Saturday, January 15, 2022
Mount Pleasant settles with property owners to purchase land near Foxconn, ending years of litigation
After years of litigation, the Village of Mount Pleasant has agreed to buy one of the last pieces of private property sought near the Foxconn Technology Group development.
Mount Pleasant will pay Rodney and Catherine Jensen $569,300 for 2.92 acres of property and $226,700 for relocation costs for the Jensens and the businesses they operated at the site. However, $100,000 will be held back by the village to settle a lawsuit the Jensens are involved in with Kenosha County and to pay for any cleanup costs for the property.
If the $100,000 is not enough to cover the litigation and cleanup, the additional costs will be paid for by the Jensens, the settlement agreement says. Any leftover money held back to pay to settle litigation and cleanup will be paid to the Jensens once they leave the property.
Also, according to the settlement agreement, the Jensen will pay $126,700 to Eminent Domain Services, LLC, attorneys they hired to represent them in lawsuits against the village, and settle any liens against the property.
When the village first approached the Jensens to purchase their property, the Foxconn project was proposed to be a Generation 10.5 LCD manufacuting facility but in 2019 it was scaled back to a Generation 6 facility, which is much smaller.
Foxconn originally planned to invest $10 billion and hire up to 13,000 workers in multiple cities around the state, but the project has changed dramatically to 1,454 jobs and and $672.8 million in investment.
The Jensens have until May 15 to vacate the property.
On Monday, the Mount Pleasant Village Board voted unanimously to accept the agreement.
“As it has since the beginning of the Foxconn project, the Village has endeavored to reach voluntary agreements with all property owners to acquire the property necessary for public infrastructure improvements. We are pleased to reach a mutually agreeable settlement with Rodney and Catherine Jensen," Chris Smith, an attorney for the village, said in a statement.
Friday, January 14, 2022
MADISON – A Waukesha County judge ruled Thursday that absentee ballot drop boxes can't be used in Wisconsin, potentially upending aspects of the spring elections and the fall's high-profile contests for governor and U.S. Senate.
After hearing three hours of arguments, Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren determined state law allows absentee ballots to be returned in person or by mail — but not in a ballot drop box.
"It's all good and nice, but there's no authority to do it," Bohren said of the use of drop boxes.
He said he would finalize an injunction in 10 days ordering the state Elections Commission to withdraw long-standing advice to municipal clerks around the state that says they can use absentee ballot drop boxes.
Thursday, January 13, 2022
The Caledonia Police Department is looking for a burglary suspect believed to have broken into two businesses on Tuesday, Dec. 28.
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
MADISON – The Wisconsin Supreme Court slammed down Assembly Speaker Robin Vos' attempt to avoid a deposition late Tuesday, setting the stage for him to take questions under oath Wednesday over whether he has followed the state's open records law.
It was the third court defeat for the Rochester Republican in a little over 24 hours as he sought to avoid answering questions from the liberal group American Oversight. The group has been seeking records of a partisan review of the 2020 election ordered by Vos.
The high court in a 4-3 ruling threw out Vos' last-minute request to cancel his deposition just hours after he made it. The majority consisted of the court's three liberals and Justice Brian Hagedorn, who was elected in 2019 with the support of Republicans.
It's the latest instance of Hagedorn splitting with the court's conservatives on politically charged issues.
Vos is slated to take questions just hours before he is scheduled to begin headlining a two-day fundraiser in Key West, Florida, for the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee. The $6,000-per-person event includes a tour of Ernest Hemingway's home and a catamaran sailing trip.
Vos faced his first setback last week, when Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn ruled that he and staff attorney Steve Fawcett would have to sit for depositions about how they responded to records requests and a court order.
Vos asked the District 3 Court of Appeals to keep him from having to sit for the deposition. On Monday, the appeals court unanimously declined to do that, saying Vos hadn't shown any harm he would suffer by answering questions.