This long winter’s not over; Walker expects to sign marijuana extract bill; 12 more state news briefs
Winter returns today to the northern half of Wisconsin. Up to 15 inches of snow are predicted for the far north by the time it clears out early Saturday.
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings north of a line from Hudson to Florence. Ten to 15 inches of snow are predicted north of Eagle River. Eight to 12 inches are possible for most of the northwest, four to eight inches in the Eau Claire region, four to seven inches east of Rhinelander, three to six north of Wausau, and an inch or two from Wausau as far south as Wisconsin Rapids. Freezing rain is possible in some of those areas.
West central Wisconsin expects at least a quarter inch of ice but no snow. A storm watch was canceled in the Fox Valley and Manitowoc regions. Forecasters say roads could get slippery later today with sleet.
In southern Wisconsin, rain and thunderstorms are possible tonight, continuing tomorrow. Parts of the southeast might get snow showers just before the storm system leaves tomorrow night.
Expect some of the new snow to melt Saturday when sunny skies are in the forecast statewide with highs in the upper- 30's and 40's. More precipitation is possible Sunday with highs rising to the 50's.
Walker expects to sign marijuana extract bill
Gov. Scott Walker said he will most likely approve a bill legalizing a marijuana extract that treats childhood seizures.
Walker told reporters in Janesville yesterday that his office is still reviewing the measure, but he expects to sign it. The governor said the measure that legalizes CBD oil is more limited in scope than legalizing medical marijuana, which has been rejected for years by lawmakers from both parties.
Walker also said he expects to sign a bill requiring outside investigators for death incidents involving police officers. He talked about the measures after he signed a bill at Janesville's Chamber of Commerce for new economic development tax credits.
Ladysmith woman arrested for allegedly hiring hit-man
Police in northwest Wisconsin have arrested a 31-year-old woman for allegedly trying to hire a hit-man to kill somebody.
Ladysmith police say they've been investigating the case since the purported hit-man told officers about the arrangement on March 21. The Rusk County District Attorney's office is now considering possible charges.
Police are seeking a count of conspiracy to commit homicide. Online court records showed the woman had battery and disorderly conduct convictions dropped a couple years ago as part of a deferred prosecution agreement.
--Thanks Larry Lee, WSAU, Wausau)
No Wisconsin soldiers injured in Fort Hood shooting spree – this time
Wisconsin soldiers appear to have escaped yesterday's shooting spree at Fort Hood.
The state's National Guard said 30 members of the 32nd Infantry combat team are all safe after an Iraq War veteran with a mental illness opened fire in a building at the Texas base. The Guard soldiers are from throughout Wisconsin and have been training since February for a mission in Afghanistan.
Officials said the gunman killed three people and wounded 16 others before turning the gun on himself.
Fort Hood is the same place where 13 soldiers were killed and 32 were wounded in a 2009 shooting spree. Wisconsin figured heavily in that tragedy as two members of a Madison unit were killed and six other state residents survived.
One of those wounded, Dorothy Carskadon of Madison, told WKOW TV she has a "sad heart" after yesterday's shootings, and she hopes the injured survivors are taken care of quickly.
Carskadon is now a team leader at the Vet Center in Madison. She said she has fully recovered from the injuries she suffered in the 2009 attack in which shooter Nidal Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death.
Report says ATF agent intervened when utility threatened to cut off power
There's a report that a federal agent impersonated the owner of a Milwaukee building in speaking to We Energies after the power was cut off.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) rented Dave Salkin's building in 2012 to run a fake storefront operation that tried to catch illegal gun buyers.
The Journal Sentinel has obtained an ATF report on an internal probe into the bungled sting operation. It said the landlord's utility account information was improperly taken by agents, and they used it to impersonate Salkin in a conversation with the state's largest electric utility.
Salkin didn't know at the time that the tenants were federal agents. The report said he warned them several times to stop exceeding their electric usage allotment of $800 a month. The bill grew to $1,400, and the power was cut off when Salkin couldn't pay it. It's just the latest in a series of foul-ups in the ATF's "Operation Fearless."
The Journal Sentinel said the agency would not comment about the agents' activities or if anyone was disciplined. Yesterday ATF director Todd Jones appeared before a House committee to answer questions about problems with several storefront sting operations. In the Milwaukee operation, the building was burglarized and numerous items were stolen, including an agent's machine gun.
Hedge fund pressures Wausau Paper to move out of Wisconsin
A New York hedge fund has scored another victory in its effort to change the course of the Wausau Paper Corporation.
The Mosinee-based company has announced a major executive shake-up, apparently linked to ongoing pressure from the Starboard Value fund.
Henry "Hank" Newell stepped down yesterday as the CEO. He plans to leave the board of directors after a short transition.
Michael Burandt -- who was named to the board in 2012 after being nominated by Starboard -- became the interim CEO. He'll also become the company's new board chairman, replacing Thomas Howatt, who plans to retire.
For the last three years, Starboard has used its minority ownership to criticize Wausau Paper's management plan. During that time, the 115-year-old company has shut down its long-running paper mills in Brokaw and Brainerd, Minn., and it sold paper mills in Rhinelander and Mosinee.
Starboard has been publicly trying to convince Wausau Paper to sell its timberlands in the state and to move its only remaining building -- its headquarters -- out of Wisconsin.
Accomplice found guilty of one murder, but not a second
A 30-year-old man has been found guilty in one drug-related homicide and not guilty in another.
Jurors in Juneau County announced the split decision yesterday in the case of John Tetting Jr. They deliberated for a day and a half before they found that Tetting was guilty in the 2007 shooting death of Tabatha Nealy, 23, of Wisconsin Rapids and not guilty in the killing of Joshua Alderman, 31, also from the Rapids area. Both victims were in a car when the shootings occurred at a remote spot near Finley in northern Juneau County.
Prosecutors said Tetting drove to the location to talk about a drug deal with Alderman, and co-defendant David Turner ended up shooting both Alderman and Nealy. Turner, who's now 39, was given a 40-year prison term for reckless homicide.
Tetting was originally sentenced to 30 years behind bars. He was allowed to withdraw his plea after Turner said Tetting did not know in advance that the killings would take place. A sentencing date has not been set for Tetting's new convictions.
Critics say Supreme Court ruling means most of us lose
Wisconsin's congressional candidates might get millions more in donations under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling yesterday.
The justices voted 5-4 to strike down aggregate limits on how much donors can give to multiple federal candidates. State officials are reviewing the decision to see how it might affect Wisconsin's campaign finance system.
Good-government groups decried the court's ruling.
Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said it would benefit 1,200 donors nationally while "everybody else loses."
Jay Heck of Common Cause said the amount one person could give would jump from $123,000 to $3.6 million in an election cycle. Heck said small contributions would mean "almost nothing anymore" and would be used by the candidates as "window dressing."
The head of the Republican National Committee, Wisconsin's Reince Priebus, said people should have the right to free speech by giving to as many candidates and special interest committees as they want.
Madison campaign finance attorney Mike Wittenwyler said the court ruling would give us a better idea of who's putting up that money. He said the donors affected by yesterday's ruling must be disclosed, unlike certain special interest groups which don't have to say where their money comes from.
New charges expected in death of Mazomanie woman
A Janesville man is expected to appear in court today in connection with the shooting death of an ex-girlfriend in Mazomanie, northwest of Madison.
Phillip Byrd, 39, was charged in late February with four drug-related and bail-jumping offenses in Rock County when he was called a person of interest in the Feb. 23 shooting death of Cheryl Gilberg, 43, at her home.
Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said he expects new charges to be filed today in Madison. His office is recommending a count of first-degree intentional homicide with added penalties for domestic abuse and the type of weapon used.
Deputies found Gilberg shot in the head. Reports said Byrd was a former boyfriend of the victim, and he was suspected of not paying child support.
Mahoney has not said what led to Gilberg's murder except that it involved domestic abuse. He said officers are still looking for a pink .38-caliber revolver that's believed to be the murder weapon.
Madison officer testifies McVay confessed to killing ‘little old lady’
A Madison police officer testified yesterday at the trial of James McVay in Sioux Falls, S.D.
McVay, 43, faces the death penalty for killing a woman in 2011, stealing her car, and driving to Washington to kill the president when he was stopped in Wisconsin. McVay has pleaded guilty but insane.
Madison officer Kipp Hartman told jurors he was trying to get the driver to reveal his name when McVay said he "killed a little old lady" in South Dakota and was taking her car to Washington to kill President Obama.
Prosecutors said 75-year-old Maybelle Schein was stabbed nine times, and she cried for help before she died 16 seconds after the final blow. Police used the stolen car's tracking device to locate McVay on I-90 near Madison. He was arrested there after a short chase.
His public defender told jurors that McVay has a history of mental illness, and his life should be spared.
Prosecutors said they have enough proof to justify a death sentence. They said McVay intended to steal the woman’s car after killing her. Authorities said he walked away from a minimum-security lockup just before the slaying. He was in prison for grand theft.
130 Kaukauna voters given wrong ballots
Election officials in Kaukauna have a mess on their hands after 130 people received the wrong ballots for a county board contest on Tuesday.
Those voters were supposed to get ballots for the 13th District seat on the Outagamie County Board. Instead they were given ballots for the 10th District race.
Leroy Van Asten defeated Jason Fischer 188-140 for the 13th District post. Kevin Behnke won by 100 votes for the other seat.
Kaukauna City Clerk Sue Duda told WLUK TV in Green Bay that she's still trying to figure out what happened and why. Things could be sorted out in the next week, when all the ballots are canvassed and the results are verified.
Fischer was the first to notice the mistake. He told the TV station that might have to seek a recount and then possibly go to court to have the results overturned and a new election ordered.
No charges expected against maintenance man in deaths of two teens
It's possible that two suspects will go free after a disturbance that led to the shooting deaths of two teens in Milwaukee March 12.
Prosecutors said yesterday that Jeremy Rossetto, 39, of Cudahy will not be charged because he shot the teens in self-defense.
Charges are still being considered against a 20-year-old man, who was with the teens and allegedly punched Rossetto just before the shootings. However, Rossetto's lawyer told the Journal Sentinel he's been told the man will not be taken into court, and that's okay with Rossetto because he just wants the whole thing to be over.
Rossetto was a maintenance worker in the west side Milwaukee apartment building where the slayings occurred. Officials said he was about to change fire extinguishers when he got into a verbal confrontation with three young people in a stairwell.
Police said one of the three held Rossetto while two others hit him with a souvenir baseball bat. The maintenance worker then pulled a gun and shot them.
Rossetto's lawyer said earlier that his client had a permit to carry his concealed weapon, claiming it was an "occupational necessity" to do so.
State a leader in vegetable production
Wisconsin is the nation's second-largest maker of vegetables that are processed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the state is the No. 1 producer of snap beans. Wisconsin produced 300,000 tons last year, or 45% of the national total.
Wisconsin lost its top ranking in the numbers of carrots that are processed. The state's output rose by 1%, but Washington State had a 35% increase in its harvested carrot acres and took over the top spot there.
Wisconsin had the third-highest amount of sweet corn for processing, with about 584,000 tons in 2013. The state also had a 14% increase in green peas and a 27% jump in cucumbers which ended up as processed pickles.
Science Expeditions Fair starts tomorrow at UW-Madison
The wide world of science will be on full display at UW-Madison this weekend at the university's annual Science Expeditions Fair, which will take place from tomorrow through Sunday.
Hands-on activities and lectures are planned at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and the campus Health Sciences Learning Center. A fitness competition will take place at the Southeast Recreation Facility.
Open houses are planned at the state herbarium, geology museum and the UW Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Building. There's also a powwow at the Stock Pavilion. The events are free.