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Top Stories March 26, 2015

Fond du Lac Bank Robber Identified


3/26/15 - A suspected bank robber who died with a state trooper in a shootout was identified by the state Justice Department as Steven Snyder of Michigan. The agency's statement did not list an age or a hometown for Snyder.  Justice officials said they continue to determine how several crimes occurred between a bank robbery at Wausaukee in Marinette County, and the shoot-out in Fond du Lac 130 miles to the south.  The Justice Department said autopsies were to be completed on both Snyder and state patrol officer Trevor Casper -- and information from both will likely help investigators determine what happened. The Marinette County sheriff said Snyder fired a gun at the State Bank of Florence in Wausaukee early Tuesday afternoon and took money.  He then stole a bank employee's vehicle, and dumped it a short distance away where he carjacked another vehicle and killed that driver.  Trooper Casper found that vehicle late yesterday afternoon on Fond du Lac's west side, and the shootout occurred soon after.  There was also a bank hold-up in Fond du Lac not far from the shootout, but it was not certain whether that was part of Snyder's crime spree.  Casper is the first state trooper to be killed in the line of duty since 1972.  The 21-year-old officer had just graduated last December from the State Patrol Academy.


Cambria School District Future May Be Riding On Referendum


3/26/15 - The upcoming referendum in Cambria-Friesland could affect how long the school district will continue to operate.  An approval of the question on the April 7 ballot would allow for the revenue limits to be exceeded by $1.4-million dollars for the next three years to meet operational needs.  Mill rates project to be $10.60, $11.14, and $11.83, for each of the next three years respectively if voters give the nod.  If the referendum fails, the mill rate would be just under $9 each of the next two years.  Superintendent Tim Raymond says that failure of the referendum question could spell doom for the district as the state could possibly step-in for re-districting if the referendums continue to fail.  He notes the possibility of students being absorbed into the Markesan, Randolph, Fall River, Rio, and Pardeeville School Districts.  According to Raymond, the current fund balance would run out within the next two years.  The state funding formula projects out to leave Cambria-Friesland $350-thousand, $450-thousand, and $600-thousand dollars short the next three budget years, respectively.  Raymond says that the current financial trouble of the Cambria-Friesland schools is a problem facing many districts that are seeing stagnant or decreasing enrollment numbers. 


Cambria-Friesland Holding Referendum Meeting Tonight 


3/26/15 - Voters in the Cambria-Friesland School District have an opportunity tonight to learn more about the school funding referendum that will appear on the April 7 ballot. The district is looking to exceed revenue limits $1.4-million dollars for the next three years to meet operational needs.  An informational meeting will be held at 6pm in the Farmers and Merchants Union Bank Gymnasium of the Cambria-Friesland School.


Ribbon Cutting Today In Columbus For Grocery, Hardware Store


3/26/15 - The new Columbus Sentry Market and Ace Hardware store officially opened its doors to the public on Thursday. The Commerce Center's latest store within a store addition will be open from 6am to 10pm daily. There will be / was a ribbon cutting at 10am this morning. Stores' Manager Nate Pederson says the Sentry and Ace store is a modern version of a "general store" straight out of the past. Their location next to the Shopko Hometown Store is near the Highways 16 and 60 intersection; visible from Highway 151.


Jobless Filings Edge Upward In Region, Still Below 2014


3/26/15 - Jobless filings in the region were slightly higher last month compared to January but are once again well below the numbers posted at this last year. Dodge County was at 5.7-percent in February, up two-tenths from January but well below the 7.2-percent reported in 2014. Both Columbia and Jefferson counties were up one-tenth from month-to-month at 5.5-percent, over a full percentage point below last year’s numbers. Fond du Lac and Washington counties are also up one-tenth to 5-percent and 4.5-percent, respectively. Green Lake County is up three-tenths to 7.6-percent; last year at this time it was at 9-percent. Dane County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state, holding steady at 3.6-percent. Four counties have rates above 11-percent: Menominee, Sawyer, Bayfield and Door counties. Every county in Wisconsin decreased last month compared to 2014. Rates were unchanged or declined in 20 counties from January to February.


Manney Going To Court Seeking MPD Return


3/26/15 - A Milwaukee police officer whose firing was upheld this week will now go to court to try and re-join the police force.  Christopher Manney's lawyer said that his client will "certainly" keep appealing his termination in connection with the shooting death of Dontre Hamilton.  The city's fire-and-police commission held a five-day appeal hearing before it ruled on Monday night that Manney's firing was justified.  Police Chief Ed Flynn let him go last October, for approaching Hamilton from behind for a pat-down in Milwaukee's downtown Red Arrow Park.  Flynn said Manney's actions led to an unnecessary scuffle in which deadly force had to be used. 


Columbus School Board Candidates Answer Questions

3/26/15 - Four School Board candidates for re-election on April 7th were at City Hall last night for a Columbus / Fall River Rotary Forum.  Questions about school funding, the Governor's proposed education budget, the increased use of heroin in our part of the state and building a new Columbus High School were all addressed to give the live audience and local cable TV watchers a chance to get to know the individual candidates' views.  The four candidates running for the Board will be competing for three open seats. All four have served on the Columbus School Board. William Braun, Joe Conlin, Peter Fogarty and Loren Glasbrenner took turns answering prepared forum questions and making their case for re-election.

Ryan Opposes Banning Bonds To Pay For Stadiums


3/26/15 - Janesville House Republican Paul Ryan is against President Obama's budget measure to bar the use of tax-exempt bonds to pay for pro sports stadiums.  A Treasury Department memo said state-and-local government subsidies allow new stadiums like the proposed Milwaukee Bucks arena to qualify for federal tax-exempt bonds.  The agency said it puts the financial risk for the projects on taxpayers, instead of the organizations that use the arenas.  Ryan chairs the House Ways-and-Means committee.  Ryan spokesman Robert Swift said his boss is not interested in proposals which are designed to raise federal revenues.  If adopted, the measure could put a road block into a proposed financing plan for the new Bucks' arena.  The final version of that package remains uncertain, after the state Senate's G-O-P leader called for an alternative plan -- and the Assembly speaker proposed less state bonding than the 220,000,000 the proposed state budget calls for.


UW President Hints Towards Possible Resignation


3/26/15 - U-W System President Ray Cross says he'll resign if he can't convince lawmakers to reduce the proposed $300,000,000 cut in state funding for the university.  Cross appeared at a budget forum at U-W Milwaukee, where tenured faculty members told him to prove he wasn't selling out the university in negotiations with lawmakers.  They asked if he'd quit if he couldn't get the funding cut reduced, and preserve the U-W's faculty tenure protections, shared governance, and academic freedom.  Cross said he would resign under those circumstances, and several faculty members applauded.  Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he wants the size of the proposed funding cut reduced.  He also said he's leaning against the governor's proposed future autonomy for the U-W System, saying it doesn't sound like the U-W would make many changes.  Assembly finance chair John Nygren recently said his house won't pass the proposed public authority which would give the U-W freedom from state rules.


Yesterday's Headlines
    - Name Of Trooper Killed In FDL Shooting Made Public
    - Randolph Woman Killed In Car Accident
    - Hustisford Area Shooting Remains Under Investigation

For those stories and more click here.

For older stories visit our news archive here.