Thursday State News Briefs: Madison man freed from jail after allegedly threatening to blow up the Democratic officeWisconsin News
-- A Madison man was freed from jail yesterday, after he allegedly made a telephone threat to below up the State Democratic Party’s offices in February.
MADISON - A Madison man was freed from jail yesterday, after he allegedly made a telephone threat to below up the State Democratic Party’s offices in February.
60-year-old William Diederich appeared in federal court, after being arrested last week in northern Wisconsin. Authorities said Diederich made over 100 phone calls to the state’s Democratic offices – and one of them included a threat to blow up the building. Officials said the calls were traced to Diederich’s cell-phone. He’s due back in court next Thursday, when he’s expected to enter a plea.
A Middleton man will spend 20 years in prison for kidnapping a woman, raping her, and trying to sell her as a prostitute to others in Milwaukee. 22-year-old Andrew Meinholz was sentenced yesterday, after he pleaded no contest to charges that included sexual assault, kidnapping, and human trafficking. The incidents took place in the summer of 2010. Dane County prosecutor Colette Smith called Meinholz “the face of evil,” and she recommended 45 years in prison plus 30 years of extended supervision. Defense lawyer Jessa Nicholson said Meinholz has numerous mental health issues including attachment disorder, a strong degree of psychopathy, and possible personality disorders. Circuit Judge Julie Genovese agreed that the defendant’s mental illnesses were a major factor – and she said it would be inhumane for him to spend the rest of his life in prison. After 20 years, she expects him to permanently go to a treatment facility. The judge said Meinholz needs to be quote, “supervised in the mental health world, where he belongs.”
The state Legislative Audit Bureau will be asked to review the Milwaukee Police Department’s crime figures. That’s after the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel found over 500 cases in which serious assaults were misclassified as lesser offenses. And had they been reported correctly, Milwaukee’s violent crime rate would have gone up by one-point-one percent last year, instead of falling by two-point-three percent as officials originally claimed. Police Chief Ed Flynn said the mistakes were the result of human and computer errors – and his department has been working to resolve them. Yesterday, Flynn held a news conference and insisted that there was no intent to mislead the public on Milwaukee’s violent crime trends. Some critics brought up that possibility, as Mayor Tom Barrett runs for governor in Scott Walker’s June fifth recall election. The Walker camp said the reporting errors were another example of the problems Wisconsin’s largest city has had under Mayor Barrett. Senate Republican Alberta Darling of River Hills asked the Legislature’s Audit Committee to order a state audit of the Milwaukee crime data. And Milwaukee Aldermen Bob Donovan and Joe Dudzik asked the city’s comptroller’s office to do its own audit.
A Vietnam veteran from Waukesha County will be honored at the White House today. Robert Curry of the town of Ottawa has been named of 11 “Champions of Change.” The White House says all 11 honorees have continually supported efforts to end homelessness among veterans, improve their job opportunities, treat their substance abuse problems, and more. Curry served in Vietnam and Laos. And he founded Dryhootch-Dot-Org – a program that helps veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan make the transition to civilian life. The White House says the program has grown rapidly in both its locations, and the services it provides.
A bicyclist in central Wisconsin was killed after she was hit by a car. It happened around 11 yesterday morning near Mosinee on Marathon County Trunk Double-“K.” The bicyclist, a 44-year-old woman, was taken to a Wausau hospital where she died a short time later. The crash remains under investigation. The state DOT said it was the first bicycle-related death in Wisconsin in 2012.