April 19, 2014

Body of missing Wisconsin man found on Michigan beach

A frozen body found on a remote beach in western Michigan has been identified as a man from Sheboygan who’s been missing since last fall.

Three bicyclists found Allen Townsend’s body on Tuesday night, along the Lake Michigan shoreline north of Ludington. The 48-year-old Townsend was last seen in November of 2013. Authorities believe his body drifted from Wisconsin across the lake to Michigan.

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office says the body might have been on the beach for months, and foul play is not suspected. An autopsy has been performed, but the cause of Townsend’s death has not been determined.

Bucks sold for $550 million (AUDIO)

Milwaukee Bucks owner and former Senator Herb Kohl announced the sale of his NBA franchise to a pair of New York investors,

Herb Kohl

Herb Kohl

Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens for $550 million.  Both Lasry and Edens are committed to keeping the Bucks in Milwaukee, which has been a key to any sale of the team by Kohl.

Both Kohl and the new ownership group have each committed $100 million toward a new, multipurpose arena.  Wesley Edens figured that total would get them about halfway towards the purchase of a new facility.

Kohl originally purchased the Bucks back in 1985 for $18 million and has owned the team for the last 29 years.

AUDIO: Marc Lasry says he and Edens will be hands on owners :16

Marc Lasry is the chairman, CEO and co-founder of Avenue Capital Group.  Wesley Edens is the co-founder of the Fortress Investment Group LLC, based in New York. [Read more...]

Walker stops short of committing to full second term

walkerreportersGovernor Scott Walker doesn’t appear to be committing to serve his full term if reelected. In Madison on Wednesday, the Republican governor was asked whether he’ll commit to serving his full four-year term if he’s reelected this November.

“I’m committed to run for governor again. I ran four years ago because ultimately I saw that this state wasn’t headed in the right direction,” Walker said following remarks to the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

AUDIO: Governor Scott Walker :45

Walker is mentioned as a potential candidate for president in 2016. “Between now and November 4th I’m going to talk about what I plan on doing in the next term, and stay focused on that” said Walker, who formally launched his campaign for reelection this week. “I love being governor, and I’m committed to being a good governor going forward.”

Walker faces Democrat Mary Burke, a former Trek Bicycle executive and state commerce secretary, in November.

 

Guilty verdict in Lincoln County homicide

Bucki PHOTO: WSAU

Bucki PHOTO: WSAU

A Merrill man could spend the rest of his life in prison, after he was convicted Wednesday of killing his estranged wife and dumping her body in a swamp.

It took less than 24 hours for a jury in Lincoln County to find 50-year-old Mark Bucki guilty on all counts in the death of his wife Anita. The 48-year-old woman’s body was found last April, after she had been strangled and stabbed. The defense said there was no physical evidence — but prosecutors said there was plenty of circumstantial evidence that pointed to Bucki’s finances and his wife’s $150,000 life insurance policy.  Prosecutors also said there were no defensive wounds on her body, apparently showing that she knew her killer.

Lincoln County district attorney Don Dunphy says they presented a very strong case despite the lack of direct evidence. “It’s not at all unusual in a murder case for there not to be any direct evidence. There’s typically only two people present, and one of them is dead. The other one isn’t going to say ‘this is what happened’. We certainly had enough circumstantial evidence and it’s certainly competent evidence that’s just as good as direct evidence.”

Assistant attorney general Richard Dufour says the state laid out a convincing case to the jury from start to finish. “I certainly hope the closing argument meant something, that’s why we do it. I tried to just put it together, put everything together for the jury so they can follow all the evidence.” Dufour says he wasn’t concerned over the length of deliberations. “I don’t care how long they take, as long as they get it right. That’s what this is all about. We’re about doing justice, not about just getting convictions. It’s not wins and losses, it’s doing justice.”

Bucki will serve at least 30 years on the primary charge of first degree intentional homicide and may get life without parole. A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered in the case and sentenced will be scheduled at a later date.

WSAU

 

Couple challenges Wisconsin gay marriage ban

A same-sex couple from Milwaukee County is asking the state Supreme Court to take up a direct challenge to Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban.

The lawsuit filed by Katherine and Linda Halopka-Ivery seeks to overturn a state constitutional amendment adopted by voters in 2006 that bans gay marriage. The high court is being asked to take up the case directly, bypassing the circuit and appellate courts, because the couple argues the issue is of great public interest to the state of Wisconsin.

The lawsuit compares the ban to “institutionalized humiliation,” and argues that it denied the couple equal rights under the law after they were married in California and returned to their home in Wisconsin. The couple also charges that Wisconsin’s ban, combined with a domestic partnership registry created after its passage, create what’s essentially a “two-tiered regime that harms gay and lesbian individuals.”

The state Supreme Court is already considering a case claiming Wisconsin’s domestic partnership registry violates the gay marriage ban. A federal case seeking to overturn the 2006 amendment was also filed earlier this year.

In a statement, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said he will continue to defend the laws and the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin.

You can view the full court filing here.