Mississippi flood watches issued; Teen brings 19 bags of marijuana to meeting with parole officer; more briefsWisconsin News
Heavy downpours in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota during the past week have created the risk of flooding downstream on the Mississippi River. The National Weather Service says the flooding won’t occur until next weekend, and it will be minor in all cases.
Heavy downpours in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota during the past week have created the risk of flooding downstream on the Mississippi River.
The National Weather Service says the flooding won’t occur until next weekend, and it will be minor in all cases.
For now, there’s a flood warning on the Mississippi at Wabasha, Minn., which affects Buffalo County in Wisconsin.
Flood watches have been issued along the Mississippi at Hastings and Red Wing, both next to Pierce County.
Far northwest Wisconsin has been deluged with rain since last Thursday. Almost 4.5 inches fell near Frederic in Polk County Sunday night.
Forecasters expect more rain in northern Wisconsin today and statewide on Thursday and Friday.
Teen brings 19 bags of marijuana to meeting with parole officer
A Milwaukee teenager faces drug-dealing charges after he was caught with 19 bags of marijuana during a recent meeting with his parole officer.
Police in suburban Glendale said the 19-year-old went to the state Corrections Department late last week as scheduled, and during a routine search, officers found over 28 grams of pot.
Media reports said he admitted planning to sell the drug in Milwaukee for up to $5 a bag, just as he had done previously.
Drunken man motions officer to drive around slow-moving tractor
A 69-year-old man faces his fourth drunk driving charge after police caught him weaving on a lawn tractor in Jackson in southeast Wisconsin Sunday night.
Jackson Police Chief Jed Dolnick said one of his officers spotted the lawn tractor going on a sidewalk and then a street before turning into a drug store parking lot.
At one point, a squad car’s video showed the man motioning for the officer to drive around him. A preliminary breath test recorded his blood alcohol level at .21, over 2.5 times the legal limit of .08.
The man was in the Washington County Jail at last word on a $1,200 bond.
Wind, hail damage reported over weekend
A funnel cloud was spotted late Sunday east of Oregon in Dane County.
That highlighted another day of severe weather which hit various parts of Wisconsin throughout the Memorial Day Weekend.
Four cars were destroyed by fallen trees in Wisconsin Dells Monday. Winds hit 72 mph near Montello in Marquette County, taking down tree branches and barn shingles.
There were reports of hail throughout south central and southeast Wisconsin as well as the far north. Tennis-ball-sized hail fell just outside Montello.
Folks in Bayfield County said the ground was completely white near Herbster, after several minutes of quarter-sized hail.
Trees and branches were also down in Green and Jefferson counties, and a tree fell onto a house in Waukesha.
The storms left Wisconsin last night and headed east, leaving us with cooler air during the night with lows between 50 and 60.
There’s a chance for more rain today in northern Wisconsin. Forecasters expect dry weather statewide tomorrow with more rain possible on Thursday and Friday, especially in the south.
After a mild day today, temperatures may not get out of the 60’s anywhere in Wisconsin until Saturday.
State Senate recall elections could change balance of power
Relatively little statewide publicity has been given lately to the four state Senate contests next Tuesday and to how those elections could affect the balance of power in the Legislature.
The impact will not be noticed right away because lawmakers won’t go back into session until two months after November’s scheduled elections. But the Joint Finance Committee can still make decisions without the full Legislature’s approval.
If Democrats can win just one of next Tuesday’s four contests, they could gain a little edge by taking over the Senate majority.
If nothing else, Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald told politico.com that next Tuesday could either create momentum for his party in November or “stymie our ability to make the case that we’re going to roll right into November and add to our majority.”
Fitzgerald, of Juneau, faces a recall challenge from Democrat Lori Compas of Fort Atkinson. In the Racine area, Republican Van Wanggaard will run against the incumbent he defeated in 2010, Democrat John Lehman.
In the Eau Claire region, Republican Terry Moulton faces former Assembly Democrat Kristen Dexter. And in north central Wisconsin, Assembly Republican Jerry Petrowski faces Assembly Democrat Donna Seidel for Galloway’s former Senate seat.
Identified wrongful convictions high here, but there’s a reason, says expert
A new study shows that Wisconsin has the nation’s eighth-highest rate of wrongful criminal convictions, but a University of Wisconsin expert says it doesn’t tell the whole story.
The Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University counted 21 Wisconsinites who were exonerated since 1989 when DNA tests started being widely used.
The report said Wisconsin’s wrongful convictions were 30% higher than the national average.
But Keith Findley of the Wisconsin Innocence Project says one reason for the state’s high rate is that his group actually looks for wrongful convictions and tries to correct them. He said when you don’t look, you don’t find them.
Findley heads a group of UW-Madison students who seek out DNA evidence to try to free those who were wrongly sent to prison. He said people should not conclude that Wisconsin’s justice system is much worse than other states.
In fact, he said, defendants are better off in some respects. For one thing, Findley said convicts can ask for DNA tests after their convictions even if prosecutors oppose it. He said that could be one more factor behind the state’s high number of exonerations.
The new study counted 2,000 exonerations throughout the country in the last 23 years. Illinois had the most, with 101. New York, home of the National Innocence Project, was second with 84 exonerations.
No holiday for recall
Recall fever never seems to take a holiday in Wisconsin anymore.
In Milwaukee, hundreds of people spent part of their Memorial Day waiting in line to cast absentee ballots in advance of next Tuesday's recall elections.
Some voters said they wanted to avoid the crowds and the partisan activity near the polls. Others said they wanted to get their own voting out of the way so they could help others get to the polls.
There are relatively few undecided voters, so both parties say this election's about identifying their supporters and getting them to vote next Tuesday.
The Associated Press said it interviewed supporters for both Gov. Scott Walker and his Democratic recall challenger Tom Barrett.
Early voting took place Monday in Madison as well as Milwaukee. It ends on Friday statewide.
Meanwhile, both candidates for governor kept their campaigning to a minimum on Memorial Day.
Gov. Walker appeared at a suburban Milwaukee cemetery and at an Armed Forces Reserve center in Madison.
Barrett appeared at a holiday parade in Beloit, where his wife Kris is from. Barrett had also planned to stop at Madison's Brat Fest.
Man gets prison term for stealing $78,000 in goods from Walmarts
A Wisconsin Rapids man has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for stealing over $78,000 in merchandise from four Walmart stores in central Wisconsin.
Robert Moran, 42, was convicted in February of taking the items from stores in Wisconsin Rapids, Plover, Wausau and Marshfield in 2009 and 2010.
Authorities said he tried to sell the merchandise on his sister's eBay account.
Federal Judge William Conley of Madison rejected Moran's request for a short prison sentence. Conley called Moran a "life-long thief," noting that he had six previous convictions for burglary and theft.