Posted at 3:15 p.m. on December 26, 2019 The Brillion News HARRISON – A large home with a view overlooking Lake Winnebago was destroyed by fire on Christmas night, despite efforts by fire departments from three counties. The Calumet County Sheriff’s Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting smoke and flames coming from the home at N6494 Lake Shore Dr., just north of Faro Springs Road. Friends of the family identified the owners as Tyler and Rachel Schmidt, who were married a month earlier. If was their first Christmas in their first home. The couple lost nearly everything they owned. Donations can be sent to the Tyler Schmidt Family Benefit Fund at the Greenleaf Wayside Bank, P.O. Box 260, Greenleaf, WI 54126. The couple grew up in the Greenleaf and Morrison areas. The Harrison Fire Department was dispatched at 10:17 p.m., and shortly after that the fire department opened the first of two box alarms calling for mutual aid for manpower, equipment and water trucks. Several water sources were used to fill tankers that ferried water to the fire scene. Eventually, all of the tankers were filled at Calumet County Park and a clockwise rotations of trucks was established between the park and the fire scene. The Schmidts, who bought the property this fall, were hosting relatives for Christmas, according to WBAY-TV2. Everyone was able to escape the burning home. No firefighters were injured. Fire departments working to assist Harrison were Hilbert, Buchanan, Hollandtown, Stockbridge, Forest Junction, Potter and Brillion. The Calumet County Sheriff’s Department blocked off roads in the area, and took over investigation of the fire. The Calumet County Highway Department salted roads in the area after they began icing up. THIS STORY WILL BE UPDATED AS MORE INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.
Posted at 2:35 p.m. on October 24, 2019 The Brillion News MILWAUKEE – Advocates of clemency for Brendan Dassey, one of the two people convicted for the murder of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach on Halloween of 2005, have filed an open letter addressed to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. The letter has 250 signators and asks the governor to grant Dassey’s petition for executive clemency. Evers has said he would consider requests for pardons and clemency, unlike his predecessor, former Governor Scott Walker. “We call upon you, Governor Evers, to use your sovereign power of executive clemency, whether in the form of a pardon or a commutation, to end the incarceration of Brendan Dassey,” the letter says. The 250 represent a wide range legal experts, including dozens of former prosecutors and senior U.S. government officials, as well as the psychologists who pioneered the study of false confessions, many of the nation’s top juvenile justice experts, leading law enforcement authorities, and exonerees. Among them are 45 current and former state and federal prosecutors; Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, co-founders of the Innocence Project; and leading psychological experts, including the current President of the American Psychological Association and the psychologists who pioneered the study of false confessions. “Brendan’s case is so much more than just a Netflix series,” said Laura Nirider, co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (CWC) and an attorney representing Dassey. Incarcerated since age 16, Dassey celebrated his 30th birthday on October 19. He is not eligible for parole until 2048, at which time he will be 59 years old. The petition for executive clemency asks Evers to consider both a pardon, which would result in Dassey’s immediate release and the restoration of some of his legal rights, and a commutation, which could result in his immediate release or shorten his sentence and would leave the convictions intact. The arguments for clemency site Dassey’s claims of innocence and the length of his sentence. The Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law is co-directed by Nirider and Steven Drizin. It is a non-profit legal clinic that represents children and teenagers who have been convicted of crimes they claim they didn’t commit. Housing some of the world’s leading experts on interrogations and confessions, the CWC has exonerated nearly 50 individuals. ~ Source: CWCY at Northwestern University