“News-May 14, 2011”

Speculation Begins For Kohl’s Replacement


5/14/11 – Both Republicans and Democrats say they wished the best for Herb Kohl, as he gets ready to leave the U-S Senate at the end of next year. The 76-year-old Kohl announced Friday that he’ll step down after 24 years in office. Milwaukee House Democrat Gwen Moore said Kohl was “Uncle Herb, un-bought by special interests.” And she said his leadership would be missed. House Republican Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls said he has enjoyed working with Kohl. Republican Ron Johnson, who won the state’s other Senate seat from Democrat Russ Feingold last November, thanked Kohl for his service. Feingold has long been speculated as the Democratic front-runner for Kohl’s seat should he step down. But Feingold mentioned nothing about that in a three-sentence statement he issued Friday. He said Kohl would be remembered for his advocacy for dairy farmers, his work for children, and his “keen understanding of the business community.” The office of House Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse would not comment on speculation that he would run for Kohl’s seat next year. Others are mentioning House Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Madison and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as possible candidates. On the Republican side, the campaigns of Attorney General J-B Van Hollen and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau said those two are looking into running as is Assembly speaker Jeff Fitzgerald of Horicon whose spokesperson John Jagler tells us “The Speaker has great interest in the seat.  If Paul Ryan does not run, he’ll definitely be interested.”


Early Completion Expected In Waukesha Recount


5/14/11 – Waukesha County officials say they may not need the extra week and a half they were granted to complete the recount of votes for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  First, May 9 was the deadline, then it was extended until May 26 for Waukesha County vote tabulators.  Now, organizers say the effort is moving more quickly and they may complete the recount days ahead of schedule, maybe next week, or early the following week.  The recount effort has been moved to a larger room and the counters are now working 10 to 12 hours a day.


Capitol Damage Estimates In


5/14/11 – Repairs to the Wisconsin Capitol caused by protests over public workers’ collective bargaining rights will cost an estimated 270 thousand dollars to complete.  Additional expenses like overtime for law enforcement and state security efforts will push the final total to about 7-point-8 million dollars.  Tens of thousands of protesters filled the Capitol rotunda for nearly a month, showing their displeasure with the governor’s plans for a budget repair bill.  Although a full cleaning has been advised by a restoration expert, but he also notes the surfaces have not had a full cleaning since the late 1990s.


Accused Child Molester Denied Bail Reduction


5/14/11 – A Beaver Dam man, accused of molesting a preschool-age child, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Joseph R. Evans is charged with one felony count of First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child Under the Age of 12. According to the criminal complaint, the victim was a friend of the family and Evans fondled her in March. The child came home and complained to her mother about Evans. When questioned by trained investigators, the child said the inappropriate contact had occurred (quote) “lots of times.”  The 23-year-old said the two had been wrestling and any inappropriate contact was accidental and outside the clothes. The felony charge carries a maximum 60 year prison sentence, upon conviction. Also this week, Judge John Storck denied a motion to modify Evans bail, which remains at $10,000. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for May 26.


Four Arrested In Jefferson County Shooting


5/14/11 – The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team executed a search warrant yesterday and arrested a Sullivan man in connection with a shooting incident.  Authorities say Michael Klug is the suspect in an armed home invasion at Spacious Acres Mobile Home Park, north of Sullivan on May 5. Four subjects entered a residence there wearing masks, two armed with guns and one armed with a crow bar. A struggle ensued between those inside the residence and the armed suspects, resulting in one of the suspects getting shot in the left arm.  That suspect, Curtis Vesper of Jefferson, fled the mobile home park with the others but was left in the parking lot of a tavern and later transferred to Aurora Medical Center in Oconomowoc. The parties in the mobile home identified one of the suspects as Joshua Milbrath, who was taken into custody on a probation hold and has had his possessions seized for possible evidence of a shooting. Conflicting statements from the victims hampered the investigation for a couple days but follow-up interviews and anonymous tips eventually led detectives to Klug, who is charged with Armed Burglary along the shooting victim, Curtis Vesper and a fourth man, Vaughn Daly. Charges have been forwarded to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office.


Arsonist Responsible For Milwaukee Apartment Fire


5/14/11 – Fire investigators say an arsonist is responsible for the four-alarm fire at an apartment building that left dozens of people homeless last week.  It happened Tuesday in Milwaukee.  Six people were injured when fire raced through a 24-unit apartment building on 91st Street.  The fire department says somebody tried to set the building on fire the night before, but it was contained to a hallway.  More than a million dollars damage was done Tuesday night.


Two Arrested In Dunn County Stabbing


5/14/11 – A 17-year-old boy and a 21-year-old woman from Ladysmith are being held in connection with a beaten and stabbed woman found on a road in western Wisconsin.  The victim is said to be in serious condition.  Formal charges are expected to be filed in Dunn County early next week.  Authorities say they have found a vehicle reported stolen from Rusk County that was apparently connected in some fashion to the attack on the woman.  The victim is 25 years old and was found along a county road in Grant Township Wednesday.


Walleye Washing Up On Lake Erie


5/14/11 – Thousands of walleye are washing up on the western shore of Lake Erie.  Wildlife researchers are trying to find out what’s causing the massive kill and to determine if it could spread to the other Great Lakes.  One expert says the die-off can likely be blamed on natural causes based on the stress of spawning, and the cold, stormy spring.  Fishing brings in about a half-billion dollars in spending on Lake Erie alone.  There are up to 20 million walleye in the lake and up to 30 percent can die in any given year.  The dead fish are being tested for viruses.