5/14/10 – It took a Dodge County jury Thursday just over two hours to convict a Waupun man of First Degree Intentional Homicide for the murder of his wife. Larry Henry had initially pleaded “not guilty by reason of insanity” but last month changed that plea to guilty. With the plea change the district attorney needed to convince a jury that Henry was “mentally capable” of killing his wife. The jury concluded that Henry had the mental “capacity” at the time of the murder to “appreciate” that what he was doing was wrong. The 47-year-old struck his wife in the head with a metal pipe last July, and then placed plastic wrap over her face. 42-year-old Tammy Henry was found on a blood-soaked mattress in the couple’s living room. The jury this week heard the 9-1-1 call in which Henry confessed and also heard testimony from the arresting officer, to whom Henry also confessed that he had “taken his wife’s life.” Sentencing is set for 1pm this afternoon.
Horicon Vet Walk Becomes Karel Tribute
5/14/10 – The Horicon American Legion is hosting a Veterans Walk tomorrow (Sat) and Sunday. Post Commander Dan Seehafer says the event is meant to honor all veterans, their friends and their families, but he says it has also turned into a tribute to Vietnam veteran and Legion member Richard Karel, who was struck and killed by a semi-truck while walking in downtown Horicon this week. Karel was a member of the Legion’s Executive Committee and also played a big part in organizing the event, raising money and recruiting other to participate. Seehafer says the loss is difficult to bear, but it won’t stop the determination of his fellow veterans and friends from continuing the work he hand in starting. The Veterans Walk, being held in conjunction with Armed Forces Weekend, begins at the DNR offices on Palmatory Street and continues along a scenic path before concluding at the Horicon Marsh International Education Center, where there will be food, veteran’s exhibits and educational displays. Cost to enter is $25 for adults and $10 for kids and all participants receive an event t-shirt and Horicon Chamber coupon booklet. More information is available at www.horiconmarsh.org.
151 Reconstruction Details Being Finalized
5/14/10 – The Wisconsin Department of Transportation held a public information meeting Thursday night for the Highway 151 reconstruction project scheduled to begin in Beaver Dam next year. DOT Project Manager Jim Buschkopf says the project, scheduled to being next year, will replace pavement in the southbound lanes and reconstruct existing interchange ramps at County D and Highway 33. Eight bridges in the corridor will be fixed during the course of the two year project. Buschkopf says 151 will stay open throughout the entire project with the posted speed limit reduced to 55mph and traffic reduced to one lane. Property owners with driveways along project route will only be able to make right-hand turns in and out of their properties, an issue that did not sit well with farmers who have to with fields split by the four-lane. Buschkopf says that traffic control details have yet to be finalized and input is still being accepted. Written comments regarding the project can be mailed to Jim Buschkopf at 2101 Wright Street, Madison, 53704-2583 or call (608) 246-3851.
5/14/10 – Saturday is the last scheduled day on the job for Beaver Dam Police Chief Dale Boldt. When he started his career, Boldt tells us he never imaged that he would wind up as the departments top cop. He credits his success to the leadership in the department when he was a rookie, and the supervisors and officers that bring new ways of thinking to the force today. Boldt says he is grateful that the citizens of Beaver Dam allowed him to work for them for the past 30 years. He also says it is easier to leave knowing that plans are in place for a new, $5.1 million dollar, state-of-the-art police station. Had Boldt stayed on until July 12, he would have logged 31 years with the department.
Kohl’s Profits Up
5/14/10 – The Wisconsin-based Kohl’s Department Stores reports a 45-percent increase in its quarterly profits. But its forecast for the rest of the year is still below what outside analysts had expected. Kohl’s, based in Menomonee Falls, had a net income of 199-million dollars or 64-cents a share from January through March. That’s well above the profit of 137-million in the same quarter a year ago. Those stores open for at least a year had a seven-point-four percent increase in sales from the same time in 2009. Kohl’s C-E-O Kevin Mansell said all parts of its business had gains, with home furnishings and footwear showing the biggest increases. Kohl’s now expects a stock price of 3.57-to-3.75 a share for the year. That’s 12-to-17 cents higher than the company originally projected. But the top range is two-cents less than what analysts had projected.
Doyle Extends TIF Payback Window
5/14/10 – Governor Jim Doyle has signed a bill that gives financially-troubled tax incremental financing districts more time to pay off their borrowing. T-I-F’s are one of the biggest tools for communities to attract new and expanded businesses. The district borrows money for a business project – and the new property taxes from those projects are used to pay the debt off. State law gave T-I-F’s 27 years to pay everything off. But the recession put the squeeze on projects which had declining property values – so the Legislature and Governor Doyle agreed to extend the time limit to 40 years. And revenue from one successful T-I-F can be used to help pay for another T-I-F that’s in trouble. The downside is that the governments which would normally receive the property taxes – like schools and counties – have to wait longer for the T-I-F’s to expire before starting to get their shares of the taxes. Child Abuse Penalties Increased 5/14/10 – Wisconsin judges will stop giving lesser penalties to child-beaters than those who batter adults. Governor Jim Doyle has signed a bill into law that calls for up to 10 years in prison for those convicted of reckless bodily harm to a child. The bill was inspired by the case of Michael Stoner – a Spooner man who pummeled his fiancé’s two-year-old daughter in 2007 to the point in which she needs a feeding tube, and cannot see or walk. While investigating, Washburn County Sheriff Terry Dryden found that the maximum penalty for causing great bodily harm was two-and-a-half years less for child victims than for adults. State Attorney General J-B Van Hollen said a bill to change that emerged after a round-table he held with police and prosecutors. Stoner achieved notoriety after his car plunged in the Minneapolis bridge collapse. And he told reporters that he and his finance heroically swam to shore so they could see young Emma Manning in a nearby hospital. But Stoner left out the fact that he battered the girl at their home earlier that day – and she was flown to the hospital. Stoner got seven-and-a-half years in prison and five years of extended supervision. The new law requires child beaters to serve their full sentences, with no early release.
Gov Mulling Raw Milk Bill
5/14/10 – Governor Jim Doyle says he’ll decide next week whether he’ll sign a bill that would let Wisconsin farmers sell raw milk. Doyle told the Wisconsin Ag Connection farm news Web site that he’s still doing his homework on the issue. And with strong views being expressed on both sides, the governor said he’s giving it more thought before he signs it. At a bill-signing ceremony in Marathon County yesterday, Dairy Business Association president Jerry Meissner gave Doyle a letter explaining his group’s objections to allow raw milk sales. The group said consumers have a better chance of getting sick from salmonella and E-coli bacteria when having unpasteurized dairy products. Meissner told Doyle that Wisconsin’s dairy industry has come a long way because of the governor’s efforts and quote, “Don’t destroy your own legacy by signing this bill.” Other farm groups say Wisconsin’s reputation as America’s Dairyland could be ruined by an outbreak caused from raw milk. But supporters of the product cite numerous health benefits – and they say consumers should have the freedom to drink it