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A state commissioner was justified in denying parole to a man who shot his wife to death 22 years ago, ruled Pierce County Judge Robert Wing last week. In May 1987, Wing sentenced Richard John Kusch, now 65, to life in prison. A jury had found Kusch guilty of first-degree murder for shooting his wife in front of their son and an employee of Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Abuse. In a single-page ruling filed Feb.
After reviewing policy language and a timeline, a judge found a Pierce County house destroyed by fire after being hit by a pickup was not insured. St. Croix County Judge Scott Needham ruled Randall and Sue Hendrickson's house insurance had legitimately been canceled nearly two months before the home was hit by a GMC Sierra driven by Lisa Villigan, 39. The accident occurred Feb. 17, 2007. The vehicle Villigan was driving struck the Hendricksons' house and hit a gas meter, triggering a natural gas explosion. Villigan died in the incident.
A former pediatric trauma nurse, a state deputy superintendent, a Principal of the Year and two professors are the candidates in next week's primary election for Wisconsin superintendent of public instruction. The statewide vote set for Tuesday, Feb. 17, will trim the number of candidates from five to two. Those two will proceed to the April 7 general election during which one will be elected to a four-year term to replace Elizabeth Burmaster, who has headed the Department of Public Instruction since 2001. These are the candidates: * Rose Fernandez, Mukwonago.
Board of Review members' remarks about the current value of property led a Pierce County judge to agree that the town assessment on a woman's house may be too high. In a decision filed Jan. 28, Judge Robert Wing reversed a property assessment decision made by the Town of Clifton Board of Review and sent the matter back to the board to consider further evidence regarding the fair market value of a house. Rita Zawislak-Brandt, W13105 635th Ave., Prescott, filed this case challenging the 2008 assessment of her house.
He wore a tie and white shirt Tuesday night, but Pierce County Board members joked that that won't be his usual attire as they elected the county's new highway commissioner. Chad A.
In a decision filed Tuesday, the District III Court of Appeals affirmed a Pierce County jury's decision finding Michael Anthony Knudson guilty of stealing a pickup from an Ellsworth dealership. In August 2007, the jury convicted Knudson, 25, of stealing a vehicle Sept. 10, 2005. He was found not guilty on a separate charge of burglary. In September 2007, Judge Robert Wing sentenced Knudson to three years in prison, to run concurrent with a Minnesota sentence, and to a subsequent three years on extended supervision.
Sentencing repeat drunk drivers is a challenge, say local judges, partly because they can't be sure which penalty will work and partly because they'd like to use some alternatives sooner. "For the most part, you're making a lot of these decisions, and there's no way of knowing if you're making the right one," said Robert Wing, who has been Pierce County judge for 24 years. Wing knows the anguish of sentencing a drunk driver responsible for taking a life. With the family of the victim on one side of the courtroom and family and friends of the offender on the other, the atmosphere is emotiona
Although not all county negotiators are happy with the results, Pierce County supervisors approved three-year union contracts trading pay raises for employees paying a larger share of health premiums. Negotiations began in September 2007, and while both sides have agreed on the terms, final signatures still aren't on two of the contracts, said county Personnel Specialist Sandy Langer last week. The new contracts for 2008, 2009 and 2010 for the six union groups give two raises a year to 221 employees. The raises are two percent each Jan.
If the federal government distributes economic stimulus money for public projects, County Board Chairman Paul Barkla wants Pierce to get a piece of the action. Last week, the Wisconsin Counties Association forwarded a request from Gov.
Pierce County's Finance and Personnel Committee has made a salary offer to a man members hope will be the county's next highway commissioner. Monday night the committee endorsed a hiring board recommendation to offer the job to Chad A. Johnson, 35, Eau Claire, with an annual salary of $68,182. Johnson, who is currently a project manager for Hoffman Construction Company, Black River Falls, has accepted the offer, said Personnel Specialist Sandy Langer Tuesday morning. She said the hiring board interviewed six applicants. The last step in the hiring process will come at the Tuesday, Jan.