River Falls couple accused of revenge plot to murder cops, judge

Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement

State justice agents fired over delays in pursuing child porn cases; New law requires fee for snowmobilers using state trails; More state news briefs

Email

A state Department of Justice agent and a supervisor have both been fired for not acting quickly enough to pursue child pornography cases for prosecution.

Advertisement

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced the actions yesterday. Van Hollen would not confirm to the AP whether the two employees quit or were let go. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said both were terminated.

Officials conducted a review after it was learned a few weeks ago that the Department of Justice took years to investigate tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child porn.

Van Hollen said Wednesday that the review found the terminated agent and supervisor were negligent in not handling cases more promptly.

They were reassigned a few weeks ago, pending the department's further action. Cases which were awaiting their reviews were given to other agents. Van Hollen was not sure how many total cases needed to be checked out.

---------

New law requires fee for snowmobilers using state trails;

Gov. Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 407 Wednesday. The bill establishes a four-year requirement that all snowmobiles on Wisconsin’s trail system have state trail pass.

Members of clubs affiliated with the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs will pay $10. Non-members will pay $30 and out of state snowmobilers will pay $50 for their trail pass.

The registration sticker will be valid for three years and, under the legislation, the additional revenue is to be used to help maintain 18,000 miles of snowmobile trails.

---------

Bill to limit absentee voting hours goes to Assembly

The Assembly is poised to pass a bill that would restrict in-person absentee voting hours at local clerk’s offices to no more than 45 hours during the week and prevent clerks from staying open on weekends in the two weeks before an election.

Democrats say the Legislature should be looking at ways to encourage voters to come to the polls instead of limiting the ability of voters to cast a ballot.

Republicans argue the change is needed to restore fairness to the system since rural areas do not have the ability to extend their hours and stay open on weekends in the same way that clerks in urban areas have been able to in recent years.

---------

Burke says job-creation performance ‘not good enough’

The race for governor in Wisconsin is likely to largely hinge on the state’s jobs performance.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has ranked Wisconsin 35th in private-sector job growth, an improvement from a ranking of 37th three months ago.

Democrat Mary Burke said the progress is "not good enough" and that the rankings show the state continues to underperform on that measure.

Gov. Walker responded by saying the numbers are "significant" and the state is “putting people back to work.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Wisconsin added some 28,300 positions during the 12-month period ending in September 2013.

---------

 

Employee accused of using church’s credit card to spend $22,000

Charges have been filed against a Marshfield church employee accused of using the church’s credit card to rack up over $22,000 in unapproved expenses.

Renee Thompson, 50, has admitted using Faith Lutheran Church's card for groceries and to buy prepaid credit cards. She was seen on surveillance video at two Marshfield grocery stores making the purchases.

---------

‘Employment connection’ finds jobs for returning guardsmen

The Wisconsin National Guard employment program is finding success.

The Wisconsin Employment Resource Connection works to secure jobs for returning service members. Since October of 2011, the program has been able to find jobs for more than 500 service members at an average hourly wage of $17.

---------

Abortion doctor issue set for trial

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Wisconsin’s 2013 Act 37.

The law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges in local hospitals went into effect in July 2013 but was immediately enjoined by U.S. District Court. The state Department of Justice wants the law in place while a federal court considers a lawsuit against the requirement.

Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services and ACLU say if doctors needed hospital privileges, some of abortion clinics would have to shut down, and there would no longer be facilities north of Madison.

The case is set for trial in May.

-------

Swiss cheesemaker wins Wisconsin-based contest

The 2014 World Championship Cheese is a Swiss Emmentaler.

Cheesemaker Gerard Sinnesberger won for his original Schweizer Rohmilch Emmentaler, a large-format, big-wheel Swiss cheese.

American cheesemakers did well in the competition, taking gold in 59 of 90 categories. Out of those 59, 33 of them went to Wisconsin entries.

----------

Building, food-processing jobs growing fastest here

Construction and food processing are among the fastest growing job sectors in Wisconsin, according to a federal employment census released Wednesday, which listed job trends in the state during the year ending last September.

Steve Waller of the QPS job recruiting agency in metro-Milwaukee said the food industry helped his firm place more workers last year than at any time in the company's 28-year history.

Construction jobs rose by 5.6% in Wisconsin in the year ending Sept. 30. But factory jobs -- said to be the state's bread and butter -- rose just .2% and the state as a whole created 1.2% more private sector jobs during the 12-month period -- just over half the national increase of 2%. It was the nation's 35th lowest job percentage growth.

---------

Consecutive vs. concurrent meant 14 more months in prison; inmate wants $67,000 for the extra time

A Lake Mills man who was kept in prison for almost 14 months after his sentence ended wants the state to cough up $67,000 for the extra time.

Robin Gavinski, 52, spent an extra 417 days behind bars after state corrections workers made him serve back-to-back sentences instead of both at the same time as a judge prescribed.

Gavinski had pleaded no contest to fleeing police officers in a stolen car ten years ago. He was also given probation time for previous convictions.

Gavinski wants the State Claims Board to cover his legal fees and potentially lost income. A state lawyer said Gavinski is asking taxpayers for too much and the state is immune from what it calls a rare type of claim.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement