News August 30, 2011

Neumann Announces Senate Bid, Fitzgerald On Verge

8/30/11 – Republican Mark Neumann officially said Monday that he will run for the U-S Senate seat to be vacated by Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl next year and the announcement comes at the same time a local legislator appears poised to throw his hat in the ring. Neumann – a former congressman – told a Milwaukee radio station that he would focus his campaign on balancing the federal budget and creating jobs. Meanwhile, Republican Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald of Horicon said this weekend that he was 99% certain he would run. The former Beaver Dam alderman told Mike Gousha on his weekly statewide television program that his accomplishments in Madison over the past year would transfer well should he decide to run for U.S. Senate. While stopping short of officially announcing a bid, Fitzgerald touted the successes of his caucus as well as the role he played. Gousha asked Fitzgerald whether he thinks he could win given the role he played in passing some of the more controversial pieces of Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda with such a deeply divided state. Fitzgerald said people are starting to realize why Republicans targeted collective bargaining reform to begin with.

State Senate Republican Frank Lasee of De Pere and former state Senator Ted Kanavas of Brookfield are also being mentioned as possible candidates. On the Democratic side, La Crosse House Democrat Ron Kind and former Appleton House Democrat Steve Kagen of Appleton are being mentioned as possible candidates for Kohl’s seat.

Dean Clinic Says Some May Have Been Exposed to Hepatitis or HIV

8/30/11 – Officials at the Dean Clinic in Madison say the risk is “small” that hundreds of diabetics could get H-I-V or some other blood-borne illness. That’s after a nurse educator re-used the handles of insulin demonstration pens and finger-stick devices over the last five years. Chief medical officer Mark Kaufman said it’s possible that blood from patients contaminated the bases of the demonstration pens and the handles of the finger-stick devices. But he said the risk is small, because the nurse changed the needles for each patient that was trained in using the devices. Still, Kaufman said it’s possible that one person’s blood could come in contact with the next person’s blood – and that creates a small risk of hepatitis, H-I-V, or other blood-borne illnesses. The Dean Clinic is contacting over 23-hundred patients who might have been exposed. A team of nurses will determine whether those people will get tested. The clinic asks people to wait to be notified before contacting them. The educator worked at Dean facilities in Sun Prairie and on Madison’s far east side. Craig Samitt, the clinic’s C-E-O, said it was an isolated incident involving a single nurse educator – who has since been fired. Samitt said the Dean Clinic learned of the potential exposure on August 10th from another employee.

WEAC Leaves Recertification Decision To Affiliates

8/30/11 – The head of the Wisconsin Education Association Council says factors like timing and cost would make recertification an “unrealistic option” for some local affiliates. That’s why WEAC is going to leave it up to those local affiliates whether they hold annual votes to remain in existence – as required by the new Wisconsin law on collective bargaining. School district unions have until the end of September to decide whether they will hold a vote to see if they stay organized as a union. The law requires 51 percent of the membership of the bargaining unit to vote to stay together, not just a majority of those who cast ballots.

Hundreds Attend New Berlin School Board Meeting

8/30/11 – As police looked on, hundreds of people on both sides cheered and booed last night as the New Berlin School Board unanimously approved a new employee handbook for its teachers. Like other throughout Wisconsin, it was developed without teacher input under the new state law which limits most public union bargaining. But New Berlin became a lightening rod after teachers in nearby Greenfield argued with their school board last week over a new employee handbook – and police were called to settle things down. Teachers came from other districts came in support

of New Berlin’s union, while some taxpayers held up signs saying “Collective Bullying – Stop Union Bullies Now.” Union president Diane lazewski said she believed the work rules set by the school board are more restrictive than others throughout the state. A school board member said their panel was not trying to be punitive.

Nehls Urges Motorists To Be Caution This Time of Year

8/30/11 – Drivers will have to be more careful on the roads – and not just because kids are going back to school this week. Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls says farmers are about to begin their harvest season – and that means you’ll see more implement vehicles along with school buses in the countryside. Nehls asks motorists to be patient when they’re stopped by a school bus or slowed down by a farm tractor. Drivers must stop for crossing guards who guide youngsters across streets – and motorists must also stop at least 20-feet from the front or the back of a school bus with red flashing lights. And if they don’t, they’ll pay fines of 150-to-300-dollars in each instance. Nehls also says the owners of those vehicles could be left on the hook for those fines – even if they’re not the drivers at the time.

Council Would Have to Pick Up Tab if GOP Politicians Aren’t Allowed in Parade

8/30/11 – Wausau’s mayor says taxpayers will not cover some of the costs of Monday’s Labor Day parade, unless the local labor council changes its mind about not letting Republican lawmakers take part. Over the weekend, Marathon County Labor Council president Randy Radtke said G-O-P politicians would not be welcome in Monday’s parade. He said they only support labor causes one day a year, on the Labor Day holiday. And Radtke said some of the proof of that was the law which virtually eliminated collective bargaining by most public employee unions. Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple said taxpayers normally cover insurance, traffic control, and the set-up and removal of a stage for the event. He was not sure what those costs are. But he said the labor council would have pay for them if it doesn’t allow Republicans at Monday’s event. Tipple said he expects to hear from Radtke – who did not immediately comment on the mayor’s statement. U-S House Republican Sean Duffy, state Senate Republican Pam Galloway, and Assembly Republican Jerry Petrowski all said they were disappointed at the labor council’s decision. Galloway said parades are one of her best opportunities to speak directly with constituents. She said it should be a “bi-partisan, fun event.”

Lawn Mower OWI Carries Maximum Six Year Sentence

8/30/11 – A signature bond has been set at $1000 for the 73-year-old Fox Lake man arrested last Tuesday for his fifth OWI for riding his lawn mower on the street while drinking a beer. According to the criminal complaint, neighbors told police that Gordon Curtis continually drives his mower while drinking and harasses them when doing so and his behavior had got more erratic over the course of a week. He was allegedly found with an empty can and nearly full beer on the lawn mower, which he reportedly admitted to for transportation and not for lawn maintenance. His blood alcohol level was over the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle at point one-two (.12). Curtis was convicted of driving conviction in 1991 and 2001 and was convicted twice in 1997. If convicted of the newest charge, he could spend over six years in prison. It is illegal to use any motorized vehicle or implement on a Wisconsin roadway while intoxicated – and that does not include just cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

Woman Walks Away From Weekend Watertown Rollover

8/30/11 – Authorities say a woman, who literally walked away from an accident late Sunday morning, is lucky to be alive. The accident happened sometime before 11:30am on Middle Road, about halfway between Watertown and Waterloo. Dodge County Sheriff’s Patrol Captain Molly Soblewski says they believe the 22-year-old woman lost control of the vehicle and left the road. The car went into the ditch, hit an embankment and vaulted into the air with the passenger side striking a tree. The force of hitting the tree spun the vehicle around 180-degrees before it landed

on its roof. It is unknown how long the woman was in the car, but she managed to free herself and began walking down the road. A passerby picked her up and took her home, before a roommate drove her to the hospital. Soblewski says the woman does not remember anything prior to the accident. The investigation continues.

Teen Beer Thief Nabbed By Off-Duty Cop

8/30/11 – A Fond du Lac teen chose the wrong time to try and steal beer from a convenience store yesterday Monday morning. Police Captain Steve Klein says an off-duty Fond du Lac Police captain was gassing-up at a Kwik Trip and was watching as the 17-year-old entered the store and ran out the door with a case of beer. The teen dropped the beer as he tried to get away on foot, but the Police Captain caught up with him. The kid was cited for his second underage drinking offense and theft and arrested on charges of possessing drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Intruder Who Was Killed Wasn’t Armed

8/30/11 – Waukesha County’s chief prosecutor said a man was not armed when he broke into a house and was killed by the homeowner. But District Attorney Brad Schimel said the shooting could still be considered justified, if the homeowner thought he was in danger of death or bodily harm – and his belief was reasonable. Authorities say 47-year-old Michael Fitzsimmons of Okauchee grabbed a gun when he heard 39-year-old James Babe the Fourth of Waukesha break into his house early Saturday. He said Babe cornered him in the back yard, and that’s when he shot the intruder. Schimel said he’s still waiting for test results from the State Crime Lab before deciding whether or not to charge Fitzsimmons with the shooting.

OWI Wreck Leads To Evacuation

8/30/11 – At least four homes were evacuated on Green Bay’s east side early Monday, after an apparent drunk driver slammed into a house and hit a natural gas meter. Police said they saw the man speeding at 90-miles-an-hour in a 30-mile-an-hour zone. The crash caused a natural gas leak after the driver hit the front porch of the house. It was right across the street from a fire station, and homes nearby were evacuated. Two people in the car – the 33-year-old male driver from Green Bay and a 26-year-old woman – were not hurt. Police said the man tried to break out of a squad car once he was securely put in – and officers had to use pepper spray to settle him down. Officials said the woman was wanted on a warrant, and the man was jailed for violating a previous probation. It was his first O-W-I offense.

Waupun Man Charged With Groping Waitress

8/30/11 – A Waupun man is charged with misdemeanor sexual assault for allegedly groping a fast food waitress last month. Roland E. Buchholz was arrested after the woman complained to her boss. According to the criminal complaint, the waitress was vacuuming and the 68-year-old snuck up behind her, placed both of his hands on her chest and pulled her close. He reportedly laughed when she turned around, slapped him and shared a few choice words. She told police it was not the first time either. Buchholz reportedly admitted to smacking her rear-end on a previous occasion but told police he was just trying to tickle her during the most recent incident. He had a signature bond set at $500 and will be back in court next month.