Overnight State News Briefs: Starr okay after collapsing during speechWisconsin News
-- NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr was said to be okay after collapsing at the end of a speech he was giving in Madison earlier today.
MADISON - NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr was said to be okay after collapsing at the end of a speech he was giving in Madison earlier today.
Witnesses say the 78-year old former Green Bay Packer spoke for about 45 minutes this morning, but near the end of his presentation, he paused for a few seconds, then collapsed on the stage. Medical personnel showed up at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center and evaluated him briefly. Starr left with his wife in a limousine headed for the Dane County Regional Airport. Starr’s speech was the keynote address for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority’s conference in Madison. Starr led the Packers to six divisional crowns, five NFL championships and two Super Bowls in the 1960s. He has served as a motivational speaker for dozens of gatherings around the country since then.
A Madison man is banned from a west-side store after allegedly arguing with store employees, then with police, after he was spotted trying to engage a 15-year old girl in conversation. Forty-eight year old Shariff Hamzah faces two tentative charges of disorderly conduct, plus another for carrying a concealed weapon, a knife. The incident happened last Friday night at a Walgreens store. The girl says Hamzah was checking her out, then asked her if they could talk. When she said no, he allegedly began yelling at her. Two store managers tried to get him to leave, to no avail, and he was aggressive with a responding Madison police officer. Walgreens asked that Hamzah be banned from the store in the 600 block of South Whitney Way.
The Wisconsin State Assembly’s new speaker made a move today to get minority Democrats more involved in the legislative process. Racine County Republican Robin Vos named colleagues from both parties to co-chair a pair of Assembly committees. Cuba City Republican Travis Tranel and Milwaukee Democrat Leon Young will be the co-leaders of the Assembly’s State-and-Federal Relations panel. And La Crosse Democrat Jill Billings will join Delafield Republican Chris Kapenga as the heads of the Ethics and Constitution Committee. Vos says this is the first time in 18 years that Assembly panels will have chairs from both parties. Democrats were relegated to the sidelines in the last session, as majority Republicans rammed through a host of controversial measures – including the photo ID law for voting, and the near-elimination of collective bargaining privileges for most of Wisconsin’s public employee unions.
A state Justice Department attorney told the Supreme Court today that Dale and Leilani Neumann caused the death of their daughter, while praying that she’d be cured. Assistant attorney general Maura Whelan asked the justices to preserve the 2009 convictions of the Wausau area couple, who prayed instead of getting medical care for their dying diabetic daughter. 11-year-old Kara Neumann died on Easter Sunday of 2008, after getting a form of diabetes that doctors said could have been treated. Her parents have asked that their second-degree homicide convictions be dropped, claiming that state law is not clear on when a disorder because serious enough to seek a doctor’s assistance. If the justices side with the Neumanns, it would be the first time the state’s highest court addressed the issue of faith-healing – and how far it can legally go. Whelan said praying parents cannot be charged with child abuse – but their religious immunity does not apply when a child dies.
Wisconsin State Assembly Republicans are considering an increase in their expense reimbursements for their food-and-lodging when they work in Madison. Majority Leader Scott Suder of Abbotsford says it’s a logical thing to do, because hotel prices have gone up. The Assembly’s incoming speaker, Racine County Republican Robin Vos, says he’s open to raising the per-diem reimbursements, since they have not gone up in about a decade. But Vos said the Assembly would have to cut other spending elsewhere, so taxpayers are not shelling out extra. Right now, lawmakers in both houses get 88-dollars a day to cover their meals and hotels when in Madison. Dane County lawmakers get half that much, because they live in-or-near the Capital City. Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha says he could accept a per-diem hike, but it’s the farthest thing from his mind. Senate and Assembly leaders can set their own per-diem rates – and GOP Senate leaders say they won’t raise theirs. Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) says it’s not the right time for it. And new Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says he’s against it, too.
Democrats and some of their top supporters will hold a news conference in Milwaukee tomorrow to urge Republicans not to take away same-day voter registration at the polls. Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee Election Commission chief Neil Albrecht, state Assembly Democrat Jon Richards will be among those appearing at a Milwaukee Baptist church. Labor, religious, and advocacy group leaders will join the officials. And they’re hoping that other local government clerks and election officials will fight to keep same-day registration. Republican Governor Scott Walker recently said he would favor dropping the 36-year-old policy, saying it puts too much of a burden on poll workers who are mostly retired. Other GOP leaders say it encourages voter fraud – and some Republicans have said over the years that same-day registration helps Democrats. After his initial remarks raised criticisms, Walker said he would not make repealing same-day registration a top priority – and he said people were making too much of what he said at first. If Wisconsin scraps same-day registration, it would have to pay to create a motor-voter system that allows registrations where people sign up for driver’s licenses and public benefits.