State briefs: Walker says victims, families should be focus in wake of Connecticut killingsWisconsin News
Addressing the media following a ceremony to honor Wisconsin utility workers who assisted in rebuilding after hurricane Sandy, Gov. Scott Walker said attention should be focused on victims and families right now, not speculating on prevention.
MADISON -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called the Connecticut school shooting a tragedy that, “takes your breath away".
His comments came during a ceremony Friday honoring state utility workers who went to the Northeast to help make repairs in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Walker said he has called the office of Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy to offer condolences.
He told reporters he doesn’t want to make judgments about what could be done to prevent similar mass shootings in the future, saying right now is the time to focus on the victims.
Facebook glimpse costs Milton superintendent his job
MILTON -- Showing a Facebook photo to two members of the Milton School District staff has cost superintendent Mike Garrow his job.
Garrow resigned Friday after the incident had been investigated. The incident happened last June when Garrow was talking to the two. He reportedly brought up a photo on Facebook of a woman which made them uncomfortable and the investigator decided that picture could have been inappropriate.
Garrow submitted a written response saying his decision to show the photo was, in his words, “not a great choice,” but he didn’t believe his conduct called for a full investigation.
The superintendent has been on leave since October and his resignation takes effect June 30th. He is also going to receive a $35,000 severance payment.
Audit Bureau says State should revisit 'double-dipping'
MADISON -- A Legislative Audit Bureau study shows the University of Wisconsin System and assorted state agencies rehired nearly 2,800 retired workers over a five-year period, allowing them to "double-dip" or draw a salary from the state while also drawing pension payments.
The bureau is advising that Department of Employee Trust Funds should beef up the way it investigates the rehiring of retired government employees.
Wisconsin law allows it to happen as long as the retiree was off the job for at least 30 days and didn’t cut a deal to be re-hired before they left.
Fire victim ID'd as Tomah man
TOMAH -- The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department has identified the man who died in a house fire earlier this week as 50-year-old Raymond Loendorf.
A woman had called 9-1-1 late Wednesday night to report a fire. She also told dispatchers she couldn’t find her husband at the time.
Leondorf was found unconscious in the basement of the home by firefighters. Paramedics tried to revive him, but the Tomah man was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Foul play isn’t suspected, but the cause of that fatal fire is being investigated.
Corps will spend $8 million dredging Mississippi
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will be spending about eight million dollars to clear submerged rock formations in the bed of the Mississippi River. Work could start as early as next week.
Months of drought conditions in the Upper Midwest have left water levels in the busy river up to 20 feet below normal. When the corps reduced the outflow from an upper Missouri River dam by two-thirds, that impacted the Mississippi, too – threatening the huge barge industry during a busy shipping time.
Congressman frustrated by lack of 'cliff' progress info
WASHINGTON D.C. -- A Wisconsin congressman says he is frustrated by the lack of information about negotiations on the fiscal cliff solutions between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
Eighth District Congressman Reid Ribble said Friday the Senate and the House of Representatives are not getting regular, comprehensive updates. Ribble says his constituents are asking what’s going on and he doesn’t know.
The Republican says members of Congress are being told to get ready for a long week when they return to Washington, D.C. Ribble says the majority leader says Congress will stay in session until the situation is resolved, including being at work next weekend.
-- Rick Schuh, WHBY
Former EMS treasurer facing embezzlement charges
WAUSAUKEE -- A plea hearing is scheduled next month for the former treasurer of the Wausaukee Rescue Squad on embezzlement charges. Forty-one year old Amanda Stumbris was in Marinette County Court Friday, but had her hearing delayed until Jan. 24th.
Stumbris is accused of taking more than $132,000 from the squad bank account over a three-year period.
She used a debit card to withdraw cash, using part of the money taken to cover gambling expenses.