September 5, 2015

Five overdose on synthetic marijuana

WRN file photo

WRN file photo

Lancaster police say five people were taken to a hospital after apparently smoking synthetic marijuana Monday night. Sergeant Justin McLimans was on scene. “First we didn’t know what we had,” McLimans said. “The first one came in as someone who was seizing. When the second one came in we knew we had something, and it wasn’t good.”

McLimans said four of the victims were teens and the fifth was 55-years-old. “We believe the two that had the strongest reactions to the synthetic marijuana could have died if they didn’t get help,” McLimans said. Lancaster is in Grant County, in southwestern Wisconsin.

Lieutenant Jason Freedman with the Dane County Narcotics Task Force has had his share of dealings with synthetic marijuana, which is sometimes sold in convenience stores. “Because batches of this stuff are coming in and a particular batch can be particularly dangerous, this type of thing is not unusual,” Freedman said. He warned that users don’t know what chemicals are being used. Lancaster police are planning to hold several talks with high school students this fall, specifically to address the concerns with synthetic marijuana.


Wisconsin lawmakers look to block federal funding for Planned Parenthood

File photo: WRN

File photo: WRN

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin could see its access to nearly $7.5 million in federal funding blocked, under a pair of bills receiving public hearings at the Capitol today.

Dozens of people have turned out to testify on the legislation, which includes changing the eligibility requirements for federal Title X funding in the state and capping reimbursement rates for medications. Republicans argue the measures are needed to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to support organizations that provide abortions, while opponents of the bills claim they could reduce access to basic health care services for thousands of low-income women around the state.

State Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), a sponsor of the Title X proposal, testified that the program is intended to promote public health and provide access for low-income residents. “When they money is being used to actively terminate human life, it is in direct conflict with its intended use,” the Delafield Republican argued.

Democrats on the committee pointed out that some areas of the state may lack options that are comparable to Planned Parenthood’s clinics. Outside of the few locations in the state that provide abortions, most clinics offer reproductive health services and health care screenings. Rep. Deb Kolste (D-Janesville) said that those clinics are the only option available to many people, and she has “grave concerns that this (the bill) is going to greatly affect the ability of women to receive health care.”

Sponsors of the bill note that options, such as Wisconsin’s Well Women Program and the Department of Health Services, could help to offer those other options and that the bill keeps Planned Parenthood from being the sole recipient of Title X funds. Democrats countered that those options are far more limited though than Planned Parenthood’s offering.

The hearing was expected to run through much of the day on Wednesday.

Falks give $10 million to University of Wisconsin



A big gift for the University of Wisconsin. Tom and Karen Falk graduated from UW Madison 35 years ago, and are donating 10-million dollars to their alma mater. The UW says the gift will provide two annual scholarships, and two endowed faculty chairs in the schools of business and education.

Tom Falk is the CEO of Kimberly-Clark. He worked as a golf caddy while attending UW. Karen Falk worked behind the counter at Rennebohm’s pharmacy.

“I believe that the best people are in every corner in society, and we want to make sure the best people in society have a chance to rise up,” Falk said. “So we have devoted some scholarship money to make sure the best and brightest students have a chance to get an education.”

Chancellor Rebecca Blank said both Falks have shown tremendous dedication to the UW, and their gift will help many students in the future.

Marathon County suspect shoots himself

(File photo)

(File photo)

A man is dead after shooting himself instead of surrendering to police near Edgar Tuesday night. Marathon County Sheriff’s Department officials say they were assisting Clark County in locating a vehicle that was involved in a shooting incident earlier on Tuesday.

Law enforcement located the vehicle between Athens and Edgar in the Town of Wein. While deputies waited for backup to arrive to perform a traffic stop, a man exited the vehicle and fled into the nearby woods. Deputies and a K9 unit tracked the man for close to an hour, and eventually located him inside the back of a semi trailer. When police found him, he was armed with a handgun. Officers directed him to put down the gun at which point he shot himself.

Marathon County officials say outside agencies are now investigating the incident because their own deputies were on scene trying to apprehend the man.

The name of the subject involved in the incident will not be released pending notification of family.


Walker reiterates tough stance on Iran nuke deal

Gov. Scott Walker in Iowa. (Photo: Radio Iowa)

Gov. Scott Walker in Iowa. (Photo: Radio Iowa)

Scott Walker continues his tough talk on the Iran nuclear deal. The Republican presidential candidate said on CNN Tuesday that he’s “talked to the experts,” who tell him the painstakingly negotiated pact is a bad deal. “I’m going to terminate on the very first day, reinstate those sanctions authorized by Congress, go to Congress to get even more crippling ones going forward,” Walker said.

Walker compared his tough stance to that of Jeb Bush, but said he wasn’t attacking the former Florida governor “I said the day I announced that I would do this on day one, and Governor Bush claimed that he would do something different,” Walker said. “He claimed that this was not a mature approach out there. That’s just a difference out there. That’s not an attack, that’s just a personal difference.”

If ratified by Congress, the accord would limit Iran’s nuclear ability in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions.