The Janesville City Council is being asked to extend its experiment in allowing homeless people to sleep in their cars in a park.
Shirley A. Black
David M. Brown
Hale Eugene Bunton
Kalani Alexis Burke
John Travis “JT” Burke-Northrop
Russell Dale Campbell
Mary Jo Kinkade
Owen G. “Ole” Olson
Frances Ethel Reed
The remains of a fallen World War II soldier from Beloit have traveled around the world but will finally be coming home, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced last week.
Army Sgt. Robert W. McCarville, 24, was a member of Company L, 128th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division, when he died in combat Dec. 5, 1942. At the time, his unit was part of an assault against the Japanese in the Battle of Buna-Gona in what is now Papua, New Guinea.
Due to intense enemy fire, McCarville’s unit was unable to recover his remains, according to a news release.
Even so, McCarville received several honors posthumously, including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge, said Tom Partlow, McCarville’s nephew.
Partlow said U.S. Army representatives contacted the family in May. Partlow was told that his uncle’s remains are in Hawaii and will be flown to Beloit with an honor guard.
He will be laid to rest beside his parents, Frank and Cecelia, and brother Dennis in Mount Thabor Cemetery.
McCarville was one of 13 siblings. His sister Monica Partlow, 96, of Beloit welcomed the news that her brother was coming home.
“It will be nice to have him home buried next to his parents instead of just a memorial grave,” she said.
McCarville was born in Burlington and graduated from Brother Dutton and Beloit High School (now Beloit Memorial) as an ROTC member, according to a Beloit Daily News article published Dec. 17, 1942.
His death and the death of Sgt. LaVerne M. Borck, 22, of Beloit were announced locally via telegram.
The family received a letter from Gen. George Marshall, chief of staff, on Dec. 21, 1942, expressing sympathy for their loss, according to another Beloit Daily News story.
“I wish to extend my heartfelt sympathy on the death of your son who was killed in action,” the letter read. “Robert McCarville was a gallant soldier of the United States Army whose name is now indelibly recorded on the rolls of our nation’s honored dead.”
McCarville’s death started a long chain of events that culminated in Monday’s announcement, which was aided by cutting-edge DNA identification techniques. His remains were identified July 10.
McCarville initially was buried near where he was killed. In January 1943, a burial detail disinterred the remains and transferred them to a small cemetery on a beach at Cape Endaiadere, Papua, New Guinea.
After that, his identity was lost, and he became known as “Unknown X-34,” according to his Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency profile.
In March 1945, the remains of X-34 were moved to U.S. Armed Forces Cemetery Finschhafen No. 2.
In 1947, the American Graves Registration Service exhumed about 11,000 sets of remains, including X-34’s, and sent them to the Central Identification Point at the Manila Mausoleum in the Philippines.
X-34 could not be identified and was interred at Fort McKinley, now the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.
On Nov. 4, 2016, X-34 was disinterred, and the remains were sent to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory for analysis. McCarville was positively identified through dental and anthropological analysis as well as study of his mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome DNA.
McCarville’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been identified.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently, 72,650 service members remain unaccounted for. About 30,000 of those are designated as recoverable.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson discussed a conspiracy theory about Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election with a Ukrainian diplomat this summer, further drawing the Republican from Oshkosh into issues at the heart of the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
The Washington Post reported Monday that Johnson met with Ukrainian diplomat Andrii Telizhenko for at least 30 minutes in July. Telizhenko told the newspaper he talked to Johnson about an unsubstantiated claim that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election and that in addition to his conversation with Johnson, he met with Senate staff for about five hours.
Already Johnson has held a key role in diplomacy with Ukraine. House Democrats are investigating whether Trump put inappropriate pressure on Ukrainian officials by holding up nearly $400 million in aid while asking them to launch investigations into the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.
According to Telizhenko, Johnson’s aides initiated the contact between the two.
“I was in Washington, and Sen. Johnson found out I was in D.C., and staff called me and wanted to do a meeting with me. So I reached out back and said, ‘Sure, I’ll come down the Hill and talk to you,’” Telizhenko told the newspaper.
The two appear in a Facebook photo Telizhenko posted July 11. That’s two weeks before Trump told Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy he wanted him to do a “favor” and investigate Biden, one of the leading Democrats challenging him in next year’s election.
Johnson and his aides have repeatedly declined to answer questions from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for more than two weeks.
He has declined to say whether he believes he could participate in proceedings in the Senate if the House votes to impeach Trump. Two ethics experts told the Journal Sentinel this month that Johnson should consider recusing himself from a vote on removing Trump because of Johnson’s involvement in the matter.
Johnson’s name has also come up in key closed-door testimony over impeachment.
Johnson attended a May 23 Oval Office meeting where an “irregular channel began” for U.S. foreign policy with Ukraine, diplomat William Taylor testified last week.
Trump directed those in the meeting to talk to his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, about his concerns with Ukraine, according to testimony this month from Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.
“It was apparent to all of us that the key to changing the president’s mind on Ukraine was Mr. Giuliani,” Sondland said in his testimony.
Johnson told the Washington Post he did not recall Trump mentioning Giuliani at the meeting.
In an appearance last week on Fox News, Johnson told Mark Levin he and the others at the meeting urged Trump to invite Zelenskiy to the White House and appoint an ambassador to Ukraine that could get bipartisan support.
“I was certainly surprised by the president’s reaction, which has been consistent throughout this,” Johnson said. “First of all, he talked about the level of corruption in Ukraine. And, Mark, there’s all kinds of smoke about Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC being involved in the 2016 election.”
Johnson was referring to an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory he and Trump have latched onto that Ukraine has Clinton’s email servers or was involved in planting the idea that Trump’s campaign worked with Russia in the 2016 election.
Johnson, the chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee, has long been involved in Ukraine policy:
May 20: Johnson attended Zelenskiy’s inauguration as part of a delegation that also included Sondland; Kurt Volker, the U.S. envoy for Ukraine; and Rick Perry, the energy secretary.
During that trip, Volker told the others about news reports of Giuliani’s calls for investigations into Ukraine, including Biden, according to the Wall Street Journal. The group was surprised about Giuliani’s activities, according to the report, which was based on an unnamed source familiar with the trip.
Johnson has not responded to questions from the Journal Sentinel since the Wall Street Journal published its report.
May 23: Johnson and the others from the delegation encouraged Trump to back Zelenskiy. Trump raised concerns about corruption and, according to Sondland and others, directed them to work with Giuliani.
In his testimony last week, Taylor said he was handling Ukraine policy through the regular channel, but he learned there was a second, irregular channel, as well.
“This irregular channel began when Ambassador Volker, Ambassador Sondland, Secretary Perry, and Senator Ron Johnson briefed President Trump on May 23 upon their return from President Zelensky’s inauguration,” he testified.
The delegation supported Zelenskiy but “Trump did not share their enthusiasm for a meeting with Mr. Zelenskiy,” Taylor testified.
Around July 11: Johnson met with Telizhenko and discussed the DNC conspiracy theory, according to the Washington Post.
Just after the Post published its story, Telizhenko renewed his questions about the 2016 election, called Johnson “high ranking” and said his committee has a “duty to investigate any claims.”
July 18: Taylor said he learned Trump had put a hold on nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that had been approved by Congress.
July 25: Trump asked Zelenskiy in a phone call to do him a “favor” and investigate the 2016 election and the Bidens.
Trump’s call with Zelenskiy triggered a whistleblower’s complaint and, later, the impeachment inquiry. Johnson has said he considered Trump’s call to Zelenskiy gracious and a sign that Trump wanted to get to the truth.
Aug. 30: Sondland told Johnson the aid would go to Ukraine after the country appointed a prosecutor to investigate the 2016 election, according to Johnson. Johnson told the Wall Street Journal he “winced” at the notion the aid would be linked to an investigation.
“I can’t tell you exactly how Gordon described this but there was something in the works, they were trying to do something, President Zelenskiy would have to do something in order to really free up that support,” Johnson said on Levin’s show.
Aug. 31: Johnson spoke to Trump and asked him whether the aid was tied to an investigation. Trump denied it, and Johnson took him at his word.
“I then brought up this rumor I’d heard, is there something in the works, is there, I mean, does Zelenskiy have to do something or does Ukraine show you something in order for this support to be released?” Johnson told Levin. “And that is where he made the adamant, vehement, angry denial. I described it as expletive deleted. ‘No way, no, no, I would never. Who told you that?’ At which point I felt a little guilty. ‘Well, it was Gordon.’”
In that conversation, Johnson also asked Trump to give him the authority to tell Zelenskiy that the U.S. aid was coming. Trump wouldn’t give him that power but told him he thought Johnson would like the decision he would eventually make on the Ukraine aid, according to Johnson.
Sept. 5: Johnson and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut met with Zelenskiy in Ukraine and told him his country has bipartisan support in Congress.
Johnson has said Zelenskiy gave no indication he felt pressured. Murphy has said Ukranian officials were concerned about ignoring Giuliani’s requests for investigations.
Sep. 11: The Trump administration released the Ukraine aid that had been upheld since July.
While Johnson has said Trump denied there was any quid pro quo, he has also said Trump specifically cited concerns about the 2016 election during their discussions.
“Unlike the narrative of the press that President Trump wants to dig up dirt on his 2020 opponent, what he wants is he wants to—an accounting of what happened in 2016,” Johnson said in a combative Oct. 6 appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” “Who set him up? Did things spring from Ukraine?”
“The president told me repeatedly in the May 23rd Oval Office visit, on the phone on the 31st (of August), the reason he had very legitimate concerns and reservations about Ukraine is first, corruption, generalized. And then specifically about what kind of interference (there was) in the 2016 election.”
As he put it in a stop in Sheboygan last month: “The president was very consistent about why he was considering it. Again, it was corruption—overall, generalized, no doubt about it. What happened in 2016? What happened in 2016? What was the truth about that?”
A parking lot across the street from the Janesville Police Department will be the new lot designated for homeless overnight parking in Janesville.
The Janesville City Council on Monday voted unanimously to change the location to a municipal lot at 105 N. Jackson St. and to make it legal to sleep overnight in the lot until March 31.
An amendment proposed by council President Rich Gruber directs city staff to discuss transferring responsibility of overnight homeless parking to another entity better equipped to help homeless residents.
The change will go into effect as soon as city staff can move signage and cameras to the new lot.
The council responded to the outcry of about a dozen people who live and work near the current overnight parking location in North Traxler Park.
The council in July voted to allow people to sleep in their cars in the park between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The plan was to allow overnight parking from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31 while city staff compiled a report to be presented in January.
The city proposed extending the ordinance to March 31. An average of about four people per night used the lot, according to a city memo.
The Janesville City Council is being asked to extend its experiment in allowing homeless people to sleep in their cars in a park.
Janesville police said in a memo there were few crimes reported while the ordinance was in effect, and no fire or EMS calls were made, said Maggie Darr, assistant to the city manager.
But those who spoke during a public hearing Monday painted a different picture.
David Lubkeman, who owns Riverside Motorsports, said he saw an increase in crime, including theft of scrap metal, carburetors and tires; public urination; and theft of electricity by people using outlets to plug in phones and space heaters.
Others said they saw a man who they thought was pimping out prostitutes in the park.
Deputy Chief Terry Sheridan and Sgt. Dean Sukus of the Janesville Police Department said many incidents police learned about were reported after the fact with no evidence for police to investigate.
It would be difficult to prove such crimes were linked to homeless overnight parking because they happen all over the city, the officers said.
Sheridan and Sukus added they do not discredit the public’s concerns and encourage people to report suspicious activity to police.
A pilot program to allow homeless people to sleep in their cars overnight at a Janesville park has begun with few users so far.
Other concerns included people staying in the park all day, sex offenders being in the park, disruption to the neighborhood and the upcoming cold winter that could pose danger to people sleeping in cars.
The city is prepared to place a portable toilet that can function in cold weather at a cost of $75 per month. That money would come from the parks budget, Darr said.
Sleeping in cars in winter is not ideal, but people will do it regardless, and the city wants to provide a safe place for those who do, Darr said.
The city is not liable if anyone were to get sick, suffer an injury or die in the parking lot, Darr said.
Representatives from ECHO go to the lot at least twice a week to help people sleeping in cars. Many people sleeping in the lot are newly homeless and have jobs, said Jessica Locher, associate director of ECHO.
The city decided against using the Jackson Street lot last summer because some people who might need to park overnight could be deterred from doing so outside the police station, City Manager Mark Freitag said.
Homeless residents will be allowed to sleep overnight in their vehicles through the end of October—but not in the original proposed location in Palmer Park.
City councilor Doug Marklein said people should not assume homeless people are criminals. The lot across the street from the police station should provide comfort to those sleeping in cars.
Councilor Tom Wolfe questioned whether the city should be in the business of overseeing homeless parking, but now that the city has done so, it won’t be able to stop, he said.
He also said neighborhood parks are not a good place for overnight parking. He clarified his position didn’t stem from NIMBYism, using an acronym that stands for “not in my backyard,” but rather from his belief that the parking ordinance is not compatible with parks.