News – March 26, 2009

Forbes in Court Monday

3/26/09 – The Randolph man accused of murdering a Columbus woman nearly 30 years ago, is expected to be in a Columbia County courtroom on Monday for an initial appearance. In a press release, Sheriff Dennis Richards said Curtis Forbes was arrested on charges of First Degree Intentional Homicide following a traffic stop Tuesday evening. At that time a search warrant was executed on Forbes person for additional evidence. The 51-year-old Forbes is accused of killing 18-year-old Marilyn McIntyre at her Columbus residence on March 11, 1980. She was discovered by her husband after he returned home from work; their three-month old son was asleep at the time. McIntyre was beaten, stabbed and strangled. Forbes, who was a close personal friend of the victim’s husband, was initially a person of interest but he fled the state shortly after the murder. The case had gone cold for several years but was reopened in late 2007 at the request of the family. Milbrath says investigators had something this time that was not available in 1980: DNA evidence. Forbes is currently being held at the Columbia County jail.

Working Out The Bugs – Highway 33 Reconstruction

3/26/09 – Slowly but surely, drivers are staring to get the hang of the Highway 33 reconstruction detour in Horicon. That’s according to Police Chief Joe Adamson who says “they’ve gotten most of the bugs worked out” but because people are still confused by the detour there is a prominent presence of law enforcement. Adamson says if your destination, or your point of origin, is within city limits then follow local detour signs. If you are traveling through Horicon, then you need to follow the DOT detour route, which directs travelers to Highway’s 26, 60 and 67. The $6.5 million dollar reconstruction on the 1.4 mile stretch of road between Columbia and Palmatory Streets will continue through November 20. Highway 33 is closed to through traffic but local businesses are open. The city council this week approved the hiring of temporary, part-time police officers to help alleviate the added workload brought on both the detour and the recent loss of officers to workman’s compensation.

Two Daily’s Stop Publishing Print Editions

3/26/09 – Two daily newspapers in southeast Wisconsin will stop publishing print editions on Mondays. The Waukesha Freeman says its final Monday edition will come next week, and the West Bend Daily News will follow suit. They’re the latest down-sizings in a media industry hampered by lower advertising revenues and higher production costs. Both the Waukesha and West Bend papers are owned by Conley Media. The firm says the move will cut costs, and put the newspapers in a better financial position as the recession continues. The Freeman says it will post an Internet edition on Mondays which subscribers will get at no extra cost. The normal features in the Monday paper will run later in the week. The papers do not publish on Sundays.

More Problems Uncovered with Prisoner Treatments

3/26/09 – A state audit released today uncovered more problems with the way mentally ill prisoners are treated. Among other things, the Legislative Audit Bureau said prisoners don’t have enough psychologists and psychiatrists to meet national standards. Therapy sessions are limited, although mentally ill inmates are monitored on a regular basis. Correctional officers deliver medications, while medical staffers do the job in other states. And auditors said clearer policies and more centralized decision-making are needed. These are getting to be bigger issues as the mentally-ill prison population grows. The total number of Wisconsin prisoners rose three-point-nine percent in the last three years, while the number of mentally-ill prisoners grew over 14-percent. Just over 22-thousand prisoners were defined as mentally ill. The audit bureau recommends better screenings for new inmates, more training for correctional officers, and better planning to help prisoners who are about to be released. Corrections officials have not commented. The audit comes on the heels of improvements at the Taycheedah prison for women. The U-S Justice Department said the prison did not offer enough help for mentally-ill prisoners in 2006. And they threatened a lawsuit at that time. The state also plans to build a 45-

bed addition at the Wisconsin Resource Center near Oshkosh for mentally-ill women. That unit is scheduled to open in 2011.

Fire in Markesan Destroys Home

3/26/09 – A fire in Markesan Tuesday completely destroyed a home on James St. According to Markesan Fire Chief Tom Wilde, the owner of the home, Diana Spiering, reported the fire at 10am. Wilde says the home is still standing but it is considered to a total loss. Six fire departments responded to the blaze and were on the scene until 5pm. Four cats perished in the fire. The cause has not yet been determined and the investigation continues.