“News-June 18, 2011”

Lynch’s Bond Reduced, Attorney Asks for Separate Trials


6/18/11 – A Dodge County judge yesterday approved a motion for bond reduction for Pat Lynch, the former Fox Lake Police Chief who is facing child molestation and stalking charges.  The 55-year-old is charged with one count of First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child Under the Age of 13 and three counts of Stalking.  The alleged sexual assault of a 7-year-old child occurred in the summer of 1989 at home in Randolph. The victim’s father worked with Lynch at the Randolph Police Department at the time. The victim says, years later, Lynch kept showing up where she worked and would drive his police car past her home. He is also accused of stalking a woman who used to work for the Fox Lake Police Department – as well as a man who was dating his ex-wife.  Lynch resigned from his job as police chief in Fox Lake in the spring of 2009.  He originally posted a $25,000 cash bond shortly after his arrest in December. Lynch was successful in having his bond reduced to $10,000 in February and received a $15,000 refund. Yesterday’s action will allow another $5000 to be returned. The non-monetary conditions of his bond remain in place, including electronic monitoring and restrictions on having unsupervised contact with minors.  Lynch’s attorney has also asked for separate trials on the stalking charges.  His request would have the first count of stalking in one trial and the other two charges in another.  The court did not rule on that request yesterday.  A five-day jury trial is scheduled for October.


Increased Access at the Capitol


6/18/11 – Visitors to the state Capitol will have an easier time entering by the end of the month. State officials have announced they will reopen all eight of the ground floor doors to the building by June 27th and metal detectors will no longer be used to screen visitors.  The Department of Administration and Capitol Police put many of the current procedures in place after thousands of people occupied the Capitol for almost two weeks during the debate over the governor’s collective bargaining law. The reduced security is the result of a settlement in a lawsuit against that restricted access to the building.


Dems Withdraw “Placeholder” Candidates


6/18/11 – The State Democratic Party has told three of its members that they won’t have to run in recall primaries against Republican state senators. The G-O-P is using fake candidates to run as Democrats, so the Dems can stay busy with primaries while six Republican senators get an extra month to campaign. The Democrats were not sure if the G-O-P would get fake candidates for all six districts. So they put up three people they called “placeholder” candidates to run in the primaries to make sure all six general elections would be held at the same time. As it turned out, the Republicans were able to recruit fake Democrats for all six primaries – so the “place-holder” Democrats have been withdrawn. In one case, the G-O-P put up Rol Church of Wautoma to run against Assembly Democrat Fred Clark for the Senate seat held by Republican Luther Olsen of Ripon. And the Baraboo News-Republic says that primary and general election will cost taxpayers 350-thousand dollars – twice as much as if Clark didn’t have a primary opponent.


Budget Eliminates Critical Funding for Agriculture


6/18/11 – House Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse says next year’s federal agriculture budget eliminates critical funding for family farms – and it forces women, infants, and children to take the bulk of the reductions. Kind joined Wisconsin’s two other House Democrats yesterday in opposing the agriculture budget for fiscal 2012. All five Wisconsin Republicans voted in favor. Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson calls it “another assault on agriculture.” He said the measure takes funds from programs that were carefully-negotiated – and it includes almost two-billion dollars in changes to mandatory spending. Peterson says that if Congress keeps chipping away at ag spending, farmers will be left without an adequate safety net – and it could end up costing the government more money, not less. The budget blueprint from Janesville House Republican Paul Ryan called for 178-billion-dollars in cuts from farm programs. The House action approved funds for the U-S-D-A and related agencies – but it denied money for regulations by the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration. Meat and poultry groups said a rule involving the group would have cost them millions-of-dollars and lost jobs.


Officials Find Source of Bacteria


6/18/11 – Lab tests show the bacteria that made 16 people sick at a school event in Raymond came from raw milk produced at a nearby farm.  Those people were attending a school event earlier this month.  The testing shows the bacteria strain found in stool samples from the sickened children and adults matches samples taken from a bulk tank at the farm.  The unpasteurized milk wasn’t sold and no laws were broken.  A parent had supplied the milk from the farm, which is licensed and in good standing with the state.


Madison #6 for Raising Kids


6/18/11 – Want to raise your kids in a family-friendly environment?  Come to Madison.  Parenting-dot-com ranks Madison sixth in its 100 Best Cities for Families study for 2011.  The rankings were based on the number of great schools, affordable homes, low crime rates, jobs and park land.  Milwaukee also made the list, coming in at number 50.  The top-rated place to raise a family in the country is Washington, D.C.


Ho-Chunk Leader Still on Administrative Leave


A member of the Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature is expected to remain on administrative leave until his term ends next month.  Clarence Pettibone is one of three people charged with bribery related to contracts handed out by the Ho-Chunk Nation.  Pettibone’s term ends July 5 and he did not seek reelection.  His attorney says Pettibone intends to plead not guilty.  The 14-count indictment was filed in federal court last week.


Supreme Court Won’t Hear Jensen’s Case


6/18/11 – Attorneys for convicted killer Mark Jensen say they are surprised the Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to hear their case.  Jensen is appealing his conviction, with his lawyers arguing a letter by Julie Jensen should not have been admitted as evidence.  In the letter, the victim said she feared her husband was trying to kill her.  Jensen was found guilty of poisoning her in 2008.  That was a decade after she had died, following years of investigation and court delays.  Jensen is 51 years old and is serving a life sentence.  The state’s high court decided it would not hear his appeal.


The Body of a Missing Janesville Man Found


6/18/11 – The body of a Janesville man was found in 90 feet of water in a lake in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  Cooke County sheriff’s officials had been looking for 23 year old Ty Sitter since June 9.  He had left the camp site where he was vacationing with his father and brother to go fishing.  He never returned.  Sitter’s canoe, life jacket and tackle box were found.  Sonar had detected his body in the deep water, but bad weather had slowed efforts to recover it.


Shipping Season Off to Solid Start


6/18/11 – The Great Lakes shipping season is off to a solid start, but one of last year’s booms — wheat exports — might bust.  So far, the numbers are strong.  St. Lawrence Seaway cargo connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic is up 10 percent, including a 31 percent increase in grain heading overseas. Grain traffic has more than doubled among U.S.-flagged ships.  But last year Russia and the Ukraine — two of the biggest world growers of wheat — had to stop exports because of fire and drought. This year, the International Grain Council says both countries are rebounding while flooding in the western U.S. could reverse this strong start.


Fake Ad Causes Frenzy


6/18/11 – A Sheboygan woman says she woke up Thursday morning to find people crowding her front yard.  Debbie Brown says if her dog hadn’t started barking, her boat might be gone.  Those people were responded to an ad on Craigslist offering a free boat and minivan.  One problem — the Brown and her husband didn’t place the ad on the Internet site.  The boat and minivan weren’t even for sale, let alone free.  By late morning on Thursday more than two dozen people had responded to the ad.  Finally, someone posted that it was a hoax.  Brown tells the Sheboygan Press she will sue if the police department discovers who posted the fake ad.