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St. Croix County high-speed chase results in felony charges; DNR warden accused of keeping seized weapons; More state news

A 20-year-old Osseo man is due back in court Friday for allegedly slamming into a sheriff's vehicle with a stolen car during a high-speed chase May 14 -- and dealing methamphetamines.

Jeremy Mayo is charged in St. Croix County with five felonies and two misdemeanors.

His passenger at the time, Kali Rinde, 19, of Maplewood, Minn., is also charged with felony meth possession plus three assorted misdemeanors.

Authorities said the vehicle was stolen in Eau Claire, and officers found that its driver failed to pay for gas last Wednesday at a station in Woodville. A nearly 30-mile chase ensued at speeds up to 120 mph before the vehicle went out of control and hit the sheriff's car. Mayo was not hurt. Rinde had minor injuries.

Officials said a package of what was called "fake" meth was thrown out during the chase. Rinde reportedly told officers the two were planning to sell it. She's scheduled to enter pleas July 7 after her preliminary hearing yesterday.


DNR warden accused of keeping seized weapons

We're learning more about what appears to be the first felony charges against a Department of Natural Resources warden in the 135-year history of the state's conservation enforcement.

Ex-warden David Horzewski of Reedsburg was charged Monday in Sauk County with eight felony counts -- six of theft and two of misconduct in public office.

In a newly released criminal complaint, a special prosecutor said Horzewski, 45, confronted hunters about game-law violations, seized their weapons and never returned them or gave them to his bosses for evidence. The complaint said Horzewski kept guns in his basement where his children could grab them.

Although he was only charged with six thefts, a special prosecutor said there were numerous other instances in which the ex-warden kept items that included guns, a bow and antlers from a nine-point-buck. In some cases, officials said the statute of limitations had expired and one victim has since died.

The alleged thefts date back to 2003. Horzewski and his attorney have not commented.

The defendant is scheduled to make his first court appearance June 11. The DNR said he was fired last July after 19 years as a warden in Sauk County. The agency says he's challenging his dismissal.


$50,000 lottery winner still hasn’t claimed prize

A $50,000 Wisconsin Lottery winner from last fall has still not come forward and has only until June 10 to claim his or her prize.

The unclaimed ticket is from the "Holly Jolly Raffle." It was sold at a Kwik Trip in Green Bay last November. The raffle number is 0-5-7 5-2-5, which was drawn on Dec. 12.

All state lottery winners get 180 days to claim their prizes or the money goes toward property tax relief for all Wisconsin homeowners.

There's also a $1,000 winner from that same raffle drawing. That ticket was sold at the Party Mart in Lake Mills.

Lottery officials say $2 million to $4 million in prizes go unclaimed in a normal year, but rarely does a winner let a big prize slip away.


22 felons face possible voter fraud charges

Twenty-two convicted felons in Wisconsin still face possible criminal charges for allegedly voting illegally in the 2012 presidential race.

The state Government Accountability Board initially found 89 cases in which a voter's name and birth date matched the list of felons who were on probation or parole. Most of those cases were dropped due to mistaken identities, or it was discovered that the felons had actually served all of their sentences and were allowed to vote again.

In a few cases, local clerks had referred apparent violations to prosecutors. The state referred 28 cases to local district attorneys for possible charges. Of those, a board spokesman said six cases have been closed either because charges were filed or prosecutors decided that charges were not warranted.

Milwaukee County had 18 cases of suspected felons voting illegally. The state's 28 referrals represent about .009% of the more than 3 million Wisconsinites who voted in the 2012 White House contest.


Judge denies restraining order against 5-year-old

A judge in Kenosha County has thrown out a mother's request that a 5-year-old bully be kept away from her 6-year-old daughter.

Media reports said the judge dropped the restraining order after the mother failed to show up in court yesterday. The girl's father later told reporters that the five-year-old boy was removed from the same kindergarten class as his daughter.

Both attend Prairie Lane Elementary School in Pleasant Prairie, part of the Kenosha school district.

Police said the girl was kicked in the face, and had rocks and sand tossed at her.  Her father had told Milwaukee TV stations that the boy told the girl he wanted to slit her throat and watch it bleed.


Field work way behind schedule

Wisconsin farmers say they desperately need the warm temperatures that are inching into the southern part of the state this week.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture says farmers continue to be way behind in their plantings of corn, soybeans and oats -- and the cold and wet spring is to blame.

As of Sunday, 36% of the Wisconsin corn crop was in the ground – 16% more than a week ago, but still well behind the five-year average of 61%.

Observers say it continues to be cold below the surface which means that the crops are emerging more slowly than normal. Parts of the southwest Wisconsin hit the upper-80's yesterday -- a sure-fire solution if it can last.

It's supposed to cool down to the 70's for the Memorial Day weekend in the south. In the north, some places only got into the 50's yesterday. Many of those places don't expect to see 70 for a while perhaps into next week when it's supposed to get warmer, and possibly wetter.

Only 8% of the state's soybean crop has been planted, down from the norm of 26%.  Fifty-five percent of the oat crop is in the ground, 30% behind the average. Crop reporters say the alfalfa and winter wheat generally look good throughout Wisconsin, but they, too, need more heat in order to grow.


OSHA cites plant for 14 safety violations, assesses $52,000 in fines

Federal officials recommend almost $52,000 in fines against a Janesville plant that puts powder coating on metal parts.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the firm of Power Coatings for 14 serious safety violations. OSHA said it found the violations when it inspected the plant last December. Officials said workers were exposed to toxic chemical hazards that can be avoided with respiratory protections, protective equipment and proper training.

Power Coatings was given 15 days to either pay the fines, challenge them or seek a settlement conference for a possible lower penalty.


Eau Claire County puts state issues to referendum

Voters in Eau Claire County will be asked to weigh in on two simmering issues this fall.

The County Board voted last night to place referendums on the November ballot asking if the state's minimum wage should be raised and whether Wisconsin should start taking federal Medicaid funds to help more low-income residents get BadgerCare.

Eau Claire supervisors also urged the state to raise alcohol taxes to help those battling alcohol problems. Lawmakers of both parties have refused for years to touch those taxes.

State Democrats tried but failed in the last session to gradually jack up the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10.

Supervisor Nick Smiar said today's minimum wage is what it was in the 1960's when inflation's added in. Also, he said about half of all U.S. jobs pay no more than the minimum wage in the wake of the Great Recession. Supervisor Mike Conlin agreed with many Republicans who say an increase would be a job-killer.

On Medicaid, Supervisor Colleen Bates said Wisconsin pays more in federal taxes than it gets back so folks are paying for other states to get the increased Medicaid funds that Gov. Scott Walker rejected. Walker said the Medicaid funding could run dry, leaving state taxpayers with billions in extra health costs.


Plans for Green Bay doctor training school get go-ahead

The Medical College of Wisconsin has received two accreditations for its new doctor training facilities in the Green Bay area.

They give the school the green light to recruit an expected inaugural class of 20-25 students who will start training in mid-2015.

The Higher Learning Commission and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education both say the new school has the resources necessary to open.

The new science building at St. Norbert College in De Pere will house classroom and administrative space for the new Medical College branch. Students will also have coursework at UW-Green Bay, the Bellin nursing college and the Northeast Wisconsin Tech campus.

The Medical College, which is based near Milwaukee, says it wants to help train enough doctors to treat Wisconsin's expanding senior population from the Baby Boom. A college official recently said mental health training would be a big focus at Green Bay with seven mental health residency programs to be established throughout the area.

The Medical College is also working on a similar facility in the Wausau area.


Madison man apparently drinking before he fell under bus wheels

Madison police said a 68-year-old man was apparently drinking just before he left a transit bus and died after being run over Monday night.

Police said rescuers could not revive the man, and he died at a hospital.

Spokesman Joel DeSpain said a security camera showed the rider appeared to be drinking alcohol. When he left the bus, he stumbled backward toward the vehicle and was run over by its rear wheels.

The bus driver is on paid leave while the incident is being investigated. The victim's name was not immediately released.


’Rapids mayor won’t be charged for posting ballot on Facebook

The mayor of Wisconsin Rapids will not be charged after he posted his spring reelection primary ballot on Facebook.

Zach Vruwink said earlier that he took a picture of his February ballot and put it on his Facebook page, but he immediately removed it after learning it was a felony.

The district attorney in neighboring Clark County investigated the matter. Showing a marked ballot to somebody else calls for an 18-month prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.

The topic was publicized in the 2012 recall elections when State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate posted a picture of his ballot online.


Some arrested here in international data theft case

Wisconsin is among the places where 16 arrests were made for allegedly using stolen data to get money and merchandise that were shipped to Nigeria and South Africa.

Charges were unsealed yesterday in federal court in Gulfport, Miss. Neither the local U.S. attorney's office nor southern Mississippi online media identified the Wisconsin person or persons arrested.

According to the charges, a New York defendant and 17 others were part of the Yahoo Boys gang from West Africa. They allegedly bought people's bank account information from computer hackers and then stole money and sent cash and goods to Africa.

Additional charges were filed in Atlanta and Charleston, S.C. Besides Wisconsin and New York, the arrests were made in Indiana, California, Canada and South Africa.

Media reports said the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was investigating the schemes since the fall of 2011 after an identity theft victim in Mississippi called to complain.


Missing Milwaukee man’s body found in Lake Michigan

An autopsy is scheduled today for a 33-year-old West Milwaukee man who was missing since May 2.

Relatives confirmed that John Moebs was found dead yesterday. A person who was out for a walk spotted the body floating on Lake Michigan near the shore at Milwaukee's downtown McKinley Park. A Facebook post indicated that police have confirmed Moebs' identity, although they did not make it official as of yesterday afternoon.

Relatives told WTMJ TV they're curious about how he died. Rebecca Moebs said he was found fully clothed, and he was still carrying his wallet. She said the family remains in "shock and disbelief." John Moebs was last seen drinking at a bar on Milwaukee's downtown Water Street.