Afternoon News Briefs - Merryfield brothers will not seek punitive damages against the Green bay Catholic DioceseWisconsin News
-- Two brothers who were awarded $700,000 dollars in a fraud lawsuit against the Green Bay Catholic Diocese said today they will not seek punitive damages against the church.
GREEN BAY - Two brothers who were awarded $700,000 dollars in a fraud lawsuit against the Green Bay Catholic Diocese said today they will not seek punitive damages against the church. On Monday, a jury agreed with plaintiffs Todd and Troy Merryfield that the diocese kept parishioners in Freedom in the dark about the Reverend John Feeney’s prior record of child molestation. And then Feeney went on to molest the Merryfield brothers in 1978 when they were 12 and 14. A court was to reconvene today to consider punitive damages against the diocese, after the jury said it committed fraud. But that was canceled after the Merryfields decided not to seek more money. Todd Merryfield told reporters the case was never about the money and quote, “We’re going to claim the high road” on the matter. The Green Bay Diocese has not commented except on its Web site, where the church reiterated an apology it gave the Merryfields and their families on Monday. The church has said it disagrees with the jury’s verdict, and it’s considering its legal options.
Eight of Wisconsin’s 12 metro areas lost jobs during April. That’s according to preliminary figures released today by state workforce development officials. Metro Milwaukee lost an estimated 2100 public and private sector jobs, more than a third of the statewide total of 5900. Racine lost an estimated 1,000 jobs last month. Smaller losses were reported in Appleton, Wausau, Eau Claire, Madison, and Fond du Lac. The Green Bay area gained an estimated 2,000 jobs, according to today’s preliminary report. La Crosse, Sheboygan, and Oshkosh-Neenah had smaller increases. Janesville reported no gain. All 12 metros reported lower unadjusted jobless rates in April from March. Madison had the lowest rate at 4.7%. Racine and Sheboygan had the highest at 8.4%. All but one of Wisconsin’s 72 counties saw their unemployment rates go down last month. Iron County was the only one with a slight increase, at 12.8%.
The state Natural Resources Board unanimously gave its blessing to a wolf hunt today. On a 7-0 vote, the panel gave DNR staff members permission to come up with the rules for a hunt that would begin October 15th. The governor and Legislature approved a wolf hunt earlier this year, after Wisconsin was allowed to manage its own wolf population when the grey wolf was removed from the federal endangered species’ list. But the Natural Resources Board still had to give its permission before details like quotas and hunting zones could be set. The agency hopes to finish drafting the rules by July. The board and the governor would then have to approve them before a wolf hunt could be scheduled. Meanwhile, a UW Madison expert on predators says the proposed wolf hunting season could face a court challenge and it could result in the wolf being put back on the federal endangered list. Adrian Treves tells the Wisconsin State Journal that the DNR proposes quote, “untested methods in a very long (hunting) season in too broad of an area of the state.” The season would last for about five months. Supporters say a wolf hunt is needed to protect farm crops and livestock.