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Rusk County News


MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) — The process of picking a jury of Doug Nitek’s peers began Monday in a Rusk County court room to serve on his homicide trial.

The 45-year-old Nitek is charged with 31 counts in connection to the October 2016 shooting death of Deputy Dan Glaze. The Rusk County Sheriff’s deputy was responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle in a field. Nitek was arrested the following morning, after a manhunt.

Nitek’s trial will begin Tuesday in Dunn County. St. Croix County judge Scott Needham, who is presiding over the case, ordered the jury to be selected in the county where the incident took place.

The jury of 15 jurors – 12 primary jurors and three alternates – will be sequestered throughout the duration of the trial, which is scheduled to run through Oct. 5.

Judge Needham ordered cameras to not be permitted in the courtroom for Monday’s jury selection, but a pool camera will be allowed once the trial begins.

The morning started with potential jurors being packed into the main court room in Ladysmith. Extra chairs were brought in to accommodate the overflow pool of Rusk County residents. Several potential jurors brought books to read, while the laborious task of whittling down a jury of Nitek’s peers proceeded.


Over the weekend in Rusk County, late Saturday morning Rusk County dispatch received a 911 call from a male subject advising there was a transformer at the the end of there driveway on Birch Avenue, Hawkins that was sparking and possibly on fire. The Hawkins Fire Department was called to the scene. Xcel Energy was contacted for a live wire on the ground. No other information was available.

Shortly before 4 PM Saturday, the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office received a report from a maintenance subject requesting a fire department at the landfill at Timberline Trail Recycling and Disposal on North Hutchinson Road, Weyerhaeuser. According to the report, there was a large garbage fire. The Weyerhaeuser Fire Department along with the Bruce Fire Department for a tanker and manpower responded to the scene. Firemen were at the scene for a couple of hours.

Rusk County authorities at about 6:30 PM Saturday, received a call from a male subject advising there was a man about 6 feet tall with no shirt, shorts on and sandals on at there door on West 15th Street North Ladysmith. Rusk County deputies responded to the scene. According to the report, a Rusk County deputy advised that 2 subjects were out on the porch. After an investigation, one subject was detained in his squad car. A subject was taken into custody for bond jumping. No other information was available.

Sunday night at about 10:35, a Ladysmith Officer was dispatched to Grandpa’s Pizza on Edgewood Avenue for a complaint of an unknown male who left without paying for his food. At 1:15 AM this (Monday) morning a City Officer advised that he was out with a subject from earlier theft at Grandpa’s Pizza. After an investigation, Shawn M. Miller, 27 was arrested for fraud on an Innkeeper for Nonpayment.

The state’s small, sparsely populated school districts are sharing $25 million in aid payments that can be used to offset any costs the district incurs in educating its students. Sparsity aid is paid on the third Monday in September. The 145 districts receiving $400 per member sparsity aid payments include two new districts, Manawa and Union Grove Union High School. The 145 districts receiving aid have total membership of 63,701 students, which is about 7 percent of statewide membership for the 1017-18 school year.

Schools in our area receiving Sparsity Aid include Birchwood, $93,600, Bruce, $198,000, Cornell, $173,200, Flambeau, $246,800, Lake Holcombe, $123,200, and Winter, $115,200.

The Department of Public Instruction’s 2019-21 budget request seeks to revise the sparsity aid program to include any school district that has less than 10 members per square mile even if district membership is more than 745.

Eau Claire (WQOW) – According to Eau Claire police, there is an “active investigation” into a shooting that occurred on Eau Claire’s southwest side Sunday night around 8:20.

According to Eau Claire police, they responded to a call of shots fired at the Oak Ridge Village Mobile Home Park on Revere Street. That is in the Shawtown neighborhood.

Police say it is a targeted incident and the public is not in any danger.

One person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — New Census Bureau estimates show Wisconsin’s poverty rate in 2017 was unchanged from the previous year.

The rate of 11.3 percent is below the national rate of 12.3 percent. The figures show Wisconsin’s median household income rose more than $1,000 to about $59,300 in 2017. Twenty-one states had higher median incomes, including neighboring Minnesota at about $68,400 and Illinois at about $63,000.

The State Journal says the number of state residents 65 and older is up about a-half percent. There was no significant change in the number of foreign-born residents at about 5 percent of the population.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker and his Democratic challenger Tony Evers are using proposals for the next state budget to score political points in their hotly contested race for governor.

Monday was the deadline for state agencies to submit their requests for funding, the first step in a months-long process of enacting the next state budget.

Whoever is governor in 2019 will use those requests as the starting point for submitting a budget plan to the Legislature, which is supposed to pass it by July 1.

Walker’s office Monday highlighted some of the proposals, including a tax credit for Wisconsin college graduates that Walker has already used in a campaign ad.

As state superintendent, Evers is seeking a 10 percent funding increase for Wisconsin schools.

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