Morning State News Briefs: Ho-Chunk tribal police chief resignsWisconsin News
-- The Ho-Chunk Indian tribe’s first police chief has resigned, after he was arrested late last month for obstructing another officer.
BLACK RIVER FALLS - The Ho-Chunk Indian tribe’s first police chief has resigned, after he was arrested late last month for obstructing another officer.
Dan Libke has not been charged – but the Jackson County district attorney’s office says it’s reviewing the case. Details of the allegation have not been made public. Libke was put on administrative leave after being arrested at his home on February 24th, and he was never fully reinstated before he quit this week. Libke became the Ho-Chunk’s first tribal police chief in September of 2010. In a statement, the tribe indicated it was considering the police department’s future – and tribal administrators are running it for now.
A Chippewa County man has been ordered to get the death penalty for shooting and stabbing two women in Florida 12 years ago. Circuit Judge William Hallman the Third handed down a sentence of death by lethal injection for 36-year-old Bill Marquardt. Investigators in Bushnell Florida spent years looking for the killer of 72-year-old Margaret Ruiz and her 42-year-old daughter Esperanza Wells. But they never got a break in the case until Chippewa County District Attorney Jon Thiesen did some Internet research. Marquardt had just been found innocent of stabbing his mother to death 2006 – but Thiesen knew that the DNA of two related women was found on the murder weapon. So he combed the Web to find unsolved stabbings of related women, and that’s how he found out about the slayings of Ruiz and Wells. The DA then contacted Florida authorities, and they took the case the rest of the way.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the state DNR has the authority to set water levels on Lake Koshkonong in Rock and Jefferson counties. The Rock-Koshkonong Lake District and property owners wanted to raise the water level by over seven-inches during the summer, and stop the DNR from drawing down the lake each winter. But the agency said no back in 2003, and the district has fought the decision in court over the past few years. A Rock County circuit judge sided with the DNR in 2008, and a state appeals court did the same last June. The judges said the DNR has the authority to set water levels to best encourage safety and protect public health and properties. And the court said the DNR was not required to consider the economic impact of its water decisions on nearby homes and businesses. The Supreme Court is expected to take up the case this summer.
Wisconsin’s largest airport expects to handle about 12-percent fewer passengers this year than last. Airport manager Barry Bateman of Milwaukee Mitchell says it’s because quote, “the giddy days of low fares and competitive service are coming to a close.” Low-fare carriers Air Tran and Southwest are about to merge, and Frontier Airlines plans to cut its 32 daily departures from Milwaukee almost in half. Frontier had already ended about 35 daily flights from Mitchell International since last summer. The state’s largest airport had 21 straight months of passenger traffic increases – but that ended last May, and officials said passenger levels gradually dropped for the rest of last year. The end result was a three-point-one percent decrease in Mitchell’s passengers in 2011 compared to the previous year. Average fares rose for the flights that remained. The federal government said flights originating from Milwaukee cost eight-point-six percent more in the third quarter of last year, from the same time in 2010.
A 90-year-old man has died after his wheelchair fell down a half-dozen steps at a Milwaukee residential care facility. Leo Aldi suffered a broken nose and back-and-hip injuries in last Friday’s incident. He was treated at a hospital and was then sent to a hospice care unit where he died earlier this week. The Milwaukee County medical examiner said Aldi died from blunt force injuries. The incident was ruled to be an accident. Aldi had suffered from dementia and prostate cancer.
Police in Wisconsin Dells are trying to identify a body found at a hydro-electric dam on the Wisconsin River. Alliant Energy said one of its employees was working at the Kilbourn Dam yesterday afternoon when he looked down, and saw what appeared to be a body against the dam. The unit kept operating while rescuers pulled the man from the water. Police said he’s of average height with black hair. The body was turned over to the Columbia County medical examiner, and Wisconsin Dells Police were looking for information about any missing persons in the area.
The Superintendent of Milwaukee Public schools says many of his students have told him they fear they won’t live past the age of 21. That’s leading the Milwaukee Public School Board to reach out to students and parents in the wake of recent violence which has taken the lives of four students. One meeting was held last night at the MPS Central Services building. Community leaders say the violent incidents are a reaction to tough economic times and an increase in poverty among those living in Milwaukee.
For the seventh straight year, UW-Madison will take an entire weekend to honor famous Wisconsin conservationist Aldo Leopold. On Saturday, a day-long public reading of “A Sand County Almanac” will take place at the UW Arboretum. The book includes essays on Leopold’s philosophies toward conservation, and his observations of animal-and-plant life cycles. On Sunday, the Arboretum will host a “Walk with Leopold” tour. Leopold was the first director of the Arboretum. The events are normally held on the first weekend of March because he added the foreword to his book on March fourth of 1948. Leopold died from an apparent heart attack six weeks later.