Lead federal VA investigator in Tomah Friday
The lead federal veterans affairs investigator of alleged overprescribing of painkillers at Tomah’s VA Medical Center will be at the VA Friday afternoon. Dr. Carolyn Clancy’s review is expected to take 30 days. It comes after the former VA chief of staff, Doctor David Houlihan, has now been suspended. He’d previously been reassigned. Houlihan also engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a patient while practicing in Iowa, according to a release from US Senator Tammy Baldwin.
Tomah VA whisteblower on retaliation, investigation and responsibility
The Tomah VA Medical Center whistleblower whose story alleging overprescribing of painkillers at the hospital broke more than 2 ½ weeks ago says retaliation against employees who questioned practices has been going on for a long time. Former mental health secretary Ryan Honl says he’s far from the only one who’s asked questions. Honl says if it were only him it would just be a former employee holding a grudge, but that there are dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of employees at the VA who have complained over the year and are currently filing for whistleblower status. Even now, Honl still does not expect the allegations to be properly investigated. Honl says the VA itself has been investigating Tomah for years, but that they’re the only one who’ve investigated. Honl says it’s like the fox guarding the henhouse and that if unless that changes with outside authorities coming in to investigate, nothing will change. Honl thinks the problems extend to the highest levels of the federal government. Honl says Congress and President Obama both dropped the ball, the president by not nominating an Inspector General that the Democratically-controlled Senate is willing to confirm. Honl says the Congress and president both have lots of responsibility in the situation. Honl says beyond the facility itself, he’s also concerned that drugs from the hospital are working their way into the streets of Tomah and nearby communities.
Monroe Cnty 911 upgrade referendum no longer needed
Monroe County will no longer need a binding April referendum on borrowing 1.8 million dollars to upgrade the county’s 911 communication system. The county board agreed to borrow that money Wednesday night, and get the remaining 800 thousand dollars needed for the project from the dispatch and general budgets.
6 Monroe Cnty residents injured in 2 Thursday crashes
Six Monroe County residents were injured in separate two-car crashes Thursday. An early-afternoon head-on crash on Highway PP between Oakdale and Wyeville injured Dawn Ross of Warrens and Jacob Perrigo of Camp Douglas. Police say icy roads led to a morning crash on Highway U just south of Norwalk. Injured were Anabel Murillo and Berulo Rodriguez of Wilton and Jacob Schaitel and Issac Brueggeman of Sparta. None of the injuries in either crash were life threatening.
St. Mary's Ridge assault priest appeal turned down
A former Wausau priest who police say sexually assaulted teenage boys on a 2001 mission trip on Saint Mary’s Ridge near Cashton lost his state Supreme Court appeal to drop the conviction. Police also say 51-year-old Timothy Shea exposed himself to children 25 times.
Public meeting Feb. 16 on ATVs on Monroe Cnty Hwys
ATV and UTV riding on all Monroe County county highways in the towns of Wellington and Jefferson could become legal. There’ll be a public meeting on the plan February 16th at 9 o ‘clock at the county highway office in Sparta. The town of Wellington is south of Norwalk. The town of Jefferson is near Cashton and Melvina.
June La Crosse stolen taxi driver sentenced
The man who La Crosse County police say stole a Platteville taxi in June after killing the driver and crashed the taxi south of Holmen was sentenced to 50 years in prison Thursday. Police say 26-year-old Timothy Johnson was high on PCP at the time.