MADISON - A homeless man has been ordered committed to a state mental hospital for up to 46 years for the fatal beating of another homeless man in Madison.
Thirty-three-year-old Justin Brooks pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree reckless homicide. Brooks was accused of beating 61-year-old Robert Kuntz with a table leg as Kuntz slept on the Capitol Square nearly a year ago.
But the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1oy8IA5) reports Brooks was found not guilty by reason of mental illness and was ordered committed.
Under a plea agreement, a first-degree intentional homicide charge against Brooks was reduced to reckless homicide.
One of Brooks' lawyers says Brooks did not know Kuntz, and armed himself with a table leg because he thought Kuntz was armed with a knife and was out to get him.
RHINELANDER - A snow storm caught Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander off guard last weekend and collapsed a greenhouse. Now that spring weather is here, Hanson's is ready to move forward by making some adjustments. "We got by for 25 years doing what we were doing," said Hanson's Garden Village Co-owner Brent Hanson. Last weekend's spring snow storm set back Hanson's. "We thought we were ahead of schedule having that greenhouse nice and filled," said Hanson's Manager Beth Hanson.
"One bad storm and there you go. Things happen," said Brent. The storm collapsed a greenhouse holding thousands of plants. "For years we've gotten by with these lighter cheaper green houses," said Brent. "We'll be down a greenhouse for a little bit here," said Beth. Now Hanson's will only use sturdier and solid greenhouses so that collapses don't become a pattern.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County needs more foster care homes. Right now, there are nine licensed foster homes in the area, most of which are full according to the county's social services department.
Foster Care Coordinator Rachel Nelson says that in Oneida County there are 24 children currently living in foster homes. The department participated in a statewide foster care recruitment project last fall, and discovered just how great the need is.
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