Heavier snow expected in southeast Wisconsin; Probation agent charged: Offenders took urine tests – she took their Vicodin; Hayward man is first snowmobile fatality of season; more briefsWisconsin News
Much of Wisconsin is getting a fresh topping of snow this morning. One to two inches fell by 7 a.m. in the west central part of the state. Southeast Wisconsin, north of Milwaukee, is expected to get the most – 4-6 inches before it all ends tonight.
Much of Wisconsin is getting a fresh topping of snow this morning. One to two inches fell by 7 a.m. in the west central part of the state.
Southeast Wisconsin, north of Milwaukee, is expected to get the most – 4-6 inches before it all ends tonight.
The National Weather Service has a winter weather advisory in effect until 3 a.m. Saturday for Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Washington, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake and Marquette counties.
Most parts of southern and central Wisconsin are expecting anywhere from 1-4 inches. Once it clears out, dry weather is predicted at least through New Year’s Day. Highs are expected to be in the 20’s and 30’s before colder air moves into the region.
Probation agent charged: Offenders took urine tests – she took their Vicodin
State corrections officials said they fired a probation agent from Wausau two days before she was charged with stealing painkillers from offenders.
Kim Hoenisch was charged last Friday with five counts including felony drug possession, burglary and misconduct. She was supposed to make her first court appearance Thursday, but Marathon County Circuit Judge Greg Grau withdrew from the case, and Reserve Judge Ann Knox-Bauer from Taylor County has been assigned.
Hoenisch is tentatively scheduled to appear in Knox-Bauer’s courtroom in Medford Jan. 28.
The probation agent is accused of stealing Vicodin from offenders on probation while they were taking urine tests. And prosecutors said she took Vicodin from the homes of a probationer and her cousin.
Corrections officials said they fired Hoenisch Dec. 19 for what they called a failure to exercise good judgment. Department Secretary Ed Wall said they asked the Justice Department to investigate Hoenisch as soon as they learned about her alleged conduct. ---------
Hayward man is first snowmobile fatality of season
The first person to die in a Wisconsin snowmobile crash this winter has been identified as Steven Sisko, 55, an owner of the Pine Point Resort at Hayward.
Authorities said his machine went through the ice on the Chippewa Flowage last Sunday afternoon.
He was reported missing early Monday after he failed to return home from trapping. A search began, and a helicopter crew saw a body in a hole on the flowage late Monday morning. The Hayward Fire Department used an airboat to reach Sisko’s body.
The state Department of Natural Resources said Sisko was the first snowmobile victim this season.
Ten people died a year ago during a very mild winter with not a lot of snow. Wisconsin had 17 snowmobile deaths the previous season in 2010 and 2011 and 21 deaths the year before that.
Husband charged with killing police officer
Authorities say Benjamin Sebena admits being a jealous husband. But they’re still not sure why he allegedly killed his wife on Christmas Eve, while she was on duty as a Wauwatosa police officer. A motive is still being investigated.
Benjamin Sebena, 30, was charged Thursday in Milwaukee County with first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of Jennifer Sebena, 30. He’s being held under a $1 million bond, and he’s due back in court next Thursday when a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to order a trial.
Prosecutors said Benjamin Sabena stalked his wife for several days, and early Monday, he hung out near the downtown Wauwatosa fire station where officers often take breaks.
Officials said he opened fire when he saw her squad car. She was shot twice in the back of the head with a nine-millimeter weapon and three times in the face with her .40-caliber police revolver. Prosecutors said Ben wanted to make sure his wife was dead so she wouldn’t suffer.
Police said Ben Sabena, an Iraq War veteran, contacted Wauwatosa police about three hours after the murder. He never asked what happened even after being told his wife was killed. He was later overheard saying, “How could I do that to her?”
He reportedly told officers he was jealous of other men in regards to his wife. Prosecutors said she told a colleague that her husband was violent to her and had put a gun to her head.
But Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said he was not aware of issues that would have raised concerns about Jennifer Sabena’s safety. He said she had everything he could hope for in a young officer: intelligence, energy and a willingness to be a great officer.
Her funeral is tomorrow in Brookfield.
Legal problems multiply for man accused of hitting 10 motorcyclists
Civil lawsuits are piling up against a Hilbert man accused of hitting 10 motorcyclists while driving drunk near Fond du Lac in May.
Clinton Lovelace, 26, is also facing 13 criminal charges connected with the incident in which two bikers from Michigan were killed and eight others were injured.
A Neenah hospital has filed a $407,000 lien against Lovelace and his aunt, who owned the vehicle he was driving. The lien was filed on behalf of Eric Van Dam of Muskegon, Mich., who spent over three months in the hospital. Van Dam left leg was severed.
Two other hospital liens totaling $270,000 were filed on behalf of two others, including one of the fatal victims, Douglas Yonkers. Two insurance companies have also filed civil actions against Lovelace.
His criminal case resumes Jan. 7 when a judge will consider defense requests not to let a jury know about some of the evidence.
His attorney says Lovelace has amnesia and does not remember what happened before or after the crash. But a judge still ruled in October that Lovelace was mentally competent to help with his own defense.
Lovelace faces two counts of drunken homicide as well as charges of causing injury by drunk driving, reckless endangerment, illegally possessing a controlled substance and bail jumping.
Car buyers: Watch for Hurricane Sandy vehicles
If you’re in the market for a used car, state officials urge you to shop more carefully in the New Year.
The Department of Transportation says vehicles damaged by Hurricane Sandy will start showing up at used car lots around the country as their previous owners get their insurance settlements.
The DOT said tens of thousands of vehicles had water damage from Sandy, and that makes the electrical systems suspect. Officials say buyers should look for telltale signs like musty interiors, water spots on the upholstery, dirt on the taillights, painted or discolored hood insulations, silt around the air filters and rust in places you wouldn’t normally expect.
Also the DOT says buyers can check a vehicle’s history by putting its ID number on the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System’s Website. Insurers are required to tell the system about any vehicles that are deemed to be total losses.
More and more people trying to buy guns
The numbers of Wisconsinites undergoing background checks to buy guns has increased by a whopping 60% from last year.
The Department of Justice said its hotline for doing background checks for firearms purchases had almost 133,000 calls as of Sunday. It only received 89,000 calls for all of last year. These numbers don’t include people who buy their guns from private parties or gun shows because those buyers are not required to have background checks.
For the week of Dec. 16, there were 2,200 more requests for checks, indicating that lots of people bought guns in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings and the possibility of new gun control laws next year.
Earlier this week, gun dealers in far northwest Wisconsin reported a large increase in purchases of assault rifles after some politicians have again called to ban those. Dana Brueck of the Department of Justice said the fall season has been busier in general.
Alleged Taylor Swift stalker held in jail
No criminal charges will be filed against a Marshfield man for climbing a fence at a home linked to country music star Taylor Swift.
But Jacob Kulke, 24, will stay in jail for now. Authorities say he’s fighting extradition to Colorado for violating a previous probation in that state. Kulke was arrested earlier this month after he was caught climbing a fence at home in Belle Meade, Tenn., that’s publicly linked to Swift and her family.
Kulke’s attorney, Sean McKinney, said his client reasonably thought he was invited there. McKinney said prosecutors talked with representatives for Swift about the decision not to prosecute. But he said the charge could be filed again, before the statute of limitations runs out.
Woman found in burned-out house still not officially identified
Authorities are checking DNA and dental records to identify a woman found dead in burned-out home in Racine County three days ago.
But relatives are certain that she’s Bianca Vite, 21, of Pleasant Prairie. In fact, they’re so sure that they’ve arranged a funeral Mass for Monday.
Vite’s parents and younger sister told the Racine Journal Times that her ex-boyfriend was apparently staying in the fire-damaged home, located in Mount Pleasant, and police told them they found Bianca’s car in front of that house.
Mount Pleasant police are confirming none of this – at least until the body is positively identified.
Officials say they’ve interviewed a person of interest, but no charges have been sought.
Over 700 people are following a Facebook page, where family and friends have left words of praise for Vite. The funeral will take place Monday morning in her home town of Kenosha.
89-year-old man dies while plowing with ATV
An 89-year-old man died after he fell through the ice while plowing snow on a pond on his property.
It happened north of Appleton in the Outagamie County town of Center.
Sheriff’s deputies said the man was apparently getting his pond ready for recreational use when his all-terrain vehicle fell through.
The man was last seen on Wednesday. Authorities are not sure exactly when he fell in. Rescuers were called about 2:30 p.m. Thursday. They found the man’s body about 25 feet from a shoreline and pulled out the ATV.
The incident remains under investigation. The victim’s name was not immediately released.