Saturday State News Briefs: Madison officer under further investigationWisconsin News
-- He’s been cleared of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man last November. Now, Madison police are investigating three separate allegations against 30-year old officer Stephen Heimsness.
MADISON - He’s been cleared of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man last November. Now, Madison police are investigating three separate allegations against 30-year old officer Stephen Heimsness.
All three of those alleged incidents preceded the officer-involved shooting which left 30 year old Paul Heenan dead. Madison Police Chief Noble Wray says the complaints involved use of excessive force, but he refused to be specific yesterday. He said he found the preliminary information he received to be troubling. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice is now conducting its own investigation into Heenan’s death.
The Wisconsin-based group Freedom From Religion is suing a florist in Rhode Island Supreme Court. Marina Plowman refused to deliver a dozen roses to a 16 year old girl who fought to have a prayer banner removed at her public school. Freedom From Religion wants flowers and an apology, alleging discrimination. It argues the florist broke Rhode Island state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion. The lawsuit says Plowman responded to the flower order with a note, saying she wouldn’t deliver to the teenager. The Madison group wanted to send the flowers to Jessica Ahlquist for standing up against the prayer banner.
A negotiated settlement between the City of Milwaukee and a former health department worker still has to be approved by the common council. John Tranetzki won an age discrimination claim. His network administrator position was eliminated in 2009. He argued that was a case of discrimination because he was 65 years old. An administrative law judge agreed last year, ruling the city had eliminated the position in order to get rid of Tranetzki. The agreement would cost the city about 220 thousand dollars. Tranetzki was earning $77,000 a year when his job was cut and his duties transferred to a younger person he used to supervise.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says he is still undecided about whether to accept $12 billion dollars from Washington, D.C., the money to be spread over the next 10 years. The federal funding would be aimed at expanding BadgerCare. Several groups and Democrats are urging the governor to take the money. Assembly member Mandy Wright told a crowd in Wausau last Thursday it could bring thousands of jobs to the state. Walker says it’s possible the money might not be there when Wisconsin needs it because it hasn’t been fully appropriated by the Congress yet. Walker says he’s worried this state’s taxpayers would eventually have to foot the bill.
A Door County judge grants a defense motion, meaning a jury will be selected outside the county to hear the murder trial for Brian Cooper. The Plainfield, Illinois, man is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of his friend and her baby. Prosecutors say Cooper strangled 21 year old Alisha Bromfield at a Door County resort last summer. He faces two homicide charges because the woman’s fetus also died. Cooper has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness. He and Bromfield were on the peninsula to attend a wedding. Cooper’s attorney had argued in court extensive media coverage meant his client couldn’t get a fair trial in that county.