Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Saturday, June 22, 2024

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Milwaukee DV Murder Suspect Was on GPS Waiting List, Out on $250 Bail

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Dennis Kurasz, who is accused of a domestic violence homicide, was on Milwaukee County’s electronic monitoring waiting list for a previous domestic violence and felony case involving the same victim, Wisconsin Right Now has exclusively learned. He was released in the pending case on just $250 bail, but the county couldn’t come up with a GPS device to better monitor him.

We previously wrote about Milwaukee County’s waiting list for electronic monitoring bracelets. It’s left some violent offenders without tracking devices, endangering the community.

A source gave us the information about Dennis Kurasz and the chief judge, Mary Triggiano, confirmed in an email that she believes Kurasz was on the waiting list. “I believe he is/was,” she wrote WRN in an email on Dec. 28, 2021.

The open case was filed in May 2021 and charged Kurasz with possession of a firearm as a felon, domestic-violence battery and disorderly conduct with domestic abuse assessments. On May 6, 2021, he posted $250 bond (set by Court Commissioner Katharine Kucharski) and was released. The first charge is a felony. In June, a warrant was issued and stayed when he didn’t show up for court, but he made his next appearance. Kucharski is a former assistant DA.

Dennis kurasz
Dennis kurasz pinterest profile pic

Court records note, “If electronic monitoring device is unavailable and cash bail has been paid, Defendant to be released and placed on the waiting list. Electronic monitoring is for no contact order only.” But none was available. Among other past offenses, he was previously convicted of felony escape. He was quoted in a past Fox 6 story in which he was accused of owning a junk car company that sent racist texts saying it wouldn’t serve blacks. He denied sending the texts.

Dennis Kurasz is now under arrest in the murder of Amanda DuCharme, who was the victim in the pending case. Asked about Kurasz’s arrest, which we learned about through a source, Milwaukee police responded, “This all the info that is available regarding Amanda DuCharme’s homicide. Please contact the Milwaukee County Court regarding GPS.”

Police released these details: “Milwaukee Police are investigating a homicide that occurred on Monday, December 27, 2021, at approximately 5:45 a.m., on the 4900 block of N. 32nd Street. The victim, a 43-year-old woman, sustained fatal blunt force trauma injuries. The circumstances leading up to the homicide are under investigation. A 44-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested in connection to this incident. Anyone with any additional information is asked to contact Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360 or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS or P3 Tips App.”

In early December, we wrote, “There are 125-150 defendants who are on a waiting list for electronic monitoring bracelets because Milwaukee County doesn’t have enough of them…That means that defendants deemed high-risk by judges can’t be monitored as strictly as the judges want.” The shortage of monitoring bracelets derives from the court backlogs. Milwaukee County has only 90 bracelets, Triggiano said in our previous story. The courthouse backlogs, which we wrote about previously, mean that people are out on bail longer than before; thus, the number of people judges want on bracelets grows and, so too, does the waiting list.

Dennis Kurasz was one of the people on it, our source said.

In addition, low bail amounts have become an issue of national concern since it was revealed that Darrell Brooks, the Waukesha parade suspect was released on $500 and $1,000 bail in two pending felony cases in Milwaukee County. It comes as bail reform movements sweep the nation. But in Milwaukee, it continues to prove deadly.

Dennis Kurasz Attempted to Get a Restraining Order

In May 2021, Kurasz tried to get a restraining order against DuCharme, but it was denied. We asked the Milwaukee DA’s office for the criminal complaint against Kurasz in the pending case but didn’t hear back. He has not yet been charged in the DuCharme homicide because it just happened.

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Voters Lack Confidence Kamala Harris Can Become President

Vice President Kamala Harris has a fight on her hands if she wants to inherit the Democratic presidential mantle after President Joe Biden’s time is over, according to a new poll.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll shows that voters have serious doubts about Harris’ electability.

The poll found only 14% of voters said it was “very likely” Harris would win a general election for president if she became the Democratic nominee. Another 20% said it was “somewhat likely.”

The poll is especially noteworthy given Biden's age. The incumbent president is 81 years old and appears increasingly in decline.

A moment of confusion for Biden at a June 6 D-Day ceremony went viral last week, the latest in a string of similar incidents. At the same time, Biden remains competitive with former President Donald Trump, though several polls suggest Trump has a lead over the president.

Biden's incidents have led some to speculate that Democrats could or should try to replace Biden at the Democratic convention in Chicago in August. That would be a highly unusual, though not impossible, move. Removing Biden would naturally raise the question about who could replace him, but for now voters seem to lack confidence that Harris could win.

The poll also looked ahead to 2028: “If President Joe Biden were not in the running for president in 2028, which of the following Democrats, if any, would you want to be the Democratic candidate for president?”

While Harris was top of the list among Democrats, she only received 21% support. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg both received 10% support each, while 41% said they were unsure or didn't know.

Only 42% of those polled described Harris as trustworthy, and 44% described her as honest, according to the poll.

Notably, only 36% of those surveyed said Biden should replace Harris as his VP on the ticket.

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(The Center Square) – Republicans at the Wisconsin Capitol don’t want Gov. Tony Evers to waste the chance to get a good look at Milwaukee Public Schools’ shortcomings.

Evers recently called for an operational and an instructional audit of MPS.

“I’m proposing today to go two steps further with two important goals: the first, to audit MPS’ programs and operations in their entirety, and the second, to audit the effectiveness of teaching and instruction of our kids in classrooms across the district,” Evers said.

The governor, however, wants to keep the audit within his administration and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said that’d be a mistake.

“I’m glad that Gov. Evers has called for an audit of the Milwaukee Public School System. Gov. Evers and DPI should work with Joint Legislative Audit Committee Co-Chairs [Eric] Wimberger and [Robert] Wittke to discuss authorizing the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau to audit MPS, DPI and any other involved stakeholders,” LeMahieu said. “The LAB is more than capable of handling this important undertaking independently and transparently without the use of outside contractors.”

The worry is an audit controlled by the governor’s office will not fully look into MPS’s shortcomings.

The calls for audits in Milwaukee Public Schools come after the state withheld nearly $17 million last week because of incomplete and late financial reports. One of those reports was due to the Department of Public Instruction in September 2023.

Evers has asked MPS leaders to be a part of any audit process but warned that not everyone will be invited.

“I also have to say – I’m exceedingly disappointed by the politicking and jockeying I’ve seen since this situation came to light by opportunists who’re seizing this moment to serve their own selfish goals instead of worrying about what matters most: our kids,” Evers added.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos took to social media to accuse the governor of being the one who is playing politics.

“And who do you think [Evers] will suggest conducts the audits?” Vos asked. “The same failed DPI bureaucrats who allowed this to happen or his administration who wanted to dismantle the school choice system so all kids were forced into this MPS mess? We need real reforms to the current mentality where MPS has been protecting the bureaucracy and Gov. Evers has been advocating for shoveling hundreds of millions of dollars into this broken system.”

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Biden’s New Staffing Requirements Put Most Illinois Nursing Homes in Peril

An industry group says the Biden administration’s new staffing regulations for long-term care facilities are unrealistic.

The mandate requires that all nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding provide a total of at least 3.48 hours of nursing care per resident per day. Plus, nursing homes must have a registered nurse onsite at all times.

Research by SeniorLiving.org shows 82%, or nearly 12,000 facilities in the U.S., will need to hire staff or face being shut down.

Spokesperson Corie Wagner said Illinois is home to the fifth highest number of understaffed nursing homes in the country.

“If we were to apply the new policies and new standards to nursing homes in Illinois today, 84% of facilities would need more staff, and that is really significant,” said Wagner.

The mandate will be phased in over three years, with rural communities having up to five years.

Nursing home operators strongly objected to the minimum staffing proposal in September, saying they already struggle to fill open positions.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in September announced a $75 million campaign to increase the number of nurses in nursing homes.

Nearly 1.2 million residents live in Medicare- and Medicaid-certified, long-term care facilities, but Wagner said that number is expected to increase.

“It’s called the Silver Tsunami, so more Americans are aged 65 or older than ever,” said Wagner. “It's one of the largest segments of our population but the infrastructure we have is not keeping up with our population shift.”

A resolution aimed at overturning Biden’s nursing home staffing mandate has a legitimate chance to pass the U.S. Senate.

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