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Ozaukee Press
Judge rejects DNA testing in 33-year-old murder case PDF Print E-mail
Feature
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 20:22

Grafton man serving life sentence, Innocence Project can’t have evidence examined

    A man who claims he was wrongly convicted of a gruesome murder in Grafton 33 years ago and the Wisconsin Innocence Project have lost their fight to have DNA testing done on evidence in the case.

    Jeffrey C. Denny, 50, of Grafton, who along with his brother Kent Denny was convicted by an Ozaukee County jury and sentenced to life in prison for the Jan. 26, 1982, slaying of Christopher Mohr, is not entitled to have the evidence used to convict him more than three decades ago tested using forensic science that wasn’t available at the time, Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Joseph Voiland ruled earlier this month.

    In his written ruling, Voiland rejected the argument made by Denny’s lawyers that the absence of Denny’s DNA on evidence could exonerate him.

    “The argument that Denny would be exonerated if his DNA were not found on certain evidence inside Mohr’s bedroom is contrary to law: A person may be found guilty as a party to the crime of homicide if he participated with others who physically killed the victim,” Voiland wrote.

 
Board puts $49.4 million referendum on April ballot PDF Print E-mail
Feature
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 21:20

PW-S officials will now pitch plan for high school, elementary school  to voters

    The Port Washington-Saukville School Board made it official Monday: A referendum question on the April 7 ballot will ask voters if they approve of spending $49.4 million to create a “like-new” high school and build an addition onto one of the district’s elementary schools.

    The board approved two resolutions paving the way for the most expensive referendum in the history of the district and, as of this week, the most expensive of the referendums to be held statewide in April, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

    The district’s plan focuses on Port Washington High School and calls for renovating some parts of the building, demolishing and rebuilding other parts and constructing additions on hillsides on the west and south sides of the school.

    It also calls for building an addition onto Dunwiddie Elementary School to address a lack of elementary classroom space.

    The plan, which has been more than a year in the making, will be judged by voters not only on its merits but on its cost.

 
Senior center days are numbered, official says PDF Print E-mail
Feature
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 20:07

Port administrator says it’s unlikely city will provide building for center after current lease expires in two years

    The City of Port Washington will no longer provide a senior center facility when the lease to the current building expires in two years, City Administrator Mark Grams said Tuesday.

    “I don’t think we’re going to be providing a building,” Grams said. “That’s not to say we’re not going to provide senior services, but they will have to come up with a location.”


    To begin that process, the Common Council on Tuesday agreed to pay as much as $6,000 toward a needs assessment that will be used to help determine what senior services are needed into the future.


    The Senior Center board of directors is paying $3,000 for the study.


    The draft request for proposals for the study underlines Grams’ comment on the center, stating that when the current center lease is up, “it is likely that city funding for the building will no longer be available. We would like to determine if it is feasible to continue in a building of our own by determining current and future needs of seniors.”

 
Judge’s refusal to stay sentence reversed by higher court PDF Print E-mail
Feature
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 20:18

Appeals judge says Voiland erred in denying motion from former child-care provider

    A decision by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Joseph Voiland not to stay the jail sentence of a former day-care provider  while her conviction for failing to report abuse is appealed has been reversed by a Wisconsin Court of Appeals judge.

    On Dec. 19, just three days before Trista J. Ziehr, 39, of Grafton was to begin serving her 30-day sentence, Wisconsin Court of Appeals-District 2 Presiding Judge Linda Neubauer issued a ruling that concludes Voiland erred in his evaluation of a motion to stay the sentence pending an appeal filed earlier this month by Ziehr’s lawyer John Schiro.

    Neubauer ordered Ziehr’s sentence stayed pending reconsideration by Voiland.

    Noting that Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol did not oppose Ziehr’s motion, Neubauer wrote in her decision that if Ziehr’s punishment is not stayed, her “misdemeanor 30-day sentence will be served by the time the (appeals) process is complete. If she does prevail upon appeal, she will have suffered irreparable injury.”

    An Ozaukee County jury in October convicted Ziehr of one misdemeanor count of failure to report child abuse in connection with an April 2013 incident at Family Tree Learning Center in Cedarburg, which was owned by Ziehr at the time.

 
PW-S District to hold $49 million referendum PDF Print E-mail
Feature
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 20:11

Revised plan for like-new Port High School, Dunwiddie Elementary School addition to be on April ballot

    The Port Washington-Saukville School District will hold an April referendum asking voters to approve $49.4 million in borrowing to renovate and rebuild the high school and build an addition onto Dunwiddie Elementary School, the school board agreed Monday.

    Financed over 26 years, the projects are projected to increase school property taxes by amounts that would vary from $105 per $100,000 of property value next year to a high of $189 per $100,000 of property value annually from 2018 through 2022, according to Baird, the district’s financial advisor.

    The average annual tax rate increase would be $160 per $100,000 of property value. That means that the owner of a $200,000 home would pay an average of $320 more in school taxes every year through 2041.

    Those estimates do not include $2.9 million for a new regulation gym at Lincoln Elementary School, which the board is considering adding to the borrowing package through a separate referendum in five to seven years.

 
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