“News – August 29, 2009”

Some Merc Workers: “Union Lied”


8/29/09 – Three Mercury Marine union members, who organized a re-vote rally in Fond du Lac, claim union representative at their district office in Milwaukee lied about what union by-laws allow.  Fred Toth says he spoke with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 10 office.  He says he was told there’s nothing in the by-laws that prohibit a second vote on a contract — it’s simply an “unwritten understanding.”  Toth that means union reps have been lying when they said a second vote wasn’t allowed.  Rick Schmitt says the union first claimed substantial changes needed to be made to the contract union workers rejected from Mercury before it could be voted on.  Schmitt says he considers lying about the bylaws a substantial change, so a second vote should take place.  Phillip Rodriguez says union leaders should understand he wants to keep his job.  (KFIZ)


CARE Hands in Detachment Petition


8/29/09 – The Concerned Area Residents for Education officially filed a petition with the Waupun School District that will force a referendum this fall.  The group out of Fox Lake collected more than 900 signatures from registered voters in an effort to detach from Waupun and join the Randolph School District.  Voters in those two districts will now head to the polls in November to determine if the City and Town of Fox Lake will make the switch.  The idea of detachment came after a failed referendum in February and the subsequent decision by Waupun administration to cover a 1-million-dollar budget deficit by closing three elementary schools, including Fox Lake.  Earlier this summer the Waupun School Board rejected a request by CARE for detachment leading to the most recent petition.


Judge Denies Masko Lee Request


8/29/09 – A Watertown man who was convicted of punching his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach has been denied a request to attend the birth of the child. In May, Andrew Masko Lee was sentenced to seven months in jail related to incident this past March. The 19-year-old was charged with Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide of an Unborn Child, but pleaded to reduced charges of misdemeanor Battery and Disorderly Conduct, in addition to a variety of felony bail jumping charges. The judge in the Jefferson County court case denied the furlough request earlier this month and also rejected a request for sentence modification, saying the defendant had failed to show any new factors that would have allowed for a change.  Police arrested Masko Lee after investigating reports of a loud argument. According to the criminal complaint, Masko Lee told the victim, while he was punching her, that he was going to kill the baby.


Poynette Restaurant Robbed


8/29/09 – The Columbia County Sheriffs Department is investigating a robbery at the Subway Restaurant in Poynette.  According to Sheriff Dennis Richards, the incident occurred Thursday when the customer was attempting to change large bills for smaller ones.  During the transaction, the subject grabbed a stack of $20 bills from the cashier and fled the establishment.  The suspect is described as a black male who was last seen wearing a black suit coat and a straw fedora. Richards says his department is reviewing video surveillance footage from an adjacent business.  The investigation is ongoing and the Sheriff asks anyone with information to contact the Columbia County Sheriffs Department.


BDPD Investigating Burglary and Vandalism


8/29/09 – The Beaver Dam Police Department is investigating a residential burglary. The breaking and entering was reported just after 10pm Thursday at a residence on the 900 block of South Spring Street.  A computer, safe, stereo equipment and DVD’s were stolen. The department also received a report from the Piggly Wiggly on Park Avenue, reporting that their soda machine was broken into. Anyone with information on either incident is asked to contact the Beaver Dam Police Department or the anonymous We-Tip hotline at 800-78-CRIME.


Un-Pasteurized Milk Should be Thrown Out


8/29/09 – The state of Wisconsin says you should dump any un-pasteurized milk you have.  Un-pasteurized milk is blamed for making 13 people sick in southeastern Wisconsin.  All of the victims tested positive for a bacterial infection that causes nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever and vomiting.  All of the people who got sick had consumed raw milk, or been in close proximity to someone else who had and became sick.  Selling or distributing raw milk and its products is illegal in this state.  A state consumer protection spokesperson says it’s too early to know if anyone will face charges in this case.


Ryan, Moore Differ on Health Care Views


8/29/09 – Two members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation agree that millions of uninsured Americans should get coverage, but Democrat Gwen Moore and Republican Paul Ryan don’t agree on how to accomplish that.  Unlike some of the town hall meetings, Friday’s discussion was mostly polite.  Moore supports a public option, saying it would provide a needed standard of care for everyone.  Ryan thinks it could lead to rationing and would push most private health insurance companies out of business.  The two were in Milwaukee to take questions from reporters about the health care reform bill now before Congress.  Both Moore and Ryan says health care costs have to be controlled, especially in Medicare and Medicaid.


Legislators Reject DOT Plan to Cutback on Road Work to Fix Budget


8/29/09 – Legislative budget writers reject a DOT plan to eliminate a deficit by scaling back road work.  Lower than expected registration fees and fuel taxes have resulted in a 33 million dollar short fall in the transportation agency’s segregated fund for road development and maintenance, but a Joint Finance Committee member, Senator Judy Robson, noted increased revenues may already be in the pipeline.  Robson notes the Cash for Clunkers program means there have been a lot of new vehicles purchased – and that means a lot of registration fees.  The DOT will only have to come up with an alternate plan if segregated fund develops a deficit of greater than 30 million dollars in the current two year budget cycle.


Milwaukee Man Convicted of Killing Four People Last Year


8/29/09 – Prosecutors convinced a jury it was a revenge killing, leading to a guilty verdict against 26 year old Antonio Williams yesterday.  Williams was convicted of killing four people at a Milwaukee street party on the Fourth of July last year.  Williams defense attorney had attacked the credibility of some of the witnesses against him, pointing out that most of them are facing charges or serving prison time — and they were getting consideration for their testimony.  Two other men are also charged in the mass murder.  One testified against Williams in return for a lighter sentence.  Williams is to find out how long he will stay in prison when he is sentenced in October.


More Trouble for MPS


8/29/09 – An appeals court gives Milwaukee Public Schools a little time to deal with a class-action lawsuit over special education.  The ruling means state’s biggest school district doesn’t have to put into practice the remedy ordered by a federal judge.  That judge had ordered the system to post notification forms before next Tuesday.  The forms would have let some students know they might be eligible for compensatory education services.  Between 2000 and 2005 some students were not identified as needing that help.  The appeals court ruling means the schools can take down the notifications for now.  Milwaukee Public Schools had asked the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the federal judge’s order.


Emerald Ash Borer Found in Milwaukee County


8/29/09 – The invasive emerald ash borer has been found in Milwaukee County.  Bob Manwell with the state Department of Natural Resources says a utility crew in the city of Franklin discovered emerald ash borer larvae Thursday.  Milwaukee County is the seventh county in the state were EAB has been found.  It would join a growing list of quarantined counties.  Firewood cannot be brought out of those counties as part of an effort to stem the spread of the destructive insect.