Saturday State News Briefs: Dems hold final debate before Tuesday's primaryWisconsin News
-- Democrats focused on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in their last time to speak to a statewide audience before next Tuesday’s primary election.
MILWAUKEE - Democrats focused on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in their last time to speak to a statewide audience before next Tuesday’s primary election.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Secretary of State Douglas La Follette and state Senator Kathleen Vineout appeared at a candidates’ forum last night. State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate called this primary contest the most positive one he’s seen, with little inside-the-party bickering. The winner of Tuesday’s vote will take on Walker in the recall election to be held June 5th.
Fire investigators blame lightning for a barn fire in northeastern Wisconsin which killed 13 quarter-horses early Thursday. The lightning struck and electrical box as storms moved through the Town of Utica at about 4 a.m. The horses were trapped inside the burning barn. The animals were owned and trained by Larry and Rhonda Spratto. Town of Utica Fire Chief Tom Bean told reporters it was a difficult scene for firefighters to deal with, too.
A vigil was held last night in West Bend for the small child police say was killed by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. The candlelight service was held at a park in Barton. Leeanne Lezysnki and Justin Striker were arrested and are being held in the Washington County Jail on $10,000 bond each. West Bend police were called to their apartment last week and found the three year old girl was dead. Police say the girl had injuries to her face and body. They say there was evidence at the scene indicating abuse and neglect.
Wisconsin’s tourism economy grew by 7.6 percent last year. A study conducted for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism shows visitors generated a total of $16 billion dollars in total business sales, up from 14.8 billion the year before. More than 95 million people visited the state, supporting 181,000 jobs. Hotels, motels and lodges report volume was up 18 percent when compared to 2009. Spending by visitors jumped by more than 20 percent in three counties – Columbia, Fond du Lac and Monroe. Visitors to Wisconsin in 2011 generated more than $1.3 billion dollars in state and local revenue.
A Milwaukee woman has pleaded guilty to charges she collected about three million dollars in taxpayer subsidies when she shouldn’t have. Latasha Jackson is now listed as Latasha Wilder. She could be sentenced to up to 35 years in prison when she returns to court in August. She pleaded guilty to fraud, theft and conspiracy in the way she ran her child care centers in Milwaukee. She reportedly admitted she defrauded state and federal programs which were supposed to help poor mothers find jobs. Prosecutors want her to pay at least 333 thousand dollars in restitution.
He had already been convicted of drunken driving six times when he was pulled over in Waupun February 11th, 2011. Prosecutors say John C. Baker had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit when he was tested. His seventh conviction has earned Baker a five-year prison sentence. He had been out of prison for about three weeks when the traffic stop was made. He’s been revoked off probation twice. Right now, prosecutors say Baker is serving 17 months behind bars because that last traffic stop violated his probation and it has been revoked.