February 2, 2013

Parishioner Admits Taking $200K from Church


2/2/13 – A parishioner at Zion Lutheran Church in Ashippun has admitted to taking nearly $200,000 from an endowment fund.  That’s according to a statement issued by the church yesterday. They say that Jim Schlieve wrote a letter to the congregation saying that he acknowledged taking the money from the endowment fund he oversaw to pay personal bills. In the letter he also indicated he was working to repay the money from his 401K. The case is under investigation by the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department. Schlieve says he acted alone and that his wife, who works as the Town of Ashippun clerk, had no involvement with his actions. The church has its annual business meeting on February 10th where they plan to discuss the issue further.


Wall Says Employees Can Be Fired for Spreading Lies


2/2/13 – The new head of Wisconsin’s prison system has told his employees they can be fired if they spread, quote, “false or malicious information” about the Corrections Department. The Associated Press said Ed Wall put out the warning in an e-mail on Monday, the day before the Senate confirmed him as the new corrections’ secretary. An employee sent the e-mail to the A-P, and the news service said the agency verified it. Then yesterday, Wall e-mailed employees to say he wanted to treat the corrections department more like a family and quote, “less like a bureaucratic coffee grinder.” In the first e-mail, Wall wrote that he was disturbed by baseless rumors that his department might be opening a new prison – or getting a private company to run the prisons. He called them false rumors, and said those involved in spreading them should “stop immediately.” Wall said there’s no choice but to fire those responsible, quote, “when the false information causes panic and degrades morale like these things do.” Governor Scott Walker’s office responded to the e-mails by saying there are no plans to privatize the prisons. His Thursday e-mail was in response to a state Assembly hearing Wednesday, when union chief Marty Beil said seven guards were assaulted since Christmas Eve – including one who was stabbed in the cheek in Waupun –and it made workers feel unsafe. Wall told his employees that Beil exaggerated the extent of injuries in two of the cases – but he tried to reassure his staff that he was taking the assaults seriously.


AmeriGas Burglar Will Face Trial


2/2/13 – One of two men accused of breaking into AmeriGas in Beaver Dam twice in the last year will proceed to trial. 27-year-old Joshua Travers of Baraboo yesterday waived his right to a preliminary hearing and will be arraigned later this month. A judge will decide next week if there is enough evidence to order a trial against his alleged co-conspirator, 20-year-old Anthony Kavcich of Madison. An alarm was tripped at the business on Highway 151 just after 1:30am on January 18. When a Beaver Dam police officer got to the scene he arrested Kavcich and waited until backup arrived to search for the second suspect. Travers was reportedly found hiding in a ditch. The two are also charged with a break-in at AmeriGas in March of 2012. A window was broken to gain access in that incident and around $650 in cash was stolen. Authorities believe the two are responsible for break-ins at AmeriGas locations across the state dating back to last fall.


Woman Pleads Guilty to Bringing Marijuana Into WCI


2/2/13 – A Milwaukee woman pled yesterday to charges that she smuggled marijuana into the Waupun Correctional Institution. Natalie Allen plead “guilty” to a felony count of Delivering Illegal Articles to an Inmate and had a felony count of Possession with Intent To Deliver dismissed but read into the record. Authorities say the 39-year-old was acting suspiciously in the vending area during a visit with an inmate last September. Four knotted yellow balloons were later found in a candy wrapper. The balloons each contained less than three grams of marijuana. The charge carries a maximum of three-and-a-half years in prison when she is sentenced in April.


Governor’s Legal Defense Fund Running Out


2/2/13 – Governor Scott Walker’s legal defense fund only has about five-thousand dollars left. And there’s talk that he might be shutting it down, as a John Doe investigation into his former Milwaukee County aides appears to be grinding to a halt. According to new campaign records, the Republican Walker put 40-thousand dollars of campaign donations into his defense fund late last year, which made the total around 200-thousand dollars. Nicole Tieman of the Walker campaign tells the Journal Sentinel that the latest transfer pays for work that was done to cooperate with authorities over the last year. Most of the 200-thousand was given to defense attorneys who represented Walker in the investigation that resulted in six criminal convictions. Three former aides in Walker’s former Milwaukee County executive office were convicted. That includes Kelly Rindfleisch of Columbus who was illegally doing campaign work on taxpayers’ time.


Tickets Go Quickly for Driver’s Ceremony


2/2/13 – It took about a half-hour for the Green Bay Packers to give away a-thousand tickets for Donald Driver’s retirement ceremony on Wednesday at Lambeau Field. Fans showed up at the stadium in the middle of the night in sub-zero cold, waiting for the ticket windows to open at nine a-m yesterday. Some reports said people drove up as early as 10pm Thursday evening. About two dozen people were in line by 5:30am, and a lot more came after that, despite wind chills in the minus-20’s. That did not go unnoticed by the Packers’ all-time leading receiver. Driver tweeted quote, “To all the great fans out there standing in the cold to celebrate this moment with me and my family, love you all. This is for you!” Wednesday’s ceremony begins at 11 in the Lambeau atrium. Driver, who turns 38 tomorrow, announced his retirement yesterday after 14 years with the only N-F-L team he has ever played for.


FRF Sues Florist For Not Delivering Flowers


2/2/13 – The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation 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.


Madison Police Investigating Officer for Alleged Wrongdoing


2/2/13 – 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.