Afternoon State News Briefs: Wolf hunt to procede despite judge's rulingWisconsin News
-- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the state’s first official wolf hunt will still begin the middle of next month, despite a ruling from a Dane County Circuit Court judge that dogs can’t be used.
MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the state’s first official wolf hunt will still begin the middle of next month, despite a ruling from a Dane County Circuit Court judge that dogs can’t be used.
The state could have called off the hunt to rewrite regulations about the training of hunting dogs and ways to protect those dogs from violent encounters with wolves during the hunt. The hunt will start October 15th. Judge Peter Anderson is scheduled to rule on the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit a week from Friday in his court.
Wisconsin Emergency Management officials say it was a tornado that destroyed a home in Bloomington last night. None was injured when the EF-2 tornado hit. Four outbuildings were also damaged. The National Weather Service reports the storm in had winds of 115 to 120 miles per hour and was on the ground for about two minutes. It was 70 yards wide and traveled a little less than a quarter-mile on the ground, starting at about 7:40 p.m. The same storm system brought rain, hail and high winds to that part of southwestern Wisconsin.
If you’ve ever considered a career in criminal justice, recruiters will be at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison a week from tomorrow. The fourth annual Criminal Justice Career Fair is organized to show the public what kids of jobs are possible in the industry. The free event is sponsored by the Dane County Sheriff’s office and it runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Several demonstrations will be offered, including the Dane County K-9 unit, the bomb squad and the crime scene unit.
If you want to see Wisconsin Democrats cast their convention votes for President Obama, you’ll have to stay up late tonight. The roll call of the states is not expected to begin until around 10 o’clock, after former President Clinton speaks at the convention in Charlotte. And because Wisconsin is near the end of the alphabet, it could be around 11:30 before you get to hear how Democrats describe the Badger State. State Party Chairman Mike Tate will do the honors, as the head of the state’s 131-member delegation. Republicans gave roll call fans a break at their convention last week, as they completed their roll call late in the afternoon. Governor Scott Walker cast the state’s votes.
Democrats have canceled their plans to hold the final night of their national convention in an outdoor football stadium. They cited a threat of severe thunderstorms for moving the entire program tomorrow night from the 74,000 Bank-of-America Stadium in Charlotte to their current meeting place – the 21,000 Time Warner Cable Arena. That means Madison House Democrat Tammy Baldwin will also be speaking to less than a-third of the crowd that she anticipated. Baldwin, who’s running for the U.S. Senate, is part of a program tomorrow that includes distinguished Democratic women. It has rained every day in Charlotte this week – and Obama’s team decided it was not worth the political risk to strand thousands who would have arrived on buses. Some Democrats also said they were worried about hecklers getting some of the free tickets at the football stadium. Convention chairman Steve Kerrigan said those with tickets for tomorrow night who cannot attend will be invited to see Obama directly sometime between now and Election Day.
Former White House candidate Howard Dean lambasted Republicans this morning at a breakfast for Wisconsin’s Democratic convention delegates. Dean is a former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chairman who ran for president in 2004. He dropped out of the race after he finished last in the Wisconsin primary. Dean criticized G-O-P White House hopeful Mitt Romney for taking advantage of the tax laws in ways that average Americans could not. But Dean saved his harshest criticism for Republican Governor Scott Walker, saying he “hijacked” what Dean called an “important, proud, progressive” state with the law that ended most public union bargaining. Dean said Walker quote, “thought he could push around a whole lot of ordinary people who were making their living making Wisconsin a great state.” And Dean said, “This country belongs to ordinary Americans. Ordinary people built America.” The president’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, told the Wisconsin delegates that the nation is indeed better off after almost four years of the Obama presidency. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack slammed Janesville congressman and GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan for holding up approval of the proposed five-year Farm Bill.
A La Crosse area man who drove for Kwik Trip convenience stores was killed early today when the fuel tanker he was driving overturned south of Marshfield. Wood County authorities identified the victim this afternoon as 47-year-old Rodney Koenemann of Holmen. Sheriff’s deputies said he was hauling a full tanker of gasoline when the truck lost control on a curve, veered into a ditch, hit an embankment, and rolled over. It happened around two this morning on County Trunk “A” in the town of Richfield, about 10 miles south of Marshfield. Officials said only a small amount of fuel spilled. And Kwik Trip sent another tanker to send the gas shipment on its way.
The state Justice Department is being asked to decide whether charges should be filed in a Milwaukee murder case. That’s normally a chore for local district attorneys. But in this case, the suspect is the son of Milwaukee County circuit judge – who’s closely involved with everybody in the DA’s office. 32-year-old James Donegan is being held under a quarter-million-dollar bond. He was arrested on Sunday night for the Labor Day weekend stabbing death of 45-year-old Teresa Boone at Milwaukee’s Kilbourn Reservoir Park. The suspect’s father, Judge Thomas Donegan, was the president of the Milwaukee Common Council before he was elected as a circuit judge 20 years ago. He currently handles Children’s Court cases. Officials did not expect a decision on charges today. Judge Donegan told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that his son has had some mental health problems, and he has not been taking his medications. The judge said the family supports him and is worried about him and quote, “He’s not a violent person.” Judge Donegan said he also feels bad about the victim’s family.
A former Appleton fire-fighter was rejected this morning in his bid for a new trial in the 2009 murder of his estranged wife. The Third District Court of Appeals in Wausau upheld Scott Schmidt’s conviction in the death of Kelly Wing Schmidt. He was sentenced to life in prison, but an Appleton judge made him eligible for a supervised release in 2050, when he turns 79. Schmidt claimed he was not allowed to show his jury that he acted in the “heat of passion,” saying his wife was abusive to him, and they had growing financial troubles. But the appellate judges said there were holes in Schmidt’s story – most notably that he confronted her about her relationship with another man before the murder. The appeals judges said quote, “If Schmidt acted in the heat of passion, it was because he deliberately chose to ignite the fire.” Had the jury bought a heat-of-passion defense, they could have convicted Schmidt on a lesser charge of second-degree homicide.
An Illinois man made his initial court appearance today on charges that he killed a woman and her unborn child at a Door County resort. 35-year-old Brian Cooper of Plainfield, Illinois was already jailed under a million-dollar bond, before he was charged yesterday with two counts of homicide and a charge of third-degree sexual assault. Cooper was ordered to return to court next Tuesday, when a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to order a trial. Authorities said Cooper brought 21-year-old Alisha Bromfield to a wedding, in the hopes of striking up a romance with her – but she rejected his advances. Bromfield is also from Plainfield Illinois. Authorities said Cooper choked and sexually assaulted the woman at a resort in Nasewaupee – and he later tried to kill himself before calling 911 to confess, and show deputies where the body was. Bromfield was reported to be several months into her pregnancy, and Cooper was not the child’s father.