Western Wisconsin News Briefs: Eleva-Strum district wants restraining order kept on former employeeWestern Wisconsin News
-- A western Wisconsin school district wants a judge to continue a restraining order to keep a fired custodian off school property.
CENTRAL - A western Wisconsin school district wants a judge to continue a restraining order to keep a fired custodian off school property.
54-year-old David Booth was fired from the Eleva-Strum schools on September 12th. And according to court records, school officials were concerned that Booth would take his life and involve students and-or staff members in the process. The district received a restraining order against Booth, and it asked a judge yesterday to extend it. But a Trempealeau County judge said school officials did not have proper legal representation at the hearing, and the matter was delayed until October 17th. By then, the Eleva-Strum School Board is expected to decide how long it wants the restraining order to continue.
Officials said Booth violated school policies by taking his daughter and three other girls to a boys’ high school locker room, so he could take their pictures while they wore football uniforms. According to court documents, Eleva-Strum officials got concerned September 18th when he told school employees he would not soon “be around.” Booth’s ex-wife also asked for a restraining order, but the judge turned it down. Other than the photos, school officials said the girls were not the victims of any improper behavior.
Lands’ End plans to cut almost 200 jobs in its hometown of Dodgeville. The seller of trendy apparel and home products said yesterday it would reduce employment in its call-center by 29-percent, and it will streamline other operations. That’s because almost 80-percent of the company’s U.S. sales are now made on the Internet. The first cuts were made yesterday. Fifty full-time employees were let go at the Lands’ End corporate offices, and 25 layoffs took effect at the call center. Almost 124 other jobs will be eliminated after the holiday sales period. They include a mix of full-and-part-time call center positions. Lands’ End now employs about three-thousand people in Dodgeville.
A La Crosse man was convicted late yesterday of strangling a 35-year-old woman and leaving her body in a dirt lot on a cold morning in March. Jurors deliberated for over two hours before they found 45-year-old Izelia Golatt guilty of first-degree intentional homicide. He’ll be given a mandatory life prison sentence, but a judge can decide whether Golatt will be eligible for a supervised release someday. Golatt killed 35-year-old Kristen Tabbert Rodgers on March sixth, after the two exchanged text messages about her desire to buy cocaine. Golatt did not testify, but the defense brought in a pathologist who said Rodgers died from hypothermia and a cocaine overdose – and not strangulation, as prosecutors had contended. Doctor Shaku Teas said Rodgers had no obvious signs of strangulation. But jurors believed the state’s medical examiner, Vincent Tranchida, who said the victim’s injuries were consistent with a manual strangulation.
A man from Superior has pleaded guilty to stealing mail he was supposed to deliver when he was a postal carrier in nearby Duluth Minnesota. 48-year-old Giang Nguyen admitted taking Menards rebate checks and Big Game money cards from mail he was supposed to deliver between March of 2010 and January of last year. As a result, the residents on his route lost out on about 15-hundred-dollars they were supposed to get. A sentencing date for Nguyen has not been set.
A northwest Wisconsin couple charged in the death of their three-year-old daughter appeared today in Burnett County Circuit Court. 42-year-old Thomas Williams and 33-year-old Jenna Danish, both of Danbury, waived the state’s time limits for preliminary hearings. Both are free on signature bonds on felony charges of child neglect resulting in death. The couple turned themselves in last Sunday, after criminal charges and a warrant were issued last Friday. The couple is charged in the death of three-year-old Renna Williams. She was reportedly searching for a dog when she wandered away from the family’s home in mid-August. Authorities said her mother was sleeping at the time, and her father went in the house to get a drink. A neighbor reported seeing Jenna walking in a street, and hundreds of volunteers searched for the girl until she was found dead the next day in a shallow creek about 25 yards from her house.
Remember when dozens of school boards scrambled to renew teacher contracts just before the state’s bargaining limits took effect last June? Well, a national right-to-work group now says at least one of those contracts is invalid. The challenge popped up in the form of a complaint filed with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission by a former Greenwood school teacher in Clark County. Amy Anaya said the teachers’ union forced her to join the group, and $750 in dues were deducted from her check – both in violation of the state’s bargaining law which took effect June 29th of last year. The Greenwood School Board and its teachers’ union signed a contract extension on June 24th, five days before the law took effect. And District Administrator Jennifer Vogler says the contract supercedes the state bargaining law until the contract expires. But the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation – which is representing Anaya for free – says the Greenwood contract technically took effect July first, two days after the bargaining law went into place. Therefore, the group says the law applies in Greenwood’s case -- and the teacher contract does not. Anthony Riedel of the Right-to-Work foundation says the case may set a statewide precedent on how the law is enforced. Anaya now teaches in Manawa. And regardless of her complaint, schools might have to start to deducting union dues again. A federal judge ruled in March that a ban on those deductions was unconstitutional. The state is appealing that decision.