Wisconsin roundup: Dallet wins Supreme Court race, voters opt to keep treasurer’s office; more state news stories
MADISON — Wisconsin voters weren't going to let a little snow keep them away from the polls.
Big issues were being decided. Liberal Rebecca Dallet defeated conservative Michael Screnock for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, carried by big margins in Milwaukee and Dane counties. Conservatives still control the court 4-3.
Even though current Wisconsin State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk was working to eliminate his job, voters overwhelming decided they want to retain the office. State treasurer was one of five original state offices created by the Wisconsin Constitution in 1848. Winter Storm Dan was especially hard on northeastern Wisconsin where some areas got more than eight inches of snow.
Police chases become much more frequent
MILWAUKEE — Police agency leaders blame increasingly bold car thieves and drug dealers for an alarming growth in high-speed chases.
The number of Wisconsin chases has doubled over the last five years, driven by 10 times as many chases in Milwaukee County. Twice last fall there were eight police chases on the same day in that county. Milwaukee police have decided to limit pursuits, but the same rule isn't in effect in the county. The increase has resulted in injuries to nine police officers and 34 people who weren't involved in the chases last year in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha counties.
U.S. State Department worker accused of 3 rapes
WAUKESHA — A criminal investigator with the U.S. Department of State is scheduled to make a first court appearance in Waukesha County next week.
Fifty-three-year-old David Scharlat faces three charges of felony rape. Scharlat is accused of forcing three women to have sexual contact with him. One woman says the Oconomowoc man warned her he was a federal agent when she tried to break up with him. The State Department hasn't said if he still has his job. If convicted, the 17-year federal employee could face up to 150 years in prison.
Tigerton woman pleads guilty to homicide by intoxicated use of vehicle
STEVENS POINT — Sentencing for a Tigerton woman is scheduled for July 6 in Portage County after her guilty plea to several charges, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.
Twenty-nine-year-old Billie Jo McSherry reached a plea deal with prosecutors in the fatal crash last summer that killed 48-year-old Robert Korhonen of Antigo and his 25-year-old daughter Stacey Zarda. Nine charges were dropped. Investigators said McSherry's blood-alcohol content level was four times the legal limit when she crossed the centerline on state Highway 49 and hit the motorcycle the two victims were riding.
Second Door County observation tower to be closed
STURGEON BAY — It's becoming harder to enjoy those spectacular Door County views after a Department of Natural Resources decision to close the observation tower at Potawatomi State Park.
Thousands of visitors have used the tower for panoramic views of Sawyer Harbor, Green Bay, and Sturgeon Bay. The DNR says the 75-foot tall tower is unsafe due to significant wood decay. Just two years ago the Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park was shut down. The state plans to build a new tower there, but there are no plans to replace the one at Potawatomi State Park. People had been climbing it for 86 years.
Registered sex offender accused of assaulting boy, 10
EAU CLAIRE — A registered sex offender from Bloomer returns to Eau Claire County Court in two weeks to face sexual assault charges.
Derrik Sheffield is accused of attacking a 10-year-old boy while they were in the restroom at an Eau Claire restaurant last month. Sheffield and the victim know each other. The boy told police Sheffield held his arm with one of his hands and assaulted him with the other one. He says he was worried his father would harm the suspect, so he waited several days to tell anyone about the incident.