News May 24, 2009

Insurance Companies Get To Work At CCI

5/24/09 – Insurance company investigators now try to find out what caused the explosions and fire at the Columbus Chemical Industries plant earlier this month. A company official says it won’t have control of the burned buildings for several weeks, although the production facility and offices are back online. Many of the 55 workers at the plant are back on the job. Inventory that wasn’t damaged in the fire is being recovered and restocked. The buildings are being cleaned and demolition work on the burned structure is under way. The business is open and is filling some orders.

Andy’s Roofing Owner Convicted

5/24/09 – Sentencing will be June 22 for a Juneau man who operated Andy’s Roofing Company. Robert Linendoll this past week pleaded “no contest” to twelve felony counts of Theft in a Business Setting. The 48-year-old failed to honor work for a series of contracts he entered into between September of 2006 and August of last year for work in Beaver Dam, Hustisford, Emmet, Burnett, Randolph and Juneau. Linendoll faces over 55 years in prison when he is sentenced June 22. Judge John Stork ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and also ordered that uncharged offenses be read into the record.

Columbus Man Sentenced on Drug Charges

5/24/09 – Nine months in prison for a Columbus man who sold cocaine to a undercover officer. 35-year-old Daryl R. Smith pleaded “no contest” this past week to a felony charge of delivery of cocaine.

Neumann To Appeal

5/24/09 – Her lawyer and Leilani Neumann’s family say there will be an appeal. Neumann was convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in the death of her daughter in a Marathon County courtroom. She was accused of praying instead of seeking medical help. Prosecutors called her a religious zealot. Neumann’s family says the case is not over. Her stepfather, Brian Gordon, says they are not extremists, that they believe in the bible and in God — and that the Constitution protects their right to worship God as they see fit. Neumann’s husband will face the same charges this summer.

Officials Hope The Eagle Returns

5/24/09 – Veterans and law enforcement authorities in Columbia County hope a stolen, bronze eagle is recovered by tomorrow. The eagle is the centerpiece for annual Memorial Day services in Randolph. Someone noticed it was missing from the Randolph Cemetery last Tuesday night. An official with the local VFW says it looks like a truck was used to pull the eagle out of the monument. The eagle is valued at three thousand dollars. It was dedicated 16 years ago to honor veterans and their service. The Columbia County sheriff is hoping someone will offer information leading to its recovery.

DNR Cuts Affect State Park Summer Staffing

5/24/09 – It’s something of a “perfect storm” at Wisconsin state parks. As the uncertain economy keeps people closer to home to save money, they often choose to spend vacation time at a state park. At the same time, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports it has 230 fewer seasonal park workers this year. About 14 million people visit Wisconsin’s 104 state parks each year. Reservations are said to be higher than in the past. With budget cuts on the way, the size of the staffing at those parks could shrink even more.

Firewood Prohibited in National Parks

5/24/09 – It’s something that could slip your mind, but the U.S. Forest Service is taking the firewood ban seriously. You’re not allowed to bring firewood into northern Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet Forest. This ban is a part of the effort to keep the emerald ash borer from spreading. The invasive species has destroyed millions of ash trees in the upper Midwest. The ban prohibits firewood from outside the state and any cut south of state Highway 29. Federal authorities think one way the pest is spreading is through people transporting firewood.

SS Badger Begins Ferry Service

5/24/09 – The mayor of Manitowoc says it means summer is on the way when the SS Badger is in operation. The first trip for the passenger car ferry was Friday. The SS Badger runs from Manitowoc to Ludington, Michigan, and back each day, letting travelers avoid the long drive around the southern end of Lake Michigan. Mayor Justin Nickels calls the ferry an “asset” for Manitowoc. Its season runs from now until about mid-October.

Sensenbrenner Joins Pelosi in China

5/24/09 – Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner is the only Republican joining House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a trip to China. The group left Alaska yesterday. The focus of the trip is on creating clean, sustainable energy policies. The China trip is expected to last about a week. The six members of Congress all have seats on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Members met with Native Americans in Alaska Friday, hearing that the changing climate is having a dramatic impact on their lives.

Wisconsinite Climbs Everest

5/24/09 – Wisconsin mountain climber Lori Schneider has reached the summit of Mount Everest. Schneider is from Bayfield. A report from Alpine Ascents International says she was one of the first team members to reach the top of the world’s highest peak at about 7:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time Friday. Schneider has reached the summit of the tallest mountain on all seven continents — a remarkable achievement for anyone, but especially since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 10 years ago. Schneider trained for the ascent on Mount Ashwabay near Bayfield. That mountain rises less than 13 hundred feet about sea level.