State News Roundup: Appeal denied against a prisoner who threatened to kill judges in Sheboygan CountyWisconsin News
-- An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a state prisoner who threatened to kill two judges in Sheboygan County.
An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a state prisoner who threatened to kill two judges in Sheboygan County. Martonez Wallace was found guilty in 2010 on two counts of threatening a judge, after he arranged to have a fellow inmate at Waupun send threats to Circuit Judges Gary Langhaff and Timothy Van Akkeren. Wallace said the other inmate did not have a believable story. He said Jessie Williams told police he picked the judges’ names at random because he was frustrated with the judicial system – but Williams later changed his story to say that Wallace offered to pay him for making the threats. The Second District Appellate Court in Waukesha said it’s up to a jury to decide the credibility of a witness – and in this case, the jurors did their job.
The state government’s largest employee union has seized up to 45-thousand-dollars held by five of its former local chapters that broke off to start their own union. And it appears that the locals will wage a civil court battle to try-and-get the money back. The locals called police after the Wisconsin State Employees Union withdrew the funds. But Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg said it appeared that no criminal laws were broken – and he called it a union matter that’s best settled in civil court. Five chapters which represent state correctional officers recently decided to pull out of the State Employees Union and start their own group. They said they were upset with the way their parent union responded to the state law which eliminated most collective bargaining, and the Walker recall election that followed. Both the state union and the locals say they have a claim to the groups’ money. The state union withdrew the money from accounts it had access to – and it took other funds from a bank deposit box. Craig Hull, one of the local presidents for the new prison union, said he learned about the withdrawals when he tried to open a new bank account last week. State Employees’ Union chief Marty Beil said the money is now in five separate trust accounts, to make sure the funds are not misused. But the locals say Beil is just trying to set up a situation in which the locals would have to crawl back to his group someday. And they two previous appeals court decisions back up their contention that the disputed union funds belong to them.
About 15-thousand Waukesha County residents were told by mistake that they have library materials overdue – and officials blame a computer snafu. It happened late Tuesday night, when staff members from the county’s Federated Library System were testing a new library catalog system. It includes e-mail notifications when borrowers are late in returning books and other items. Director Tom Hennen said the process was supposed to get an internal test run – and the 15-thousand e-mails were not meant to be sent out but they were. Those who had materials out as of August eighth received the notices. Hennen says those people are now being notified that the overdue notices were all a mistake. He urged people to double-check their library accounts to make sure everything’s accurate. By the way, Hennen said he received one of those false notices himself.
A Wisconsin printing company says it will buy a printer from Baltimore that sought federal bankruptcy protection. Quad-Graphics of Sussex will spend 258-million dollars to obtain Vertis Holdings Incorporated. Quad, the state’s largest commercial printer, said the acquisition will improve its market position for direct marketing, newspaper ad inserts, and in-store marketing items. Vertis eliminated 700-million-dollars in debt when it filed for bankruptcy in 2010 – and it filed a new bankruptcy petition to help facilitate its sale to Quad-Graphics. Vertis plans to continue its present business operations for now, and Quad will announce its plans for the company early next year after the purchase is finalized. Quad says it will use cash and existing credit to buy Vertis, which expects to have 60-million dollars in earnings and over a billion dollars in revenues at the end of its current fiscal year.
A Milwaukee Catholic high school and a suburban public school no longer have a cross and a greyhound on the helmets for their combined football team. A parent and a few students in the Shorewood School District complained about the cross-and-dog logo which went on the helmets this year. So the School Board had the design pulled, and a benign football is now on the helmets which reads, “2012 playoffs.” The Shorewood-and-Milwaukee Messmer team will play its first post-season game later this month after going 6-and-1 so far. Brother Bob Smith of Messmer said he’d like some image of his school’s Catholic heritage on the football helmets – and but he can see why it’s not possible due to church-and-state issues. Students of both schools will have a chance to design a new logo for next season.