“News – April 16, 2011”

Clearview: On Time & On Budget


4/16/11 – Construction of the new Clearview Long Term Care and Rehabilitation Facility in Juneau is coming along. County Board Chairman Russ Kottke and Clearview Administrator Jane Hooper told us on WBEV’s Community Comment this week that the project is on-time and on-budget.  Clearview serves the county’s aging population as well as those with behavioral and mental health issues and also has one of only three brain injury rehabilitation centers in the state. The $44.5 million dollar structure is being built on the site of the current Clearview South building. The wings of the 236-bed facility are being built first and the residents in the south building will be transferred to the new portion beginning in mid-June.  When the new portion is complete, the remaining residents at Clearview North will be transferred. One of the advantages of the new facility will be community rooms, providing residents with comfortable setting to socialize and enjoy themselves outside their room. There has been no money budgeted for amenities like outdoor grills, garden plantings and holiday decorations. A fundraising paper shred will be held this morning outside Clearview beginning at 9am for a suggested donation of $5 a box. The public is invited to attend an open house at Clearview on June 5.


Election Results Official


4/16/11 – The official results in the race for the Supreme Court show Justice David Prosser winning re-election. The results, certified by each county over the last two weeks, show Prosser received 752,323 votes and challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg received 745,007 votes. That leaves a margin of 7,316 votes, which is below the threshold for candidates to request a recount without paying for one. Candidates have until next Wednesday to file a recount petition, or else the Government Accountability Board will be able to certify the statewide results. The Kloppenburg campaign says it will make an announcement on the candidate’s plans whether to appeal no later than the April 20th deadline.

GAB Will Investigate How Votes are Cast in Waukesha Co

4/16/11 – Wisconsin’s Democratic Party asked state election officials Thursday to expand its investigation into Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus. She’s under fire for not counting Brookfield’s votes in her Election Night tally for the State Supreme Court race last week. Now, Democratic Chairman Mike Tate wants to know if Nickolaus under-reported 17-thousand votes in the 2006 race for Wisconsin attorney general. The clerk’s Web site counted 174-thousand votes for the candidates – but it said only 156-thousand were cast. Tate said the discrepancy was enough to turn the election – meaning that Democrat Kathleen Falk would have won instead of Republican J-B Van Hollen. Tate said the discrepancy is a “serious concern” – and given the revelations of the past week, he asked state Government Accountability Board director Kevin Kennedy to expand his inquiry. A blogger noticed discrepancies this week for that race and others. And Nickolaus then posted clarifications on her Web site. She said the candidates’ vote totals do not equal the “ballots cast” totals, because the candidate results include hand-counted ballots which are not included in the “ballots cast” section.

Palin in Madison for Rally Today

4/16/11 – Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin will be the keynote speaker at today’s Tea Party rally, being organized by the Americans For Prosperity of Wisconsin. AFP state director Matt Seaholm says Palin is a favorite among many in the Tea Party and the conservative movement and they’re excited for her presence to help “rally the troops.” Seaholm says there were talks of her coming to the state earlier, during the rallies over the collective bargaining bill. However, the group only held one major rally during the several weeks of debate over the bill. The rally starts at noon on the Capitol Square in Madison.

Walker’s Budget Would Raise Taxes for Some, Lower Taxes Overall

4/16/11 – An analysis of Governor Scott Walker’s budget plan shows it would raise taxes for low and moderate income people by more than 49 million dollars over the next two years. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau report shows it does lower taxes over all. The negative impact would hit families qualified for the earned income tax credit and homeowners who receive a homestead tax credit. Under the Walker plan taxing would go down by almost 34 million dollars in Wisconsin. Fees would rise by 110 million, most of that in the form of tuition and fee increases at the campuses of the University of Wisconsin.


Man Arrested for OWI After Reporting Car Stolen


4/16/11 – A 23-year-old man was arrested last night for calling to report his truck being stolen after he crashed it while allegedly driving drunk.  It happened just after 12:30 a-m this morning in the Town of Hustisford.  The Sheriff’s Department received a report of an unoccupied truck hanging over the guardrail on East Tweedy Street near North Ann Street.  The owner of the truck called to report it stolen about the same time though he eventually admitted to being the one driving when it crashed.  The man was cited and is facing a number of possible charges.


Beiter Enters Into Plea Agreement

4/16/11 – The 34-year-old West Bend man who used a BB gun to rob a Fond du Lac Check Into Cash Store has entered a no contest plea to a felony charge of robbery by threat of force. Brent Beiter got just under $600 in the February 2nd robbery. He was arrested at the Pioneer Motel by Fond du Lac and North Fond du Lac police about 40 minutes after the robbery. His sentencing hearing is set for June 3rd. (KFIZ, Fond du Lac)


Portage Woman Sentenced in Baby’s Death


4/16/11 – A Portage woman has been sentenced to 10 months in jail, after her 16-month-old son died while taking a nap in a hot trailer last July. Sauk County Circuit Judge James Evenson gave 21-year-old Brandie Nelson work release privileges during her jail term. He also put her on 10 years of probation, and told her to stay sober, get counseling, and take parenting classes. Nelson left her 16-month-old son Tanner in a hot trailer at a park in Prairie du Sac. He wasn’t breathing when Nelson checked on him three hours later. She pleaded no contest in February to a felony charge of child neglect causing death.

Parker Faces Another Homicide Charge

4/16/11 – For a second time, a first-degree homicide charge is being filed against Melvin Parker. He’s was charged in the stabbing and strangulation death of Dorothy Paige for the first time in 1998. She was found dead in her Madison apartment in 1994. Charges were dismissed in the first case against Parker when a key witness became unavailable. Investigators say they have found the witness and have added several others. The charges come, at least in part, due to the formation of a cold case review team in the Madison Police Department. The Paige case was the first to be taken up by that team. Parker is already behind bars on theft and burglary convictions from more than a decade ago.

Group Working to Remove Gray Wolves from List

4/16/11 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to try to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species list once again. Threatened with extinction in the 1970s, the wolves are thriving in the western Great Lakes region now. Environmentalists have been supported by the courts several times. They say the predator’s status is still uncertain, even though an estimated 42 hundred live in the forests and fields of Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The agency’s newest proposal reportedly addresses concerns raised in the past by federal judges. A 60-day public comment period will precede a final decision on pursuing the removal.

Woman Gets Prison for Dumping Newborn in Trash Dumpster

4/16/11 – A woman who discarded her newborn baby into a trash dumpster has been sentenced to nine years in prison. Breanna Gering of Franklin pleaded guilty to reckless homicide. Prosecutors said the 24-year-old Gering gave birth in the restroom of a diner where she was working then dumped the baby outside. “There’s no doubt this baby was alive” said Racine County Assistant District Attorney Rich Chiapete, adding Gering denied being pregnant even when confronted by police with confirmation. Defense attorney Julius Kim claimed Gering panicked and did not think the child was alive after she was born. Kim also claimed the young woman felt “tremendous pressure” from a conservative family after she had the child from a boyfriend they did not know about, and already had a child out of wedlock.

Cold Case Solved

4/16/11 – The decades old murder of a child in Black River Falls has been solved. Jackson County District Attorney Gerald Fox says Christopher Thundercloud had been a suspect in the August 1989 death of 9 year-old Jennifer Wesho. Fox said Thundercloud, a family acquaintance, as the last person to be seen with Jennifer before her father discovered the little girl’s body. “He was interviewed during the early stages of the investigation,” said Fox. “Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, the investigation focused away from Mr. Thundercloud, and on to some other people.” John Cristopherson, a special agent with the state Department of Justice, said forensic reports from the state crime lab confirmed Thundercloud, who was 38 years-old at the time of the murder and who died in 2006, was the killer. Ralph Snake, Jennifer Wesho’s uncle and a spokesman for the family, said he hoped the confirmation of Thundercloud as the killer would allow the family to find closure and healing.

Boy Crushed Under Logs

4/16/11 – Authorities in Manitowoc County say a four year old boy has died after his mother found him under a pile of logs in rural Reedsville. Emergency workers were called to the scene Tuesday evening. His mother said she found him under the large logs and he wasn’t breathing. CPR was started and the boy was taken to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Cooper Beaupre was pronounced dead Wednesday evening.