Next winter storm may miss us; Dems call for panel to examine ways to prevent mass shootings; ‘Rolling domestic’ sends car into oncoming traffic; more briefsWisconsin News
Heavy snow and blizzard conditions are possible from Wednesday night into Thursday for much of Wisconsin. For now at least, Eau Claire and the northwest part of the state could escape the storm.
It’s a forecast Santa Claus will love before he flies on Christmas Eve. Heavy snow and blizzard conditions are possible from Wednesday night into Thursday for much of Wisconsin, and the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch.
For now at least, Eau Claire and the northwest part of the state could escape the storm. The far southeast might get a mix of rain and snow before it turns to all snow near the end.
Six to 12 inches are being predicted for all of southwest Wisconsin, Madison and most south central areas, along with places east of a line from Marshfield to Antigo to Iron Mountain, Mich. Starting Thursday, those places could get wind gusts of up to 40 mph, creating blowing and drifting snow plus blizzard-like conditions.
The National Weather Service says the exact track of the storm is still a bit uncertain. But there now appears to be a good chance that most of the state will get at least a half foot. Far southeast Wisconsin could get 4-6 inches with some icy conditions possible.
Democrats call for panel to examine ways to prevent mass shootings
Wisconsin Democrats will ask Gov. Scott Walker today to form a bipartisan commission to look at what the state can do to prevent mass shootings.
Walker told a Milwaukee radio station yesterday that the Connecticut school massacre exposed a “real breakdown” in the nation’s mental health system. But he would not say whether he’d support new gun control measures.
On Friday the governor said it was too early to think about how the Connecticut shootings could have been prevented. Other state Republicans have been silent on the topic.
Some federal lawmakers in Washington, including two pro-gun Democrats, said a ban on assault weapons should at least be considered.
Democratic state Assembly Leader Peter Barca, who plans to talk to Walker today on the subject, said he would not push for gun control right away.
Barca said he wants to wait to see what President Obama proposes. Obama promised action when he spoke to grieving residents in Newtown, Conn., Sunday night.
Barca said it’s not the time for politics, but it is time to have an important discussion about preventing mass shootings. He said a state commission should look for ways to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining weapons.
Assembly Democrat Fred Kessler of Milwaukee, a former judge, said he was working on a bill to limit the ability of the mentally ill to obtain weapons. He said an assault weapon ban might be impossible to get past the National Rifle Association, but he at least wants the subject on the table so it can be discussed.
Wisconsin had two mass shootings of its own this year – the Oak Creek temple massacre in August and the killings of three women in domestic violence at a Brookfield spa in October.
‘Rolling domestic’ sends car into oncoming traffic
An 18-year-old Sun Prairie man is facing possible charges after he allegedly hit a female driver so hard that she went unconscious and drove into oncoming traffic.
The incident happened Sunday afternoon at a rural intersection in the Dane County town of Bristol.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to what they called a “rolling domestic” disturbance. Officials said the man hit the 18-year-old woman in the face and then took the wheel and put the car in neutral to get it back under control.
Deputies said the woman tried to escape as the car was slowing down, but the man pulled her hair to get her back in. He was booked on possible charges of substantial battery, reckless endangerment, intimidating a victim and disorderly conduct.
GAB considers request to check for illegal voters
Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board will consider a request today to check federal records to see if illegal immigrants are voting, but it would not be cheap.
Board staffers say it would cost $1.2 million over the next five years to check 19 federal databases and a state law would have to be changed to allow the checks.
Republican Senate Elections Committee Chairwoman Mary Lazich of New Berlin asked the GAB to check databases like those from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Lazich said the report has good information, but she’s not saying whether she’ll ask legislators to make the required law change.
Officials in Colorado and Florida paid for similar searches, and each found fewer than 200 people who should not have been on their states’ voter lists. A half-dozen other states are also considering the idea.
State schools add more security measures
Schools throughout Wisconsin have beefed up their security in the wake of Friday’s elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Schools on Green Bay’s east side were locked down Monday afternoon. An alert to parents said police were dealing with a man who may have been considering suicide, and the situation was resolved fairly quickly. Police lifted the lockdown at 2:50 p.m., and no youngsters were hurt.
Amanda Brooker of the Green Bay school district said some parents and staffers are feeling on edge after the Sandy Hook tragedy.
Police officers were stationed outside the elementary and middle schools in the Fox Point-Bayside district as kids arrived Monday, and a moment of silence was held before the start of classes there.
In Milwaukee, counseling services were offered to both youngsters and parents. At those schools and others, administrators held meetings to go over safety procedures.
A two-year-old state law requires Wisconsin schools to have crisis plans. But Cedarburg Supt. Daryl Herrick said there’s always something new to learn with every tragedy.
The gunman at Sandy Hill broke a window to gain entry so Herrick says school officials are looking to see if they should put bullet-proof glass in the fronts of their buildings.
Jury does buy ‘accident’ defense: Husband convicted of killing woman as she slept
A Fond du Lac man has been convicted of killing his wife.
Jurors convicted Jason Anderson, 36, Monday on charges of first-degree intentional homicide and possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon.
A sentencing date was not immediately set. Anderson faces a mandatory life prison term, but the judge can set an eligibility date for a supervised release.
Prosecutors said Anderson shot and killed his wife Nicole, 33, while she was sleeping at their home last November. He then fled, but officers tracked the use of his ATM card, and he was arrested two days later at a hotel in Alabama.
The state called over 30 witnesses during the two-week trial, while the defense didn’t call any.
Anderson’s lawyer had claimed the shooting was an accident, but jurors didn’t buy it.
New website tells how to pronounce state’s unusual names
If you need help pronouncing Oconomowoc (oh-kah-no-mo-walk), there’s a new way to find it.
The State Cartographer’s Office and misspronouncer.com have launched an interactive map called “Pronounce Wisconsin.”
You can put a computer mouse over one of 1,700 places on the map, and you’ll hear how the name of that place is pronounced. It can be accessed both on computers and mobile devices.
“Pronounce Wisconsin” was started by the cartographer’s office and Wisconsin Radio Network reporter and anchor Jackie Johnson. She started www.misspronouncer.com over six years ago. It includes pronunciations for communities, parks, other places, elected officials and other things unique to Wisconsin.
That site – as well as the new map – will also help you catch the state’s many quirks. For example, a small town spelled R-I-O east of Portage is pronounced “Rye-Oh” – and not “Ree-Oh.”
For more information, go to the state cartographer’s website at www.sco.wisc.edu
Judge says no to night hunting
For the second time in 13 years, a federal judge said no to letting Chippewa Indians hunt deer at night in much of northern Wisconsin.
Monday afternoon Judge Barbara Crabb said the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission overstepped its boundaries when it created a special nighttime deer hunt.
It was supposed to start the Monday night after Thanksgiving in the ceded territories where Chippewa have exercised hunting and fishing treaty rights for centuries. But the hunt never got started because the state Department of Natural Resources filed suit to prevent it.
State officials said the shining of deer at night would cause safety problems for motorists and bystanders. And they said the season violated Judge Crabb’s order from 1989 which allowed the state to ban night hunting in all sections of Wisconsin.
But the tribes said the issue became moot after the DNR allowed wolf hunters to shoot at night. A tribal attorney has not commented on the new ruling.