State News Briefs: 10-year-anniversary this week of Milwaukee girl's disappearanceWisconsin News
-- It will be 10 years ago on Thursday when Alexis Patterson disappeared in Milwaukee.
It will be 10 years ago on Thursday when Alexis Patterson disappeared in Milwaukee. And her mother Ayanna says she struggles with a belief that her daughter is still alive somewhere, having just celebrated her 17th birthday on April fourth. On May third of 2002, Alexis was seven when she vanished from the Milwaukee elementary school she attended, right after her stepfather walked her there. She was upset because she could not bring cupcakes to school, since she didn’t do her homework. The disappearance drew national publicity. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will declare Thursday as “Alexis Patterson Forget-Me-Not Day” in Milwaukee. A ceremony and balloon release are planned Thursday evening at Hi-Mount Elementary where Alexis was last seen. Ayanna Patterson still holds a birthday party each year. This year, it was a roller-skating party – because it’s something Alexis loves to do. Over the years, the National Center for Missing-and-Exploited Children has updated what Alexis might look like currently. Investigators have checked out hundreds of leads, but none have panned out. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department still offers a 10-thousand dollar reward for information leading to the youngster. Sheriff David Clarke still hopes someone will come forward – even if it’s someone on a deathbed who wants a clear conscience before dying.
A Sun Prairie man says he will not give a 12-hundred-50-dollar reward to a woman who claimed she found his missing dog. That’s after she was arrested for stealing the pet. Madison Police arrested the 21-year-old woman during the weekend, for allegedly stealing a six-month-old boxer-shepherd puppy named Blake. The pet was taken from a car parked at a state motor vehicle office in Madison on April 16th. Police would not say if she was the same woman who called owner Lars Forde last week to say she found the animal wandering around Sun Prairie with no collar or tags. But Forde said it was the same woman – and instead of giving her the reward, he’ll donate the money to the Dane County Humane Society and the Puppy Love Rescue program.
A coroner in central Wisconsin says it might take a few days to identify three people killed in a fiery truck crash west of Stevens Point. Portage County Coroner Scott Rifleman said none of the victims were of high school age. Several area schools held their proms in the hours before the crash occurred just after 2:30 yesterday morning at Highway 66 and Birchwood Lane in the town of Linwood. Sheriff’s deputies are still investigating, and they said alcohol might be a factor. Bruce Heath, who lives close by, told the Stevens Point Journal there were beer cans and golf clubs in his yard after the crash. A tool box knocked one of Heath’s small pine trees out of the ground. And his power was out for over two-and-a-half hours. Deputies said power lines were on the ground when they arrived, the vehicle was engulfed in flames, and one of the three victims was ejected.
Wisconsin has begun a statewide campaign to get parents to vaccinate newborns. That’s after an outbreak of whooping cough in which over a-thousand possible cases have been investigated from January-through-March. That’s 10 times the number of pertussis cases from 2010. Participating health care institutions are offering free doses of the T-Dep vaccine – which covers tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis – to caregivers and relatives of newborns. That program has actually been in effect since last May, but one of the state’s largest health care systems – Theda-Care of Neenah – just joined this month.
The body of a La Crosse area man was found yesterday, after he had been missing since April sixth on Red Cedar Lake in northwest Wisconsin. Barron County authorities said a private boater found Todd Gordon’s body, not far from where he apparently fell into the water near the city of Rice Lake. The 50-year-old Gordon was from Onalaska. Sheriff’s deputies said he was trying out a new boat when he apparently fell out. The boat was found on shore with nobody in it.