Wisconsin roundup: Western Wis. ice angler survives thin-ice incident; more state news stories
MENOMONIE — Menomonie police say a ice fishermen who fell through thin ice Saturday morning is safe.
Witnesses called police to a bay on Lake Menomin at about 7:30 a.m., telling them about finding footprints on the ice leading to a hole about 100 yards from shore. A rescue team from the Menomonie Fire Department deployed, but wasn’t able to find anyone in the water. When the man who fell in was found, he told police he was able to get himself out. He tried to contact them, but he says he reached the police in Menomonee, Michigan, by mistake.
Walker set to sign bill ending mining moratorium
RHINELANDER — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will sign the "Mining for America" bill Monday in Rhinelander.
That move will end the state's moratorium on gold and silver mining. Restrictions on sulfide mining have been tight enough they have served as a de-facto ban on the industry, according to some mining experts. Although Walker voted to impose the 1998 moratorium when he was in the state Assembly, the Republican now says he believes it's possible to run a mining operation without damaging the environment.
Jail overcrowding dominates Eau Claire committee hearing
EAU CLAIRE — The Eau Claire County committee on judiciary and law enforcement is looking into questions about overcrowding at the county jail.
The topic dominated conversation at the committee's meeting Thursday night, with an officer in the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Department saying there were no easy answers. The average daily population at the county jail has nearly doubled in recent years. As of Thursday, there were close to 300 inmates at the facility, over the jail's full capacity. The committee believes that meth abuse is a primary cause for the increase.
Former lawmaker Roys to challenge Walker
MADISON — A former state representative is planning to challenge Gov. Scott Walker for his job.
Kelda Roys has announced this week that she expects to officially begin her campaign next year and is hiring staff. The Madison Democrat is among more than a dozen Democrats vying to unseat Republican Walker, who's said he'll seek a third term next year. Roys served in the Assembly for four years starting in 2008.
Goodwill worker finds historic ‘treasure’ in drop-off
APPLETON — A discovery made by a worker at a Goodwill outlet store in Appleton is being called an historical "treasure."
Documents once belonging to Lt. Col. Eugene Tremblay were found in a sorting area last October. The native of Chippewa Falls was a World War II veteran who received a Purple Heart while serving in the Army. The documents were found in a three-ring binder. It has now been forwarded to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.
Appleton police officer dragged, injured
APPLETON — Appleton police have arrested a man accused of dragging a police officer when that officer tried to stop him from driving recklessly.
The incident happened Saturday night. The officer on foot patrol tried to get the 46-year-old suspect to stop, but he kept driving erratically inside a parking facility. When the man finally stopped, he refused to turn his engine off, so the officer reached in to grab his keys. That’s when the man took off again and dragged the officer until he could get himself free.
The man was arrested when he parked and tried to run away. The officer suffered minor injuries. The names of the officer and suspect haven’t been released.
Prosecution expected to rest case Monday
LA CROSSE — The prosecution is expected to rest its case today in the murder trial for a West Salem man accused of killing his wife, then staging a freak accident.
More than two dozen witnesses took the stand in La Crosse last week as Todd Kendhammer’s alibi was challenged. He says a pipe fell of a truck, coming through the windshield and fatally injured his wife, Barbara. The defense is expected to take center stage this week, calling more than 40 witnesses. Defense attorneys say Kendhammer is incapable of harming his wife.
Biden tells crowd how Dems can retake White House
MADISON — Former Vice President Joe Biden says his Democratic Party needs to pay more attention to working-class and middle-class voters.
Biden appeared at two events in Madison Sunday as a part of his national tour promoting his new book called “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose.” Biden’s book describes what it was like to mourn his son’s death, while staying in the public eye and performing the duties of his office. Beau Biden was 46 years old when he died of a brain tumor in 2015.
Pregnant bank robber pleads guilty
MADISON — A 32-year-old woman admits she robbed two banks in December of last year while she was eight months pregnant.
Lisa Harding was accused of robbing three banks, but one charge was dropped as a part of her plea agreement. Harding was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay back the money she took from all three banks. Harding's defense cited health problems and drug addictions as mitigating factors. She apologized in Dane County Circuit Court for the robberies.