Van Hollen will file motion today for extension of union law while appeal plays out; Mining debate begins anew in Madison today; more state newsWisconsin News
While Madison teachers have already asked to begin talks on their new contract, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen will petition a Dane County judge today, asking that he allow Wisconsin's new union law to remain in place while an appeal is prepared. Also, new research shows pacifiers may stunt boys emotions later in life, plus more state briefs.
MADISON -- Wisconsin’s attorney general said he’ll ask a Madison judge Tuesday to delay his decision to reinstate public union bargaining rights, until the ruling can be fully appealed.
Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas threw out the one-year-old collective bargaining limits for local government and public school unions on Friday. But the law remains in place for state government and UW employees.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says there could be “chaos” if the union law does not remain in place while he appeals the judge’s order.
Van Hollen said local unions would try to negotiate new contracts while the law is not in effect for them. And indeed, Madison Teachers Incorporated said it would ask school officials Tuesday to begin talks on their next contract now, instead of waiting until next February as usual.
The Madison teachers were among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that Colas ruled on. Van Hollen calls the ruling, “woefully, legally deficient,” and he predicted he would win an appeal. But the attorney general would not criticize the judge himself, as Republican Gov. Scott Walker did Friday when he called Colas a “liberal, activist judge.”
Former Gov. Jim Doyle appointed Colas to the bench, after he served as a public defender and a state Justice Department prosecutor.
Supreme Court will await appeals decision on domestic partner registry
MADISON -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court says it will not decide whether Wisconsin’s domestic partner registry is constitutional, until an appeals court makes a recommendation first.
The three-year-old registry gives same-sex couples about one-fifth of the legal benefits of married couples.
The Fourth District Appellate Court refused to consider a challenge to the registry two months ago. It said the Supreme Court should be the one to decide what it called a “novel constitutional issue with statewide significance.”
The justices returned the issue to the appellate court Monday, but they did not say why.
Former Gov. Jim Doyle and other Democrats created the domestic partner registry in 2009, calling it a matter of fairness. Among other things, it gives same-sex couples the rights to inherit each other’s property, visit each other in hospitals, and make end-of-life decisions.
The Wisconsin Family Action group has challenged the registry since its inception, saying it violates the 2006 constitutional amendment against gay marriage and civil unions. The group also says the registry creates a legal status for unmarried people that’s similar to marriage.
Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser upheld the domestic partner set-up last year.
Mining debate rekindles today at Capitol
MADISON -- The pros-and-cons of mining in Wisconsin will be explained at three public hearings which are to be held Tuesday at the State Capitol.
A Senate mining panel chaired by Janesville Democrat Tim Cullen will hear from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Wisconsin Geological Survey.
The panel will hear other views on Thursday and Sept. 25th on both the business and environmental effects of mining.
Cullen believes there’s room for compromise, amid reports that both Republicans and Democrats are working on their own bills.
Last spring, senators failed to approve a measure that would have eased environmental laws, so Gogebic Taconite could build a large iron ore mine near Hurley that may have created 700 jobs. The debate centered on jobs versus the environment and Cullen said there could have been a more productive session had it not been for the recall elections, and pressure to pass what Gogebic Taconite wanted.
The company withdrew its project when the bill didn’t pass.
Most Wisconsin fields dry this autumn as harvests begin
Less than a quarter of Wisconsin farm fields have adequate moisture as they’re about to wrap up their growing seasons.
Officials said 44 percent of fields were short of moisture at the end of last week, despite scattered light rains. That’s a 3 percent increase from the week before. About 40 percent of the Wisconsin corn crop is mature, higher than the normal 22 percent for this time of year. But 36 percent of the corn is rated poor- to very poor due to the summer-long drought and just over one third of the crop was rated good- to excellent.
Corn stalks are said to be drying down quickly and many are said to be thin, or even hollow. Ear dropping has also been a problem. Meanwhile, 2 percent of the Wisconsin soybean crop has been harvested, with varied yields of 5- to 50 bushels an acre. Some 27 percent of the beans are in poor shape and 39 percent are good- or excellent.
Meanwhile, forecasters say there's a chance of rain across the eastern half of the state today as the sun rose on a chilly morning. It was 30 degrees at 6 a.m. in Superior and Tomahawk. Temperatures hit the freezing mark as far south as Sparta, and much of northern and central Wisconsin were in the 30’s while the Fox Valley and the south were in the 40’s.
Highs will only reach the low-60’s, and patchy frost is due to return Tuesday night.
Study: Pacifiers may stunt boys' emotions in later years
MADISON -- A UW Madison study shows that parents who use pacifiers on their crying baby boys might be stunting their children’s emotions in later years.
It shows that the frequent use of pacifiers can limit the emotional development of boys. That’s because they’re not able to mimic other people’s facial expressions and they don’t learn the emotions behind those expressions.
UW psychology professor Paula Niedenthal says people of all ages read each other’s emotions partially by imitating their facial expressions and it helps them understand what others may be thinking. After evaluating 6- and 7-year-old boys, those who spent more time with pacifiers were less likely to mimic the facial expressions of people in a video. College-aged men with heavy pacifier usage scored lower in showing empathy but the same trends did not show up in girls who were given pacifiers. They were still able to make satisfactory emotional progress.
The UW’s findings were published Tuesday the journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology.
Ann Romney campaigning in Milwaukee Thursday
MILWAUKEE -- Ann Romney will campaign in Milwaukee this week for her husband Mitt.
She’ll speak at a Republican rally late Thursday morning at Marquette University.
The visit comes just two days before President Obama is due to hold a large fundraiser at the Milwaukee Theater on Saturday.
The latest independent polls generally show Romney and the Democrat Obama in a statistical dead heat.
Republicans are trying to win the Wisconsin presidential vote for the first time since 1984.
Portland man pleads to Milwaukee armored car thefts
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A 64-year-old man has pleaded guilty to helping steal almost $4 million by staging robberies of armored cars he was driving in Milwaukee and Portland.
Archie Cabello was supposed to go on trial Monday in Portland but he dropped his court-appointed lawyer, and agreed to plead guilty to eight of the 51 federal charges against him.
He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 11th.
Cabello’s wife Marian and their son Vincent pleaded guilty earlier this year to their roles in the robberies and both were expected to testify against Archie. Prosecutors said he and Vincent Cabello worked for Dunbar in 1995 when they staged an armored car heist in Milwaukee, stealing $158,000. They did the same thing three years later at Milwaukee’s American Security Corporation, stealing $730,000.
Authorities said they got suspicious after the men staged a 2005 holdup in Portland which netted them $3 million. Marian Cabello handled the bookkeeping.
Prosecutors said the three used false names to try and hide the stolen cash and allegedly filed false tax returns, claiming annual incomes as low as $10,000.
Holmen teacher -- former All-American athlete -- killed in crash
HOLMAN -- A woman killed Saturday in a Minnesota traffic crash was a teacher near La Crosse, and an All-American track athlete in college.
Ashton May, 25, died near Adams, Minn., on Mower County Road 7.
Authorities said her car veered into the left ditch, over-corrected, and slammed into an oncoming grain truck. May died a short time later at a hospital in Rochester.
She became an eighth grade math and science teacher this fall at the middle school in Holmen, where counselors were on hand Monday to help people deal with their loss.
Previously, she was a substitute at Holmen’s Prairie View Elementary School.
May also received 10 All-American honors from the NCAA’s Division 3 as a track athlete at UW La Crosse and she was an assistant coach there last year.
Milwaukee woman will represent state in 2013 Miss U.S.A. pageant
MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee woman will represent Wisconsin in next year’s Miss USA pageant.
Chrissy Zamora, 24, was named Miss Wisconsin U.S.A. at a state pageant over the weekend in Fond du Lac. She beat out 30 other contestants for the title.
Zamora graduated from the University of Minnesota in business and retail management.
She replaces Emily Guerin of Monroe, who was this year’s Miss Wisconsin U.S.A. Also, Sheboygan Lutheran High School junior Katherine Redekar was crowned as the 2013 Miss Wisconsin Teen U.S.A.
Prostitute gets 6 years for robbery in which victim died
MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee prostitute gets six years in prison for robbing a 70-year-old man in the elevator of his apartment building, and scaring him to death.
George Yensh died from a heart attack last October, right after 47-year-old Stephanie Rent accosted him.
Authorities said she followed Yensh into his building to sell her sexual services. When he said refused, Rent stole his wallet and she was frisking him when he collapsed.
Surveillance video showed that Rent quickly ran away. When she was arrested a few days later, she admitted robbing Yensh but she didn’t know he died.
In February, Rent pleaded guilty to robbery by force. After her prison time, she must spend five years under extended supervision.
Rent has a long criminal record and a history of mental illness and substance abuse.
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Borowski said thousands of dollars have been wasted trying to help Rent, and he called the prison term a logical step.