News – January 3, 2019

(Fond du Lac) Two sisters who led sheriff’s deputies and the State Patrol on a 25-mile, high-speed chase on Interstate 41 through Fond du Lac, Dodge and Washington Counties last weekend have been charged. Twenty-seven-year-old Jolena Sturdevant of Bonduel and 28-year-old Alexandria Sturdevant of Keshena (ke-SHEE-nuh) made their initial appearances in Fond du Lac County court Thursday. Cash bond was set at $10,000 for Jolena – who was a passenger in the vehicle and allegedly threatened officers — while bond was set at $2,500 cash for Alexandria, who was driving. The two have preliminary hearings scheduled next Friday. No one was hurt nor any property damaged during the chase, which allegedly reached speeds up to 105-miles an hour.

(Beaver Dam) Three Beaver Dam men, charged in connection to a string of burglaries in Beaver Dam, had preliminary hearings yesterday. 26-year-old Christopher Young, 57-year-old Melvin Lueck and 22-year-old Clayton Cartwright are all heading to trial for burglarizing several storage units and a warehouse on Bill McCollum in July. All three reportedly admitted to their actions. If convicted, Young, Lueck and Cartwright face up to 12-and-a-half years in prison. Arraignment hearings are scheduled in the next month.

(Reeseville) A Reeseville woman accused of raising an infant in a drug house is heading to trial after waiving her right to a preliminary hearing yesterday (Thursday). 22-year-old Sara Schimmel is facing a felony count of Neglecting a Child along with the child’s father, 27-year-old Matthew Hansen. The two allegedly admitted to Hansen’s routine drug dealings from their apartment. In May, Hansen was shot by two intruders in near proximity to the child. Schimmel reportedly admitted to doctor’s that she used cocaine while she was pregnant. Hansen pled not guilty at arraignment last month. Schimmel will be arraigned next month.

(Mayville) Probable cause was found yesterday (Thursday) for a Mayville woman to proceed to trial on child neglect charges. Jessica Ruth is facing two felony counts for allegedly leaving her children at home while she went out drinking in July. Ruth allegedly told her husband who was at work that she was going to head out around 10:30pm. She reportedly said the children, a one-year-old and a two-month-old, were safe. Ruth allegedly returned home around 1:30am. If convicted, the 34-year-old faces up to seven years in prison.  Ruth will be arraigned next month.

(Juneau) A Milwaukee woman is heading to trial for failing to return to the Dodge County Jail while on work release. Tasheana Williams-Sonny waived her right to a preliminary hearing yesterday (Thursday) on a felony count of Escape. The 19-year-old did not return to the jail while released for a preapproved appointment in June. She is serving a 365-day sentence for Resisting an Officer Causing Injury. Williams-Sonny will be arraigned next month.

(Fond du Lac) A Fond du Lac man, who faces charges of endangering safety for a New Year’s standoff with police, apparently did not intend to hurt anyone but was instead celebrating the arrival of the New Year. The suspect is 26 years old, which coincidentally is also the number of shots he’s accused of firing out the window of a residence early on New Year’s Day, before finally surrendering some five hours later. Fond du Lac Assistant Police Chief Aaron Goldstein said the man fired in the air. Cops do not believe his intentions were violent but Goldstein said the suspect made some bad choices that endangered the community.

(Madison) A conservative think tank wants a judge to hold the Wisconsin Elections Commission in contempt for not moving quickly enough to purge voters from the rolls. The Commission was ordered last month by a judge to pull 230 thousand people from the election rolls after they failed to respond to a mailer. But the commission was deadlocked along party lines this week on how to follow that order. The Wisconsin Institute For Law and Liberty wants the state to fine the Commission 12-thousand dollars a day for contempt, even as the suit works its way through the courts.  WILL filed the original lawsuit in state court, but the League of Women’s Voters has filed a federal suit to prevent the action.

(Washington DC) Four Wisconsin congressional Republicans have signed onto a legal brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider overturn Roe versus Wade. Senator Johnson and Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner, Glenn Grothman and Bryan Steil are among 39 Republican senators and 168 representatives who’ve signed an amicus brief asking the high court to reconsider and possibly overturn its landmark 1973 decision which guarantees women the right to access abortion. The brief submitted in a case challenging a 2014 Louisiana law which required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of where the abortion is performed. That law is not now in effect, but if it were, reportedly all of Louisiana’s abortion clinics would close.

(Kenosha) Kenosha County’s sheriff says legal marijuana in Illinois becomes his problem when people bring it back to Wisconsin. Kenosha County deputies are looking for drivers suspected of bringing marijuana that they bought legally in Illinois back into Wisconsin. A ticket for marijuana possession in Kenosha County starts at $452 dollars, and deputies say they may arrest you. The sheriff’s office is preparing for a flood of tickets and arrests.

(Ixonia) An Ixonia woman won a million in the Wisconsin Lottery as 2019 drew to an end. Tammy LaPlante claimed the final top prize from the Millionaire scratch ticket. She had just retired from her job and the winnings will help offset some of the bills as she waits for her pension to kick in. The winning ticket was purchased at Piggly Wiggly Supermarket in Oconomowoc. The odds of winning Millionaire’s $1,000,000 top prize were one-in-160,000. There are no top prizes remaining for the Millionaire scratch-off.

(Milton) A Milton School District teacher who’s retiring this month has admitted to repeatedly defecating in a public park. Confronted with trail camera images showing him in the act, 60-year-old Jeffrey Churchwell of Elkhorn told Walworh County deputies that he’d been doing “number two” since 2017 – sometimes several times a day – outside of and on a building at Natureland Park in the Town of Whitewater. He agreed to pay a 365 dollar fine and 57-hundred dollars in restitution to the county Public Works Department, whose employees repeatedly had to clean up after him. Churchwell has taught in Milton schools since 1990, and told the Milton Courier that he was “truly ashamed” of his actions.