November 27, 2014

UW-Oshkosh student accused of making ricin will stand trial

Kyle Smith (Photo: Winnebago Co. Jail)

Kyle Smith (Photo: Winnebago Co. Jail)

A UW-Oshkosh student will stand trial on charges of making the deadly poison ricin at his home. On Monday, a Green Bay federal judge ruled there was enough evidence against 21-year-old Kyle Smith.

Prosecutors say Smith, a senior majoring in biology at UWO, admitted he knew what he was making and shouldn’t have been making it. According to Smith defense attorney William Kerner, Smith never intended to use ricin on humans. Kerner adds that the ricin powder found in Smith’s home was castor bean meal, which is used across the country and falls under different laws and regulations.

Authorities did not find lab equipment at his off-campus home.

The judge ruled that Smith is a danger to the public and that he will remain jailed. Smith was previously suspended by UW-Oshkosh and is also barred from going onto campus.


UW-Green Bay latest to cancel Bill Cosby appearance

Bill Cosby (Photo:

Bill Cosby (Photo:

In the wake of several cancellations in other markets, officials with UW-Green Bay announced Monday they were cancelling troubled comedian Bill Cosby‘s April 12 concert at the Weidner Center. According to a statement, the performance will not be rescheduled. A spokesperson for UWGB would not comment further and no one from the school was made available to answer questions Monday.

People who purchased tickets with a credit card will have it automatically credited with a full refund by December 10. Those who purchased tickets with cash or check will also be offered refunds.

Over the weekend, Cosby had his performance at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on November 28 cancelled. A February show at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Arizona has also been scrapped. The cancellations come amid mounting allegations of sexual assault against the comedy icon.



Wisconsin Bad River tribe joins land buyback program

Wisconsin’s Bad River Indian tribe will be part of a new federal effort to return reservation lands to tribal ownership.

Deputy Interior Secretary Mike Connor said Thursday that 21 Indian communities in 12 states — including the Bad River tribe near Ashland — would join the federal land buy back program by 2017. That will increase the number of locations in the program to 42.

The government is spending $1.9 billion to restore land to tribal interests. It’s part of a $3.4 billion settlement of a class action lawsuit in 2009 by the late Elouise Cobell of Montana. The suit claimed that the Interior Department mismanaged trust funds which the government held for hundreds of thousands of Indian property owners.

The Dawes Act of 1887 split Indian lands into individual allotments which multiple heirs inherited with each passing generation. As a result, some reservations have parcels owned by up thousands of Indians — making it all but impossible to develop the properties. The buy back program consolidates ownership of the affected parcels under tribal governments.


Woman dies after hatchet attack in Mount Pleasant

The victim of a Racine domestic violence incident is dead and her estranged husband is jailed on charges of that include homicide, mayhem, and kidnapping.

Police say the 36-year-old victim from Arlington Heights, IL had come to a friend’s house in Mount Pleasant to escape her husband, but the 38-year-old man confronted her at the home Wednesday night. The woman was struck in the head with a hatchet and was dragged to a vehicle, which left the residential address a few minutes before police arrived.

A 911 call came in a short time later, reporting a woman bleeding at a village motel. The suspect was found in a room and taken into custody, while the woman was taken by Flight for Life to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, where she later died.

Police say the woman had recently filed a restraining order against her husband in Arlington Heights. The names of the victim and the suspect have not been released. A police investigation into the attack continues.


Kenosha man faces charges in death of infant daughter

Kenosha Police are recommending homicide, substantial battery, and arson charges against a 34-year-old man for the death of his infant daughter.

Police Chief John Morrisey says the death of 11-month-old girl on Tuesday is one of the most violent he’s ever seen in his years of police work. Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Morrisey said a citizen called police and reported hearing “screams for help and could hear a baby crying. This citizen heard what he described as two thump sounds, and then there was no longer crying. He then saw the suspect holding something over his head and then saw the suspect drop what he was holding.”

It was only then that the witnessed realized the man was holding a baby.

The suspect was arrested after a stand-off with police. Firefighters were called after he reportedly tried to start several fires in his apartment.

The baby died Tuesday after being taken to a hospital. A medical examiner ruled her death was homicide due to multiple blunt force injuries.