MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Dozens of doughnuts mysteriously showing up at a police station. A baby kangaroo stopping by McDonald’s. A judge locking up Screech.
Those events were among news-of-the-odd in Wisconsin this past year.
A California man was so upset with University of Wisconsin police for throwing him out of a Badger football game in November that he anonymously sent officers 20 dozen coconut doughnuts. The department’s spokesman finally tracked him down and asked him via email what the doughnuts were all about.
The man responded that coconut doughnuts symbolized both his general gratitude for police overall and disdain over how UW officers treated him, since doughnuts are “awesome,” but no one likes coconut toppings.
Police donated the doughnuts to the Salvation Army. They still haven’t released the man’s name.
The Beaver Dam City Council found itself in a strange position in June, voting unanimously to define service animals as dogs or miniature horses, and allow only those animals to accompany a person with a doctor’s approval in a public area or establishment. The vote came after a woman wrapped a baby kangaroo in a blanket, tucked it into an infant car seat and toted it inside a McDonald’s in February. The woman said the kangaroo was her therapy animal and helped her cope with emotional distress.
The same month that the council voted, Screech was taking his lumps in court. A judge sentenced Dustin Diamond, the former child actor who played the geeky character Screech on “Saved by the Bell,” to four months in jail after he stabbed a man during a Port Washington bar fight on Christmas Day 2014.
In January, the Germanton Police Department discovered someone had left a wedding ring on the Christmas tree in the department lobby. A day later the department discovered a woman who posted bond after getting involved in a domestic dispute took off her ring and left it on the tree because she was upset. She later returned and reclaimed the ring.
State lawmakers introduced some unconvential bills as well. In July a bipartisan group of legislators introduced a bill that would allow hunters to swap their traditional blaze orange garb for blaze pink. The lawmakers came up with a slogan - “Hunt Pink” - and insisting the bill would give hunters an option, encourage women to get into the sport and give apparel makers a sales boost. The state Assembly passed the measure in November; it’s currently sitting in the Senate’s tourism committee.
Rep. Melissa Sargent, a Madison Democrat, introduced a bill in December that would make tampons and sanitary napkins available for free in state buildings and schools that accept public funding. Sargent wrote in a memo to her colleagues that half of the world’s population knows the terror of looking through their bags and realizing they don’t have a tampon. The bill has attracted only a handful of co-sponsors and has little chance of going anywhere since Republicans control both the Senate and Assembly.
And in January, Rep. Jim Ott, R-Mequon, and Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, introduced a bill to outlaw upskirting, the practice of secretly taking a photo of someone’s genitals, buttocks or breasts. District attorneys have typically prosecuted upskirting as a misdemeanor invasion of privacy; the bill made it a felony punishable by up to 3½ years in prison. Walker signed the bill into law in November.
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