Federal judge will hear arguments in tribes' quest to night-hunt deer; many infected by AIDS don't know it; part of S-B teachers' payroll recovered, more briefsWisconsin News
Lawyers representing the Chippewa tribes and Wisconsin DNR will meet with a federal judge to try to resolve a dispute over whether Native Americans should be allowed to hunt whitetail deer at night. Also, Gov. Scott Walker told a 'listening session' group his budget will contain initiatives both parties can support, but a Democratic leader thinks otherwise. Plus many more state briefs.
MADISON -- Lawyers for the Chippewa Indians and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources were to meet Wednesday with Federal Judge Barbara Crabb to discuss the status of a lawsuit that seeks to stop the tribes from deer hunting at night.
The judge could set a date to hear arguments in the DNR’s lawsuit. The tribes say they want to exercise their centuries-old treaty rights to hunt and fish in much of northern Wisconsin but the state says the nighttime shootings will put motorists and others in danger.
A Mole Lake tribal member received a nighttime hunting permit from the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, but the agency revoked the permit Tuesday while the legal challenge proceeds.
The tribal hunting was supposed to begin Monday and the commission could not say when it might start.
In 1989, Judge Crabb ruled against a similar nighttime tribal hunt, and she gave the DNR the power to regulate hunting statewide.
Now, the tribes said the state opened the door to nighttime deer hunting, when it approved the nighttime hunting of wolves for the first time this year. That argument was part of the tribes’ response filed Tuesday to the state’s lawsuit.
The tribes also said they need the hunt to survive as unemployment is up to 93 percent among some bands.
Democratic leader dubious of Gov. Walker's bipartisan promises
Gov. Scott Walker held the first of his listening sessions Tuesday on what he should propose in the next state budget. The Republican Walker told almost 40 employees at ACE Marine that his general priorities for the next two years are to cut taxes, create jobs, improve transportation and boost education and workforce training.
Over a dozen people asked questions about things like prescription drug costs and employee apprenticeship programs. One asked what Walker would do to get opposing Democrats on his side. Walker responded that his budget plans are things that both Republicans and Democrats alike could support.
The Senate’s incoming minority leader, Milwaukee Democrat Chris Larson, questioned whether the state has enough of a budget surplus to pay for tax cuts. Larson said that if the deep school aid cuts from 2011 remain in place, then income tax cuts would be a “non-starter.”
But if Senate Republicans vote as a block like they’ve done on most issues over the past two years, Larson and his fellow Democrats won’t have enough votes to stop them.
Larson also criticized the governor’s listening sessions, saying they’re not open to the general public.
Study indicates many infected by AIDS don't know it
MILWAUKEE -- Six of every 10 young people who have the AIDS virus don’t know it and just one of every five sexually active high school students have been tested for HIV. That’s according to a study in Milwaukee and other selected U.S. metro areas.
The Centers for Disease Control announced the results Tuesday, saying that 1,000 young people a month are getting infected with the virus that causes AIDS. After 30 years of fighting the disease, CDC director Thomas Frieden called the situation unacceptable.
In Wisconsin, only three of every 100,000 residents have HIV, which is about the same as the national average. But Milwaukee County has 22 infected residents for every 100,000 and 90 percent of those cases are in the city of Milwaukee.
Officials said three-fourths of new HIV cases involve sexual contact between males, and 20 percent come from heterosexual activity. Younger gay black males have had their biggest increase in HIV cases – 218 percent over the last decade.
AIDS used to be considered a death sentence when it was first discovered in the 1980’s, but while doctors say it’s now treatable, officials say HIV is an expensive disease that can never totally be cured.
The study showed that a single patient will have $400,000 in related medical care throughout the person’s lifetime.
Fire damages grain mill fire near Janesville
Authorities are trying to find out what started a large fire at a grain mill in Avalon, southeast of Janesville.
Over a dozen fire departments helped control the blaze, which started just before 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Gavilon Grain Elevator.
About 20 nearby homes were evacuated for about 90 minutes.
Early reports said the fire was in a dryer unit, but later officials said it happened in a maintenance shop.
There were no reports of injuries.
Portion of hijacked Stanley-Boyd payroll recovered
Bank officials say part of the $150,000 that a computer hacker stole from a school payroll in western Wisconsin has been recovered.
Stanley-Boyd school officials said they sent their payroll funds to Madison’s Anchor Bank last week as usual, and the bank later reported that the payroll recipients were modified.
One school official blamed the bank at first, saying the data was accurate when it left the school facility. But Jennifer Ranville of Anchor Bank said there’s no evidence that its systems were compromised.
The FBI is trying to get to the bottom of what happened. Ranville said the bank worked with school officials to make sure the district’s 150 employees were paid on time, but she could not go into details as to how it happened.
Ranville said the bank was also helping the school employees start new accounts since the hacking exposes them to possible identify theft. She said no other Anchor Bank accounts were affected by the incident.
In a statement, the Stanley-Boyd school district said it’s working with the bank to make its money transfers more secure and if all the stolen money is not recovered, the district’s liability insurance will cover it.
Routine traffic stop results in major drug bust
MERRILL -- Three people face a total of 28 criminal charges, after a routine traffic stop turned into a major drug bust in Merrill.
Police said they stopped Cassiopia Conlin, 23, of Merrill late Monday night because the license plates did not match the vehicle they were on.
Officials said Conlin tried giving a false name, but the officer recognized her. She and two passengers were subsequently arrested after a large amount of drugs were found by the officer and Wausau’s canine unit.
Conlin, Jimmie Joannon, 38, of Merrill, and Danny Hanson, 49, of Wausau appeared in Lincoln County Circuit Court Tuesday, and all are due back Dec. 6 when a judge will decide whether to order trials.
Conlin faces nine charges, Joannon 11, and Hanson eight. They include possessing methamphetamines, heroin and LSD with the intent to sell them.
Other charges include maintaining a drug trafficking house, marijuana possession, using paraphernalia to manufacture drugs, bail jumping and not having the required state drug tax stamps.
Bond was set at $20,000 for Hanson, and $7,500 for the other two.
Wildlife group's director praises recent hunt successes
MADISON -- The head of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation said the gun deer hunting season created more success and more positive attitudes by hunters.
George Meyer said the deer population had obviously increased. He said there was a different tone from recent years when hunters complained about the way the DNR managed the herd.
The state issued preliminary figures Tuesday showing that almost 244,000 deer were shot during the nine-day gun season that ended Sunday. That was up 7.7 percent from a year ago. The buck harvest was up 12 percent.
The numbers of hunters rose, too, thanks to a lower-priced license for first-timers. About 29,000 new hunters took advantage of that and the total of 633,000 deer licenses was up 2 percent from a year ago.
At least seven people were shot in hunting accidents, but that was down from the average of nine over the past decade.
One hunter near Superior was killed by a partner who mistook him for a deer. Another hunter was found shot to death at Fort McCoy, and the Army was still investigating at last word.
Still, the DNR said hunters had a lot to be proud about. The agency did more to reach out to hunters this year, by scrapping the much-criticized Earn-a-Buck program and stressing the deer hunt’s traditions.
In announcing the harvest totals, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp praised those who were “out connecting with the land.”
She said the hunt is all about fun, family, friends and traditions – and besides the harvest, the season also generated new stories for those folks to share.
Dane County conducts first 'DNA sweep'
MADISON -- Police and sheriff’s officers in Dane County conducted their first “DNA sweep” Tuesday.
They were looking for 93 convicted felons and sex offenders who never provided their DNA to authorities as required by law. They found 14 of those offenders, including one who was wanted on an outstanding warrant.
About 30 officers took part in Tuesday's action. They included Dane County deputies, and police officers from Madison, Middleton, Fitchburg, and Sun Prairie.
The state began requiring DNA samples from convicted felons in 2000 for a statewide database that’s been heavily used in investigating past and present crimes.
Later in the decade, it was discovered that 12,000 convicts never provided their required DNA samples, and authorities have made numerous efforts which has reduced the backlog.
Chippewa-based CESA 10 still in running for federal funds
CHIPPEWA FALLS -- An agency that serves 29 school districts in northwest Wisconsin is still in the running for the latest round of federal education funds.
The Cooperative Educational Service Agency 10, based in Chippewa Falls, is the only Wisconsin group which made the final round for the next “Race to the Top” grants. There are 61 finalists.
The U.S. Education Department is expected to award up to 25 grants by the end of the year, ranging from $5 million to $40 million for the first four years of their projects.
The newest competitive grants are designed to create more personalized education for youngsters and to encourage schools to develop tools that can better meet student needs.
Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Beloit also applied for the money, but they did not advance in the national competition.
The Chippewa Falls agency provides a host of services to school districts that range from staff training to public relations.
Salon where shootings occurred to reopen Saturday
MILWAUKEE -- The Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield will re-open on Saturday, almost six weeks after a shooting spree there that killed three women and wounded four others.
Owner Tami Gemmell said she’s had a rollercoaster of emotions since the Oct. 21 massacre. She changed the interior of the salon to highlight a memorial to the victims and to honor those who work there.
Radcliffe Haughton opened fire and killed his estranged wife Zina and two others before turning the gun on himself.
The Haughtons lived in Brown Deer where police were called to their home 20 times over the last decade to handle various domestic abuse incidents.
Gemmell said she’ll spend the rest of her life as an advocate for victims of domestic violence.
Three collared in Thanksgiving robbery
MANITOWOC -- Three people have been arrested for a convenience store robbery in a small town in Manitowoc County during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Sheriff Robert Hermann said officers obtained a warrant Tuesday to search a home in Denmark, and officers from several agencies arrested a 28-year-old woman and two men, ages 20 and 18.
They’re suspected in a Saturday night robbery at the Marathon Plaza Mini-Mart in Francis Creek where cash, lottery tickets and cigarettes were stolen. Officers from both Manitowoc and Brown counties took part in the investigation, according to radio station WOMT, Manitowoc.