UPDATE: Shooting victim near Superior identified as Oliver man; Walker's comments at Reagan Library follow him home; more state briefsWisconsin News
A man died Monday evening when he was accidentally shot by his deer hunting companion. Comments made by Gov. Walker in California raised a ruckus back home Monday; plus more state briefs.
A man was killed Monday evening in the town of Superior when he was accidentally shot by his deer-hunting companion.
The shooting victim is Garrett M. Carr, 27, of Oliver. His hunting companion was Michael F. Thomson, 31, of Superior, Sheriff Thomas Dalbec said in a news release.
Thomson shot Carr when he mistook him for a deer, Dalbec said. Carr was wearing blaze orange clothing at the time, he said.
His death was the fourth reported hunting-related fatality this season in Wisconsin.
Emergency crews were called to the area of County Road W and Barnes Road near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border just after 5 p.m. Monday.
Rescuers had to cut brush so an all-terrain vehicle could reach the victim. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and his name won't be released until Tuesday afternoon.
The accident remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the medical examiner’s office.
Three other hunters died Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
Authorities say Shawn Lemanski, 51, of Green Bay, died from injuries suffered when he fell from a tree stand in the Marathon County town of Cassel.
Steven Jackson, 51, of Antigo, died after he was found unresponsive in the woods near Gleason in Lincoln County. Jackson was employed as the Langlade County forestry director.
And Thomas Stamborski, 22, Milwaukee, died of a gunshot wound while hunting on the grounds of Fort McCoy on land approved for hunting. He was the state’s first deer hunter shot to death since 2009.
Walker's comments at Reagan Library follow him home
MADISON -- Gov. Scott Walker stirred up a hornet’s nest in Wisconsin Monday when the word got back here about his California comments that he prefers to end same-day voter registration.
The Republican Walker was speaking at the Reagan presidential library last Friday night when he was asked about the state’s 36-year-old same-day registration policy.
Milwaukee Election Commission director Neil Albrecht said Walker mischaracterized poll workers when he said they were mostly retirees who work 13-hour days. Albrecht said ending same-day registration would discourage the poor and college students who move often. He said Wisconsin should take pride in its high voting rates.
Some Republicans have suspected for years that same-day voter registration favors Democrats. Two weeks ago, almost one of every five voters in heavily Democratic Milwaukee 86% as the city helped President Obama get reelected.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the Republican Walker believes the outcome would have been different had the turnout been lower without same-day registration.
The two parties also disagree on whether it raises the risk for voter fraud. Conservatives say yes. Liberals say no. Wisconsin’s one of just eight states with same-day registration.
If the state ends it, federal law requires a “motor voter” system in which people can register where they sign up for driver’s licenses and welfare benefits.
Some 1,900 foreclosure subjects receive $86 million
Almost 1,900 Wisconsinites who had their homes improperly foreclosed upon had received $86 million by the end of September under a legal settlement.
The state Department of Justice said Monday the benefits are averaging $46,000 as part of a settlement with five banks in a mortgage abuse case.
Also, around 500 Wisconsinites are approved for modifications to their mortgages, totaling around $32 million, but Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck said the numbers are gross figures which are not credited dollar for dollar. Therefore, it’s impossible to determine how well the banks are doing in achieving their $20 billion settlement payments which they promised to make over a three-year period.
Still, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he’s encouraged by the numbers and the banks appear to be honoring the settlement agreement.
A number of states sued Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase and Ally GMAC over mortgage abuses that led to numerous foreclosures from 2008-11. Residents have until Jan. 18 to make claims.
The settlement was announced earlier this year, and Democrats criticized Republican leaders for devoting $25 million of the settlement to help cover the state’s budget deficit.
Prosecutors accuse Walker of coordinated effort to groom image during 2010 campaign
MILWAUKEE -- Scott Walker and his top campaign aides made sure that his county executive office was “in sync” with the image Walker was putting out in his GOP campaign for governor in 2010. That’s according to e-mails presented by prosecutors Monday when ex-Walker county aide Kelly Rindfleisch was sentenced to six months in jail and three years of probation for illegally campaigning on county time.
The emails showed that Walker was a member of what was called “The Campaign Group,” and five members of that group met daily with county workers to preserve their boss’ image.
Walker campaign spokesman Tom Evenson said the two staffs had not done anything improper. But Graeme Zielinski of the state Democratic Party said Walker has a lot to answer to.
As Zielinski put it, “We learned today that he was running his county office like a campaign shop.”
Rindfleisch apologized to Milwaukee County residents but Circuit Judge David Hansher questioned her remorse, saying she has “a history of undesirable behavior” which included her involvement in the State Capitol’s illegal campaigning scandal a decade ago.
The judge allowed Rindfleisch to wait on her jail term until her appeals have run out.
In one county email, Rindfleisch referred to an effort by the Walker camp to plant news stories about problems at the state’s Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison.
Rindfleisch wrote, “This needs to be done covertly so it’s not tied to Scott or the campaign in any way.”
The emails also showed that Walker’s campaign signed off on Milwaukee County’s response to the death of 15-year-old Jared Kellner, who was hit by a falling concrete at a county parking garage in 2010.
Wisconsin dairy farmers producing more -- and more
Wisconsin’s dairy cows continue to pump out more milk while the rest of the country makes less.
New government figures show that Wisconsin raised its milk production by 4.7%in October compared to the same month a year ago while the national milk output dropped by a tenth of one percent.
It was the second month in a row that U.S. milk production fell, although the decline was a half percent smaller than in September. It could be a sign that the effects of the drought and the summer heat wave have run their course.
Wisconsin cows produced 2.27 billion pounds of milk in October. That’s second to California but the Golden State saw its output drop by 3.5%, with 3.3 billion pounds produced last month.
Wisconsin added 7,000 cows to its herd – about 5,000 more than California.
Production per cow increased by 70 pounds in Wisconsin while it dropped by about the same amount in the Golden State.
Mississippi was frozen solid on this date, 1855
The Mississippi River was frozen solid on this date in 1855, a year when thousands of visitors rode the river along the Wisconsin border to get to St. Paul.
It’s guaranteed that the Mississippi River won’t freeze over this week in Wisconsin, but it was sheer ice on this date in 1855 when winters routinely started much earlier.
The Minnesota News Network notes that tourist traffic was much heavier on the Mighty Mississippi back then. The 1855 season had 553 boats with 30,000 people making the northward trip along the Wisconsin border and eventually to St. Paul.