Both candidates for Wisconsin attorney general stepped up their attacks on each other at their final debate in Madison last night. Republican Brad Schimel said Democrat Susan Happ would make life harder for businesses, with a liberal agenda that includes trying to halt the Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine. Happ said she would not bring a partisan agenda to the Justice Department. She also condemned the negativity in the race, while repeating her previous criticism that Schimel would be a "robot" by automatically defending all state laws. Also, the two debated their records on fighting the state's heroin problem -- a major initiative for outgoing Attorney General J-B Van Hollen. As the Waukesha County D-A, Schimel said he saw the crisis coming years ago, and said Happ was slow to pick up on it. Happ, the Jefferson County D-A, said smaller counties don't often have the resources to pick up on trends right away. Earlier yesterday, Schimel took a four-point lead over Happ among likely voters in the Marquette Law School poll. They were tied two weeks ago, but almost one of every five likely voters remain undecided. Also, the Government Accountability Board dropped a G-O-P complaint that Happ wrongly offered a deferred prosecution agreement to a child molester who had bought her family's house. Officials said Happ properly withdrew and let an assistant D-A handle the case.
An armed standoff with police in northwest Wisconsin ended with an exchange of gunfire that injured a 22-year-old woman. Douglas County sheriff's deputies said the woman pulled a gun on her mother during an argument yesterday afternoon in a home at Lake Nebagamon. The mother got away and called 9-1-1. When officers arrived, they said the woman opened fire and narrowly missed the deputies. They retreated and were able to reach the suspect by phone. Soon afterward, she reportedly opened fire again from a second-floor window. The deputies shot back and struck her right hip. That apparently convinced her to surrender. Officials said she was taken to a Duluth hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The incidents remain under investigation.
Soon after we learned that an alleged burglar left a selfie for police to find in Black River Falls, two others in Milwaukee and Stevens Point did the same thing. In Milwaukee, a 22-year-old burglary suspect gave police all the evidence they needed when the victim found the man's smartphone in one of her cabinets. Police said the phone had an action shot of the burglar saying he had just cut the screen to a house window, and was about to climb onto a garbage can to "break in to get some money." He allegedly stole a D-V-R and a video game unit. Charges are pending. In Stevens Point, police were trying to identify a man who stole a cellphone, took a selfie, and then threw it in the garbage. Police said yesterday the man is close to 40, and was seen at a convenience store wearing a racing jacket. Both cases were reported yesterday, soon after police in Black River Falls said they cracked a string of nine burglaries by finding a selfie of a burglar on a cell-phone left behind in a sports shop. Police said forged checks were part of the burglary ring, and a total of three people were arrested.
Testimony ended yesterday in the trial of a man accused of killing his daughter's ex-boyfriend in Wisconsin Rapids over six years ago. Attorneys will start giving the jury their closing arguments this morning in the case of 55-year-old Joseph Reinwand. He's charged in Wood County with first-degree intentional homicide in the 2008 shooting death of 35-year-old Dale Meister, soon after he and the defendant's daughter had a custody dispute. The defense called Reinwand's sister to testify about incidents she witnessed over the custody matter. Reinwand did not take the stand in his own defense. Reinwand has been at the state's prison in Portage for previous convictions of forgery, burglary, identity theft, and possessing marijuana and a sawed-off shotgun. He's also charged with killing his wife 30 years ago, and is scheduled to go on trial next July in that case in Portage County.
A new state law puts limits on how law enforcement can use unmanned sky cameras to watch over the rest of us. But Chippewa County sheriff's officials say there are still a lot of useful-and-legal applications for the new drone it unveiled yesterday. They paid for 17-hundred dollars for the new Phantom-2-Vision camera, but it won't go up in the air for at least another month while a policy for its usage is set-and-approved. Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk said the drone could be used in a number of ways to protect officers and others. They include photographing searches approved by judges, re-constructing traffic accidents, or finding lost kids. He said the drone is easy to use, and it only takes about 20 minutes to train an operator. In April, Governor Scott Walker signed a law which prohibits Wisconsin law enforcement from using drones to obtain evidence without warrants. Kowalczyk promised his department would use its new drone selectively with search laws in mind.
Dodge County authorities said they could not find evidence that an inmate at the state prison in Waupun died under suspicious circumstances in the 1960's. Sheriff's deputies received a complaint in June about an unnamed prisoner's body that was said to be placed on top of another body in a cemetery. Last week, officers pulled back topsoil in the area -- but they did not open any graves, and they found nothing out of line. Also, both Dodge County and state workers searched a host of records to try and identify the inmate -- but they could not identify the person. With the lack of evidence, authorities now say the death investigation is closed, and is officially unfounded.
A pedestrian was killed by a passing freight train in suburban Milwaukee yesterday, apparently by accident. Wauwatosa Police were called to the scene around three yesterday afternoon. They said an adult from Wauwatosa was struck by an eastbound train, and a preliminary investigation found it to be accidental. The victim's name, age, and gender were not immediately released. State Railroad Commissioner Jeff Plale tells W-I-S-N T-V that the safety equipment at the crossing appeared to be working. He said it was one of the safest crossings in Wisconsin, because it's in a designated quiet zone where bells-and-lighting are required -- and trains can go no faster than 35-miles-an-hour.