“News – August 9, 2009”


Hot and Humid Today, Heavy Rain Tonight


8/9/09 – It’s going to be another hot one today with high humidity levels making it feel even warmer.   Temperatures in the low 90s are expected throughout southern Wisconsin with heat indexes nearing 100 degrees.  We could also see some showers and thunderstorms later today with some storms producing heavy rains.  Officials are reminding residents to be aware of the warning signs of heat exhaustion, including heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, or fainting.


Glut of Cold Cases Benefits from Advances in DNA


8/9/09 – DNA testing is making dramatic advances every year, helping solve a lot of old cases.  A 49 year old Dodge County man made his first court appearance yesterday.  Mark Libecki is charged with stabbing Theresa Wesolowski to death 10 years ago.  The two both worked at Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation.  Libecki was still on the job when he was arrested last week.  Three years ago testing confirmed DNA found on Wesolowski’s hands was from Libecki.  Cops tracked down the SUV Libecki owned at the time and they found Wesolowski’s blood in its seat cushion.  DNA evidence has also been used to connect other cold cases in our area.  That includes Curtis Forbes of Randolph who’s accused of killing an 18-year-old Columbus woman in the 1980’s, Edward Edwards who has been charged with two first degree murder charges in the deaths of two teens in Jefferson County in 1980, and in Fond du Lac County where Thomas Niesen is facing a life sentence in the death of an exotic dancer 30-years-ago.


Cambria Village Board to Vote on Marshall Position


8/9/09 – Cambria has been without a police presence since last Monday but that could change tomorrow night when the village board meets in special session to vote on an ordinance creating the position of Marshall.  Like last weeks vote to dissolve the police department, the agenda calls for waiving the first and second readings of the ordinance so the board can vote on adding the position in the same meeting its introduced.  In last Monday’s meeting, the board cited budget concerns and complaints from residents about Chief Rick Nelson as reasons for dissolving the department.  The board will also be meeting with representatives from the Cambria Fire Department, Columbia County Emergency Management, Didion Ethanol to discuss safety concerns and other issues at Didion.  The meeting is slated to start at 7 p.m. in the Cambria Community room.


GB Gun Dealer: PA Gunmen Could Have Gotten Equipment Anywhere


8/9/09 – Wisconsin-based online weapons dealer TGSCOM says at least two mass killers connected to his business could have found what they wanted at a Wal-Mart store or other retail outlet.  Eric Thompson’s company sold an empty Glock 9 millimeter magazine and loading apparatus to George Sodini, the man who shot up a Pennsylvania health club last week.  Thompson says the sale was legal and his company did nothing wrong.  TGSCOM has also been linked to shooters on the campuses of Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University.  Thompson employs about 40 people at his business in Green Bay.


No Identity on Body Pulled from Silver Lake


8/9/09 – Officials haven’t identified the body pulled from Silver Lake in Manitowoc County Saturday morning.  The sheriff’s department started searching that lake west of Manitowoc after receiving a 9-1-1 call.  The caller told the dispatcher there was a dispute on the shore of the lake between the person in the water and the person’s parents.  An empty boat — apparently operated by the victim — was recovered around noon time.  The body was pulled out of the water near 3:30 p.m.


Tax Collections Down in SE Wisconsin


8/9/09 – The increase in property tax collections in southeastern Wisconsin is slowing, according to a Public Policy Forum report.  It was released yesterday showing collection rose 5-point-1 percent this year after growing more than six percent last year.  Rates are up three percent.  Forum officials report those rates are rising because the growth in property values are falling.  Local governments are having to meet added operating expenses.


Apostle Islands Looking to Receive Federal Money


8/9/09 – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to tour the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge today after a visit to Wisconsin.  Salazar and Congressman Dave Obey were talking about more than 116 thousand dollars in federal projects for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore yesterday.  The Department of the Interior is putting 29 million dollars into wildlife refuges, national parks, scientific research and tribal lands in the state of Wisconsin.  Another five million dollars is going to be spent to make improvements to the Apostle lighthouses.


Study on Using Woody Biomass for Power Continues


8/9/09 – An ongoing study in western Wisconsin on how plausible, cost-effective, and profitable woody biomass could be for generating power.  David Jenkins is with the Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence which is helping to fund the study.  Noting Wisconsin will never have a coal mine, he says it’s better to spend money for power locally.  But, Jenkins says, it must also be cost effective.  Jenkins says the point is to help move Wisconsin to renewable energy sources, but what the carbon footprint of burning biomass for energy?  He says though this study is specific to the French Island power plant in La Crosse, there are around 50 small power plants around the state that could be converted to burn biomass.  He’s hoping the study, examining an area roughly 50 miles around West Salem, will have results by this fall.


Officials Ask Native Americans to Consider Medical Career


8/9/09 – Native Americans from tribes in Wisconsin and at least two other states take part in a program to entice more of them to consider a career in medicine.  Northern Michigan University in Marquette is launching a program called The College Prep Medicine Wheel.  Groups of Native American high school students will meet on the Marquette campus for several days this fall.  While there they will learn about nursing and clinical sciences careers.  Right now, the university says, very few Native Americans work in the health care profession.


Mannequin Found After Month Absence


8/9/09 – The Neenah-Menasha Fire Department gets its training mannequin back.  The mannequin had sunk in Lake Winnebago during an exercise near Recreation Park.  Fire department investigators found the mannequin while using sonar equipment in another training exercise.  They say the mannequin will be returned to the manufacturer to be fixed.