February 9, 2016

New Wisconsin law helps adopted children find birth parents

Rep. Mike Rohrkaste

Rep. Mike Rohrkaste

Adopted children would have an easier time learning more about their birth parents, under a bill recently signed into law by Governor Scott Walker.

State Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah) supported the proposal. He says the change removes some barriers to finding out the identity of their parents. It also provides access to medical information that could identify possible concerns.

Rohrkaste says the law does provide anonymity, if birth parents don’t want to be found. But, he says it does require the release of a parent’s name, if that person is dead.

Contributed by WHBY

Duffy looks to cut red tape for military flyovers

(Photo: US Army)

(Photo: US Army)

A Wisconsin Congressman wants to make it easier for special events to get military flyovers.

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) says these flyovers are an important part of American celebrations. “They allow the American people to celebrate their patriotism and witness service members in action.”  He’d like to move control of those flyovers away from the Pentagon and to the regional level.  “In recent years it’s become far more challenging to get permission for those flyovers because of all the paperwork and red tape in the Pentagon.”

Duffy’s bill, called the Sound of Freedom Act, would give State Adjutant Generals of the National Guard and Reserves the call on how and when those flyovers are made.  “Should an eligible event match up with a predetermined flight training schedule, there is no reason why a local commander should not be empowered to decide whether a flyover should take place.”

There had been some recent controversy over the Pentagon paying for special patriotic tributes and ceremonies at sporting events, but Duffy says this would have nothing to do with that. He calls that funding ‘advertising’ for the Defense Department, and that the flyovers would have no fiscal impact on taxpayers.  “Our pilots need to get X number hours of training in every month.  So this is part of their training mission, they can coordinate it with a flyover.  There’s no additional cost here.”

Part of the Sound of Freedom Act would ask for a cost benefit analysis for the program, especially looking for the added incentives when it comes to recruitment and public relations.

Contributed by WSAU.


Manitowoc man gunned down answering door

Manitowoc police say a 52-year-old man was shot and killed Friday morning after he answered a knock at his door. The victim has been identified as Kor Yang. The fatal shooting happened at a house in the 2200 block of S. 9th Street around 5:30 a.m. Friday.

Police Chief Nick Reimer said Yang’s the victim’s wife, her 16 and 4 year old children, and her one year old grandson were in the home at the time. The suspect fled, and has not been found or identified. Police don’t believe the shooting was a random act.

This is the first shooting homicide in the city of Manitowoc since 2001. Manitowoc police say the State Crime Lab and Wisconsin State Patrol have been called in to help investigate, per standard protocol.

Police add that there is no connection between this homicide and the Netflix series “Making a Murderer”.


Alleged sword killer Matthew Skalitzky to remain institutionalized

A Wisconsin man who investigators say killed his mother with a sword last September remains incompetent to stand trial.

Dane County Circuit Court judge Juan Colas said Thursday that 40-year-old Matthew Skalitzky still is not mentally stable enough to stand trial, but may become so after receiving additional treatment.

Skalitzky has been kept at Winnebago Mental Health Institute near Oshkosh on a civil commitment since shortly after September 11 2015, when he’s alleged to have attacked and killed his mother, 68-year-old Jane Skalitzky. The victim was decapitated with a sword.

A doctor prepared a report confirming this information, and Skalitzky waived his right Thursday to challenge the doctor’s report.

Meanwhile, the first-degree intentional homicide case against him remains on hold. Another hearing will take place in about a hundred days to reassess Skalitzky’s mental state.

“Mr. Skalitzky is not yet competent,”  Colas said. “[He] is likely with additional treatment to become competent, and so we will go head and set another date for a subsequent report.”

Until then Skalitzky will remain at Winnebago. He’s scheduled to be back in court in May.



Prospective buyer for Prentice Caterpillar plant

There’s some good news for employees at the Caterpillar plant in Prentice. The Prentice facility that makes forest products for Caterpillar has been the target for acquisition by one of Caterpillar’s vendors, Ritalka, Inc.

Ritalka owner Kevin Wald confirmed he’s been negotiating with the heavy equipment maker since last fall, but they haven’t reached a deal. If Ritalka is able to acquire the Prentice plant, they may eventually expand it. for now, Wald will continue negotiating in hopes of closing the deal by the end of the year.

Caterpillar has said it move production out of Prentice by the end of the year, impacting 220 workers.