Violin thief sentenced to prison

A Milwaukee man who provided the stun gun used in the theft of a $5 million Stradivarius violin in January was sentenced Thursday to 3½ years in prison.

Universal K. Allah, 37, pleaded guilty in May to being party to felony robbery, a charge with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. His attorney and family asked for leniency, noting that Allah loaned the weapon but didn't participate in the attack.

Milwaukee County Judge Dennis Moroney was not moved. He told Allah that being party to the crime makes him just as culpable as the man who carried out the attack, especially since Allah knew his acquaintance planned to use the weapon to steal a rare musical instrument.

The instrument, which is almost 300 years old, was missing for nine days before police recovered it in good condition. Moroney said the crime was an attack not only on the concertmaster from whom it was taken but on the Milwaukee community as a whole. Before sentencing, Allah apologized to the court, the violin's owner and the concertmaster to whom it had been loaned.

50 children who crossed U.S.-Mexico border placed in Wisconsin

The federal office that helps refugees settle in the United States has placed 50 unaccompanied children in Wisconsin.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement released a state-by-state breakdown Thursday showing where children had been placed. It did not provide specifics on their locations. The office says it tries to place children with a parent, relative or family friend when possible.

Immigration officials have been overwhelmed by tens of thousands of unaccompanied children fleeing from gang violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the state should not be considered a site for these children, saying it would be in the children's best interests if they were reloacted near the U.S. southern border so families can be promptly reunited.

Hot off the Press: Latest from the Kenosha News

Stories in today's Kenosha News and on our website include:

The vice chairman of the Southport Beach House Citizen's Committee has resigned in frustration, saying the city's lack of willingness to work with the committee has made it obsolete.

Unemployment climbed in Kenosha County in June, following the statewide trend. In the county as a whole and in the city, the rise was of less than 1 percent.

A Bristol woman who injected her boyfriend with what proved to be a fatal dose of heroin will spend six months in jail.

Kenosha Homecoming is drawing AMC enthusiasts.

Read these stories and our other local news coverage.

The weather forecast

Mostly cloudy with a couple of thunderstorms. High: 74; low: 63.

Brewers beat Mets, 9-1

Matt Garza allowed two hits over eight innings to rebound from a horrendous outing and Ryan Braun hit one of three homers for the Brewers in a 9-1 victory over the Mets in Milwaukee on Thursday night. For more, see Friday's Kenosha News.

Kingfish win fourth in a row

The Kenosha Kingfish ran their winning streak to four with a 2-0 victory over the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters on Thursday night at Simmons Field.

Woman charged in heroin death gets probation, six months jail

Sharissa Fecht, 27, of Bristol, who pleaded guilty in May to reckless homicide in the heroin overdose death of her boyfriend, was sentenced today by Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Wilber Warren to six months jail time.

In also staying a possible 25-year prison sentence and placing her on five years probation, Warren cited the mutual responsibilities of Fecht and Timothy Andro, her late boyfriend, in causing Andro's death after Fecht injected Andro with the drug in January at Andro's request.

Read more about this story later at or in Friday's Kenosha News.

Official says plane wreckage found in Mali

A Burkina Faso official says the wreckage of the Air Algerie plane that went missing has been found in Mali.

Gen. Gilbert Diendere says the wreckage was located about 31 miles from the border of Burkina Faso near the village of Boulikessi in Mali.

Feds cap fines for not buying health insurance

Federal officials have capped the amount of money scofflaws will be forced to pay if they don't buy insurance this year under the new health care law.

The caps are $2,448 per person and $12,240 for a family of five. The amount is equal to the national average annual premium for a bronze-level health plan.

1 dead, 2 injured in Pennsylvania hospital shooting

A gunman opened fire inside a hospital psychiatric unit today, leaving one hospital employee dead and a second injured before being critically wounded himself, a prosecutor said.

Just what led to the shooting was unknown, but the gunman had psychiatric problems, District Attorney Jack Whalen said.

Wisconsin farmers set record for cranberry harvest

Wisconsin cranberry farmers increased production by 25 percent last year to harvest a record 6 million barrels.

That's according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures released today by Gov. Scott Walker's office. Each barrel of cranberries weighs 100 pounds.

Walker said Wisconsin harvested two-thirds of the nation's cranberries last year and three times as much as Massachusetts, the second-largest cranberry producer.

Baldwin proposes bill to help VA medical centers

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin has introduced legislation aimed at increasing the number of doctors at Veterans Affairs medical centers and reducing wait times.

Baldwin, a Democrat, said in a statement today that the bill would create 2,000 residency positions over five years at Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide. Residency is the next step in doctors' training following medical school.

The bill also would require the VA to allocate the residency positions based on doctor shortages at its facilities and to prioritize training for specialists who are needed.

Ryan proposes new anti-poverty plan

Rep. Paul Ryan proposed a new plan today to merge up to 11 anti-poverty programs into a single grant program for states that he said would allow more flexibility to help lift people out of poverty.

Programs that would be merged include food stamps, cash welfare, housing subsidies, and heating aid for the poor, among others.

Wisconsin makes Minnesota offer on tax reciprocity

Wisconsin has made a new income tax reciprocity offer to Minnesota

Wisconsin's Revenue Department announced the latest offer Thursday. The neighboring states have been unable to reach a deal since a 40-year agreement expired in 2009.

An agreement would simplify income taxes for the roughly 80,000 who live in one state and work in the other.

Wisconsin Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler says the latest offer provides that payments from Wisconsin to Minnesota would increase from the $58 million paid for tax year 2009 to $87 million for tax year 2015. Future payments would be made based on a study both states completed in 2013.
Minnesota's latest offer required Wisconsin to pay up to $6 million more, a proposal Wisconsin continues to reject. Chandler calls the request "unprecedented."

Today's Weekday Report is at

Among our top stories: Country Thunder gets underway today in Randall. And a man who was taken by Flight for Life after a Wednesday afternoon crash at 52nd Street and 104th Avenue has died, police said this morning.

Watch the video here.

Wis. court sides with police in cell phone cases

A sharply divided Wisconsin Supreme Court sided with police in two separate cases today where cellphone data was used to track suspects without obtaining a search warrant.

The decisions drew a rebuke from the chief justice, who argued people's privacy rights were violated in each instance.

The court's rulings came in a pair of 2009 homicides. The case of Nicolas Subdiaz-Osorio, in Kenosha County, is the first known case in Wisconsin of police tracking a suspect's cellphone. The other case involved Bobby Tate, of Milwaukee.

Country Thunder opens today

Country Thunder opens today with nonstop music, a variety of gourmet food, thrill rides and much more.

The sold-out music and camping lifestyle event includes six stages this year, which is more than ever before. Music acts start at 2:30 p.m. today and includes a performance by Gary Allan, from 9-10:30 tonight.

For more information and a full entertainment lineup, go to

Man airlifted to Froedtert after Wednesday crash has died

The man airlifted to Froedtert for treatment after a Wednesday afternoon two-car crash at the intersection of 52nd Street and 104th Avenue has died.

Police confirmed the man died at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. He was a passenger in a car struck as it made a left turn to go south on 104th Avenue. His name has not yet been released. The driver of that car and two children who were also passengers were treated for injuries at local hospitals.

The driver of the pickup truck, which witnesses said ran a red light, was not injured, according to information available Wednesday night.

Election board can't intervene in John Doe probe

A federal appeals court has rejected the Wisconsin elections board's request to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit over an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign and a host of conservative groups.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today rejected the Government Accountability Board request.

The board asked to intervene so it could make its case about what campaign activity can be regulated. Prosecutors worked with the board in launching the probe into whether Walker's campaign and others broke state laws.

Cop fired over harassment of citizen, female officer

The Kenosha Police and Fire Commission sustained the firing of officer Casey Apker for harassment.

The commission found Apker harassed a fellow officer and a person with whom he had a confrontation while off-duty, and used his position to intimidate them.

The termination is effective immediately.

Power returns for most We Energies customers

Power has returned to the bulk of Kenosha residents who were without power for about two hours this morning.

As of 8:14 a.m. only 24 customers remained without power and they are in the 900 block of Washington Road, according to We Energies spokesman Barry McNulty. He said initially 1,200 customers were without power beginning at 5:19 a.m.

"By 7:40 a.m. the bulk of the customers had power," McNulty said.

He added that the cause remains unknown but an equipment failure appears to be at the root of the outage.

"We will determine the cause later, after our crews have returned," McNulty said.

FAA lifts ban on flights to Israel

The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. flights in and out of Israel, which the agency had imposed out of concern for the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets.

The decision was effective at 10:45 p.m. CDT Wednesday.

Jetliner disappears over Mali

An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early today over northern Mali after heavy rains were reported, according to the plane's owner and government officials in France and Burkina Faso.

Air navigation services lost track of the MD-83 about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, at 8:55 p.m. CDT Wednesday, the official Algerian news agency APS said.

Burkina Faso's transport minister said 50 French nationals were among those onboard.

Hot off the press: Thursday, July 24

Here's the latest from the Kenosha News:

Gateway Technical College will receive $1.89 million from the state to help reduce student waiting lists and expand enrollment capacity in high-demand programs.

The local Sam's Club was among the stores nationwide that stocked peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots that have been recalled because of possible contamination with listeria, a type of bacteria that can cause illness and presents particular risk for pregnant women. No illnesses have been reported from the fruits.

Gov. Scott Walker is asking the federal government to help pay for infrastructure damage in Kenosha and eight other counties caused by the severe winter weather.

One person was taken to Froedtert hospital by Flight for Life after a two-vehicle collision Wednesday at the intersection of 52nd Street and 104th Avenue.

Read these stories and our other local coverage.

About 1,200 Kenosha customers without power

About 1,200 Kenosha customers are without power this morning, according to We Energies.

The cause of the outage is unknown, but crews are here investigating. The outage affects customers on the east side of town, around the intersection of Sheridan and Washington roads, and downtown.

Read more later today at

View the We Energies outage map.

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