Couple charged in death of three-year-old; Survey: Wisconsin Capitol protest rules ‘more generous’ than most; More briefsWisconsin News
DANBURY -- A northwest Wisconsin couple charged in the death of their three-year-old daughter turned themselves over the weekend. Thomas Williams, 42, and Jenna Danish, 33, both of Danbury, are due in Burnett County Circuit Court Oct. 10 on felony charges of child neglect resulting in death.
DANBURY -- A northwest Wisconsin couple charged in the death of their three-year-old daughter turned themselves over the weekend.
Thomas Williams, 42, and Jenna Danish, 33, both of Danbury, are due in Burnett County Circuit Court Oct. 10 on felony charges of child neglect resulting in death. Charges and arrest warrants were filed last Friday.
The couple is charged in the death of three-year-old Renna Williams. She was reportedly searching for a dog when she wandered away from the family’s home in mid-August.
Authorities said her mother was sleeping at the time, and her father went in the house to get a drink. A neighbor reported seeing Jenna walking in a street, and hundreds of volunteers searched for the girl until she was found dead the next day in a shallow creek about 25 yards from her house.
The death had been ruled an accident.
Survey: Wisconsin Capitol protest rules ‘more generous’ than most
Protestors at the Wisconsin State Capitol have it great compared to those at other statehouses.
The State Journal of Madison surveyed officials at all 50 state capitols and found that nearly half don’t allow protests at all. Of the 26 that do, all but six require permits for even small demonstrations.
Wisconsin’s new Capitol Police Chief David Erwin has recently decided to enforce long-running rules for protestors. That resulted in numerous arrests and a blowback by protestors in the form of bigger crowds for the daily noontime sing-alongs by the Solidarity Singers, a group that has fought off requests to get a required permit.
Stephanie Marquis of the Department of Administration said the State Journal survey proves that Wisconsin’s requirements for protestors are reasonable and “much more generous than elsewhere.”
Colorado is among a number of states that only allow protests outside their Capitol buildings. Ohio charges $50 for a demonstration permit, whereas Wisconsin’s permits are free. In South Dakota, no protest can last more than three days in a row.
The Wisconsin chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has said that the Capitol’s protest rules infringe on free-speech rights.
When asked about the stricter limits in other states, Stacy Harbaugh of the ACLU said they’re not as important as the Wisconsin Capitol’s history as a hallmark of First Amendment activity. Her group and others were concerned that the protest permits would be rejected for causes the government doesn’t agree with.
But of 400 permit requests, Capitol Police have turned down only three. Two were due to scheduling conflicts, and one sought to reserve property outside of the Capitol’s jurisdiction.
The permit rules came after the massive protests 19 months ago against the law which limits public union bargaining.
Building condemned after floor collapses during party
LA CROSSE -- City inspectors have condemned an historic building where an upstairs floor collapsed during the weekend.
Police said up to 50 people might have been in a large apartment where a 30 by 30 foot section of floor gave way late Saturday night.
Three people were taken to a hospital with injuries. Officials said the others left the building by the time authorities arrived.
The second-floor apartment was spread over two storefronts in the 99-year-old building. The building was designated as an historic site because it was the original location of the Trane Company, which makes heating and air conditioning systems.
Ryan rejects Republican ‘producer,’ Democrat ‘taker’ mindset
Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan says more able-bodied Americans have become dependent on government in the last four years under President Obama.
But in a long interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the House Budget chairman from Janesville dispelled the notion that people on government programs are there by choice.
Ryan was responding to Mitt Romney’s comments at an earlier fundraiser. Romney said the 47% of Americans who don’t pay taxes have a “mindset” and feel entitled to things like health care.
On a Saturday night flight from Georgia to his Janesville home, Ryan told a Journal Sentinel reporter that he rejects the notion that the so-called “producers” who pay taxes are Republicans and the “takers” on government aid on Democrats. Ryan said economic growth is the key to prevent it from happening.
Ryan also took issue from conservatives who say he’s been too vague during his campaign. He said there’s a lot of time left in the campaign to talk about more specifics.
Ryan said Romney took a big step by naming him as the vice presidential choice because he already proposed a host of specifics in two federal budgets.
Ryan said he also takes issue with fellow Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who has said that Romney has not let Ryan pump passion into the campaign. Ryan said he’s never been told by Romney to quiet things down or do anything differently.
He also believes he’ll add a few points to the Republican vote in Wisconsin because “I’m the hometown guy – people know me.”
First Lady plans visit to Appleton
Michelle Obama is about to make her second trip to Wisconsin this fall.
It was announced during the President’s visit to Milwaukee Saturday that the First Lady would be in the Appleton area, but no other details were immediately released.
It was a month ago yesterday when Michelle Obama held a campaign rally in Milwaukee and met privately with surviving relatives from the Aug. 5 Sikh Temple massacre in Oak Creek.
Trial starts for man accused of killing woman looking for crack cocaine
Testimony begins today in the trial of a man charged with killing a woman in La Crosse six and a half months ago.
Prosecutors said Izelia Golatt, 45, strangled Kristen Tabbert Rodgers, 35, in early March, soon after the two traded dozens of text messages and phone calls in her search for crack cocaine.
But the defense claims that Rodgers was choked during rough sex the previous day, and she actually died from cocaine in her system and exposure to 30-degree temperatures.
Surveillance video showed Golatt’s van leaving a convenience store around two a.m. last March 6 with a person inside matching Rodgers’ description. A short time later, witnesses saw the van with no passenger in it. Five hours later, a scrap collector found Rodgers’ dead body in a dirt lot.
Golatt was convicted of second-degree murder in Illinois in 1993, but jurors will not hear that fact in court. The jury will be able to examine DNA evidence even though the defense says it could have matched over 400 other people.
The jury was picked late last week. The trial is expected to last for most of this week.
Juveniles accused of mob-style robberies
Seven juveniles have been arrested for mob-style street robberies in Kenosha dating back to July.
Most of the crimes occurred after dark in the central and eastern parts of the city. Police say most of the victims were approached and attacked by groups of four to eight teenagers, but one incident involved almost two dozen teens -- overwhelming two undercover officers. Reports say a responding detective was also assaulted.
Despite that incident, the undercover patrols will continue in Kenosha.
The suspects under arrest are 14 to 16 years old. Some of them are likely to face adult charges.
Child-care workers object to rating system
Most of Wisconsin’s child care centers are rated as having two stars out of five in the state’s “Young Star” rating system adopted a couple years ago.
Officials used to say a two-star rating wasn’t bad. But at a recent panel discussion in Madison, a new head of the rating system compared two stars to a grade of “D.”
Over 2,900 of Wisconsin’s 4,800-plus child care centers are rated at two stars. Some providers take issue with what they consider as a harsher view of their facilities by Madison.
Anneliese Sheahan of Mosinee, who heads a group of child care providers outside of Milwaukee County, said the rating system is biased against smaller centers. She said those places are not as likely to afford accreditation and college credits for teachers. Sheahan said family-run centers are offended to be told that they’re almost failing.
LaTonya Johnson, who heads a union of providers in Milwaukee County, said it was the first time she heard that a two-star rating was likened to a grade of “D.” She called it unfair and a slap in the face to parents in their ability to make choices.
The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families said the rating system’s goal is to reward high-quality providers with more state aid and improve all of Wisconsin’s child care.
FSA offers loans to drought-damaged farms
Drought-stricken farmers who cannot get credit elsewhere can obtain emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency to cover their losses.
The agency’s Sue Hunter said production losses will be determined by comparing the current year to the previous three years. Replacements for damaged or destroyed property will only be granted for items essential to the farm’s continuation.
The loans have a fixed interest rate of 2.8%. More details are available at local Farm Service Agency offices.
Despite recent rains, the drought continues to hang on in Wisconsin. The U.S. Drought Monitor said all of Wisconsin was abnormally dry or worse last week – same as the week before.
It was the only two weeks all summer in which the entire state was listed as being in some stage of drought.