News 05/12/2010

Henry Trial Enters Day Three

5/12/10 – The trial of accused murdered Larry Randall Henry is entering day three. The 47-year-old allegedly bludgeoned his wife to death with a metal pipe last July. After both sides presented their opening statements yesterday, the jury heard testimony from a 9-1-1 dispatcher and the arresting officer. In February, Judge Andrew Bissonnette denied a motion from Henry’s lawyer to throw out alleged confessions that he killed his wife Tammy. Officer Brian O’Donovan said Henry walked into the Waupun Police Station and told officers that he had (quote) “taken his wife’s life.” The jury yesterday also heard the audio recording of the 9-1-1 call made shortly after the murder. Also testifying yesterday: Dodge County Medical Examiner P.J. Schoebel and psychologist Dr. Kent Berney. The trial is scheduled to last through Friday and resumes this morning at the Dodge County courthouse in Juneau.

Carols Tours Investigation Ongoing

5/12/10 – The investigation into fraud complaints surrounding the closure of a defunct Beaver Dam travel agency remains an active case. Carol’s Tours closed its doors in January of 2008. In the months that followed, over 100 fraud complaints were reported from customers who deposited money for trips they claim were never fulfilled. Beaver Dam Police Detective Ryan Klavekoske updated us on WBEV’s Community Comment last Friday as part of an overview of major cases handled by the department over the past year. Klavekoske says the state Attorney Generals office is assisting because of the scope of the investigation. Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen joined us on Community Comment Monday. While he wouldn’t comment on specifics, he did tell us that the Department of Criminal Investigations is designed to handle just this type of complex, multi-jurisdictional case. Klavekoske says it understandable that victims may be frustrated with a lengthy investigation but he says cases of this magnitude require tremendous use of resources to attain a successful resolution. The Attorney General named Assistant AG Barbara Oswald last year as special prosecutor.

Clean Sweep Returning To Dodge County

5/12/10 – Dodge County will once again be able to host a Clean Sweep Program this year. Kathy Hetzel with sponsoring agency UW Extension says nearly all household, business and agricultural chemicals will be accepted. Hetzel says people will also be able to sweep their medicine cabinets clean of unused or expired prescription drugs. Items not accepted include: explosives, human medical and biological wastes, latex paints, compressed gas cylinders, used motor oils, fertilizer, tires, asbestos or anti-freeze. Hetzel says the Clean Sweep will be held in the Elba, Hustisford and Lomira Town Halls on Friday, September 17 and at the Dodge County Highway Shop in Beaver Dam on Saturday, September 18.

DOT Holding 151 Meeting Thursday

5/12/10 – The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is holding a public information meeting Thursday in Beaver Dam to review a Highway 151 reconstruction project planned to begin next year. DOT officials say the project will replace deteriorated pavement in the southbound lanes and reconstruct existing interchange ramps at County D and Highway 33. Once completed, the exit at County D will become a full diamond interchange. Eight bridges in the corridor will also be replaced or rehabilitated during the course of the two year project. Maps showing proposed improvement alternatives will be on display. DOT officials and MSA representatives will also be on hand to discuss details one-on-one. Tomorrow’s open house is the third and final anticipated public informational meeting. It will be held from 5:30 to 7pm in Beaver Dam City Hall Council Chambers at 205 South Lincoln Avenue. There will be a brief presentation at 6pm.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, or would like more information, contact Jim Buschkopf at (608) 246-3851. Written comments regarding the project can be mailed to Jim Buschkopf at 2101 Wright Street, Madison, 53704-2583. Citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing and require an

interpreter may request one by contacting Jim Buschkopf at least five working days prior to the meeting via the Wisconsin Telecommunications Relay System (dial 711).

Huber Inmate At Large Following Test Driv e

5/12/10 – Authorities are looking for a walk away from the Manitowoc County Jail who stole a car from a dealership in Fond du Lac last weekend. Police Captain Steve Klein says 39-year-old Michael Knier went into Service Motors Ford Friday and inquired about a pickup truck. He was allowed to take a 2006 Ford F-150 super cab home for the nightly supposedly to show to the wife and kids. However the Kiel man never returned the pickup truck and police found out he hadn’t reported back to the Manitowoc County Jail when he was supposed to Thursday night for his work release program. The pickup is dark blue in color and has a license plate of MV24BZ. In March Knier was sentenced to 10 months in jail and a number of years of probation on burglary, forgery, and failure to pay child support charges.

Home Sales Up In Q1

5/12/10 – Sales of existing homes in Wisconsin rose almost 17-percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same time a year ago. The Wisconsin Realtors Association said the increase was higher than the national figure of 11-point-four percent. And it was the second straight quarter of double-digit sales increases. The median sale price of a home in Wisconsin was 135-thousand dollars – up one-tenth-of-one-percent from the first quarter the year before. Realtors’ board chairman John Flor said the federal tax credits helped stimulate the market – but low interest rates and rising employment helped as well. The president of the Realtors Association, William Malkasian, said job growth and higher consumer confidence are needed to keep the momentum going, after the tax credits expired at the end of April.

Doyle Signs Bio-Mass Bill

5/12/10 – Wisconsin will give tax breaks to companies that create bio-mass – things like wood chips and forestry waste that can be turned into electricity. Governor Jim Doyle has signed a bill that would give up to 100-thousand dollars in tax credits to firms that invest in harvesting equipment for bio-mass. Assembly Democrat Fred Clark of Baraboo sponsored the measure. He says it will help a forest products industry that’s been hurting from the recession and a falling housing market that’s now on the rebound. Clark says he hopes the new tax breaks will create jobs, while encouraging alternatives to fossil fuels.

Medical Records Go Statewide

5/12/10 – Governor Jim Doyle signed a bill Tuesday that creates a statewide network in which doctors can exchange patients’ medical records. It was one of 10 bills the governor signed in La Crosse. Wisconsin is getting nine-point-four million federal stimulus dollars to create the network. He says that if people from La Crosse get sick in Milwaukee, they should be able to transfer their medical records electronically. Otherwise, Doyle says physicians will have to do these that have probably been done before – thus duplicating costs and creating the possibility of medical errors. The governor says the system will also protect patients’ privacy – and he calls it a critical part of reforming health care.

Alliant Adds Pollution Controls At Sheboygan

5/12/10 – The state Public Service Commission agreed Wednesday to let Alliant Energy add 154-million dollars in pollution controls to its coal-fired power plant in Sheboygan. Alliant co-owns the Edgewater plant with We Energies of Milwaukee – but Alliant is in the process of buying out its partner and becoming the sole owner. The P-S-C said the project is needed to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution. The state D-N-R plans to order reductions in nitrogen oxide levels by 2013. The state panel decided not to require Alliant to install equipment to reduce other forms of pollution –

but they said it’s coming. And the P-S-C refused to make Alliant shut down a 59-year-old coal boiler. Commissioner Lauren Azar said the issue would be addressed as part of a future order to retire old coal plants around Wisconsin, due to the state’s current surplus of electric supplies.

Wisconsin Gets $4 Million in Drug Settlement

5/12/10 – Wisconsin will get over four-million-dollars as part of a settlement in a national lawsuit against the drug maker Astra-Zeneca. The company was accused of promoting the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel for uses that were not approved by the federal government. Among other things, Astra-Zeneca said the medicine could treat insomnia and other psychiatric problems. The federal government and the states reached a 520-million-dollar settlement deal last month. Wisconsin’s Medicaid program will get almost 10-million-dollars in all. The state and federal governments will share that money, since Medicaid is run by both. State Attorney General J-B Van Hollen says Wisconsin’s share is about four-point-four million dollars. Astra-Zeneca denied wrongdoing, but said it was important to resolve the lawsuits