Source: Local News
A Madison man accused of stabbing his girlfriend Semilla Anderson 29 times pleaded guilty, Friday in court. Eric Prunn, 40, is being charged with first-degree attempted intentional homicide after being arrested in September at an east side home. Police said Prunn stabbed his girlfriend inside a home on Brigham Avenue. Police said they found a woman in her early 30s with multiple stab wounds to her upper body inside the residence. Anderson was Prunn's live-in girlfriend at the time of the attack. The judge has ordered a pre-sentencing investigation. A sentencing date has not been set.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 22:46:56 GMT
A woman accused of driving a minivan into the Atlantic Ocean with her three children in Florida was arrested Friday on three counts of attempted first-degree murder, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said. Investigators say they think Ebony Wilkerson was trying to kill her children -- ages 3, 9 and 10 -- when she drove into the surf Tuesday in Daytona Beach, Johnson said. "She actually told them to close their eyes and go to sleep, she was taking them to a better place," he said. Bystanders and beach rangers went into the water and rescued the children, witnesses and police said. Wilkerson tried to keep rescuers from pulling her children from the minivan and at one point was fighting her son for control of the steering wheel, Johnson said. Johnson said Wilkerson told investigators she was trying to drive out of the surf, not into it, and has denied trying to harm her children. Tim Tesseneer was driving along Daytona Beach on Tuesday with his wife when they noticed the minivan driving through shallow water. They heard the screams, he said, of two children, who were crying and waving for help out of one of the rear windows. Tesseneer threw the car in park and raced over to help. One child was screaming, Tesseneer recalled Wednesday to CNN's Piers Morgan. " 'Please help us, our mom is trying to kill us.' " The other child he could see was wrestling a woman for the steering wheel. But the woman just kept saying, " 'We're OK. We're OK. We're OK,' " as another man joined Tesseneer trying to get the driver to stop. With the minivan in the cold, heavy surf of the Atlantic, the second man, Stacy Robinson, opened a door and pulled out the two panicked children. There was a good chance if he and Tesseneer hadn't been there, the children, ages 10 and 9, would have drowned inside the van as it pitched in the water, officials said. Another child, a 3-year-old girl, was strapped in a car seat. A lifeguard dived in through a front window and unbuckled the child and handed her to another lifeguard as the vehicle bobbed in water about 3 feet deep. The mother just walked away, Tesseneer said, silent with a strange, almost "possessed" look on her face. While there is no evidence that drugs or alcohol were involved, Johnson said one goal of charging her was to make sure she gets help for any possible mental issues. "This is a tragic event. And our goal is to get her into the system so that we can protect the children and take whatever action we need to help her, too," he said. Wilkerson also is being held on three counts of aggravated child abuse, Johnson said. She has not yet requested an attorney, he said.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 21:49:52 GMT
A Canadian couple survives a horrific crash captured by their dashboard camera. The video results in charges against the other driver.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 15:40:11 GMT
A state report alleges Dane County mis-handled one of the worst child abuse cases in county history. County leaders dispute the report and say they weren't required to change anything following the investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. The report was done after abuse was reported to a 15-year-old known as "SLC" in February of 2012. A passerby found the emaciated girl walking in her pajamas along Siggelkow Road, and she reported being locked in a basement where she was abused and tortured. The report was sealed because of the criminal proceedings against her father, Chad Chritton, his wife Melinda and their son Joshua, but News 3 obtained the report this week. The report looked into all the contacts that Dane County Child Protective Services had with the Chritton family over the years, which totaled 8 interactions since 1997. According to the report's summary, CPS made mistakes in four total interactions. That includes two contacts in 2007, where the state found initial assessments lacked sufficient information to determine if the child was safe, that sources of information were not contacted or not documented, and that reports weren't completed in the required timeframe. Two other cases in 2009 were deemed to be "screened out in error," or weren't considered serious enough for follow-up by a county CPS worker. But despite these errors listed, Dane County Human Services Director Lynn Green says there was no corrective action plan required. "We were not required by the state to implement any corrections in this area based on this incident," said Green. Green claims the state determined this case was not representative of the department's work and they had lengthy discussions about what took place. She tells News 3 she disagrees with the report's findings. "Those are the state's conclusions of the situation and they ultimately write the report," said Green. "I believe we have talked to them about their opinions on this and that you could draw other conclusions." Green says she isn't allowed by law to talk about details of the interactions with the family, but can say one thing for sure. "Knowing the facts of the case I honestly don't know what we could have done differently," said Green. "I will admit that I don't know." District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said in a sentencing hearings for Melinda Drabek-Chritton that the system had failed this child. News 3 asked Green if she agreed. "I heard the DA say that and knowing the DA and what he was saying I think I didn't hear him say the department failed this girl," said Green. "I heard him say the system, the community failed this girl. No child should have to go through what this girl went through." Green says her department has added staff and addressed caseload since this case, but no changes were a direct result of what happened. State investigators at the Department of Chidlren and Families declined to answer any of our questions about how their opinions differed on the incidents or whether or not they required changes at the county level. The report says the state "worked with Dane County Department of Human Services to address issues identified during the review." News 3 also requested to speak to DCF Secretary Eloise Anderson and our request was denied
Published: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 03:07:59 GMT
A state agency is investigating after a 64-year-old man fell out of a roller coaster at Mount Olympus in the Wisconsin Dells Thursday night. The Department of Safety and Professional Services has sent OSHA Amusement Ride and Ski-tow inspection staff to the scene where a man fell 15 to 20 feet and landed on the floor. A Mount Olympus employee said the man fell off the Opa roller coaster at the theme park, which is in a building behind the water park. The theme park is closed, but the water park is still open. Officials said the man was not moving but he was breathing when they took the 911 call around 5:35 p.m. The man was transported to St. Clare's hospital in Baraboo, and was then transported by Med Flight to UW Hospital, authorities said. Lake Delton police said this is not a criminal investigation. According to Patrick Salvi, an attorney who has handled several cases involving injuries and deaths resulting from amusement park rides, the investigation will focus on the actions of the person injured and roller coaster ride itself. “The first thing you have to find out is what happened, how did this happen and that would include witness statements, statements from people operating the roller coaster,” says Salvi. “Then you go to the documents having to do with having it been inspected. You inspect the roller coaster yourself and you involve people that are experts in amusement ride safety and are familiar with this device.” A spokesperson for Mt. Olympus Resort said that first and foremost their thoughts and prayers right now are with the gentleman who was injured and his family. According to a release, Mount Olympus staff members have been very cooperative. The ride’s manufacturer, Zamperla Manufacturing, is investigating the incident as well.
Published: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 03:22:40 GMT
The City and local cab companies are speaking out against new ride-sharing companies that Madison police and the city attorney are calling illegal taxi services. New companies, Lyft and Uber, which launched in the last month, are ride sharing companies that allow customers to order a ride from drivers using a downloadable phone application. The drivers are then paid a fee based on how far the trip was. To most, this sounds like an average cab company, but the difference is the drivers aren't licensed or vetted by the city. "There are taxi cab regulations and as they've been interpreted by the Madison Police Department, they are not operating illegally," said Madison District 8 Alder Scott Resnick. According to Madison law, taxi and cab services must have operating licenses, vehicle and driver permits. Currently, neither Uber nor Lyft, which have been deemed taxi services, are registered. "The whole idea of another transportation company in Madison is pretty offensive to all of us if they don't have to follow the same rules we do," said Mark Adkins, who's been driving for Union Cab for 16 years. Cab companies said they also have serious questions about how drivers and passengers are protected accidents and surge pricing by the new ride-sharing services. Phil Anderson of Green Cab, said he isn't concerned about competition as much as he is safety. "Between the vehicles, the drivers and their particular issues and the insurance; none of those are a guarantee with Uber or Lyft," he said. According to the websites of both companies, cars and drivers are insured by standard $1 million dollar liability coverage and various amounts for uninsured drivers or passengers. The general manager of Uber - Wisconsin, Nick Anderson, said in an email his company is solving a large problem in the transportation system and said "certain government bodies are protecting the taxi industry and some misunderstand our business model entirely." Resnick said he's excited these businesses have chosen Madison and is hoping to find a way to accommodate both existing taxi companies and newer ride-sharing services. The city's transit and parking commission is set to meet March 12 to discuss how to address the new companies.
Published: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 04:28:40 GMT
The Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team is reporting more than 3,000 public sector retirees returned to work for a public employer last year while drawing pensions from their old jobs. The team reported Thursday state Department of Employee Trust Funds data show 3,025 Wisconsin Retirement System retirees returned to work in 2013. The state began tracking retiree rehires after provisions in the current state budget required WRS retirees who go back to work for a public employer to stop collecting a pension and resume paying into the system if the job is two-thirds time or more. A DETF spokesman said no retirees halted their pension to return to work full-time from July 2013, when the new law took effect on Jan. 31 of this year.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 18:22:48 GMT
Madison is now one of the eighty-plus cities around the world where on-demand transportation app Uber is available. The service officially launched in Madison Thursday. “Uber is everyone’s private driver,” says Nick Anderson, the GM for Uber in Wisconsin. “Think of it as being able to get in a car at the touch of a button on your smartphone.” Here’s how Uber works: You download the free app onto your iPhone or Android, create an account, add your credit card information (which you’ll only have to do once), and order a car either to your current location or specify another spot. In five to ten minutes, your ride shows up. Once you’re at point B, the bill, including tip, is taken care of through the app. No need to get out cash or sign anything. Uber offers a few different kinds of rides. UberBLACK, which launched in Milwaukee last month, provides luxury vehicles like SUVs and town cars. In Madison, the service that’s available is called uberX. It’s a rideshare program that Anderson says is less expensive than a traditional taxi ride. Fares are based on time and distance. Read more from Madison Magazine
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 18:55:36 GMT
A construction accident resulted in the severing of fiber optic lines on Madison’s west side, causing outages for some TDS Telecommunications customers. An announcement on the company’s Facebook before noon on Friday said the accident occurred near the intersection of the Beltline and Gammon Road in Madison and the repair could take several hours. Customers in Verona, New Glarus, Monroe, Monticello, Juda and Albany are affected. The company said it’s working to find alternate routes for services ahead of the completion of the repair work. Numerous TDS customer services are affected. Customers were told they do not need to call to report outages.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 18:46:54 GMT
A Madison man was arrested on numerous charges after a domestic battery incident early Friday morning, according to a release from the Madison Police Department. Police said Brent L. Benton, 30, punched a woman in the face multiple times while they traveled inside her SUV. The woman told police Benton punctured two of her tires, possibly with a knife and later broke into her apartment in the 200 block of North Thompson Drive. She said he began yelling and waving a handgun around. Police were called and Benton was later found at his north side home and taken into custody. Benton was arrested on suspicion of battery, felon in possession of a firearm, criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct while armed, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana and a parole violation. Crime map
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 17:19:38 GMT
A Fitchburg man accused of supplying the heroin that killed a teenager in 2012 has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Twenty-three-year-old Milton Moore pleaded no contest Thursday to first-degree reckless homicide by delivery of drugs. After his prison term, Moore will be on extended supervision for seven years. The Portage Daily Register reported Moore apologized to the family of the victim, 17-year-old Jacob Adler of Lodi. Adler's mother, Shelly Johnson, said she hopes her son's story might save other lives. Moore's co-defendant, 20-year-old Lars Atkinson of Lodi, was sentenced in October to 5 ½ years in prison and 5 ½ years on extended supervision. According to the complaint, Atkinson told police he and Adler purchased the heroin in Madison, giving Moore $75 for half a gram.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 20:51:36 GMT
With two growing boys, Laura Cotting said she cannot risk them skipping a meal. But thanks to what she calls the “lunch of shame,” - it’s happened more than once at school in Waterloo. “I think all told, it was five or six times that my sons ended up with no lunch,” Cotting said. Cotting said both of her sons are on the same account to pay for their lunch every day. She said on more than one occasion, one or both of the boys would reach the end of the line with their trays full of hot food when the cafeteria cashier told them there wasn’t enough money in the account to cover their meal. Cotting said the food was thrown out, and her sons were handed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. “They felt humiliated. They felt shamed,” Cotting said. “For them it was a nasty surprise during the school day because they had no idea where the lunch account balance was.” Stories like Cotting’s led PTO secretary Angie Stinnett to push for new policies. “It's embarrassing, and then they're afraid to get back in the line, afraid that it's going to happen again,” Stinnett said. Stinnett has gone to district administration, asking them to eliminate the so-called “lunch of shame” and serve all kids the same meal, whether they have money in their account or not. An online petition has more than 400 people supporting the cause. “I don't care if it works. We can find another way that works that doesn't embarrass children,” Stinnett said. Waterloo district administrator Connie Schiestel said the policy wasn’t created to embarrass kids. According to current policies, students who are not able to pay for full-priced lunches are served an alternative lunch of a sandwich and milk. That meal is served to any child in fifth through 12th grade for up to three days. If parents do not replenish their account within those three days, schools do not serve the child. Schiestel said under USDA law, school districts make their own rules of how to handle empty accounts. That means districts could deny lunch altogether to any student with a negative balance if that’s how they chose to do it. “The fact that we have few negative balances, I think, does speak to the fact that this has been very consistent,” Schiestel explained. “Here's our policy, this is what happens, and the parents have responded by making sure that their accounts, they have been responsible.” Schiestel said when a child’s account is less than $10, those students are sent home with daily written notices, warning parents of the low balance. Parents are also supposed to receive emails if the account reaches that level. Schiestel added lunches that cannot be covered by a negative account have to be thrown away since the food cannot be served to another student under health department requirements. Schiestel said the policies in place have prevented debt from unpaid lunch fees, which would have to be made up with funds from the school’s other operational budgets. While the current rules have proved to be effective, Schiestel said the district is up for looking at other options. “If there is a better way to work through this and to still run a viable lunch program, we're certainly willing to make that effort,” Schiestel said. The district’s policy committee recommended the Waterloo school board do away with the alternative lunch and serve kids the meal they came up to the cashier with. School board members will have their first reading on the policy changes Monday. If they vote to adopt the new rules, the district will run a trial period on the policy for the last eight weeks of this school year. At that point, the school board will reassess any acquired debts and make a decision on permanent policies. Cotting said she never got an email warning from the district about her boys’ low balance. Regardless, she said the way the district deals with the issue is unacceptable. “There is no excuse for a school to make a child suffer in an attempt to try to control the parents. Find another way,” Cotting said.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 20:41:52 GMT
A New Orleans arrest warrant says detectives learned from witnesses that former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper and an associate acknowledged they had nonconsensual sex with two women. The warrant was released by New Orleans police on Thursday in an investigation of Sharper and associate Erik Nunez. The warrant does not elaborate on the allegations by witnesses. Sharper remains in a Los Angeles jail after pleading not guilty to rape and drug charges in California. His attorneys were set to argue for his release Friday afternoon. Louisiana prosecutors have not yet formally charged Sharper. The athlete's Los Angeles-based attorney Blair Berk referred a call for comment to Sharper's New Orleans lawyer, Jason Williams, who was not immediately available. Nunez has been arrested in New Orleans, where a judge on Friday set bail for at $400,000. His lawyer Herbert Larson there is no evidence against his client.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 20:15:31 GMT
After a decade leading the Middleton police force, Chief Brad Keil will retire his public service hat later this month for a figurative one working in corporate security.
Published: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 00:03:07 GMT
The mother of an 8-year-old boy accused of injuring two puppies with bleach is charged in Fond du Lac County. The 30-year-old Fond du Lac woman is accused of failing to take action after learning about the injured 6-week-old puppies. The dogs, Tina and Turner, suffered chemical burns to their eyes and mouths. A veterinary exam this week shows the male puppy has permanent lung damage that will make him more susceptible to lung infections. Action Reporter Media said the mother is charged with felony mistreatment of animals and six misdemeanors. A conviction on all charges carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison. The puppies are being cared for at a foster home. Fond du Lac Humane Society Shelter Manager Renee Webb said they've received many applications for adoption of the dogs.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:26:45 GMT
A Janesville police report about the principal at Harmony Elementary School includes testimony from witnesses who said she pushed a 7-year-old special needs student against a wall. Jeanne Smith is on paid administrative leave from the Milton School District after the Feb. 18 incident. Janesville police said two aides reported to district administration that there was some physical restraint on Smith’s part that they weren’t sure was appropriate. Officers investigated the report and determined there was not probable cause to charge Smith with a crime. The report said on the date of the incident, the boy became disruptive in the classroom and two aides took him to a seclusion room near the principal’s office. They said they removed the boy’s shoes to prevent him from kicking the door. The aides told police Smith said, “I’m going to antagonize him,” before going into the room and making him sit down against a wall with his legs crossed. They said she stepped on one of his ankles to keep from getting kicked. One of the witnesses told police they heard Smith yell comments similar to, “You’re a rotten kid,” and “I don’t care.” She also heard the boy yell, “You’re hurting me.” They told police Smith then left the room when a parent arrived in the office and the situation calmed down. Smith admitted to grabbing the boy's ankles and pushing him into a corner but denied calling him “rotten.” She said she might have used the word “antagonize,” but didn’t specifically recall saying she was going to antagonize him. A detective didn’t find any evidence of injuries to the boy. The report states Smith was put on leave within a day of the incident and that she had submitted a resignation before the incident and is expected to resign at the end of the year. The boy’s father, Josh Hooker, said he moved his family to the Milton School District after hearing how well they handled children with autism. He said his son is high functioning, but occasionally has meltdowns in class. “It's been a wonderful experience up until this point,” Hooker said. District administrator Tim Schigur said the school board accepted Smith's resignation letter Jan. 27 as she plans to retire at the end of this year. She is on administrative leave until the district’s investigation is complete.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 22:29:08 GMT
The brother of the man fatally shot on Madison’s east side Monday night is being charged with first-degree intentional homicide. Fredrica Hanger, 33, was shot in the 1300 block of East Wilson Street around 7 p.m. on Monday, according to a release. Hanger was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The shooting resulted from a fight between Fredrica Hanger and his 39-year-old brother, Bonnell Hanger, officials said. According to the criminal complaint, Fredrica Hanger was in his car installing a car stereo when his brother arrived. The two argued, and Fredrica Hanger was shot inside the car. The Dane County Medical Examiner said Fredrica Hanger died from gunshot wounds to the head. At the scene, Bonnell Hanger said, "I shot my kid brother," according to the complaint. The Department of Corrections confirms Fredrica Hanger was released from prison a week ago after serving nine years for armed robbery. Bail for Bonnell Hanger has been set at $100,000. If convicted, Bonnell Hangers faces life in prison.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 20:59:46 GMT
New uniforms were unvieled for the UW men's basketball team.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 13:16:01 GMT
A 69-year-old Madison man told police he suffered broken bones in both of his arms when he was attacked and robbed by an acquaintance. The victim said he and Hosiea D Chestnut, 49, of DeForest, were hanging out in his East Gorham Street Apartment on Saturday when he was struck by a cane. He told police Chestnut fled with some of the victim's money after the attack. Chestnut was arrested Thursday by DeForest police on suspicion of armed robbery and substantial battery. Crime map
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 17:24:57 GMT
Racine police say they've arrested a suspect in a Chicago area murder. Authorities say the 19-year-old man was arrested Thursday on an Illinois warrant after officers pulled him over in Racine. The suspect is wanted for fatally shooting 20-year-old Kenneth Groves during a house party in Kankakee last November. A second person was shot, but suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 16:49:51 GMT