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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Boating accident injuries Bayfield man

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News Ellsworth, 54011
Pierce County Herald
715-273-4335 customer support
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

BAYFIELD - A boating accident leaves one man in the hospital.

The Bayfield County Sheriff’s Office says 58-year-old Thomas Wincek was injured when he lost control of his boat on the Upper Eau Claire Lake on Thursday. The victim’s grandson was able to turn the boat off, but not before it went out of control in circles, injuring Wincek. He is being treated at a Duluth hospital.

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Governor Scott Walker has appointed former Milwaukee judge John Franke to the Government Accountability Board. The appointment still awaits state Senate approval, but Franke would serve on the board until 2020. Franke replaces Michael Brennan, who served a six-year term.

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Authorities in Dodge County are looking for individuals causing unrest for the dead. Police from Burnett say brass markings where stolen from the graves of 78 war veterans in two cemeteries. Police believe the brass is being scrapped for extra cash though not much.

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A woman and two kids are home from the hospital, after they spent almost 12 hours adrift in a pair of kayaks they rented in Door County.  The three were publicly identified this afternoon as 43-year-old Allison Alter of Austin, Texas her nine-year-old son Zach Suri, and nine-year-old relative Thomas Alter of suburban Chicago.  They were all treated at a Marinette hospital for mild hypothermia. Eight law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, searched for the kayakers.  A Canadian search plane found them about ten miles from Chambers Island on the Bay of Green Bay.  They left a small bay in western Door County, planning to return there about 75 minutes after they took off.  Instead, they got caught in waves of up two-feet -- and they were found about 14 miles from where they had taken off.  

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A Fox Valley man pleaded innocent today to causing the death of his fiancee's three-year-old daughter.  Ryan Jorgenson of Menasha, who turns 27 on Monday, is charged with first-degree reckless homicide.  A trial date of January 12th has been set in Winnebago County Circuit Court.  According to prosecutors, Jorgenson claimed the girl fell down some stairs and suffered a seizure.  Paramedics said the child's injuries were too severe for that.  The girl died in late May at Milwaukee Children's Hospital.

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A coal train that was headed to Superior has derailed in Montana, where a clean-up continues this afternoon.  Thirteen cars of a Burlington Northern-Santa Fe train jumped the tracks around 7:45 Thursday near Worden in southeast Montana.  The train originally took off from a coal mine in Bighorn County, Montana.  Nobody was hurt in the derailment.  The railroad is not sure when the affected tracks will re-open.

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A federal judge said no today to letting same-sex marriages resume in Wisconsin.  The ACLU asked Judge Barbara Crabb last week to re-instate her ruling from early June which found that the state's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.  Crabb put her ruling on hold a week after she issued it, so the state could appeal it.  The ACLU accused the state Justice Department of dragging its feet in appealing the matter.  The state filed its appeal notice yesterday, so Crabb said the ACLU's request is a moot point.  She officially rejected it this morning.  The state filed its appeal eleven days ahead of a July 21st deadline.  

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it will investigate a truck explosion which killed the driver in early April at Howard near Green Bay.  Officials said the box-style truck was carrying a three-wheeled fork-lift when the truck slowed down to turn into a driveway -- and the forklift rolled forward, penetrated the cargo area, and struck the gas tank.  The truck driver, 59-year-old Gerald Throw Senior, was killed in the mishap.  A 29-year-old passenger was ejected and hurt.  Investigators said they were looking into the integrity of the fuel system on the truck.

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A $7,500 cash bond has been set for a Milwaukee man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death on the Fourth of July.  20-year-old Corinthian Beamon is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the death of 18-year-old Justice McCoy.  Beamon told officers he was arguing with McCoy over his reported involvement with another woman -- and she punched him between his eyes.  He told police he grabbed a knife that fell from one of his pockets, and he stabbed McCoy while she was beating him.  Police said three other women ran out of a nearby house to try and break up the fight.  They reportedly started beating the man as well.  Beamon is due back in court next Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

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Some of Wisconsin's largest retailers are spending more time in court, claiming that cities are over-charging them for property taxes.  In Janesville, Menards, Sears, Target, and Blain Supply have all filed separate lawsuits in the past month.  Menards says it's entitled to a $217,000 tax refund.  All four want a total of $419,000 back, saying their own assessments of property values are less than what the city assessed in 2013. City Assessor Richard Haviza tells the Janesville Gazette there are up to 300 large business tax assessment disputes throughout Wisconsin.  He said his figure came from the city's outside attorney which handles property assessment suits.  Twenty-two percent of the active assessment suits are tied to large retailers in Janesville.  Don Millis, an attorney for three of the retailers that are suing in Janesville, said his firm analyzes real estate and business market trends to arrive at assessment estimates.  And if his clients believe they're out of line with what their cities charge, he advises firms to challenge them.   Millis says one possible reason for the increase in business lawsuits is that stores may still be dealing with market pressures left over from the Great Recession.  

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The Wisconsin State Supreme Court is granting a new trial for a Milwaukee murder convict.  A jury found 26-year-old Jimothy Jenkins guilty of homicide, reckless injury, and illegal firearm possession for a street shooting that killed Anthony Weaver in 2007.  Jenkins claimed that his lawyer was not effective, because he did not have an eyewitness testify that Jenkins was not the shooter.  The First District Court of Appeals did not buy Jenkins' argument.  But the Supreme Court did, ruling 5-2 today that Jenkins proved that his lawyer was ineffective.

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