News 5/9/2010

New PFC Member to be Sworn In

5/9/10 – The Columbus Police and Fire Commission will see their newest member sworn in at Monday’s meeting. Joseph Sampson of the Dane County Sheriff’s Department will be sworn in replacing 13 year PFC veteran Ed Schellin. City Mayor Bob Link presented a plaque to outgoing PFC President Schellin at this week’s Council meeting. The annual May meeting elections for the 2010 -2011 president, vice president and secretary are also on the agenda.

Investigation into FDL Firefighters to be held this Week

5/9/10 – Two Fond du Lac firefighter/paramedics are on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation into their off-duty activities leading up to a car crash last month that cost the driver, an off-duty Fond du Lac police officer his job. Michael Domke resigned and so to did police officer Dennis Sable who was helping County Sheriff’s officials look for Domke’s car after Domke fled the scene. Firefighters Michael Spencer and Benjamin Stephany were with Domke and told Sheriff’s investigators they’d had a lot to drink. Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says they will sit down this week and speak separately with Spencer and Stephany about their activities during the incident. (KFIZ)

MU to Hold Listening Session after Protests

5/9/10 – Leaders at Marquette University promise they will hold listening sessions with students and faculty Tuesday to discuss the decision not to hire professor Jodi O’Brien at the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The job had been offered to the educator from Seattle, but the offer was rescinded. School officials say a study of writings by O’Brien included strongly negative statements about marriage and family. O’Brien is a lesbian and has also written about sociological studies of gay and lesbian sex. When word got out that the offer had been taken back, there were protests on the Milwaukee campus. The College of Arts and Sciences at Seattle University says O’Brien still has her position with that school. The Marquette listening session will be held Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Alumni Memorial Union.

Attack Ads Begin in Governors Race

5/9/10 – The first attack ad in the governor’s race paid for by an outside group is on the air, attempting to link the Republican candidates with former President George W. Bush. The liberal Greater Wisconsin Committee says that it started airing the ad in select markets last week. The ad shows a picture of Bush along with pictures of the two Republican candidates. A female narrator says that Scott Walker and fellow GOP candidate Mark Neumann plan tax breaks for the wealthy and corporate tax loopholes. Both candidates have said they want to repeal the recently enacted combined reporting tax on businesses and other taxes passed by the Legislature, including an income tax hike on those earning over $300,000 annually.

Johnson Could Add His Name to Senate Race

5/9/10 – Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson has sent a strong signal that he’s about to enter the U.S. Senate race by hiring a longtime GOP strategist. Darrin Schmitz said late last week he’ll be a consultant to Johnson’s campaign. The campaign manager will be Juston Johnson, a former political director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. He’s not related to Ron Johnson. Johnson’s name has been mentioned as a possible GOP candidate after he gave a number of well-received speeches at tea party events. Three Republican candidates are already in the race to challenge the incumbent Democrat, Russ Feingold. They are former Wisconsin Commerce Secretary Dick Leinenkugel, Madison developer Terrence Wall and Watertown businessman Dave Westlake.

Report: “Man-cession” Hurting Women Too

5/9/10 – Timed to coincide with Mothers Day, a congressional committee releases a report on the impact the recession has had on working women. It’s been called a “man-cession,” because many of the jobs lost were in male-dominated sectors of the economy like construction and manufacturing. That apparently only tells a small part of the story. The Joint Economic Committee report finds — though those losing the jobs were overwhelming men, the current modest growth in jobs isn’t benefiting women much at all. From October 2009 to March of this year, women lost 22 thousand jobs, while men gained more than a quarter-million. April was a good month for job growth, but men added 204 thousand jobs while women gained fewer than half that.

IL Moving Forward with High Speed Rail Line

5/9/10 – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says work has already start on a high-speed rail route linking Chicago with the Quad Cities. Quinn says Illinois is committed to moving ahead with plans for high-speed connections to cities all over the Midwest. He says there are plans in place for routes to Milwaukee and Madison, too. Quinn was speaking yesterday at a National Train Day event in Chicago. He says the budget crisis facing Illinois won’t affect the rail plans because the state has adequate revenues in its capital fund accounts — and those are separate from the general revenue fund.

WI Specialty Cheese is Special

5/9/10 – Specialty cheese is special in Wisconsin. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports the state produced 477 million pounds of specialty cheese last year, up 40 million pounds from the year before. That equals 18 percent of all the cheese produced in Wisconsin. Topping the list is feta cheese. Hispanic cheeses, Parmesan wheel and specialty provolone cheeses made up a big portion of the production. The USDA reports 92 of the state’s 126 cheese plants produced at least one specialty cheese.

Man Arrested Incident with Pregnant Girlfriend

5/9/10 – Two Rivers police report they have arrested a man for hitting his pregnant girlfriend, taking her money and threatening her with a knife. The victim thought she needed to go to the hospital to deliver her baby last week. When she told Michael Vinson, the 46 year old allegedly refused to take her, demanded money for beer and started to beat her when all she gave him was 50 dollars. Vinson is being held in the Manitowoc County Jail. The woman tried to call 9-1-1, but he took the phone from her and hung it up. When police responded, they interrupted the assault.

No Charges Coming Against Milwaukee Officers

5/9/10 – Prosecutors have declined to charge six Milwaukee police officers over their conduct during a July traffic stop, but they may still wind up in court. A Milwaukee woman and her 12 year old son are suing. They say the boy was unlawfully beaten by the officers during the stop, apparently over a toy gun. WhonPhrakousonh was riding with his father July 21 of last year when they were stopped. The suit alleges the boy was pulled from the car, beaten and stomped, resulting in visible injuries to his face and head. They say the officers used racial slurs and death threats. One officer may have seen the boy’s friend holding what appeared to be a gun, but was actually a toy that shoots plastic BBs.

Man Attacked Himself

5/9/10 – An Appleton man is charged with filing a false police report – a crime that may have included him stabbing himself. The 33 year old told officers he had been robbed and stabbed last month. He said another man ordered him to hand over his wallet, then stabbed him in the stomach outside a bar in Calumet. An investigation revealed he had stabbed himself and tossed his wallet in some bushes.