State News Briefs: Trial for La Crosse County man accused of slaying his parents begins todayWisconsin News
-- After some long delays, a La Crosse County man is finally scheduled to go on trial today for the slayings of his wealthy parents.
After some long delays, a La Crosse County man is finally scheduled to go on trial today for the slayings of his wealthy parents. Prosecutors said 42-year-old Eric Koula shot-and-killed Dennis and Merna Koula in May of 2010 at their rural home in the town of Barre. A financial expert said Koula was in debt and behind on his mortgage while working as a day-trader. And investigators said he killed his parents to get their money. But the defense claims that the state only has a possible motive, and no physical evidence. Koula claims he was out buying a plant for his wife when his parents were slain – and his defense team will try to show that a professional killer shot the couple. Jury selection is scheduled this morning, followed by opening arguments. The trial is expected to last four weeks.
The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College in northwest Wisconsin is closed until further notice, after a fire on Friday. School officials said classes were not in session at the time – and the maintenance staff made sure that those working in the school got out safely. The fire caused heavy damage to the far east wing of the Sawyer County college, which houses U-W Extension programs and maintenance facilities. The fire was in a ceiling, and firefighters had to remove roof panels to get to the source. Officials said smoke had emerged, but there were no flames visible.
A-T-V owners are being reminded to put license plates on their vehicles, if they use them in public areas. Right now, all-terrain and utility-terrain vehicles only need to have registration decals. But Governor Scott Walker signed a bill requiring those vehicles to also have rear plates starting July first. The D-N-R says owners can create their own plates. They have to use black lettering on a white background, on a plate that’s at least seven-and-a-half inches wide and four inches high. The idea is to make it easier for law enforcement to find stolen vehicles.
The Powerball jackpot is at 177-million dollars for Wednesday night. That's after nobody won the top prize on Saturday night. Wisconsin players did not do very well. Eight tickets won the most, just 200-dollars apiece, by buying the Power Play option and matching four regular numbers or three-plus-the-Powerball. Just under 15-thousand Wisconsin players won smaller prizes. Saturday night's numbers were 9, 10, 17, 29, and 45. The Powerball was 33. The current jackpot has been building since April 25th and has rolled over 11 times. Wednesday's cash option is almost 121-million dollars. The Mega Millions' jackpot is at 14-million for tomorrow night.