Saturday State News Briefs: Construction accident south of Green Bay kills oneWisconsin News
-- Federal, state, and local investigators are all trying to figure out what caused a crane to fall on a worker Friday at a highway construction site south of Green Bay. A man who worked for Lunda Construction of Black River Falls was killed, when the crane struck him while he was standing in the median.
DE PERE - Federal, state, and local investigators are all trying to figure out what caused a crane to fall on a worker Friday at a highway construction site south of Green Bay. A man who worked for Lunda Construction of Black River Falls was killed, when the crane struck him while he was standing in the median.
It happened around 8:30 on the Highway 41 expressway near De Pere. The road is being reconstructed in that area, to bring it up to Interstate standards. The shoulders have been closed for a month-and-a-half – and the entire expressway was closed for about an hour after today’s mishap. Kris Schuller of the DOT said Lunda Construction is a sub-contractor on the project, and the Michels Corporation of Brownsville is the main contractor. Schuller said her agency will review all of its safety procedures, and make sure that all safety guidelines are followed. The victim’s name was not immediately released, pending notification of relatives.
Governor Scott Walker made some waves when he said that Kathleen Falk would be a weaker Democratic opponent for him than Tom Barrett in the June recall election. The Republican Walker went on Mark Belling’s talk show on WISN Radio in Milwaukee yesterday – and he was asked why he’s only running TV ads that attack Barrett and not Falk. The governor responded by explaining why he thought Falk would be the weaker opponent, saying quote, “She has clearly staked herself out as being in the pocket of the public employee unions – and that has not clearly been attached to Tom Barrett.” Falk, the former Dane County executive, has promised she would veto the entire next state budget if it does not restore collective bargaining for public unions. Walker called that her weakness. Today, Barrett’s camp jumped on Walker’s remark, calling it a “rare moment of candor.” Barrett spokesman Phil Walzak said Walker admitted that Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor, would be the best candidate to defeat him. But the Falk campaign took Walker’s remark to mean that he’s scared of facing her in the general election. Falk and Barrett lead recent Democratic polls for the May 8th primary, over Secretary of State Douglas La Follette and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout of Alma.
A new law which went into effect yesterday leaves doctors facing criminal penalties if they fail to follow certain procedures when performing non-surgical abortions. That’s why Planned Parenthood ended those types of abortions the same day. The law passed by the Republican-controlled state Legislature two weeks ago mandates women having nonsurgical abortions must visit the same doctor three times. The doctors have to make sure the woman having the procedure is doing so voluntarily and no one is coercing her. Not following those steps could result in felony charges against the doctor. Four other states have similar laws in place. Planned Parenthood says confusion over the new is why the nonsurgical procedures were stopped. Surgical abortions are still offered at its clinics in the Fox Cities, Milwaukee and Madison.
Court documents filed Friday indicate former Milwaukee County Supervisor Johnny L. Thomas Junior was led to believe he wouldn’t be charged with bribery is he provided information about corruption involving other county officials. Thomas was charged. He also agreed to play a role in conducting an attempted sting against another official. Thomas told prosecutors he knew nothing about corruption at the county board level and he said he thought the $500-dollar bribe he’s accused of taking was a campaign contribution. However, in another meeting with prosecutors, Thomas did agree to wear a recording device and suggest to a county vendor that the person should offer bribes to other county supervisors.
Milwaukee police chief Ed Flynn says his department is conducting an internal investigation of an incident where an officer was caught hitting a suspected drunken driver in the head on video. That video was posted on YouTube. Flynn repeated past statements that an administrative review board found no evidence that officer Eric Ratzmann violated department policy when he used force that night. The internal investigation is being started because 39 year old Jeffrey Strasser said he wanted to file a complaint against Ratzmann. In connection with that investigation, the area around the 200 block of East Juneau was re-canvassed by police last night and again tonight. Strasser had a blood alcohol content of nearly two and a half times the legal limit when he was tested 90 minutes after the incident.
Delafield police and Lake County Fire and Rescue will conduct a drill this morning on the grounds of St. John’s Military Academy. Emergency responders will be tested on the way they handle a mock school shooting. Officials say the work is being done to enhance public safety and improve inter-agency cooperation and communications. Responders will be training as if it were a real incident. Flight for Life and UW Medflight will transport persons posing as patients to three area hospitals.
Students will complete the course and no jobs will be lost, but the University of Wisconsin is going to end its nursing program at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse. The final class will graduate in May of next year. The program is being ended due to state budget cuts and the small class sizes. They say the class size of two dozen students at Gundersen is too small to justify the cost of faculty and equipment which is needed to train nurses. UW-Madison and Gundersen will have operated in partnership on the program for eight years when it ends. More than 150 nursing students will have graduated.