Governor Scott Walker issued Executive Order #154 today ordering the United States flag and State of Wisconsin flag to be flown at half-staff in honor of Trooper Trevor Casper, who was killed in the line of duty Tuesday.  Governor Scott Walker released the following statement:

Today, we recognize Trooper Trevor Casper for his heroism and remember his dedication to his community.  Trooper Casper served the state faithfully and died protecting fellow citizens from harm.  To honor his selflessness and sacrifice, the flags of the United States and the State of Wisconsin will be flown at half-staff.  Tonette and I are keeping Trevor’s family and friends in our thoughts and prayers. 

Flags will be flown at half-staff at all buildings, grounds, and military installations beginning today and will remain lowered through Tuesday.

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Officials with the Wisconsin State Patrol are mourning the loss of one of their own, who was killed by a bank robbery suspect Tuesday night during a shoot-out in Fond du Lac. State Patrol Lieutenant Colonel Brian Rahn says Trooper Trevor Casper did what he was supposed to when he spotted a vehicle being sought by police.
Casper was only 21 years old and had just graduated from the academy in December, and was on his first solo day of patrol Tuesday. Casper is the first Wisconsin trooper killed in the line of duty since 1972. Investigators have confirmed Steven Snyder, the other man killed in the shoot-out,  robbed  a bank in Wausaukee earlier in the day Tuesday and he is believed to have been involved in several other bank robberies in Wisconsin and other surrounding states. Officials also believe Snyder shot and killed 59-year-old Thomas Christ of Wausaukee during a car jacking.

Residents of Southwest Wisconsin will have an opportunity to voice their opinions on the state budget at a public hearing on Saturday, March 28, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Common Council Chambers in Platteville. The budget listening session will be hosted by Joint Finance Committee member Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison), Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) and Rep. Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee).

Among other provisions, Governor Walker’s proposed budget would cut $300 million from the University of Wisconsin System, all but eliminate the Stewardship program, cut funding for local neighborhood schools while allowing unlimited taxpayer money to private schools, and end the state’s lifesaving SeniorCare program as we currently know it.

Earlier this month the Platteville Common Council began discussing a proposal to prohibit citizens from owning Pit Bulls in the city. The council had decided at its March 10th meeting to send the issue to the Freudenreich Animal Care Trust Fund Committee. That committee is set to meet and discuss the proposed Pit Bill ordinance on Monday (March 30th) at 4:15p-m in the Council Chambers at Platteville City Hall. The committee would make a recommendation to the common council on what action, if any, should be taken regarding the ban.

Early last Saturday evening, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office was notified that a body was located in the woods near the Cozy Acres Trailer Court, not far from the Wisconsin River.

Grant County Sherriff’s Deputies and a Detective from the Criminal Investigation Unit responded to investigate the scene.  Following an investigation and identification by family members, it was determined the body was that of 49 year old William (Joe) Swatek who was last seen near Boscobel just before Christmas.

It was determined that Swatek died from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound. His missing person’s case is now closed.

 

Dubuque Police report that just after 4 O’clock Wednesday afternoon, Police responded to the report of a possible abduction attempt.  An eleven year old girl and her father reported the girl was walking home from school in the 2300 block of Green Street when she was approached by 20 year old Robert Robbins. She said the man grabbed her and pulled her between two houses.

After a brief struggle, the girl got away, ran home and told her father of the incident.

Police interviewed Robbins, who admitted to the above actions and stated his intent was to abuse the girl.

He was arrested and charged with felony kidnapping 3rd Degree.

The class C felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $10,000.  Robbins remains in custody at the Dubuque County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced legislation that would set strong new safety standards for trains hauling volatile crude oil, to better protect American communities along the tracks. The Crude-By-Rail-Safety Act of 2015 requires the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to draft new regulations to mitigate the volatility of gases in crude oil shipped via tank car and immediately halt the use of older-model tank cars that have been shown to be at high risk for puncturing and catching fire in derailments.

“As more and more volatile crude oil moves through Wisconsin and through our country via rail it is critical that appropriate safety measures are in place to reduce the risk of deadly accidents,” Senator Baldwin said. “I’m proud to join Senators Cantwell, Feinstein and Murray in introducing legislation that takes immediate action to phase out the most dangerous tank cars carrying crude oil through our communities and I am hopeful our colleagues in the Senate will join us to prevent future oil train tragedies from occurring as we work to increase safety and efficiency along America’s railways.”  

The legislation would Require PHMSA standards for volatility of gases in crude oil hauled by rail.

 

  • Immediately ban the use of tank cars shown to be unsafe for shipping crude oil. Those models include DOT-111s and unjacketed CPC-1232s.

 

  • Require new tank car design standards that include 9/16th inch shells, thermal protection, pressure relief valves and electronically-controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes.

 

  • Increase fines on railroads that violate hazardous materials laws and establish new fines for railroads and energy companies that don’t comply with safety laws.

 

  • Authorize funding for first responder training, equipment and emergency preparedness. Also would authorize funding for increased rail inspections and energy product testing.

 

  • Require comprehensive oil spill response plans for trains carrying oil, petroleum and other hazardous products.

 

  • Mandate railroads establish a confidential “close-call” reporting system for employees to anonymously report problems.

 

  • Require railroads to disclose crude-by-rail movements to State Emergency Response Commissions and Local Emergency Planning Committees along hazmat rail routes.

 

According to a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “In Wisconsin, tankers carrying crude oil run along the Mississippi. On a separate route, they cross the state and pass through Milwaukee. On the Mississippi, trains run from Prescott, near the Twin Cities, to the Illinois line. Burlington Northern [Santa Fe Railway Co.] hauls 29 to 39 trains of crude oil a week along the river, according to documents filed with Wisconsin Emergency Management. The second line crosses the river at La Crosse and runs through 11 Wisconsin counties, including Waukesha, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha. Records show that Canadian Pacific runs seven to 11 tanker trains a week along the route.”

 

Earlier this month, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to the President urging the Administration to take immediate action and issue final guidance to address oil train safety. The letter also includes specific proposals to strengthen the recommended rules after recent accidents, including the March 5th derailment near Galena, Illinois, have demonstrated the need for improvements.

In January, Senator Baldwin urged the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and PHMSA to finalize a rule to increase oil tank car safety after the agencies missed their deadline. The agencies were required by law to have completed the rule by January 15, 2015.

In September 2014, Senator Baldwin provided public comments on the proposed rule in a letter to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx and PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman writing, “As more and more volatile crude oil moves through Wisconsin via rail, it is critical that appropriate safety measures are in place to reduce the risk of deadly accidents.”

Senator Baldwin has advocated for additional funding for the design, testing, and evaluation of safer tank cars, which was included in the bipartisan appropriations bill passed in December 2014. That legislation also provided grants for track improvements on oil train routes and first responder training for rail hazmat accidents.

The Galena City Council voted 6-1 to rescind the termination of former police officer Don Barklow and have instead accepted his resignation.

Barklow’s termination was removed from his personnel file and replaced with a March 5 letter of resignation retroactive to July 1, 2014.

Barklow was terminated on July 1st of last year after being placed on paid administrative leave April 21.

That same day, a Jo Daviess County Circuit Court Judge issued a stalking/no-contact order against Barklow on behalf of Shannon Williams, of Galena who said Barklow sent her threatening text messages and emails.

Williams also accused Barklow of other harassment and testified that she found fake profiles in her name on an adult “hookup” website.

No criminal charges have been filed against Barklow.

Just before 8am Tuesday, Lafayette Cty Sherriff’s Deputies responded to Leahy RD, Shullsburg Township for a domestic dispute.  44 year old Young Arnold, and 46 year old Laura Gundlach were cited for disorderly conduct and transported to the Lafayette County Jail.  Arnold was released on a cash bond and Gundlach remains in custody for a felony warrant and bail jumping out of Iowa County.

 

Lafayette Cty Deputies responded to S Judgement ST, in the Village of Shullsburg Tuesday afternoon for a domestic dispute.  35 year old Michael Parrott (Puh-Rot) of Cuba City and Patricia Gordon, 31, Shullsburg were both cited for disorderly conduct and transported to the Lafayette County Jail.  Both were released on cash bond.

 

 

The City of Darlington Police Department, in conjunction with the Darlington Community School District, will be hosting a special celebration on Monday (March 30) at 7:00 pm at the Darlington Elementary-Middle School in honor of its D.A.R.E. Program’s 25th Anniversary.  The program will recognize 63 fifth-grade students who are just completing the program, but it will also serve to celebrate 25 years of combined police, school, and community efforts to help young people realize their dreams through trouble-free, drug-free lives.  Special guest speakers for this event will include Wisconsin Hall of Fame Coach Arnie Miehe, Wisconsin State Senator Howard Marklein, and Wisconsin State Assemblyman Todd Novak.  The entire community is welcome to attend.

A man from Monticello (Iowa) faces multiple charges after hitting a police car during a high speed chase. The Dubuque County Sheriff’s office responded to a report of subjects sleeping in a vehicle on Highway 136 south of Worthington about 2:15a-m Sunday. When a deputy awoke the driver, 37-year-old Ryan Husmann, he refused to open the car door and sped off. Deputies pursued the vehicle at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour and used stop sticks to deflate the vehicle’s tires just south of Dyersville. Officials arrested Husmann and charged him with operating while intoxicated and eluding. Dyersville Police assisted in the pursuit and their squad car sustained $4-thousand dollars in damage when it was involved in a collision with the Husmann car.