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Evan Vucci 

President Donald Trump walks to board Air Force One for a trip to Vietnam to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Janesville getting more third-party restaurant delivery options


The rapidly growing meal-delivery business is seeking to expand in Janesville.

Restaurant food deliverers such as GrubHub have been working with some local restaurants for some time. But others in the market, including Door Dash and EatStreet, are now vying for shares of the market.

The Madison-based EatStreet is launching its service in Janesville this week, and two local restaurant operators said they have seen Door Dash deliverers.

The companies all offer customers the ability to order from restaurants through a smartphone app or web site.

Drivers for Door Dash have been showing up at Janesville restaurants in recent weeks to pick up orders called in by customers with no advance warning, two restaurateurs told The Gazette.

EatStreet plans to hire about 50 delivery drivers and will serve about 20 restaurants at launch, it said in a news release.

Edmund Halabi of the Italian House said he noticed red-T-shirted Door Dash drivers picking up orders a few weeks ago.

The company had not contacted Halabi, and he had no problem with getting the business, but he wonders if the company will soon offer him a deal he can’t afford.

Most if not all of the delivery companies charge restaurants a fee for each delivery, typically 20 to 30 percent of the bill, Halabi said, quoting from information on a Facebook group for restaurant owners.

A representative from EatStreet showed up at Italian House on Monday soon after The Gazette called. Halabi said the representative was offering an arrangement in which Italian House would pay 25 percent.

EatStreet does not disclose what it charges restaurants, for competitive reasons, said company spokesman Jake Miller.

“I am very leery of this business because mom-and-pop restaurants cannot sustain the 15, 25 or 30 percent delivery fees unless the customer wishes to pay for that,” Halabi said.

On the other hand, restaurants might join because they fear losing business to those who use the convenient delivery services, Halabi said.

Chain restaurants that benefit from volume-discounted purchases might be able to afford the delivery fees, Halabi suggested.

Firehouse Subs attributed an increase in revenue last year to online orders, including through deliverers, according to a Bloomberg report.

The delivery companies also typically charge the customer a fee. EatStreet’s Miller said the company charges customers “$1.99 and up,” depending on distance.

EatStreet announced it was introducing itself with a no-fee offer for the first 30 days in Janesville.

Beer Fitzgerald of Sandee’s Thai Fusion in Janesville has sent food through Door Dash drivers who have not charged the restaurant, she said.

Fitzgerald said she was told Door Dash charges customers $3.99 for a three-mile trip. She has not received any complaints about the service.

Some delivery companies use independent contractors, much like Uber drivers or newspaper deliverers. Halabi said contractors need to consider increased insurance rates and repair costs.

EatStreet’s drivers are employees, so they can access company benefits, the company said.

EatStreet pays a guaranteed $10 an hour and up to $12 an hour for starting pay, and drivers also get to keep all their tips, Miller said.

EatStreet doesn’t cover a driver’s mileage, but it arranges discounts for “basic vehicle maintenance such as oil changes and also has 24/7 dispatch support for drivers,” Miller said.

Some restaurants have announced they won’t play ball with the independent deliverers. They include Jimmy John’s and Domino’s.

Most senior Catholic charged with child sex abuse convicted

MELBOURNE, Australia

The most senior Catholic cleric ever charged with child sex abuse has been convicted of molesting two choirboys moments after celebrating Mass, dealing a new blow to the Catholic hierarchy’s credibility after a year of global revelations of abuse and cover-up.

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’ top financial adviser and the Vatican’s economy minister, bowed his head but then regained his composure as the 12-member jury delivered unanimous verdicts in the Victoria state County Court on Dec. 11 after more than two days of deliberation.

The court had until today forbidden publication of any details about the trial.

The convictions were confirmed the same week that Francis concluded his extraordinary summit of Catholic leaders summoned to Rome for a tutorial on preventing clergy sexual abuse and protecting children from predator priests.

The jury convicted Pell of abusing two 13-year-old boys whom he had caught swigging sacramental wine in a rear room of Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in late 1996, as hundreds of worshippers were streaming out of Sunday services.

Pell, now 77 but 55 at the time, had just been named the most senior Catholic in Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne.

The jury also found Pell guilty of indecently assaulting one of the boys in a corridor more than a month later.

He faces a potential maximum 50-year prison term after a sentencing hearing that begins on Wednesday. He has foreshadowed an appeal.

Pell had maintained his innocence throughout, describing the accusations as “vile and disgusting conduct” that went against everything he believed in.

His lawyer Robert Richter had told the jury that only a “mad man” would take the risk of abusing boys in such a public place. He said it was “laughable” that Pell would have been able to expose his penis and force the victim to take it in his mouth, given the cumbersome robes he was wearing.

Both he and Chief Judge Peter Kidd urged the jury of eight men and four women not to punish Pell for all the failings of the Catholic Church.

“You must not scapegoat Cardinal Pell,” Kidd told the jury.

Pell, who walked to and from court throughout his monthlong trial with a crutch under his right arm, was released on bail to undergo surgical knee replacements in Sydney on Dec. 14. Prosecutor Mark Gibson did not oppose bail, saying the surgery would be more easily managed outside the prison system.

Kidd warned that the continuing bail was not a sign the 77-year-old would avoid a prison sentence.

The first four offenses occurred at the first or second Solemn Mass that Archbishop Pell celebrated as leader of the magnificent blue-stone century-old cathedral in the center of Melbourne. Pell was wearing his full robes—though not his staff or pointed bishops’ hat—at the time.

The now 34-year-old survivor told the court that Pell orally raped him, then crouched and fondled the complainant’s genitals while masturbating.

The other victim died of a heroin overdose in 2014 without ever complaining of the abuse, and even denying to his suspicious mother that he had been molested while he was part of the choir.

Neither boy can be identified.

More than a month later, the complainant testified that Pell pushed him against a cathedral corridor wall after a mass and squeezed the boy’s genitals painfully before walking away in silence.

“I didn’t tell anyone at the time because I didn’t want to jeopardize anything. I didn’t want to rock the boat with my family, my schooling, my life,” the complainant told the jurors.

The complainant testified that he feared making such accusations against a powerful church man would cost him his place in the choir and with it his scholarship to prestigious St. Kevin’s College.

Pell pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four counts of willfully committing an indecent act with or in the presence of a child under 16 in late 1996 and early 1997.

Pell did not testify at his trial. But the jury saw a video recording of an interview he gave Australian detectives in Rome in 2016 in which he stridently denied the allegations.

Pell grimaced, appeared incredulous, distressed, waved his arms over his head and muttered to himself as the detectives detailed the accusations that his victim had leveled against him a year earlier.

“The allegations involve vile and disgusting conduct contrary to everything I hold dear and contrary to the explicit teachings of the church which I have spent my life representing,” Pell told police.

Richter, Pell’s lawyer, had told the jury that the media had portrayed Pell as the “Darth Vader” of the church, referring to the “Star Wars” character.

The complainant testified that he and his friend had run from the procession and back into the cathedral through a side door to, as Gibson said, “have some fun.”

YMCA board chooses new directors nominated by members


The YMCA of Northern Rock County’s Board of Directors has chosen three new directors from a short list of candidates recommended by a group of Y members.

Monday night, the board announced what it called the “appointment” of three new directors in a joint statement with a group of four concerned Y members.

Paul Murphy, one of four members who pressed the board to add additional directors in the wake of an internal investigation, shared the statement with The Gazette via email.

Board President Steve Yeko Jr. confirmed the joint statement via email. The statement did not name the newly chosen directors.

Murphy and others in the concerned members group said in a phone interview Monday that the board had appointed new directors Ron Ochs, a nonprofit leader and former banker; Janesville attorney David Moore, and Tom Warrichaiet, a local petroleum company controller. The members said the board was considering a fourth candidate, local consultant Oakleigh Ryan. They said Ryan might act not as a board member, but instead as an adviser to the Y.

Murphy and other members of his group had recommended the four candidates among several others weeks ago. The group said the board shared news of the appointments Monday afternoon at a meeting the group had requested.

Murphy said Monday’s meeting was the first his group has had with the new board, and the meeting was held without attorneys present.

Jon Lange, a YMCA CEO from Oconomowoc who began providing interim leadership for the Y last week, seemed surprised Monday night that the concerned members group had released names of board nominees. He told The Gazette the Y board on Monday had moved to accept nominations for Ochs, Moore and Ryan as possible directors, but that it had only begun vetting Warrichaiet’s nomination Monday morning.

Lange said Warrichaiet is well qualified, but the Y board had not yet contacted the candidates, and the new appointments would not be formalized until the board’s next meeting.

The last several weeks have been a tumultuous period for the Y as multiple board members have resigned, and its executive leadership has come under scrutiny.

Larry Barton, an attorney for the concerned members group, publicly chided the board last week for not moving faster to seat new directors. The Y responded in a statement that the board was asking the YMCA of the USA for guidance on seating new directors.

When eventually seated, the new directors will join a board that has grown steadily in the last month.

Earlier this year, the board reinstated three former directors who said they were removed in 2017 without due process by former CEO Tom Den Boer and former board President Jason Engledow.

Engledow resigned in January, and Den Boer left the Y last week for undisclosed reasons. The board had placed Den Boer on administrative leave in January while it and an outside attorney launched an internal investigation of member concerns.

Members believe the board’s former leadership operated outside the Y’s bylaws by dismissing directors and Y members after those directors and members questioned the Y’s governance or asked for copies of Y records.

Wisconsin governor orders troops to leave southern border


Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers ordered the state’s National Guard troops to withdraw from the border with Mexico on Monday, drawing the ire of a Republican congressman from Illinois who says he serves in the Wisconsin National Guard and believes the border mission is honorable.

Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker ordered troops to Arizona in June to assist with administrative duties along the border. Evers, a Democrat, issued an executive order Monday withdrawing them. Evers announced the order late Monday afternoon.

The governor said about 112 troops are currently serving in Arizona, but keeping the borders safe and protecting immigrants seeking asylum is the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s job. He said there’s not enough evidence to support Republican President Donald Trump’s declaration that a national emergency exists and there’s no justification for Wisconsin troops to remain.

“I cannot support keeping our brave service men and women away from their families without a clear need or purpose that would actively benefit the people of Wisconsin or our nation,” Evers said.

Adam Kinzinger, a Republican congressman from Illinois, tweeted Monday that he is a member of the Wisconsin National Guard and criticized Evers for his decision. In a series of tweets, he said he was sent to the border as a member of the Wisconsin National Guard and his crew caught a man crossing the border with 70 pounds of methamphetamine.

“Wonder the damage that would do in Milwaukee ...” he tweeted.

He went on to claim that he and his crew “captured a few coyotes, who prey on desperate migrants” and he came across a woman alone in the desert and helped the border patrol rescue her.

He tweeted that stopping illegal immigration is an honorable mission and asked Evers whether his decision to withdraw was a political one. He also asked Evers to reconsider.

Kinzinger echoed those sentiments during an appearance on Fox News, criticizing Evers for not visiting the troops on the border. He accused the governor of lacking the courage to announce the withdrawal earlier in the day.

A Wisconsin National Guard spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking to confirm whether Kinzinger is a Wisconsin National Guard member and whether he would face any military discipline for criticizing Evers, the state National Guard’s commander in chief.

A Kinzinger spokeswoman in Washington, D.C., also didn’t immediately respond to an email.

Obituaries and death notices for Feb. 26, 2019

Jeffery S. Christensen

Cynthia Luger Conroy

Peter Hiemstra Jr.

Della May Stuckey