Morning State News Briefs: Dane County woman dies in fall at Devils Lake State ParkWisconsin News
-- A 56-year-old Dane County woman died yesterday in a possible fall from an overlook at Devil’s Lake State Park near Baraboo.
BARABOO - A 56-year-old Dane County woman died yesterday in a possible fall from an overlook at Devil’s Lake State Park near Baraboo.
Park Superintendent Steve Schmelzer said a group of visitors found the McFarland woman unresponsive at the bottom of a 100-foot scenic rock face on the West Bluff Trail – and one member of the group used a nearby radio call-box to alert rangers. The Sauk County coroner pronounced the victim dead at the scene, about two-and-a-half hours after she was first discovered. Schmelzer did not know if the woman was hiking or rock-climbing – or whether she was alone or with other people. He said the West Bluff Trail is fairly steep, and it’s flat at the top. The death is the first at Devil’s Lake since a drowning last year.
Milwaukee Police are investigating the murder of a 25-year-old man while he was sitting in a mini-van late last night. The shooting took place around 11:40 p.m. near a corner on the city’s north side. Other details of the incident were not immediately released.
Authorities in north-central Wisconsin are investigating a police chase which ended in a crash that killed the offending driver. Langlade County authorities said 52-year-old Timothy Zahurones of Summit Lake threatened a bartender and then left. Sheriff William Greening said the man then went to another bar – and the staff refused to serve him. Sheriff’s deputies kept getting more calls about his being in a domestic dispute, and trying to commit suicide. Officers later saw his car and started chasing it. They said Zahurones drove across a center line, striking a boat on a trailer that was pulled over. He finally slammed into several trees before dying in the crash.
State prosecutors have asked the Supreme Court to review a decision by an appeals court that might let a Racine billionaire have his sexual assault charges dropped. Curt Johnson was supposed to go on trial last month for repeatedly molesting a girl who was 15 at the time. But a few days before the trial was to begin, an appeals court said the alleged victim could not testify until a judge could review the girl’s therapy records. The defense wants to know if the girl had a medical condition which might have caused her to perceive or report the alleged sexual incidents inaccurately. But the state says the defense has not proven a need to have the judge review the girl’s medical records. The girl and her mother are against releasing them – and they’re against having her testify. The Justice Department says it wants the Supreme Court to declare that a release of medical records is necessary to determine a defendant’s guilt-or-innocence. The state says it could not prosecute Johnson if the appeals court decision stands. The 57-year-old Johnson is a former chairman of Racine’s Diversey Incorporated. He’s a son of the late Sam Johnson, who chaired the S.C. Johnson household products company.
Milwaukee couple has struck a plea deal, in which they’ll admit they committed fraud to obtain tax-funded child care subsidies. Duane and Shontina Gladney filed their plea agreements in federal court this week. No date has been set for pleas or sentencing. Each will plead guilty to a single count of fraud. The maximum sentence is 20 years in prison, but federal sentencing guidelines call for far less time. The Gladneys were accused of bilking the Wisconsin Shares child care program out of $175,000 between 2007-and-2010. Telisa Hopgood, who is Shontina’s sister, is scheduled to go on trial next month in connection with the fraud scheme. Latasha Jackson, who received three-million-dollars from Wisconsin Shares, was also part of the same case. She pleaded guilty earlier, and will be sentenced in August.
A suburban Chicago man was sentenced to six months in jail and two years’ probation for chasing a stripper for 65 miles in northern Wisconsin, and then running her over with his car. 71-year-old Benedict Sedivy pleaded no contest in Florence County to one count of reckless endangerment. A second endangerment count was dropped in a plea bargain, along with a charge of aggravated battery. A judge told Sedivy this week to pay 85-hundred dollars in restitution, get anger management training, and perform 150 hours of community service. The incident began in Eagle River in early January. According to testimony, Sedivy told the stripper’s occasional boyfriend that he videotaped the 32-year-old woman having sex with another man the previous night while she was drunk. And when the boyfriend got upset, Sedivy pulled out a knife, and the couple fled in the boyfriend’s car. Sedivy chased them for 65 miles to Florence. And when they got there, the couple’s car spun out of control. The woman tried to approach Sedivy – and he carried her on his hood for 150-feet before slamming on the brakes and throwing her into a ditch. The woman and her boyfriend were both treated at a hospital and later released. Sedivy was a retired percussion musician. His lawyer said he once played for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
If you log onto Google today, you’ll see a drawing made by a seven-year-old boy from Caledonia in Racine County. Dylan Hoffman won this year’s “Doodle-for-Google” contest. And he beat out 114,000 other kindergarten-through-12th grade contestants. They made drawings of the places they would visit if they could travel in time. Dylan’s doodle was called “Pirate Times.” It featured a deserted island with a parrot, a sword, and a treasure chest – with a pirate ship and a bright sunrise in the distance. His art teachers at Racine Prairie elementary school helped give him ideas. Dylan Hoffman won a 30-thousand-dollar college scholarship, and his school is getting a 50-thousand-dollar technology grant. Also, Dylan’s mother – Katherina Hoffman – said the family was also scheduled to be on NBC’s “Today Show” this morning.