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Rusk County News

A judge in northwest Wisconsin is scheduled to set bond today for a man suspected of killing his wife 12 days ago.  Sawyer County sheriff’s officials said 25-year-old Kristina Clark was shot in the early morning of October 5th at a home near Winter.  She later died at a hospital in Duluth.  Deputies said her husband, 26-year-old Cade Clark, called 9-1-1 to report that his wife was shot in the head.  He was arrested on Wednesday in Tomah, and was booked on a possible charge of first-degree intentional homicide.  Kristina Clark’s funeral was last Sunday in Tomah.  The Clarks had three young children.

A northwest Wisconsin woman is due back in court next Thursday for allegedly trying to stab-and-strangle her husband to death.  Bowe Blackwell of Clayton survived the attack on Tuesday night.  His 22-year-old wife Samantha is now charged in Polk County with counts attempted homicide, false imprisonment, strangulation-and-suffocation, battery, and disorderly conduct.  Prosecutors said the couple was fighting about household finances and chores when Samantha Blackwell slapped and punched her husband, stabbed him with a steak knife, and strangled him.  She’s being held on a 50-thousand dollar cash bond.  The next step in her case is a preliminary hearing, where a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to send the case to a trial.

Wednesday afternoon at 3 PM a warrant was served at the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department. According to the Police Log, contact was made with a subject who was wanted on a warrant with a cash bond of $296 or 120 days jail. The male subject was taken into custody and taken to the Rusk County jail.

Just after 9 PM Wednesday, the manager at Krist Oil on 1st street North Ladysmith, advised there were two male juveniles outside the store and one may have been smoking. The manager also reported that one of them had been in the store and when he walked out his pockets looked like there may have been stuff in them. A Ladysmith Police Officer located the subjects and advised that he spoke with one of them and his mom. The juvenile stated he was smoking. The Officer also spoke with the other male juvenile and his mom. He stated he did take a pack of gum from the store. Citations were issued for theft and possession of tobacco.

A dozen wolves have already been taken as the Wisconsin hunt enters its third day.  That’s eight-percent of this year’s quota of 150 for sport-hunters and trappers.  If the current pace continues, a season that’s scheduled to run for four-and-a-half months would end in less than one month.  The first two annual hunts only lasted around two months each before their quotas were reached — and they were larger than this year’s maximum harvest.  Meanwhile, 22 counties have urged the D-N-R to keep reducing the wolf population, so it’s at-or-below 350 — the goal set when grey wolves were re-introduced in the Badger State.  The Marathon County Board will consider joining the request when it meets on Tuesday.  The D-N-R would have a long way to go to reach 350.  The state had 660-to-689 wolves this past spring, down from 809-to-824 the previous year.  Michael Lane of Mosinee told Marathon County supervisors last night there are too many wolves locally — and the livestock damage they cause is just trickling down to the Wausau area from northern Wisconsin.  He also pointed to dog damage, and interactions with humans.  Officials said there were 81 incidents involving wolves and domesticated animals last year, and six threats to human safety in 21 northern Wisconsin counties.

Wisconsin voters will get their second-and-last chance to compare the two major candidates for governor tonight.  Republican incumbent Scott Walker and Democrat Mary Burke will debate each other in Milwaukee, as a panel of journalists asks questions for a second straight Friday evening.  The one-hour debate begins at seven o’clock, and will be broadcast on T-V and radio stations statewide.  The economy, a projected state deficit, health care, and voter I-D were among the subjects examined a week ago. Walker said he was trying to speak directly with voters, with less emphasis on responding to jabs from Burke.  Observers generally agreed that Burke held her own, making crisp points with steady confidence as she tried introducing herself to voters who had not heard her before. Tonight, both candidates get to respond to a host of things brought up this week.  Walker said he was considering the idea of trashing the gas tax and starting a new sales tax to help reduce a huge deficit in the state’s transportation fund.  Burke more forcefully touted her business experience, said she could have responded better to allegations that her jobs’ plan was copied from others, and began distancing herself from former Governor Jim Doyle — for whom she served for two years as the state’s commerce secretary. 

Wisconsin’s two major candidates for governor had predictable reactions to the latest drop in the state’s unemployment rate.  The seasonally-adjusted jobless rate dropped another two-tenths of a point in September, to a preliminary figure of five-and-a-half percent.  Republican Governor Scott Walker’s campaign calls it evidence that the state’s heading in the right direction, with “more great news for working families.”  Burke’s camp, pointing to more complete three-month survey data, says Wisconsin continues to lag behind others in job growth.  Her campaign says this year’s Wisconsin’s job growth remains the worst since the Great Recession.  State workforce development officials said 84-hundred private sector jobs were created last month.  The agency calls that “statistically significant,” even though it has pointed out in the past how inaccurate the monthly job numbers can be.  They’re based on a survey of just three-and-a-half percent of employers.  Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has dropped more than one-percent over the past year.  It’s almost four-points below the recession-high of nine-point-two percent in 2009 — although it’s not quite back down to the five-percent levels seen before the recession hit in 2008.

Rusk County News

The Wisconsin governor’s race is back to dead even.  The latest Marquette Law School poll released this afternoon shows that Republican incumbent Scott Walker and Democrat Mary Burke are both at 47-percent among likely voters. Two weeks ago, Walker jumped out to a five-point advantage among those who say they’re likely to vote three weeks from today.  Since then, voters statewide saw Burke basically hold her own in her first statewide debate against the more politically-experienced Walker.  They’ll have another debate on Friday night in Milwaukee.  Four-percent in today’s Marquette poll are undecided.  In a series of tweets over the noon hour, poll officials said the gender gap has all but disappeared, after standing out strongly before.  Among likely voters, Walker has a two-point edge over Burke at 48-46 among men, while Burke leads among women 48-47.  The gap has also narrowed among independents.  Those likely voters give Burke a one-point edge, after Walker had 13-point advantage among independents two weeks ago.  The Marquette poll interviewed 803 likely voters among just over a-thousand registered voters last Thursday through Sunday.  The margin of error was three-and-a-half percent among those likely to vote.  Also, more of us are getting to know the candidates for attorney general.  Democrat Susan Happ and Republican Brad Schimel are both tied among registered voters at 39-percent, with 19-percent undecided.

Democrat Mary Burke and her supporters have stepped up their T-V advertising in the Wisconsin governor’s race.  The Center for Public Integrity reports today that Burke and her allies have spent six-point-six million dollars on T-V — while Republican Governor Scott Walker and his supporters have spent almost six-point-one million.  Walker had the advertising edge as recently as last week, when his campaign and supporters had spent about 200-thousand more on T-V this fall than those for Burke.  The race is still extremely tight, with 20 days to go before Election Day.  The latest Marquette Law School poll has Walker and Burke tied at 47-percent among likely voters, with four-percent undecided.
 
Just after 7 AM Wednesday, a Rusk County deputy was out with a suspicious vehicle on Log Cabin Road, Chetek. A short time later the deputy advised that he will be at the Strickland Town hall. The driver Brandon Swanson has a bond through Barron County with a condition that he does not drive a motor vehicle without a valid license. Brandon was arrested for the bond violation and possession of Meth. He was also issued a citation for operating while suspended 3rd offense and no proof of insurance.

Rusk County dispatch Wednesday afternoon received a 911 from a male subject advising a White Chevy drives by his house located on Hanson Road, Ladysmith, everyday and stops on his property and the driver shoots at something, not sure if its a deer or other animal. The complainant followed the subject and got his license plate number. After a short time a Rusk County deputy was out with the vehicle on Sheep Camp Road. The deputy made contact with the offender Scott Bove who admitted the DNR violation two days ago but did not admit to shooting Wednesday.

At 5:35 PM Wednesday afternoon, Rusk County authorities received a call advising a red Ford Focus all over both lanes of traffic at Highway 27 near St. John’s Lutheran Church. After a field sobriety Test the driver was arrested for OWI and taken to the Rusk County jail.

A City Officer was advised at 8:50 PM Wednesday night, of a vehicle that the driver was reported as being intoxicated. The officer located the vehicle and made a traffic stop for an equipment violation. James Dean Miller 49, was found to be the driver. Miller was found to be on probation and due to being on a No Drink Restriction, Miller was placed on a Probation hold through the Department of Corrections-Probation and Parole. He was transported to the Rusk County jail.

Ladysmith Police Wednesday afternoon received a theft complaint. A 34 year old female reported that numerous items were missing from a residence on East 12th Street South. The case is under investigation.

As required by state statute, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is providing the OCT. 15 certified amount each school district will receive from the $4.476 billion available under current law for general state aid. General state aid for school districts increased by $94.4 million from last year. However, the actual amount of aid that the state’s 424 public school districts will receive is $85.5 million more than last school year.
Ladysmith school district will receive $6,882,997 which is $212,183 less than last year, a 3% change.
Flambeau will receive $3,665,660 which is $225,537 less than last year or a drop of 5.8%.
The Bruce School district will receive $2,608,649 which is $135,124 more than last year a rise of 5.46%.
Chetek/Wey school district will get $4,116,153 which is $146,406 less than last year or 3.43% less.
The Oct. 15th certified aid shows that 52 percent of the state’s public school districts will receive more general state aid this school year than they did in 2013-14.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says corn and soybean harvests are behind schedule, and this week’s wet weather is keeping Wisconsin farmers from catching up.
The La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/1rcYrZF) reports crop progress data released by the department Tuesday show both corn and soybeans fall short of the five year averages. The report found that Wisconsin corn is in worse shape, with two-thirds of crops at maturity, behind an 80 percent average. The USDA says the state usually has a quarter of its corn crop harvested by mid-October, but less than 10 percent has been harvested so far.
The report also found soybean crop maturity is 2 percent behind the five-year average. Forty percent of the crop has been harvested, compared to a 53 percent average.
A University of Wisconsin Extension agriculture agent says recent rainfall is to blame.

Rusk County News

Forty-six hundred electric customers were without power early this morning in northeast Wisconsin. That’s after winds up to 55-miles-an-hour hit the region yesterday afternoon.  The National Weather Service said numerous trees fell along a ten-mile stretch north of Iola in Waupaca County.  Most folks in Brillion lost their electricity when tree branches and power lines went down — but the Public Service utility reports no outages there this morning.  About 13-hundred customers at Crandon were in the dark, along with a thousand in the Lakewood area.  Wisconsin Power-and-Light reported almost 400 customers out in Menominee County.  Wind gusts were still up to 25-miles-an-hour this morning in about the northern half of Wisconsin.  Officials said heavy rains loosened up tree roots in the ground, and made them more susceptible to strong winds.  The heaviest rains the past two days were in the southwest part of the state.  La Crosse reported almost three-and-a-quarter inches of rain Monday and Tuesday.  Steuben in Crawford had almost two-and-two-thirds inches.  Parts of Grant and Vernon counties had two-and-a-half.  Those rains are gone, and the southeast two-thirds of the state still had cloudy skies this morning.  Forecasters expect scattered rains to continue in eastern Wisconsin today, clearing out tonight.  Dry weather is predicted Thursday, with a chance of rain returning on Friday.

At about 6:20 PM Tuesday evening, Rusk County dispatch received a 911 call from a female subject advising her shed in the yard was on fire at a location on Bear Lake Road, Chetek. The Barron County Sheriff’s Department was contacted to page out the Chetek Fire Department. The Weyerhaeuser Fire Department was called for tanker support but then was to disregard as Chetek advised it was a small fire. A Rusk County deputy reported the fire was small and the Chetek Fire Department was at the scene for about an hour.

Ladysmith Police were dispatched shortly after 12 Midnight Wednesday morning, to the 211 Club on Miner Avenue to respond to a report that a male subject started toilet paper on fire in the men’s bathroom. A female subject put the fire out. Officers arrived and found Bradley A. Eidsvold, 35, still in the bathroom. Officers and EMS attempted to assist Eidsvold but he became violent. A City Officer advised Eidsvold that he was under arrest for his behavior and he then fought with the Officers trying to remove him from the bar. He was taken to the Rusk County jail.

Governor Scott Walker said more yesterday about his possible idea to scrap Wisconsin’s per-gallon gas tax in favor of a special sales tax on fuel.  But road builders say they’ll wait for the details before making a judgment — and Walker’s main election opponent said it might cause more fiscal problems than it solves.  The Republican Walker told newspaper editorial boards in Madison and Milwaukee the past two days that Wisconsin is too dependent on a flat gas tax in which revenues have gone down.  He said a fuel sales tax would not raise gas prices right now — but it could do more in the future to keep up road-building needs.  Current road-building plans would put the next transportation budget in a 680-million dollar hole.  Mary Burke, the Democratic candidate for Walker’s post, said a special sales tax would appear to do nothing to solve the road-building shortfall.  As gas prices fluctuate, Burke said the state would risk the loss of a predictable revenue source for long-term transportation needs.  The state’s gas tax is currently 32-point-nine cents a gallon.  To match that, a sales tax would have to be higher than the current five-percent that goes to the state.

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