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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Computer files only small part of John Doe investigation

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

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County officials say the 15 gigabytes of computer files released Friday are only a small part of what was seized during an investigation of the county executive’s office. 

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Governor Scott Walker held the position then, but he has never been charged with any wrongdoing.  The investigation was looking for instances of illegal campaign work done by county employees while they were at their taxpayer-funded jobs.  It resulted in six convictions.  Even if something embarrassing for the governor is unveiled, it’s not likely to sidetrack his reelection effort.  A poll taken by the Marquette University Law School shows most people responding think the so-called “John Doe” investigation was politically-motivated.

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Flames from a burning apartment building under construction in Madison could be seen as far away as Sun Prairie.  Smoke from the fire on Madison’s far east side was so heavy it affected traffic on Interstate 39-90 starting at about 7:30 p-m.  Firefighters say the top two floors of the building were fully engulfed when they arrived.  Things got so hot, vinyl siding on unoccupied houses across the street was melted.  It took crews about two hours to bring things under control.  The burning building was planned to be a four-story, 64-unti apartment complex.  Firefighters stayed on the scene for hours to put out any hot spots.

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The Marathon County Sheriff’s Office reports a single-vehicle crash has left one person dead and nine others injured.  The accident happened Friday morning at about 10 a.m. northeast of Wausau.  The sport utility vehicle went out of control on Highway 52 in the Town of Eaton and rolled.  A medical helicopter was called to the scene and two teenage victims of the crash were being treated at a Wausau hospital.  The name of the person killed wasn’t released.  Two victims were listed in critical condition.  A parent of one of the children involved in the crash says the group was headed to Eau Claire Dells to go swimming.  Highway 52 was closed for more than four hours.

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Are we drinking less, or being more careful?   The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reports the number of fatalities in alcohol-related crashes on state roads dropped by almost half between 2003 and 2013.  The number of injuries in those crashes fell by 59-percent.  The DOT released the numbers as Wisconsin law enforcement agencies were getting ready to launch the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” drunken driving crackdown.  It starts next Friday and runs through Labor Day.

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Some scientists are suggesting an invasion by Asian carp of the Great Lakes wouldn’t necessarily doom the valuable sport fish swimming there, like yellow perch and walleye.  It’s possible nutrient-rich Lake Erie, for instance, might have enough food to go around, even if the invasive species manage to develop as big a presence there as the native species.  Others aren’t anywhere close to accepting that as an eventuality.  They maintain their warnings the Asian carp would pose a serious risk to the seven-billion dollar fishing industry in the Great Lakes.  The optimistic report just released suggests yellow perch could even grow their presence by using the Asian carp larvae as a food source.

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The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association has dropped its challenge to Governor Scott Walker’s restrictions on public unions.  That ends the last legal fight over the changes the Republican put in place.  The WLEA had filed its suit in 2012, alleging the restrictions violated its right to free speech, association and equal protection.  A Dane County judge had dismissed the case last year.  The largest police union in Wisconsin had appealed, but a reversal was thought to be unlikely. 

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