Wisconsin State Journal from Madison, Wisconsin on December 23, 2003 · 9
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Wisconsin State Journal from Madison, Wisconsin · 9

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Madison, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Page:
9
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Pi WISCONSIN: No answers yet on RegentsB3 Daily Record Obituaries Weather B2 B4-B5 B6 Tuesday, December 23, 2003 Wisconsin State Journal Gty Editor Phil Glende, (608) 252-61 17 1 w Ola LOCA1 aoasfr - ' - GEORGE KESSELBERG Beware of con mans handiwork Let this be a holiday lesson. A little swindle is going the rounds at the Madison malls, and this is how it works, according to Madison police. You are standing in the mall, minding your own business, wondering if you really need a rechargeable wine bottle opener (you do they're neat). Another shopper approaches, in a hurry. The shopper has to leave in a hurry and has a $125 merchandise card that he is willing to let you have for $50. To prove it is a legitimate deal, he takes you over to a retail store clerk to check that the card indeed has $125 worth of credit. It does, and you buy it for $50, thinking you just increased your shopping budget by $75 at no cost. But when you try to use the card, there is no credit left on it What happened? Sleight of hand. The con man palmed the good card after it was verified by the clerk, and replaced it with a used-up card. Two solutions: Don't buy a merchandise card from a stranger. If you do, get the card that was verified by the clerk BEFORE it is returned to the conman. (Then you can try to sell it back to him.) It is a sign of the season that people are lonely this time of the year and the effects trickle down to the police calls. Some people just want to talk with someone, even if it is a busy cop. Last week, police were called to a North East Side home where a woman wanted to report theft of her mail. Specifically, she said, she was missing her $30,000 royalty check for appearing in the movie "Titanic." Speaking of crime, I know the amount of spam in my e-mail box has decreased considerably since the president signed a law last Tuesday to restrict junk commercial e-mail. Just because critics of the law say it's full of loopholes and pre-empts stricter state laws and values the interests of businesses over consumers according to a New York Times story doesn't mean it won't work. "The law permits the Federal Trade Commission and other federal agencies, state attorneys general and Internet service providers to take spammers to court. Individuals, though, do not have the right to sue spammers. "Violators will be liable for fines of up to $250 per spam e-mail violation but total fines cannot total more than $2 million, except in extreme circumstances that might allow for the total fine to be tripled. Violators could also face up to five years in prison." Yup, this new law appears to be working just fine. No spam here. More odd Christmas requests: Eleven years ago, Bob Shnowske was given a kid's billfold by a West Town coffee shop. The business had held it for a year, expecting the owner to come back for it, and then couldn't locate the owner. So they gave it to Shnowske because he was (then) a UPS driver. He drove to the address in the billfold, but the family had moved. Then he put the billfold away, for 10 years. He found it again recently and would still like to return it to "Brian Walls," who lived at 4314 Doncaster Drive 11 years ago. The billfold contained four dollar bills, a couple of photos and a Burger King Kids Club card. Describe the billfold. (Telephone: 233-3457). Still need a couple of bucks for Christmas money? Our annual check of prices finds aluminum cans at 28 to 30 cents a pound. By Scott Milfred State government reporter Madison is planning to charge surrounding communities up to $ 1 ,000 every time city paramedics respond to an emergency outside city limits. The charge would help the city recoup its costs and hopefully put more pressure on county and area negotiators to sign new contracts with the city for paramedic services, Madison Mayor Dave Ciesle-wicz said Monday. Surrounding communities will be charged up to $1,000 The current contract with the county expires Dec. 31. At stake are faster response times to life-threatening emergencies such as heart attacks. "We don't want to put anyone's life at risk," the mayor said. "What we're trying to do is continue to provide the service where it's needed and do it in a way that's fair to Madison taxpayers." . Some county and area mu nicipal leaders were "taken aback" by the request. Ciesle-wicz unveiled the pending charge in a letter sent Friday to about four dozen area leaders. "Either they want to totally eliminate making calls to surrounding communities by raising extremely the prices, or they're trying to balance budgets," said Sun Prairie Mayor Dave Hanneman. Sun Prairie will pay the higher fee but not for long, Hanneman said. Sun Prairie plans to hire its own paramedics by mid-2004. Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk was surprised by the letter but unavailable for comment, an aide said. The county now pays the city $78,000 a year to take paramedic calls outside Madison. The annual payment has in creased just $5,000 since 1979, Cieslewicz said. People using the ambulance services are also charged fees by the city, ranging from $350 to $700, plus $5 per mile for transports. The fees and county payment don't come close to covering the city's cost for assisting its neighbors, Cieslewicz concluded. City paramedics responded to 379 calls outside the city from Feb. 1 to Nov. 30 last year, or just over Please see EMS, Page B5 GUARD MEMBERS RETURN HOME "mm, : i t m , t to.. ,r - N. f a r V-- ; V -1 , k , f 4 6 Photos by Sarah B. Tews State Journal ABOVE: Sgt. Cory Courtier of Morrisonville hugs a fellow member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 147th Command Aviation Battalion Monday at a homecoming party for the last 45 members of the group to return from active duty in Kuwait and Iraq. About 160 soldiers from the Madison-based unit returned home in September and the last 45 returned to Madison on Monday. The unit originally deployed to Kuwait in March. ABOVE RIGHT: Spec. Jesse Kuhlman and his fiancee, Penny Martin, share a kiss Monday during a homecoming celebration for Kuhlman and fellow 147th Command Aviation Battalion soldiers. Kuhlman and Martin, both of Janesville, plan to marry in spring 2005. Legal worlds meet in Circuit Court The Wyoming man is charged with serving phony legal document to court officers. ByEdTreleven Courts reporter Bail was set at $30,000 Monday for the last of three adherents to an alternative legal system charged with serving phony court summonses last year to a Dane County judge and other officials. Russell Gould, 30, of Arapahoe, Wyo., had no response to questions at a court appearance on Friday and again on Monday as he made an initial appearance in Dane County Circuit Court on six counts of simulating legal process. Gould was charged last year, along with Janice K. Logan, 47, of Chatham, 111., and Jason Zellmer, 23, of Oconomowoc, with serving documents that purported to be summonses to the "Di-Strict Court of the Unity-States of Our World" to Circuit Judge Moria Krueger, Assistant District Attorney Lana Mades, Clerk of Court Judith Coleman and three Madison police officers. The papers threatened legal action, including prison, if they did not appear before the court. A criminal complaint al leged the action was taken to avenge Zellmer's 2001 disorderly conduct conviction in Krueger's court. The conviction resulted from a fight outside a Downtown bar. After a trial in March in which Logan and Zellmer represented themselves, Logan was sentenced to five years in prison, while Zellmer received a suspended sentence. Assistant Attorney General Roy Korte told Dane County Court Commissioner Todd Meurer on Monday that Gould was arrested about a month ago on a warrant in North Carolina after he had been to France, where he tried to make contact with the director of Interpol, the international police agency. As Gould entered the courtroom Monday at the Dane County Public Safety Building, Please see FILINGS, Page B2 at J- i I n.'.. 1 vxJ . pu ' iStfJLjJ - - - - - Elmer Gox, colorful man with many opinions, dies Tom Michele Baraboo News Republic Wilma Leonard, left, carries a banner Monday in support of the Rev. Gerald Vosen, a Baraboo priest who was suspended from his position at St. Joseph Catholic Church following an allegation of sexual abuse. More than 85 people marched in support of Vosen. Gathering shows support for suspended Barahoo priest A Sun Prairie woman says the priest abused her brother, who denies it. By Brian Bridgeford Baraboo News Republic BARABOO Parishioners and supporters of suspended Baraboo priest the Rev. Gerald Vosen gathered in prayer and held a quiet march Monday to take a stand in support of him. More than 85 people of all ages gath ered at St. Joseph Catholic Church Monday about 1 1 a.m. They spoke of their affection for Vosen, who was sus pended in September after a Sun Prairie woman told a state legislative committee he had sexually abused her brother decades ago. The brother has denied any abuse occurred. Vosen's supporters held a brief service of prayer and singing in the church. Then they began a quiet march around the church grounds and neighboring school carrying brightly colored balloons and hand-made signs. St. Joseph Catholic School Principal Angeline Edgar was among the many people who said officials of the Madison Catholic Diocese should have been Please see PRIEST, Page B2 Hearing aid salesman, who was 91, wrote many letters to the editor on many topics. By George Hesselberg Wisconsin State Journal Elmer F. Cox, a hearing aid salesman with an irresistible urge to share the results of an unquenchable curiosity, usually in letters to the editor, died Fri day at age 91 in a Madison hospital. He wrote many letters to Madison newspapers, taught patriotism and flag-waving etiquette, campaigned against such injustices as clunky post office mail drawers and once accepted a hot dog from Marlene Dietrich. He was somewhat of a self-taught expert on song copyrights, and was a musico-logical encyclopedia on the history and uncopyrightability of the song "Happy Birthday." Cox had a roundabout way of getting to a point, but the journey was usually interesting. In 1980, he wrote to the editors of the Guinness Book of Records, noting that "we have a large POST OFFICE in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, a City of 180,000 persons, that I believe is the only one in the World that does not have a slot to mail a letter." That was Cox's way of protesting the fact that post offices here required patrons to deposit letters in a "bin" rather than a "slot," the former requiring the sender to grasp a handle and pull open a drawer, into which is placed the envelope. Cox insisted he was not against bins. He was simply against the absence of slots. Cox, a World War II and Korean War veteran who worked in medical units, Cox was also slyly pointing out that a disabled person would have difficulty with, a bin, but not with a slot. He saw no reason both could not be offered. Several years ago, in a feature article about D-Day and the Normandy Invasion, Cox recalled helping evacuate casualties, often flying over the English Channel in planes loaded with ammunition, then returning with the same planes filled with injured soldiers. On one of his last trips to Germany, actress Marlene Dietrich, working on a Red Cross truck, gave him a hot dog. While Cox's opinions leaned to the conservative side, his letters to the editor were on all sorts of topics. One day he might be praising the UW-Madison crew team and the next he would be lamenting the complicated return envelopes provided by utility companies. He flirted with local politics in the 1970s, running for the City Council in an East Side district " while urging the city "Do not let Madison, Wisconsin, become a Berkeley, California." Cox attended classes at UW-Madison as a special student after retirement, and seemed to enjoy learning things. He was sometimes (politely) surprised when the logic of his observations was not greeted with the same enthusiasm with which it was offered. Brevity, however, brought him as much or more attention than logic, and his short opinions were frequently published.

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