A 25-year-old woman accused of killing and dismembering a man in Wisconsin has been ruled competent to stand trial. WLUK-TV reports that Judge Thomas Walsh on Friday set a July 21 start date for Taylor Schabusiness’ trial in Brown County Circuit Court. Schabusiness is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse and third-degree sexual assault in the killing of 25-year-old Shad Thyrion in February 2022. Schabusiness has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. In February she attacked her attorney during a court hearing, moments after Walsh agreed to delay her trial. A competency report commissioned by prosecutors that was completed last fall deemed her fit for trial.
A factory farm has agreed to pay the Wisconsin Department of Justice $215,000 to settle pollution allegations. The Legislature's finance committee is slated to approve the deal during a meeting Tuesday. According to an analysis of the deal by the Legislature's attorneys, the deal will settle allegations that Kinnard Farms improperly spread manure in Kewaunee and Door counties between 2018 and 2022, failed to timely submit an engineering evaluation for a feed storage area and failed to timely submit annual nutrient management plan updates. The settlement also calls for Kinnard Farms to upgrade two waste storage facilities and a feed storage area.
Disabled voters who need assistance submitting absentee ballots say local election leaders across Wisconsin are not following federal law during early voting in the high-stakes state Supreme Court race. They say election officials are incorrectly telling them they they can’t have another person return their ballot for them. Absentee ballots, and who can return them, has been a political flashpoint in battleground Wisconsin, which is known for razor-thin margins in statewide races. The April 4 election will determine majority control of the state Supreme Court, with abortion access and the fate of Republican-drawn legislative maps on the line. The state elections commission has implored local officials to follow the law.
A man who pleaded guilty to shooting a Milwaukee police officer and stealing his squad car last year has been sentenced to 40 years in prison. A Milwaukee County judge sentenced 23-year-old Jetrin Rodthong on Thursday for shooting Officer Herbert Davis III as the officer was investigating reports about a sick or injured motorist. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Rodthong pleaded guilty in January to five felonies, including attempted first-degree intentional homicide. He shot Davis and stole his squad car in January 2022 as the officer was investigating a reported person in a vehicle who was sick or injured.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ $3.8 billion proposed spending on state building projects got the thumbs down from Republicans, sending the final decision on funding to the GOP-controlled Legislature’s budget committee. Republicans on the state building commission voted Thursday against Evers’ proposal, just as they have for his prior two budgets. That means it will be up to the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to make the final call. That committee begins taking testimony from state agencies about the Evers budget on Tuesday. The Legislature is expected to pass its plan sometime in June, sending it to Evers who can make changes with his line-item veto power.
A Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty to intimidating and interfering with Black residents who moved into a suburban Milwaukee apartment complex where he lived. U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Gregory Haanstad says Thursday that William McDonald of West Allis faces up to 11 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 29. Court documents say McDonald admitted that in 2021 he vandalized a vehicle owned by a Black woman. A note threatening to slash the woman’s throat, filled with racial slurs and demanding that she move also was left. About a year later, racist graffiti was written on the door to an apartment where another Black woman and her two children lived.
Wisconsin's new secretary of state says she had no idea that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers was going to appoint her to the job. The governor announced Friday that Secretary of State Doug La Follette had abruptly resigned and that he had appointed former state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski to the position rather than call a special election. Republicans accused Evers of handing Godlweski the job as payback for her dropping out of a Democratic primary for U.S. Senate last year and helping Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes win the nomination. Godlewski told The Associated Press on Thursday that she was floored when Evers called her to his office on March 15 and asked her to take over for La Follette.
Hackers are attacking the Wisconsin court system’s computer network. The state court system said in a statement Thursday a cyberattack began early this week. The statement did not say when and court system spokesperson Tom Sheehan didn’t immediately respond to a follow-up email. Network users may have experienced intermittent service or slower than usual response times from online services. Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Ziegler said in the statement that the attack has not resulted in the breach of any data and court operations continue as usual statewide. Director of State Courts Randy Koschnick said the court system has taken effective counter measures but did not elaborate. It was unclear if the attack was still ongoing.
The Republican-backed candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court says he has no problem with someone who was on the U.S. Capitol grounds during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection campaigning for him across the state in the waning days of the high stakes race, calling his work “invaluable.” Dan Kelly on Wednesday posted a video on Twitter of himself standing side-by-side with conservative activist Scott Presler, thanking him for his work. When asked Thursday about Presler’s attendance at the insurrection, Kelly said that he was “not really familiar with his background.” Kelly faces Democratic-backed Janet Protasiewicz in the April 4 election, with majority control of the Supreme Court at stake.
Federal officials are delaying a decision on whether to approve an oil pipeline tunnel in a Great Lakes waterway. The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday released a new timeline for consideration of the project in Michigan's Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Enbridge Energy wants to drill the tunnel to house a section of its Line 5 pipeline. The Army Corps had planned an initial environmental report late this year but now says it will be released in spring 2025. That means a decision on tunnel likely won't come until 2026. If the project is approved, it's expected to take several years to complete.
Sun Prairie Plan Commission backs Dave’s Guitar Shop, Cousins, third Starbucks
Developer breaks ground on Poynette's Point Gardens
Ganske speaks to Sun Prairie school board about cease and desist letter
Cambridge football coach Michael Klingbeil steps down as football coach and will be stepping down from athletic director's position
Sun Prairie Police arrest teen after confrontation, alleged battery at Walmart
Milwaukee police say a 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a shooting that killed another boy of the same age and left five young women injured. News reports Wednesday didn't say whether any charges have been filed against the arrested teen. Police say the shooting occurred about 11:30 p.m. Monday on the city’s north side. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the slain boy as Davion Patterson. Police say five women, ages 18, 19, 21, and two 22-year-olds, were taken to a hospital for treatment of nonfatal injuries.
Anyone who encourages a riot or participates in violence during a riot would face felony charges under a bill Wisconsin's Assembly has approved. The Republican-backed measure would make urging, promoting and encouraging a riot a felony. That would be punishable by up to three years and six months in prison. Engaging in violence during a riot could bring up to six years in prison. The bill defines a riot as a disturbance involving violence that's part of a gathering of at least three people. The Assembly approved the bill Wednesday and sent the bill to the Senate. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a similar bill last year.
A jury has convicted a man of homicide, hiding a corpse and stalking in the death of a romantic rival whose body has never been found. The Kenosha County deliberated about 10 hours over two days before finding 42-year-old Zachariah Anderson of Mequon guilty Wednesday of killing his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, 40-year-old Rosalio Gutierrez, on May 17, 2020, inside the victim’s Kenosha apartment. Several searches have failed to locate the body of Gutierrez. Prosecutors say phone records, DNA and other evidence showed Anderson was tracking and visiting the victim’s apartment before he disappeared. The defense argued investigators ignored other possibilities for the Gutierrez disappearance.
Penalties in Wisconsin for reckless driving and carjacking would increase under Republican-backed bills approved by the Legislature. Supporters say they are responding to increased incidents of reckless driving and carjacking, primarily in Milwaukee. The Senate passed a bill Wednesday increasing carjacking penalties. Both chambers also approved a bill that would allow police to impound a repeat reckless driver’s vehicle. That proposal now goes to Gov. Tony Evers. Also, the Assembly passed a bill that would increase fines and forfeitures for reckless driving and subsequent offenses. That bill now goes to the Senate.
The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature is moving to clarify when a proposed constitutional amendment to make it harder for people to go free on bail before trial would apply. The proposed amendment on the April ballot would let judges consider the criminal histories of people accused of violent crimes when setting bail. Both chambers of the Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday that would define more than 100 offenses as violent crimes. The measure would only go into effect if Democratic Gov. Tony Evers signs it into law and a majority of the state's voters approve the bail amendment on April 4.
The Wisconsin Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a Republican-authored bill that would force the state's parole commission to meet in public and post its decisions online. Republicans have heaped criticism on the commission after it decided to parole Douglas Balsewicz last May. He was convicted of fatally stabbing his wife. Her family insisted they weren't notified of the decision until only a few days before he would've been released. The bill mandates the commission follow Wisconsin's open meetings law and post its parole decisions online. Right now the panel is exempt. The Assembly passed the bill 77-20 on Wednesday.
Wisconsin State Journal. March 19, 2023.
The Wisconsin Legislature has taken the final step needed to stop Gov. Tony Evers’ administration from enacting a ban on the discredited practice known as conversion therapy. Republicans who control the state Senate voted over the objections of Democrats Wednesday to effectively allow therapists and others to attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Republicans used a procedural move to freeze any future attempts through 2024 to ban conversion therapy. The Senate vote came after the Assembly took the same step earlier this month. Senate Democrats argued that the discredited practice should be banned, not allowed to continue.
Police say a man who fled from officers during a pursuit that reached speeds of about 100 mph died early Wednesday after his car crashed into a ravine near Milwaukee. The Cudahy Police Department initiated the pursuit around 3 a.m. after a vehicle with an improperly displayed registration was spotted speeding and deviating from its lane. Police said the pursuit went on for about 3.4 miles, with speeds topping out around 100 mph before the officers terminated the chase after they lost sight of the car. WTMJ-TV reports that the South Milwaukee Police Department found the vehicle in a ravine about 40 minutes later and discovered that the driver, a 23-year-old man, had died.
A perk that allows Wisconsin state lawmakers to apply the value of unused sick days to pay for health insurance premiums upon retirement is being targeted for elimination under a new bill. The proposal circulated Wednesday by three Republicans would end the benefit going forward, but not take away accrued time for current lawmakers. Members of the state Senate and Assembly currently receive about 10.5 sick days per year. Unused days accumulate and upon retirement convert to a credit that can be used to pay for the state’s retiree’s group health insurance premium. According to the bill sponsors, only five other states offer the same benefit to retirees.
Milwaukee police say a 15-year-old boy has died and five young women have been injured in a shooting in the latest violence to target the city’s young people. Police say the 15-year-old boy died at the scene following the shooting that occurred about 11:30 p.m. Monday on the city’s north side. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the boy as Davion Patterson. Police say five women _ ages 18, 19, 21, and two 22-year-olds _ were taken to a hospital for treatment of non-fatal injuries. Investigators said they were looking for unknown suspects and trying to learn what led up to the shooting.
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (AP) — MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (AP) — Enerpac Tool Group Corp. (EPAC) on Tuesday reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $4.5 million.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is working to keep the spotlight on abortion ahead of next month's Wisconsin Supreme Court election, resurrecting a bill that would repeal the state's 1849 abortion ban. Republican lawmakers rejected the bill last summer. It has next to no chance of passing this time, but Evers and Democratic lawmakers held a news conference Tuesday to promote the measure. Abortion figures to be the key issue in the April 4 state Supreme Court election. Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul has filed a lawsuit challenging the ban and the case looks destined to land before the high court. If liberal-leaning candidate Janet Protasiewicz wins the election, conservatives would lose their majority on the court, opening the door to defeating the ban.
Authorities in Wisconsin have arrested a man in connection with the theft last January of a funeral home van containing a body. Officials said Monday that the 23-year-old man faces charges of abuse of a corpse and unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle. The van was stolen from outside a Rockport, Illinois, funeral home on Jan. 21, and found abandoned behind a vacant Chicago home on Jan. 23 with the body inside. The man was arrested Sunday in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Authorities had charged him in late January but said he was at large. The body of the 47-year-old man that had been in the van was returned to Rockford.
A 23-year-old Rockford man charged with abuse of a corpse for stealing a funeral home van containing a body that was later dumped in Chicago has been arrested in Wisconsin. The man, who also faces a charge of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, was arrested Sunday in Green Bay. The van belonging to Collins & Stone Funeral Home was stolen from outside the Rockford business on Jan. 21. Chicago police found the van the following day without the body inside. Police have said the body of 47-year-old Curtis Brown that had been in the van was recovered Jan. 23 on Chicago’s South Side.
A man was arrested after he allegedly brought a gun into a library at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the 25-year-old man was seen loading the gun in Golda Meir Library on Thursday afternoon. A spokesperson for the university police department said officers responded within two minutes but by the time they arrived the man had left. Police tracked him down in an off-campus neighborhood and arrested him. No one was injured. The police spokesperson said the university did not send out a campus-wide alert or evacuate the library because the man had left by the time officers arrived and didn't present an active threat.
Investigators with the state Department of Justice are investigating a mysterious death in northeastern Wisconsin. The Justice Department said in a statement that police officers were called to a house in the village of Hortonville in Outagamie County on Saturday morning on a report of two unresponsive individuals. Officers found a dead woman and a man with serious injuries. The man was taken to a local hospital. The Justice Department said the public is not in danger. The agency's Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the inquiry with assistance from the Hortonville Police Department and the Outagamie County Coroner's Office.
Republican lawmakers across the country are pushing to increase the use of cash bail and pretrial detention. Their efforts are a counter to Democratic measures that have sought to eliminate cash bail and ensure most defendants are released before trial in states such as Illinois and New York. GOP lawmakers in at least 14 states have introduced 20 bills to bolster cash bail since legislative sessions began anew in 2023. Criminal justice advocates say the measures would do little more than increase disparity in the justice system and favor wealthy defendants. Republicans argue they will protect the public from people accused of violent crimes.
Wisconsin’s Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette has resigned, three months into his 11th consecutive term in office. Gov. Tony Evers on Friday appointed former Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, who ran for U.S. Senate last year but lost in the primary, to fill out the four-year term. Wisconsin’s secretary of state is not in charge of elections and has almost no official duties. The 82-year-old La Follette won reelection in November over a Republican who wanted to shift election duties to the office. La Follette was first elected secretary of state in 1974.
A Mississippi agency says a judge should reject retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre’s requests to be removed from a lawsuit seeking to recover misspent welfare money. Millions of dollars were intended to help low-income Mississippi residents, but were instead squandered on projects supported by wealthy or well-connected people. Favre’s attorneys have sought to get the Hall of Fame quarterback dismissed as one of more than 30 defendants in the civil suit. Court filings Monday by the Department of Human Services say Favre failed to make solid legal arguments for being removed, and a judge should ignore his “diatribe.”
A new University of Wisconsin System analysis shows system President Jay Rothman's plan to increase tuition, fees and room and board costs would drive up student expenses as much as 5.4% next year. The system released a campus-by-campus breakdown Friday of the plan's impact. The analysis shows resident undergraduates at UW-River Falls would see the biggest cost increase at 5.4%. UW-Madison resident undergraduates would see the smallest increase at 3%. The Board of Regents is expected to vote on the cost increases at meetings March 30 and March 31 at UW-Stout.
The Republican-backed candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court has announced his first television ad buy, just over two weeks before the election and after his Democratic-supported opponent has dominated the airwaves for weeks. Conservative candidate Dan Kelly’s first ad released Friday faults sentences handed down by opponent Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz. According to AdImpact, which tracks TV spending, the ad buy is $70,000. According to the group's tallies, that is less than 1% of the $9.3 million that Protasiewicz has spent on TV ads since the primary. The candidates meet Tuesday for their only debate before the April 4 election.
Authorities say a police officer in northeastern Wisconsin shot and wounded a suspect early Friday as that person drove a vehicle toward officers. The Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Oshkosh Police Department say Oshkosh officers were responding to a “threats complaint” about 1:30 a.m. when the suspect was spotted in a nearby vehicle. Authorities say the suspect drove the vehicle at the police officers, one of whom fired their weapon, injuring the suspect. That person was hospitalized but no information of the person's condition was immediately released. Oshkosh police Capt. Rebecca Kaiser tells the Oshkosh Northwestern the vehicle got close enough to the officers that they “felt threatened for their life.”
Wisconsin Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette resigns, governor appoints former Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
Wisconsin Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette resigns, governor appoints former Treasurer Sarah Godlewski.
Wisconsin Republicans are circulating a bill that would designate an official state rifle. The legislation would designate the Henry All-Weather .45-70 as Wisconsin's official state rifle. The rifle's manufacturer, Henry Repeating Arms, is based in Rice Lake. The company's Big Boy All-Weather Rifle won the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce's “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin” contest in 2019. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is the state's largest business association and a staunch Republican ally. According to the National Rifle Association, at least nine states have designated an official firearm.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Ziegler has been reelected by her fellow justices to a second two-year term leading the state’s highest court. The court announced Thursday that justices had voted in private to keep Ziegler in the post she first assumed in 2021. The court did not announce the vote breakdown. The chief justice has no additional voting power on the Supreme Court. However, the person who holds the title is the administrative head of the state’s judicial system and has administrative authority over to procedures adopted by the Supreme Court. Ziegler has served on the court since 2007. She is part of the four-justice conservative majority.
Wisconsin Democratic lawmakers want to virtually eliminate the use of cash bail, clashing with Republicans who support a proposed constitutional amendment to make it harder for people to get out of jail on bail. Democrats unveiled plans to introduce an alternative to that amendment Thursday, but they are unlikely to succeed in the Republican-controlled Legislature. If the Republican-backed amendment is approved by a majority of voters in the statewide April election, it will allow judges to consider the criminal histories of people accused of violent crimes. The Senate judiciary committee approved a bill Thursday that would go into effect with the amendment and define which offenses are considered violent crimes.
DODGEVILLE, Wis. (AP) — DODGEVILLE, Wis. (AP) — Lands' End Inc. (LE) on Thursday reported a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $3.3 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier.
A Wisconsin man who was accused of a secondary role in a plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. Brian Higgins said Wednesday that he attempted to provide material support for terrorism when he drove past Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's vacation home. The crime carries a maximum prison term of five years. Higgins is from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. He appeared by video in court in Antrim County, Michigan, which is the location of Whitmer’s property. Investigators say a band of anti-government rebels was planning to kidnap the Democratic governor and trigger a civil war before the 2020 election. Fourteen people were charged in three different courts. The two leaders were convicted in federal court.
A federal grand jury has indicted a former University of Wisconsin-Madison student accused of threatening people at the school. Prosecutors announced Wednesday that the grand jury sitting in Madison indicted 32-year-old Arvin Raj Mathur on six counts of transmitting communications containing threats to injure other persons. Mathur is accused of emailing threats to graduate students, staff or professors at UW-Madison in February. He was arrested Friday at a Detroit-area airport after traveling from Cophenhagen. Prosecutors initially charged him via complaint on March 8. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted on each count.