“News – April 30, 2011”

Wambach Recognized For Cold Case Prosecution


4/30/11 –   The Assistant Attorney General responsible for putting a Randolph man behind bars in a 30-old murder case has been named Prosecutor of the Year. David Wambach, a former Jefferson County District Attorney, was recognized with the honor Thursday night at the annual conference of the Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators. Wambach was singled out for his involvement with the Marilyn McIntyre Cold Case homicide. According to Awards Chairman Steve Brinza, Wambach received several nominations for his inspired work on the case. McIntyre was 18 years of age when she was brutally beaten, strangled and stabbed in her home while her three month old son slept nearby.  The case was investigated in 1980 and after a few years went cold.  The case was reopened by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in late 2007.  In March 2009, Curtis Forbes – a long time family friend of McIntyre’s – was arrested.  Forbes was found guilty last November by a Jefferson County jury sitting in Columbia County Circuit Court and sentenced to life in prison. Wambach called the recognition “a team award” and commended law enforcement for refusing to let the case die.   CBS’s program 48 Hours will feature the McIntyre case on Saturday night at 9pm.


Stolen Pick-Up Damages Randolph Business


4/30/11 – A 15-year-old boy is in custody on charges that he stole a pick-up and crashed into a Randolph business. It happened Thursday evening just after 5:30pm. The Chevy truck damaged Fred’s Service Center at the intersection of Highway 73 and Columbus Street.  There were no injuries. The teen fled into some nearby fields but was apprehended a short time later. Authorities say there was no evidence of alcohol or drug use and the cause of the accident is being attributed to reckless driving.  He also struck a parked car on Stark Street just prior to the accident.  The owner of the stolen truck reported several weeks ago that the keys had been stolen from the truck. The boy was referred to Human Services because of his age. The Randolph Police Department and Dodge County Sheriffs Department are investigating.


Recall Petition Certification Deadline Extended


4/30/11 – Department of Justice Attorney Lewis Beilin asked a judge to extend the deadline to certify recall petitions filed against members of the Wisconsin Senate.  Beilin says the process of checking signatures in recall efforts now filed against nine senators has caused an extraordinary burden.  Dane County Judge John Markson agreed that the agency has been making “all best efforts” to get the work done, and granted an extension that gives the GAB until the end of May to address challenges to the recall petitions and to certify them.  The Judge also ruled that eight of the recall elections can be held on the same day, if the petitions are valid. The decision means voters in those districts would likely head to the polls on July 12th.  Friday’s decision does not impact a recall petition filed this week against state Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay). If those signatures result in an election, the GAB says it will be held at a later date.


Columbus Council, School Board Members Seated


4/30/11 – New Members were seated on the 2011 – 2012 City Council and School Board in Columbus this week. The Council saw veteran Bill Bruns leave his seat as District 3 Alderman after five years. Larry Herzog Jr. was seated as Bruns’ replacement. Dave Bomkamp was elected as President of the six-Member Council. Meanwhile, William Braun and Kevin White will be filling the seats vacated by Julia Hoffmann and Alice Schmidt on the School Board. Liz O’Donnell was returned to her seat as Board President In the voting for Board officers.


New Strip Mall Under Construction In Beaver Dam


4/30/11 – A new strip mall is under construction in Beaver Dam.  City building inspector John Moosreiner says the unit in the Frances Point Shopping Mall near Wal-Mart will include four storefronts. US Cellular is moving into one of the spaces, while a beauty products store is planned in another space. There is currently no one lined up for the other two storefronts.


Johnson Calls Ryan Plan ‘Courageous’


4/30/11 – U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin calls the budget plan offered by his fellow Republican, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, courageous.  Ryan says his budget would cut federal government budget deficits by more than six trillion dollars over the next decade.  Johnson says he can’t say he would support it if it reached the Senate floor because there is no way to know how it might be changed in the version he would get to vote on.  Johnson says he is more interested in a constitutional amendment that would limit government spending to a set percentage of the nation’s gross domestic product.


Neumann’s To Appeal Reckless Homicide Convictions


4/30/11 – Marathon County Judge Vincent Howard has refused to grant Dale and Leilani Neumann a new trial.  The parents will likely challenge the ruling to the Third District Court of Appeals.  They argued they were hurt by ineffective counsel.  Jurors separately convicted the Neumanns in 2009 of reckless homicide for failing to seek medical help for their 11-year-old daughter Madeline Kara as she died from a treatable case of diabetes on Easter Sunday 2008.  Attorneys on both sides had already agreed to appeal Howard’s decision refusing to dismiss the charges based on a faith healing defense.  He did not address it in his 16-page ruling.  But Howard ruled that trial attorneys Gene Linehan and Jay Kronenwetter were not ineffective for failing to challenge a religious instruction given to jurors or for failing to ask for a specific theory of defense instruction.


Researchers Applaud Stem Cell Change


4/30/11 – The director of the University of Wisconsin Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center calls it the best news researchers could have hoped for.  A federal appeals court has supported funding for embryonic stem cell research.  The ruling means the University of Wisconsin stands to get about five million dollars in federal funding for research efforts.  In a 2-1 decision Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., overturned a judge’s order that would have blocked taxpayer funding for stem cell research.  The question figures to be in the courts for decisions and appeals for some time into the future.


Companies, City Ordered To Pay $97M Cleanup


4/30/11 – A Superfund site on Lake Superior’s shore is a step closer to getting cleaned up.   And more than a century’s worth of coal-tar and chemical pollution on Ashland’s waterfront is being laid in the laps of four responsible parties, including the City of Ashland itself.  The EPA has named Canadian National Railroad, the Soo Line Railroad, Xcel Energy, and the city of Ashland as liable to pay the clean-up costs, up to $97-million.  EPA Project Manager Scott Hansen says there’ll be 120 days for all sides to hash out who will pay what.


Arbor Day Observed


4/30/11 – Friday’s Arbor Day celebration in Columbus had around 80 students from the Discovery Charter School taking part in tree planting ceremony in front of the downtown Community Center. Teachers, students and city officials were on hand to hear Mayor Bob Link read the annual Arbor Day proclamation. The State Street Maple was set in the terrace and the students took turns using golden shovels to spread the dirt. Although many students were just learning the concept of environmental practices, all of them enjoyed getting into the dirt.