News May 16, 2009

CCI VP: “Hope to Operate Out of that Facility by Monday”

5/16/09 – The Executive Vice-President of Columbus Chemical Industries says they’d like to re-open the remaining of their plant on Monday. Steve Quandt spoke yesterday about the cleanup process and the investigation into how a massive chemical fire destroyed a storage building at their facility on Temkin Road last Monday. Quandt says as of yesterday afternoon they still had not made it into the building. Sheriff Todd Nehls says their investigation continues but as of right now they don’t suspect the fire was set on purpose. Air monitoring continues in the area and Columbus Chemical has been giving resident’s bottled water as testing on their wells continues but Amy Nehls with Dodge County Emergency Management says both are only precautionary measures. The fire started after 8pm and was accompanied by three loud explosions. About 140 people were evacuated from the area Monday night but were allowed to return the following afternoon.

9 Confirmed Cases of the “Swine Flu” in Columbia Co.

5/16/09 – There are now nine confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu virus in Columbia County. Public Health Officer Susan Lorenz says six of the seven new confirmed cases were found in the Lodi area in children that attend the elementary, middle, and primary school. The Lodi school district will not close any of the schools and is still working to identify any sick students or teachers. Officials are still asking residents that feel they may be sick should stay home and not go into the community except to see medical care for at least 7 days even if symptoms disappear soon.

Legislators Look to Save Money at Correction Facilities

5/16/09 – If they do this right, Wisconsin lawmakers think they can save the state billions of dollars. Corrections officials have estimated the number of prison inmates will grow by five thousand over the next decade. That would cost an additional two and a half billion dollars. A legislative committee approved a plan Friday, including a goal of cutting recidivism by 25 percent over the next two years. Anyone who violates the provision of community supervision would have six months back in the slammer. Following the rules could cut 25 percent off their sentence.

Jury Picked in Diabetes & Prayer Case

5/16/09 – The attorney for Leilani Neumann says his client will testify in her own defense. Gene Linehan says the jury will want to hear her side. That jury was chosen yesterday. Neumann and her husband are accused of praying while their 11 year old daughter Madeline died of diabetes. Leilani Neumann could get 25 years in prison if convicted of second-degree reckless homicide. Madeline Neumann died on Easter of last year. The case is thought to be the first of its kind in Wisconsin. Dale Neumann’s trial starts in July.

Authorities Looking at Death of Inmate

5/16/09 – Stevens Point police are investigating the death of a 53 year old county jail inmate. Portage County jailers say the man was found in his cell, unresponsive, Friday morning at 4:30. Corrections officers called an ambulance and gave the man CPR, but he was pronounced dead after he was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital. An autopsy will be conducted today in Madison.

GM to Allow Dealers to Inform Customers of Closings

5/16/09 – General Motors isn’t revealing which dealerships it’s going to close, but some of them are revealing their fate. Johnson Sales in Arlington says it got a termination letter. That company has been selling Chevrolet’s in the small town north of Madison for more than 70 years. Broadway Automotive in Pulaski has been in business even longer than that, selling GM products from its business north of Green Bay for 93 years. Two Broadway Automotive dealerships are staying open. GM plans to close 11 hundred dealerships nationwide.