News Digest

Heroin death conviction upheld

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction and sentence of the first person charged in Sheboygan County with supplying heroin which resulted in the death of the drug user, Sheboygan County District Attorney Joe DeCecco has announced.

Joseph E. Lengling of Plymouth was convicted of First Degree Reckless Homicide in the death of Tabia Thede after a four-day jury trial in December of 2011 over which Judge Timothy Van Akkeren presided. Lengling, the first person in Sheboygan County charged with this socalled “Len Bias” law, was subsequently sentenced to 12 years prison followed by eight years of extended supervision, which prison term he is currently serving.

DeCecco notes Lengling had appealed on a number of issues, all of which were rejected by the District II Court of Appeals. “The Court of Appeals found that all the challenged decisions made by Judge Van Akkeren were reasoned and appropriate,” DeCecco said. “At the time, this type of case was unique, but since then the distribution and use of heroin has continued to grow, and we currently have several more cases in which a person supplied heroin to a user who died from using that heroin, not to mention the growing number of heroin overdosers who were saved by medical intervention,” DeCecco noted. “Heroin is an insidious, highly addictive and destructive drug and, most disturbing, its use is on the rise in this county and state. I don’t expect these type of cases are going to end anytime soon.”

Scholarships for safety classes

To make where we work, play and live safer, the American Red Cross, in partnership with the Sheboygan County United Way, has announced the availability of more than $11,000 in health and safety training scholarships.

This scholarship offer covers youth and adult course registration fees and is available on a first-registered basis. Therefore, individuals and groups can register for both classroom and blended learning training, for free.

Classes being hosted include: adult and pediatric first aid CPR/AED, adult first aid/CPR/AED. adult CPR/AED. CPR/AED for the professional rescuer

A babysitter’s training class, designed for youth ages 11-13. will also be held. The class provides the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and responsibly care for infants and children up to the age of 10, as well as to manage a babysitting business. It takes about 7 hours to complete and makes learning fun with lots of videos and interactive games.

Courses are offered in traditional classroom and blended learning formats. Blended learning is a combination of online learning and a shorter in-person skills session.

These courses include a 2-year certification with online skill refreshers and digital materials. The scholarship covers the cost for both the online and classroom portions.

Classes are available at the Red Cross building at 2032 Erie Ave. in Sheboygan.

For complete course descriptions, times, etc. please go to

You can also register by calling 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) and press Option 3. You must provide the Coupon Code of UWSHEBOYGAN0614 for the course to be complimentary.

If your organization, group or club wants to train a group of people at the same time, please contact Terry Roe, Wisconsin Sales Representative at or call 715-590-4495.

The scholarships are available to Sheboygan County residents and are available on a first registered basis. The course must be completed by June 30, 2014.

Hospice, church slate grief series

Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice and St Luke’s United Methodist Church are partnering in a four-part educational series titled “New Life after Loss.”

The series will be offered Thursday evenings from 6-7:30 p.m. beginning Thursday, March 13, at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. located at 523 Ontario Ave.

Rev. Kathy Reid of St. Luke’s and Nancy Simenz, MTS, chaplain and bereavement coordinator for Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice will co-facilitate the program.

This is a free service open to the public. To register, call Rev. Kathy Reid at 458-3461 or email

Additional grief resources are available on the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice website at

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