You are the owner of this page.
A1 A1
Anthony Wahl 

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, right, and Sara Meaney, state tourism secretary designee, view a model of the historic Milton House hotel during a tour Friday in Milton.


Local
top story
WWII, oatmeal and family: Janesville man's generosity touches Salvation Army

JANESVILLE

Harry Hauri believes there are two keys to living into your 90s: oatmeal and walking.

Hauri, 92, has eaten oatmeal nearly every day of his life. That and two-mile daily walks, when weather permits, have kept him sharp and on his feet, he said.

For at least 15 years, Hauri has not only eaten his oatmeal, but also ensured Rock County residents could eat some, too, regardless of how much money they make.

Hauri donates $600 each year to the Beloit and Janesville Salvation Army chapters specifically for buying oatmeal, his daughter Betsy Sutherland said.

His donations have provided immediate relief for hundreds of people in Rock County who struggle with hunger, said Maj. Tom McDowell of the Janesville Salvation Army.

At its Others Luncheon on May 1, the nonprofit will give Hauri its Others Award for a lifetime of helping people, said Patrice Gabower, special events coordinator for the Salvation Army.

Oatmeal

Hauri doesn’t love oatmeal solely for its chunky texture and mild flavor.

His affection for the breakfast food stems from his experiences in 1945 and 1946, when he was in the Army during the Allied occupation of Germany.

Submitted photo 

Harry Hauri is shown in his Army uniform. He served the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in 1945-46 during the Allied occupation of Germany.

Hauri was a paratrooper in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.

While in Germany, he saw hundreds of hungry people, and those images have stuck with him to this day. Many German people ate potatoes all day long, but they were nowhere near as satisfying, easy to make and nutritious as oatmeal, Hauri said.

Hunger is a problem everywhere, including in Rock County, McDowell said.

The Salvation Army recently helped a woman who had not eaten for days because she was giving all the food she could gather to her children, McDowell said.

Hauri knows a thing or two about having mouths to feed. He and his late wife, Dolores, raised 14 children on their farm in the town of Rock, where Hauri still lives.

Family

Gabower describes Hauri as “humble and kind.” For his part, Hauri gives credit for his accomplishments to his family, which has grown to include more than 100 people.

For 37 years, Hauri worked all day on his farm before working second shift at Fairbanks Morse in Beloit.

How did he manage to work two full-time jobs with a family of 16? Hauri said he did it with help from his kids.

Hauri has 127 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, Sutherland said.

Almost all of them get together for Christmas. The farthest distance anyone drives is from Rockford, Illinois—about 45 minutes from Janesville, Sutherland said.

Today, some of Hauri’s grandchildren help him volunteer for Meals on Wheels.

Hauri also funded Rotary Botanical Gardens’ “Where Tears Run Deep” pathway, which honors local veterans. His family helped him and garden staffers install the walkway, Sutherland said.

All 14 of Hauri’s children will attend the Others Luncheon in May to support their dad, filling multiple tables, Gabower said.

Sutherland, also known as “number nine” for her position in the family, said Hauri never forced his kids to eat oatmeal every day growing up.

But she firmly believes her dad is a testament to the importance of long walks and eating oats in a long, happy life.


AP
FCC to hold big 5G auction, spend $20B for rural internet

WASHINGTON

The U.S. government will hold a massive auction later this year to bolster 5G service, the next generation of mobile networks. President Donald Trump showcased the announcement Friday, declaring that the race to stand up these faster, more powerful networks is a competition “America must win.”

“We cannot allow any other country to outcompete the United States in this powerful industry of the future,” Trump said at the White House. “We are leading by so much in so many different industries of that type, and we just can’t let that happen.”

Trump also announced a $20 billion plan to expand broadband access to rural areas currently without it, a decadelong extension of an existing program.

5G will mean faster wireless speeds and has implications for such technologies as self-driving cars and augmented reality. Trump said it will transform the way people work, learn, communicate and travel, making farms more productive, manufacturers more competitive, and health care better and more accessible. But experts say it’s hard to know now how much life will actually change because of the much-hyped network upgrade.

It will take years to roll out, and the highest data speeds and capacities might not reach rural areas at all.

The rollout started last week in the U.S. and South Korea.

The Federal Communications Commission said Friday that it would hold the largest auction in U.S. history to boost wireless companies’ networks. The auction is set for Dec. 10 and will be the agency’s third for 5G, said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who joined Trump for the announcement.

“We want Americans to be the first to benefit from this new digital revolution,” Pai said.

The U.S. is jockeying for position with China over 5G. It has effectively banned Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei from most U.S. networks due to concerns that it might enable Chinese government spying, which Huawei denies. The U.S. has pushed its allies to do the same, with mixed results. Huawei is the world’s largest maker of such equipment.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, criticized the agency’s approach to 5G on Friday. She said the U.S. has not auctioned off “midband” spectrum that is better suited to serve rural areas because of how far it can carry signals and that the Trump administration’s actions on 5G have “set us back.” She cited tariffs on telecom equipment that have raised costs and said the administration has been “alienating allies” on the 5G security issue.

The FCC also said Friday that it will be renewing an existing $2 billion broadband subsidy program for 10 years. It will provide about $20.4 billion over a decade to providers with the goal of connecting up to 4 million rural homes and small businesses to high-speed internet.

The agency spent $34.5 billion on rural-broadband network subsidy programs from 2010 to 2017, according to the Government Accountability Office.

It’s more expensive for telecom companies to serve spread-out rural areas than cities and suburbs, so the government provides grants to encourage them to build internet networks in rural parts of the country. Some 24 million Americans lacked access to high-speed internet as of the end of 2016, by the FCC’s count.


Obituaries and death notices for April 13, 2019

Marjorie L. Ash

Edward John Craft

Joan P. Norby

Florence B. Wallmuth


Crime
top story
VIDEO: Janesville police use aerial drone to find man who hid from officer

JANESVILLE

Score one for the eye in the sky.

Janesville police used a drone Thursday night to nab a wanted man they say tried to hide out in his neighborhood.

Video from the drone shows a bird’s-eye view of the search and arrest in the 300 block of Ringold Street of Ryan Weaver, 30, of 303 S. Ringold St., Janesville.

An officer had gone to Weaver’s home about 8:30 p.m. Thursday to speak to him about a retail theft, Deputy Police Chief Terry Sheridan said. After the officer talked to Weaver and returned to his squad car, Weaver went out the back door and took off through neighboring yards.

The officer later learned Weaver was wanted for a probation violation, returned to the home and found Weaver gone, Sheridan said.

Weaver is on probation for a drug conviction, Sheridan said.

Officer Steve Carpenter, the department’s drone operator, heard on the radio officers setting up a perimeter around the neighborhood and suggested launching the drone, which he keeps in his squad car while on duty, Sheridan said.

The drone video shows the outlines of houses and trees below as Carpenter locates and zeroes in on the bright red outline of Weaver, who police said was hiding between a house and a detached garage about four doors away from his home.

Audio with the video provides back-and-forth communication between Carpenter and officers trying to locate Weaver on foot.

Sheridan said it’s not clear if Weaver knew he was being tracked by the drone.

The video shows Weaver surrendering to an officer by putting his hands against the garage where he had been hiding.

Police said Weaver was arrested without incident and is being held at the Rock County Jail on suspicion of probation violation.

Sheridan said the police department has had a drone since 2017, but Thursday night was the first time it was used to help make an arrest. The incident confirms the drone’s value, he said.

“We’re able to see firsthand how beneficial it is,” Sheridan said. “Just showing how when it’s used properly we can really increase officer safety, we can cover a lot of ground that we can’t necessarily cover quickly on foot with the drone where it’s up and it’s much more efficient.”

Sheridan noted how Carpenter was able to warn an officer approaching Weaver on foot where to look for the suspect.

“On your right,” Carpenter can be heard telling the officer on foot approaching the suspect.

Sheridan said the drone could be used in the same way to find a missing person.


US attorney announces no charges from Lincoln Hills investigation

Federal officials have closed a four-year investigation into allegations of abuse of teen inmates by prison staff at the state’s long-troubled juvenile correctional facility—closing a dark chapter that roiled Wisconsin’s politics and led to a bipartisan agreement to close the prison.

U.S. Attorney Scott Blader announced Friday he has closed the review, after finding “insufficient evidence to prove federal criminal civil rights charges” against staff at the prison complex north of Wausau that is home to Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls.

Blader’s decision to close the investigation comes more than a year after his office sent letters to two former guards alerting them they were targets of an investigation into excessive force and could be charged with crimes.

Blader, who took over the investigation in 2017 after he was named U.S. attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, said a team of civil rights prosecutors and federal agents were unable to prove staff at the prison willfully harmed inmates.

“Proving ‘willfullness’ is a heavy burden under federal law,” a news release announcing Blader’s decision said. “Federal prosecutors must not only prove that the force used was excessive but must also prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the staff member acted with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids.”

Wisconsin taxpayers have paid millions of dollars to one former inmate who suffered severe brain damage at the prison and another who had to have parts of his toes amputated after a guard slammed a door on his foot.

The prison for years suffered from chronic staff shortages, lax management and inadequate training that led to confusion over policies. It continues to have trouble retaining guards.

State Department of Corrections officials have said the staff involved in violent incidents and those who allowed the teen inmates to be held in solitary confinement for weeks in some cases were not acting out of malice. Rather, they were working in toxic conditions as a result of staffing shortages and the lack of adequate training, they said.

Federal investigators first descended on the prison in Lincoln County in December 2015 after an exhausted and fed-up correctional officer shoved an insubordinate inmate into his cell and slammed the door—smashing the 17-year-old inmate’s foot and causing him to have parts of his toes removed.

Just weeks before that incident, a 16-year-old female inmate from Janesville calling for help was ignored by prison staff while she hanged herself in her room—resulting in permanent and severe brain damage.

Legal settlements were reached in both cases that cost more than $19 million. State taxpayers had to pay more than $4 million of those settlements, with insurance covering the rest.

Legal costs continue to mount and more payouts are possible because of other lawsuits. In addition, taxpayers will spend at least $80 million—and possibly more than three times that amount—to build new facilities to replace Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake.

As the investigation unfolded, a class-action lawsuit was filed by dozens of inmates who alleged they had suffered permanent and unconstitutional trauma while serving time in the prison because of the staff’s excessive use of pepper spray, handcuffs, shackles and isolation to manage behavior.

The lawsuit prompted a federal court order vastly reducing such practices and resulted in another $1.2 million in costs to taxpayers.

The allegations at the prison were one of the key issues at the center of the unsuccessful re-election bid of former Gov. Scott Walker, who put forward a plan to close the prison about five years after his office was first notified of potential abuse at the facility. Lawmakers approved that plan last year, agreeing to close the facility.

Gov. Tony Evers criticized Walker over what he called a stunted response to the allegations and Walker’s decision not to set foot in the prison during his eight years in office. Evers supports a bipartisan plan to close the prison and open smaller facilities around the state.

“This federal investigation may be over but the important work to reform our youth justice system is not,” Evers’ spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said in a statement Friday.