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Sunday State News

(2/12/12 Here are the stories:

With Republicans calling it a political stunt and few lawmakers stepping forward to co-sponsor it, a resolution to remove Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman looks like it doesn’t have enough support to move on.  Democratic State Representative Kelda Helen Roys says she had just four co-sponsors.  And, Republican Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald isn’t expected to send it to committee.  At least three complaints have been filed against Gableman to the Government Accountability Board so far, tied to free legal services he received from a Wisconsin law firm.  Gableman refused to recuse himself from three cases including a party represented by the same firm.  Roys says that means Gableman violated the judicial code of conduct.  


Poor ice conditions and low water clarity are blamed for a weak start to the sturgeon-spearing season on Lake Winnebago.  A total of 210 sturgeon were registered yesterday, including 171 on upriver lakes.  Last year on opening day 442 sturgeon were taken.  A spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says conditions are worst seen in the last 14 years.  About 22 hundred ice shanties were set up on Lake Winnebago.  The average for opening day in about 45 hundred – or, double that.  Although a record 12 thousand, 680 licenses were sold this year, many stayed away due to the ice conditions.


A lawsuit against the pope and other top officials of the Catholic Church has been withdrawn.  Attorney Jeff Anderson had filed the lawsuit in 2010 at the height of the sex abuse scandal.  His client claimed to have been abused by a priest at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Wisconsin years before.  The church had maintained the pope wasn’t liable for the actions of a Catholic priest.  The lawsuit had alleged top church officials knew of the allegations of abuse and protected the priest from an internal church investigation.  Now the church says the suit should never have been filed in the first place.  Anderson says he was given church documents showing Vatican officials were indifferent to reports of clergy sex abuse – and that is what he was going for all along.


A Kenosha teen is given two months’ probation for punching his son’s mother in the face.  Andrew P. Beltran, 17, was angry because she wouldn’t give him her Facebook password.  Beltran was convicted on three charges, including misdemeanor battery and two counts of threatening harm.  The 16 year old victim told police the attacks started in November after she refused to give him access to her Facebook account.  A few days later Beltran threatened her with a knife to the throat during a second argument.  He was also found guilty of sending threatening text messages.


An eight year old girl was killed and five other people injured in a two-vehicle accident in Milton Friday night.  The dead girl and a five year old boy were riding in a vehicle driven by 31 year old Adolpho Torres of Fort Atkinson.  The girl was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, while the boy was airlifted for emergency care.  Torres and a 29 year old woman in his vehicle were treated and released.  That car was hit by a vehicle driven by 55 year old Howell Keebler of Janesville.  Keebler and a 39 year old woman in his car were also treated and released.


Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett plans to introduce his Mayor’s Manufacturing Partnership during his state of the city address tomorrow.  Barrett says the program will custom-tailor job training to employers’ needs, addressing a gap between workers looking for jobs and companies trying to find people to work.  Barrett also plans to announce that a Milwaukee company, Sigma-Aldrich, will add 40 jobs as a result of a 30 million dollar project consolidating distribution operations at its northside plant.  Barrett will deliver the address tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. at a wind turbine plant in Menomonee Valley.  


A fight at a motel in Onalaska gets a Milwaukee man in trouble with the law.  Jeffrey Hunter is being investigated for human trafficking and child prostitution.  Police responded to a report of a fight at the Microtel Inn last week, finding the 24 year old Hunter in a room with two 15 year old girls.  One of the girls had called her grandmother, saying she was in La Crosse and was being beaten up.  The phone number she called from was found to be used on postings on an online escort website.  The girls denied being prostitutes and Hunter said he wasn’t a pimp.  He said he had been dating one of the girls for several months and had thought she was 19.  


Wisconsin Justice Department officials say they are complying with the law and meeting turn-around deadlines on concealed carry applications now.  The deluge of applications had overwhelmed the office at first.  Processing deadlines were missed most of last month.  Now, with more workers brought to the job, and with the flow of applications slowing down a little, Division of Law Enforcement Administrator Brian O’Keefe says all obligations are being met.  The new law opened the door for thousands of applications starting last November 1st.  






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