- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014
State orders roller coaster closed after injury

LAKE DELTON, Wis. (AP) - An indoor roller coaster at a Wisconsin Dells-area resort had a faulty lap bar that opened during a ride, throwing a 63-year-old man to the concrete floor and putting him in a coma, according to a state report.

The Department of Safety and Professional Services cited four code violations on the ride at Mt. Olympus Theme Park and noted the lap bar that came open was “defective,” according to WISC-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1fLCj3S). The report notes the facility was “unaware of a bulletin issued by the manufacturer” in 2010 that required additional daily maintenance procedures for lap bars.

The state ordered the ride closed until corrective action could be taken, but Mt. Olympus Resort said in a statement that officials will permanently remove it.

Lake Delton police say Anthony Theisen fell nearly 17 feet from the roller coaster March 6. Theisen’s wife, Kay Theisen, was riding in the same coaster cart and told police her husband’s lap bar unlocked when they went around a corner, throwing him into the air.

The family’s attorney, Todd Korb, said he came out of a coma Monday.

“He’s able to recognize his wife and children,” Korb said. “He can’t speak yet though, and we don’t know the extent of his brain injury.”

The facility was found to have operated the ride above its weight capacity limit of 660 pounds. Investigators reported the total passenger weight was 720 pounds.


Wisconsin Senate passes cancer drugs bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Chemotherapy pills that cancer patients can take at home would be more affordable under a bill that the Wisconsin Senate passed Tuesday - the last planned meeting day of its two-year session.

The Republican-controlled Senate spent a busy final day passing more than 50 bills, including one that would require outside investigations of instances in which people die while in police custody. Others passed would limit when DNA samples can be taken during arrests under a law set to take effect next year and allow the use of a marijuana byproduct to help treat children with seizures.

All of the measures before the Senate on its final session day have previously passed the Assembly and now head to GOP Gov. Scott Walker for his consideration. The Assembly, which Republicans also control, finished its work last month.

The oral chemotherapy bill was one of the most hotly debated measures in the waning weeks of the two-year session. The Senate passed it Tuesday on a bipartisan 26-7 vote, with 16 Republicans and 10 Democrats in favor. Five Democrats and two Republicans voted against it. The Senate passed a similar version last month on a 30-2 vote, with two Republicans against.

The Republican-sponsored measure would require health insurers to charge the same price for chemotherapy pills, which can be taken at home, as for intravenous treatments, which are administered at hospitals. Supporters say the proposal would help more patients afford a more convenient form of treatment; the pills can cost thousands of dollars more than intravenous chemotherapy.

But Democrats argued that the bill as written, which the Assembly amended to cap copayments at $100 a month, leaves too many loopholes for insurance companies to charge more in co-insurance and deductibles.

Patients could be liable for hundreds of dollars a month in copays because many prescriptions require taking a combination of chemotherapy drugs, said Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville.


State orders roller coaster closed after injury

LAKE DELTON, Wis. (AP) - The state has ordered a roller coaster at a Wisconsin Dells area resort closed after a rider was severely injured in a fall.

WISC-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1fLCj3Shttps://bit.ly/1fLCj3S ) the state Department of Safety and Professional Services cited four code violations on the Mount Olympus ride and noted the lap bar that came open was “defective.”

Lake Delton police say 63-year-old Anthony Theisen fell nearly 17 feet from the roller coaster to the concrete floor at the indoor theme park March 6. His attorney, Todd Korb, says he came out of a coma Monday, but the long term effects of his brain injury are unknown.

A Mount Olympus statement says the state’s findings about the lap bars are inconsistent with what their internal investigation. But they note they’ve permanently closed the ride.


Information from: WISC-TV, https://www.channel3000.comhttps://www.channel3000.com


Court: John Doe lawsuit was properly dismissed

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A northwestern Wisconsin judge properly dismissed a lawsuit alleging a Milwaukee prosecutor abused his power during a secret probe into Gov. Scott Walker’s former aides, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf spearheaded a so-called John Doe investigation into wrongdoing by people who worked for the governor when he was Milwaukee County executive. The probe, the state equivalent of a federal grand jury investigation where information is tightly controlled, began in 2010 and wrapped up last year. Six people were ultimately charged on counts that included campaigning on county time and theft. Walker was not charged.

According to court documents, Landgraf issued a subpoena in September 2010 demanding Christopher Brekken, owner of a Rice Lake Harley-Davidson store, turn over credit card purchase records related to a customer whose name had been redacted. Brekken told Landgraf he didn’t have any such records and couldn’t obtain them.

Landgraf issued a warrant for Brekken’s arrest and an order requiring him to travel to Milwaukee and provide the information there.

Brekken spent a day in jail, his attorney, Michael Schwartz said. According to court documents he made the 600-mile round trip to Milwaukee and testified under oath he didn’t have any information relevant to the subpoena.

He filed suit against Landgraf in 2012, accusing Landgraf of false imprisonment and abusing his power. Barron County Judge Timothy Doyle ultimately dismissed the lawsuit in March 2013, saying Brekken failed to first file a damages claim with the state.

Brekken argued on appeal that he properly filed a claim with Milwaukee County, contending Landgraf was a state employee on loan to the county.

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