Bad news for home-sellers in WisconsinWisconsin News
-- A new report has bad news for home-sellers in Wisconsin.
A new report has bad news for home-sellers in Wisconsin. The Brookfield firm of Fiserv Case-Shiller said home prices in Metro Milwaukee will drop by another one-point-nine percent this year, after falling three-and-a-half percent in 2011. The report says home prices won’t start rising again until next year, when a four-point-one percent increase is expected. Other parts of Wisconsin can expect similar trends. Fiserv says Madison’s home prices will drop four-point-two percent this year, before going up a half-percent in 2013. Green Bay can expect a four-tenths-of-one-percent home price drop this year, and a one-point-six percent rise next year. And in Appleton, Fiserv said prices will drop another two-percent in 2012 before going up two-point-six-percent the following year. Fiserv chief economist David Stiff says U-S home markets that were hardest-hit during the Great Recession will have the fastest growth during the recovery. And those who were spared during the recession will grow at a slower pace now. Fiserv also says there are great bargains for home-buyers right now. That’s because the ratio of median home prices to family incomes is the lowest since 1991.
The state Justice Department has re-filed a previously-dismissed sexual assault charge in connection with a kidnapping case for which a man has been serving prison time. 39-year-old James Drown was convicted for abducting his ex-girlfriend in 2008. The ordeal started in Shawano County, and ended in Oconto County where he lived at the time. Drown was convicted in Shawano County on reduced charges of false imprisonment and disorderly conduct. He was given probation, but was sent to prison for violating that probation. Meanwhile, a sexual assault charge in the case was filed in Oconto County in 2009. A judge dropped it in 2010, but the state appealed that move – and an appellate court reversed the dismissal. Drown is about to be released from prison in a few days, with an order to be under extended supervision. The Justice Department followed up on the appellate court’s decision by filing new charges in Oconto County this week. Besides sexual assault, the new complaint includes counts of kidnapping and false imprisonment. Once he’s released, Drown will be under a one-thousand-dollar bond that requires him to be under home confinement with electronic monitoring.
Two Wisconsin high schools were awarded gold medals in the annual “Best High School” rankings from U-S News-and-World Report. And both schools are in the Milwaukee public system. Rufus King was ranked the 130th best high school in the nation. U-S News said 80-percent of King’s students are taking International Baccalaureate course works and exams. The other Wisconsin “gold medal” high school is Reagan College Prep in Milwaukee. It ranks 197th nationwide. Eau Claire Memorial was ranked third in the state followed by Lancaster, Green Bay Preble, Medford, the Milwaukee School of Languages, Appleton West, Saint Croix Falls, and Onalaska High School. U-S News awarded 24 Wisconsin high schools with silver medals, and 88 others with bronze medals.
Two drivers are facing charges in a pair of traffic crashes in which a suburban Milwaukee woman and her son were killed on the same day last month. 32-year-old Jesse Steinmetz is free on a 20-thousand-dollar bond, after being charged with fatal hit-and-run. He reportedly told West Allis Police he thought he ran over an animal when he allegedly drove over 45-year-old Mary Moore, who was lying in a street outside a West Allis bar on April 29th. Her son, 22-year-old Thomas Olson, was killed later that day while riding in a car that crashed while speeding to a hospital so Olson could check on his mother. That driver, 21-year-old Xavier Hughes of Milwaukee, had his bail reduced in half to 25-thousand-dollars after being charged with several charges which include drunken homicide. Meanwhile, W-I-S-N T-V in Milwaukee says police might have figured out why Moore was lying in the roadway that night. The station cited a search warrant which indicated that Moore’s ex-boyfriend ran over her less than two minutes before Steinmetz’s car struck her. Moore and her ex were apparently drinking and arguing that night – and police later found fibers and hair in a damaged part of the ex-boyfriend’s car. As of late yesterday, that man has not been arrested.
A bankruptcy filing by the maker of Twinkies could cost 184 Wisconsinites their jobs. Hostess Brands has filed a notice with state officials, saying that plants in nine cities could face shutdowns or major cutbacks in their operations. Those plants are in Brookfield, Greenfield, Madison, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Wausau, De Pere, Oshkosh, and Sheboygan. Hostess filed for Chapter-11 bankruptcy protection in January. The company is re-organizing after its second bankruptcy filing in the last decade.