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Wrestling for a cause: WWE-style event helps area food bank raise donations

The last time Showtime Championship Wrestling had a charity event for Eau Claire’s Feed My People Food Bank, the organization received more than 194 pounds of food.

Promoter and wrestler Troy Brostrom – who’s better known as Red Lightning in the ring – is hoping the number is just as high when the wrestling group comes to the Eagles Club Banquet Hall in Chippewa Falls, Feb. 10.

“That was really cool,” Brostrom said. “We’re hoping to match that or even get more this time.”

Similar to a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) style, Showtime Championship Wrestling will be hosting matches at the club at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10.

For wrestling newbies unsure about what they would be attending on Feb. 10, Brostrom compared Showtime Championship Wrestling to that of minor league baseball. While it’s not WWE or Ring of Honor, it’s still a professional experience, Brostrom said.

“It’s just that our wrestlers aren’t signed to a national promotion or company under contract anywhere,” Brostrom said. “We’re still professional wrestling; we do the exact same thing.”

Offering a night of wrestling entertainment as a charity event isn’t new for Brostrom or his business partner Josh Calisto, who began fundraising events in the Chippewa Falls area in May 2016, Calisto said, beginning with a fundraiser for Eau Claire’s Adult Special Olympics. Showtime Championship Wrestling has gone on to have fundraising events for veterans at the Lake Hallie Block Party and the food bank.

Brostrom and Calisto have been friends for 15 years, including a stint in 2003 when Brostrom trained Calisto to wrestle, Calisto said.

Showtime Championship Wrestling also hosts bouts in St. Paul, Minn., Brostrom said, but being from Chippewa Falls, Brostrom said he feels a connection to giving back to his community whenever he can bring the wrestling events to town.

“I like the idea of helping, doing something for the community,” Brostrom said.

The company has been fairly local, staying within either Chippewa Falls or St. Paul, but the wrestlers that come to the event can vary, Calisto said, adding that February’s event will feature wrestlers from the east and west coasts.

The organization is now planning 15 to 16 shows in 2018, Calisto said, and looking to possibly even double that number in 2019.

Calisto, who has since taken a break from wrestling due to related injuries, said running their own wrestling company has been a mix of exciting and stressful, especially as he navigates the organization outside of the ring.

For those not sold on watching a night of wrestling, Calisto said the event has something for everyone, with what Brostrom said was a low price for a three-hour show.

“It’s going to be action-packed, exciting show,” Calisto said. “Pretty much the whole family can enjoy it, whether they’re casual or die-hards.”

The night will feature a women’s tag team match, a six-man tag event that includes a mystery wrestler, a four corners elimination tag team match, a future clash championship and more matches. The main event of the night boasts “The Big Hurt” DeAndre Jackson versus “Mr. Athletic” Jeff Cobb, who represented Guam as a freestyle wrestler in the 2004 Olympics.

Tickets are $15 for the front row and $12 general admission, but attendees can receive $2 off the admission price with a non-perishable food item donation for Feed My People Food Bank.


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Chippewa Falls woman gets jail time for 2015 Lake Hallie drive-through incident

A Chippewa Falls woman charged with being unresponsive in the front seat of a running car in a Lake Hallie Burger King drive-through with two infants in the back seat and a bottle of vodka in the passenger seat was sentenced to jail time Monday, more than two years after she was first charged.

Judge Steven Cray’s sentence for Lisa M. Badciong, 47 – which entails a total of 39 months of jail time, five years of probation, 150 hours of community service and court costs of $1,847 – comes one year after Cray scrapped a 2017 plea deal that proposed just six months in jail and up to nine years probation.

“I rejected the last (amendment) because I didn’t feel it was consistent with the public interest,” Cray told Badciong in Chippewa County court Monday. “However, I feel these charges … can be made consistent with the public’s interest.”

Badciong’s original charges involved several felonies, including driving while intoxicated ninth offense and second-degree recklessly endangering safety, stemming from the Lake Hallie incident in June 2015. On Monday, Badciong’s attorney Michael Cohen and assistant District Attorney Lawrence Broeren proposed amended charges – three misdemeanors and a felony charge of second-degree recklessly endangering safety.

Cohen argued the reduced charges reflect Badciong’s change of heart since 2015.

“In the almost 28 years I’ve been doing this, I have never represented a person who, from the first time they came to see me, not only understood why they were there, but didn’t make excuses,” Cohen said.

“What I did was absolutely horrible,” Badciong said in court Monday. “It did force me to deal with …. things I don’t want to deal with.”

Broeren agreed with the amended charges, saying the mandatory minimum sentence for a felony OWI was “somewhat inappropriate,” “given the circumstances and length of time this case has continued on.”

Cray accepted the amended charges, but told Badciong he gave her extended probation and 12 months of conditional jail time because she needs “vigilance and counseling.”

“We have almost eight years going forward of you demonstrating to this community that you are and will be free of intoxicants,” Cray said, referring to Badciong’s sentence. “That is what the public needs and deserves.”

Badciong will have work-release privileges during her jail time.

At the time of the incident, she had a blood-alcohol level of .32, four times the .08 intoxication standard the state has for first time drunken driving.

According to the criminal complaint for the incident at 12:05 a.m. June 2, 2015:

Badciong had her foot on the vehicle’s brake while it was running in the restaurant drive through. A Chippewa Fire District member reached in and put the vehicle into park and shut off the ignition key.

“Due to her high level of intoxication, she was unable to perform field sobriety tests as she could not speak nor stand. She was transported to the hospital where she had to stay to be medically cleared due to her high level of intoxication,” a criminal complaint said.

While on probation, Badciong must remain free of intoxicants, be monitored by an agent, not possess or consume alcohol, not drive without a valid Wisconsin driver’s license, not possess or consume illegal drugs, not consume medication unless prescribed and not possess any drug paraphernalia.


Badciong


Marc Wehrs / M.P. KING, Wisconsin State Journal  

The University of Wisconsin-Madison's Bascom Hall. Gov. Scott Walker has hinted that untethering UW-Madison from the UW-System -- and giving the remaining system more autonomy -- could be part of his new budget proposal next month. Along with declining state support and continued tuition freeze, UW System campuses will feel a financial pinch in the coming two-year state budget.


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Two charged in Chippewa Falls traffic stop incident

Two arrests were made after a traffic stop in Chippewa Falls turned up suspected methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as drug paraphernalia and prescription medication.

Brandon J. Wooley, 18, and Bethany J. Wold, 17, both of Chippewa Falls, were arrested Jan. 17.

According to a criminal complaint, Chippewa Falls police officers stopped an orange Chevrolet Avalanche, which allegedly had drug history; police had had several instances of contact with the vehicle. Wooley and Wold were both passengers.

Officers found suspected drug paraphernalia, suspected methamphetamine and a white crystal-like rock in the vehicle. “The unknown (item) was seized as it appeared to be a large chunk of suspected methamphetamine,” the complaint read.

Officers also found a note on Wooley’s person that he had allegedly written prior to exiting the vehicle. The note included several phone numbers and language stating it was Wooley’s birthday and that he was going to jail.

“I asked Wooley why he believed he would be going to jail, and he stated he usually does when he’s involved with police contact,” the complaint said.

Wooley was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, felony bail jumping and possession of drug paraphernalia. His initial appearance in Chippewa County court is scheduled for Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. in front of Judge Steven H. Gibbs. At his Feb. 7 appearance, Wooley will also have a review hearing for other drug-related charges from incidents in August and October 2017.

Wold was charged with felony possession with intent-amphetamine, possession of THC, possession of controlled substance, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of possession of an illegally obtained prescription. Her initial appearance is slated for Feb. 20 at 1:30 p.m. in front of Judge James M. Isaacson.

Much of the drug paraphernalia tested “presumptively positive” for methamphetamine and marijuana, the complaint said. The white crystal-like rock found in the vehicle was inconclusive for methamphetamine in an initial test.

Under Wisconsin law, 17-year-old defendants are treated as adults and are tried in adult court.


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Wooley