National Centers for Disease Control said last fall that three-of-every-100-thousand Wisconsinites carry HIV, about the same as the national average. The CDC says six-of-every-10 Americans have the precursor to AIDS, and don’t know it. AIDS used to be considered a death sentence when it was first discovered in the 1980’s. It was first regarded as a disease predominantly among gay people – but basketball star Magic Johnson said he tried to dispel that notion when he admitted having AIDS in the ‘90’s. Doctors say the disease is not treatable, as Johnson has proven. Still, HIV is an expensive disease which doctors say can never be totally cured.    

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An Eau Claire man lost three of his fingers last year – but it didn’t stop him from playing the piano. Jim Radloff first took piano lessons when he was nine. He taught himself all over again, after he severed part of his right hand while unclogging a snow-blower on Leap Day of last year. Radloff uses only his thumb and his little finger on a right hand that piano players normally use for melodies and solos. He tells the Winona Daily News that doctors tried re-attaching his lost fingers – but they couldn’t so they shortened them. Radloff will perform at the Winona Jazz Festival this weekend. He said he returned to performing soon after his accident – and he has played in all 50 states and all of Wisconsin’s counties, including some after he lost his three fingers. He said he’s still learning and re-learning things but quote, “It doesn’t help to sit around and mope about the loss … Work with what you have, and do your best on that.” 
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