State News Roundup: Gas prices have been fairly steady throughout the stateWisconsin News
-- Wisconsin’s gasoline prices have been fairly steady over the last month, except for a brief increase caused by Hurricane Isaac.
Wisconsin’s gasoline prices have been fairly steady over the last month, except for a brief increase caused by Hurricane Isaac. The Triple-“A” said the price of unleaded regular averaged just under 3.93-a-gallon throughout Wisconsin this morning. That’s four-tenths-of-a-cent less than yesterday – and less than two cents higher than a month ago. Drivers in neighboring Minnesota are not as fortunate. They saw their fuel prices jump from 3.73 a month to 3.96 now – an increase of 23-cents. Gail Weinholzer of Minnesota’s Triple-“A” said she thought gas prices would take an immediate drop after Hurricane Issac and Labor Day. And she blames oil refinery and platform closures in the Gulf for the recent spikes. But Weinholzer says drivers could see relief by this time next week, after refineries switch from their summer-grade fuels to winter grades.
Investigators say Armin Wand-the-Third of Argyle wanted to collect 156-thousand dollars in insurance money for the deaths of his family members in a fire at their home. The 32-year-old Wand and his 18-year-old brother Jeremy are charged with setting the fire, killing Armin’s three young sons, and trying to kill Armin’s wife Sharon and their two-year-old daughter. W-K-O-W T-V in Madison uncovered search warrants filed in Lafayette County. They showed that Armin Wand hoped to get up 100-thousand dollars from a life insurance policy on his wife, 10-thousand for each of their four kids, and 16-thousand dollars from a renter’s policy. State prosecutors had alleged that Armin Wand was sick of Sharon complaining about money. And he thought the deaths of his family would give him a “fresh start.” The blaze occurred early last Friday. Seven-year-old Allen Wand, five-year-old Jeffrey, and three-year-old Joseph were killed. 27-year-old Sharon Wand survived after escaping, but she remained in critical condition yesterday at U-W Hospital in Madison. Daughter Jessica is reportedly safe. Relatives said an unborn child that Sharon was carrying also died. Armin and Jeremy Wand are due back in court November 13th, when a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to order trials on 13 criminal charges against the pair.
State and local officials say the Chippewa Indians should have been more forthcoming about their plans to kill an elk in northern Wisconsin for a ceremonial function. The matter became public this week when the D-N-R sent a letter to tribal officials, questioning the tribes’ authority to hunt the elk without working out an agreement with the state first. But yesterday, the Great Lakes Indian Fish-and-Wildlife Commission confirmed it approved a permit to hunt a single elk. Spokeswoman Sue Williams said the animal would be taken between now and Monday, if it hasn’t been done already. She called it part of creating a healthy eco-system, and the tribes are allowed to do it under their long-standing treaty rights. But D-N-R attorney Quinn Williams said the matter quote, “just came out of left field” – and it does not bode well for state-and-tribal communications. He said it’s a “big deal” because it’s the first time an elk would be hunted in Wisconsin. The animals were re-introduced in the state in 1995, and about 185 elk reside in the Clam Lake area. A hunt would automatically be scheduled once the herd surpasses 200 animals, and that’s expected next year. Williams questioned the legality of the tribal hunt now. But he said the D-N-R has no plans to stop it or prosecute anyone. He said it would be hard to convince a judge that taking one elk would hurt the total population. James Bolen of the Cable Area Chamber-of-Commerce says the elk are a major tourist attraction, and the tribes’ unilateral hunting approach would not endear them to non-Indians in the area. He said the Chippewa should have communicated better, and explained what they’re doing and why.
Two people died and two others were seriously hurt in a traffic crash near Kewaskum in Fond du Lac County. Sheriff’s deputies said a vehicle with three Eden residents was hit by an oncoming vehicle that crossed a center-line. Two of the Eden residents were killed – a 73-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman. A 13-year-old Eden girl was taken to Milwaukee Children’s Hospital. The driver who allegedly caused the crash, a 24-year-old Campbellsport man, was taken to a West Bend hospital. The mishap occurred around 5:30 yesterday afternoon on Highway 45 in the Fond du Lac County town of Auburn. Officials said alcohol might have been a factor, and they’re still investigating. The victims’ names were not immediately released.