“News-April 3, 2011”

Three Injured In Town of Lomira Wreck


4/3/11 – Three people were injured in an accident involving two vehicles early Saturday morning in the Town of Lomira. According to the Dodge County Sheriffs Department, the wreck occurred just before 6am on US 41 just south of State Highway 49. 20-year-old Tony P. Godbolt was traveling southbound on US 41 when his vehicle entered the median shoulder and rolled over. His passenger, 20-year-old Melissa Y. Martinez of Cudahy, was ejected. A second vehicle, driven by 22-year-old Megan M. Schlafer of Fond du Lac was also traveling southbound on US 41 and struck the Godbolt vehicle in the roadway after it had come to rest. Alcohol, speed and lack of seatbelt usage appear to be factors in the crash, which remains under investigation by the Dodge County Crash Investigation Team.


Current Budget Deficit Erased Without Restrictions


4/3/11 – The public union bargaining restrictions would not have to take effect in order to balance the current state budget. That’s what the Legislative Fiscal Bureau said today, after it analyzed the new budget repair bill that Republican Governor Scott Walker proposed this week. The union law was supposed to save 30-million-dollars with higher payments by state employees for their health insurance and pensions. But the Fiscal Bureau said Walker proposed enough other measures to wipe out a projected 137-million-dollar shortfall in the budget that expires June 30th. The bill Walker proposed this week would re-finance state debt, and use federal money instead of state money to provide the earned income tax credit to low-income workers. The extra state dollars would then be used to cover a cost over-run for the prisons, and increase Medicaid funding so benefits don’t have to be cut. Democratic leaders have vigorously fought the union restrictions, but they favor the other measures in the budget repair bill. And those proposals will be taken up by lawmakers on Tuesday.


Fitzgerald on Illinois Exodus


4/3/11 – Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says no one knew exactly what to do, legally, when 14 senators left the state and wouldn’t return.  The action by those Democrats came as controversy swirled over the governor’s plan to take away public workers’ collective bargaining rights.  The Republican from Juneau tells the Wisconsin State Journal he couldn’t find any law enforcement agency willing to forcibly detain those legislators.  Calling the situation “a mess,” Fitzgerald says it would have been a public relations disaster to bring any of those lawmakers back in a police car.  He issued an order a month ago today to forcibly detain the senators, but he says no one was willing to enforce it.


Jackson Visiting Milwaukee Churches Today


4/3/11 – Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson is scheduled to visit several Milwaukee churches today to urge members to vote early.  He led a march through downtown Milwaukee yesterday urging the same thing for people planning to participate in Tuesday’s election.  Saturday’s marchers were also protesting the state’s controversial law stripping some public workers of most of their collective bargaining rights.  That law is caught up in the courts right now.  Tomorrow is the 43rd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee.


Corrections Officer Sentenced To Community Service


4/3/11 – A Waupun man, who assaulted an inmate while working at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, was ordered this week to serve 80 hours of community service. Driftten Kitzman had previously entered an Alford Plea and was found guilty of misdemeanor Battery and had two felony charges dismissed. As part of an Alford Plea, a defendant admits there is sufficient evidence to be found guilty but does not admit to the act.  According to the criminal complaint, another guard punched the inmate in the mouth and Kitzman intervened as the two struggled. Kitzman threw the inmate on the ground face first, kneeled on his head and punched him in the ribs while saying, “Stop resisting.” The 42-year-old correctional officer told investigators he was using tactics intended to gain compliance.


Kratz Documents Released


4/3/11 – The Wisconsin Department of Justice releases documents shedding new light on the investigation into former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz.  It was determined Kratz repeatedly performed sexually suggestive behavior at the office, but the conduct wasn’t illegal.  Last Monday, the state revealed it doesn’t plan to charge him with sexual assault or misconduct in office.  The decision was made after claims from more than two dozen women were checked out.


Kennedy Holds Listening Session


4/3/11 – Beaver Dam Mayor Tom Kennedy has listening sessions scheduled for Tuesday. Kennedy says city residents are invited to meet with him, one-on-one, without appointment on the first and third Tuesday of every month.  He says it is important that constituents have the opportunity to speak with him the day after each regular meeting of the common council. The meetings are held in Room 109 on the first floor of City Hall from 10am until noon and again from 5pm to 6pm.  Kennedy also makes himself available for private meetings by appointment by contacting the mayor office.


New Busses Hit The Street In Fond du Lac


4/3/11 – Four, new full-size buses will hit the streets of Fond du Lac tomorrow.  The Transit Department says they are replacing four buses that were 12 years old.  The vehicles had been scheduled to last just 10 years.  The city’s remaining three full-size buses are at least 10 years old.  The busses were purchased with federal stimulus dollars totaling $1.3 million. The city’s portion of the bus purchase price was an estimated 37 thousand dollars.


Audit Reveals Prisoners Paid Unemployment


4/3/11 – The Legislative Audit Bureau finds at least a quarter-million dollars in unemployment and food stamp benefits went to inmates in Wisconsin prisons.  The audit found more than 12 million dollars in benefits payments and other questionable charges were made during the fiscal year studied.  Most of that money was in unemployment benefit overpayments.  The inmates will have to repay the benefits they got.  Among its recommendations, the bureau suggests that the state Health Services Department check periodically to make sure food stamp recipients aren’t in prison.  The department has agreed to come up with a plan to do that.


Foreclosures Down In Southeast Wisconsin


4/3/11 – New home foreclosures in southeast Wisconsin are down by over 10-percent from the same time a year ago. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, just over 29-hundred court cases were filed from January through March against folks in seven counties couldn’t keep up with their mortgages. That’s down from 32-hundred-plus in the first quarter of 2010. In March alone, new foreclosure filings dropped by almost 15-percent in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth counties. Milwaukee County had fewer than 500 new foreclosures for the third month in a row.


Plane Crashes In Route To Wisconsin


4/3/11 – The Civil Air Patrol reports the remains of a plane found in southeast Missouri are where the flight ended for a flight to Wisconsin last month.  Authorities have been searching for the single-engine aircraft since it went missing March 27.  The crash site was found Friday night about eight miles from Ironton in Missouri’s Madison County.  A spokesperson for the FAA says the plane caught on fire when it crashed.  The NTSB is leading the investigation of the accident.