- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014
Mistrial declared in Wis. check-cashing case

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) - A judge declared a mistrial Friday on the most serious charges against a Wisconsin man accused in a plot to steal his mother-in-law’s Social Security checks for decades.

Ronald Disher, 72, of Almond was charged with three felonies - fraud, forgery and theft - in an alleged scheme to fraudulently cash Marie Jost’s Social Security checks for more than 30 years.

A jury Friday failed to reach a verdict on those counts following nearly nine hours of deliberations over two days.

The jury convicted Disher of two misdemeanors: endangering safety and disorderly conduct involving a confrontation with a Social Security investigator, WAOW-TV (https://bit.ly/1fG4ja5https://bit.ly/1fG4ja5 ) reported.

Portage County Assistant District Attorney Veronica Isherwood said she will seek a new trial on the felony counts.

Disher’s attorney, Gary Kryshak, said he was disappointed with the mistrial.

“I am prepared to go at it again,” he said.

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Wis. doctor testifies; cites exam medical reasons

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin pediatrician accused of sexual assault took the witness stand Friday to defend the medical exams he gave to male juvenile patients.

Dr. David Van de Loo of Eau Claire described his education and professional standing for the jury. He maintains there were legitimate medical reasons for all genital checks he performed on his patients.

But Van de Loo testified there was one exam that left a patient upset, WDIO-TV reported.

“I was thinking that it was important to make the diagnosis and, you know, I should have stopped and thought about how he was perceiving it,” Van de Loo said. “I thought I was communicating, but I should have communicated more. I should have talked to him. I should have called his parents.”

Prosecutors contend Van de Loo had no medical reason to touch the 15 male juvenile patients’ genitals. The 61-year-old faces 16 sexual assault-related felony charges.

The defense argues that the boys misconstrued what the doctor was doing during exams.

The longtime adolescent and sports medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire was fired on Sept. 12, 2012, after allegations of sexual assault surfaced.

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Propane complaints mounting at Wisconsin DATCP

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin consumer protection officials say they’ve received more than two dozen formal complaints about propane suppliers failing to honor delivery contracts as the Midwest’s propane shortage drags on.

Sandy Chalmers, a state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection administrator, said Friday the agency has taken 27 formal written complaints since Wednesday about suppliers failing to deliver pre-paid propane, delivering at higher prices than originally quoted and adding on new delivery charges.

Chalmers says the agency has launched an investigation into Customer’s Gas Service after receiving four complaints about the Amberg business, the most complaints about any single provider.

A message The Associated Press left at the business Friday wasn’t immediately returned.

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$100K reward for stolen Stradivarius violin

MILWAUKEE (AP) - An anonymous source is offering $100,000 for the safe return of a nearly 300-year-old Stradivarius violin stolen from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster.

The rare violin was on loan to Frank Almond from an anonymous donor.

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn has said the robber used a stun gun on Almond and took the instrument Monday evening in a parking lot at Wisconsin Lutheran College, where Almond had just preformed.

The reward is offered to anyone who can provide information which results in the violin’s safe return.

MSO president and executive director Mark Niehaus says they are hopeful the reward will help in the violin’s recovery.

Police Lt. Mark Stanmeyer says they are continuing to investigate and haven’t made any arrests. Milwaukee police can be reached at (414) 935-7360.

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