WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Federal appeals court upholds Act 10
MADISON - Governor Scott Walker’s public union restrictions have been upheld by a federal appeals court ruling.
Public workers from Dane County and the City of Madison filed a lawsuit in 2011, claiming the law violated their rights. The law stripped public workers of collective bargaining rights. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says the ruling is a victory for taxpayers, while opponents are calling it unjust.
Waukesha Police are seeking the public’s help to locate a missing girl. Authorities say 13-year-old Robin Cristina Cardoso has been missing since Wednesday, but contact was made with the girl via social media on Friday. Investigators do not suspect foul play. The teen is described as a Latina, five-foot-one and weighing 120 pounds. Anyone with information should contact Waukesha Police at 262-524-3833.
Sheboygan state senator Joe Leibham says he will announce on Tuesday whether or not he will run for U.S. Congress. Leibham, a Republican, is considering a run after Congressman Tom Petri announced earlier this month that he will not seek re-election. Saukville Republican Duey Stroebel has already announced that he would seek the vacated seat.
Fire heavily damaged a county highway department garage early today in central Wisconsin, causing at least one-and-a-half million dollars of damage. Fire-fighters were called just after 2:50 Friday morning to the Marathon County satellite garage about 15 miles north of Marshfield on Highway 97. No one was hurt. Officials said a half-dozen highway trucks, a skid steer, and a front-end loader were damaged. Other damage was possible, and authorities said the dollar-estimate could be increased later today. A passing motorist saw the fire and called 911. No one was hurt. Sheriff's investigators are trying to determine how it started. Fire departments from Stratford and Edgar were called.
Wisconsin's largest home-grown bank produced more earnings than expected in the first quarter of this year -- but its profits were still less than a year ago. Associated Banc-Corp of Green Bay reports a net income of $44-million from January through March, down from just over $46-million during the same period in 2013. Earnings remained the about the same at 27-cents a share. That beat the estimate of 25-cents in a Yahoo poll of 17 Wall Street analysts. Officials said higher interest rates put a crimp into home refinancing activity. Mortgage banking revenues dropped from about $18-million dollars in the opening quarter of last year, to six-point-four million now. Also, Associated added five million to the reserve fund that covers losses from bad loans. Associated CEO Philip Flynn said the bank had a robust growth in its overall loan activity, especially in its commercial business lines.
Outagamie County's chief prosecutor will not file charges against two Appleton police officers in the shooting of a robbery suspect. District Attorney Carrie Schneider cleared Sergeant Greg Pieper and officer Brandon Edwards today. The DA said they were justified in wounding a 22-year-old Appleton man on April 10th, soon after he reportedly robbed a BP convenience store with an Airsoft gun. Police in Green Bay investigated the incident. Captain Todd Thomas said the man previously talked about committing suicide by police gunfire. He said the officers did not shoot until the suspect cocked the hammer of his weapon. The man's family tells the Appleton Post-Crescent he's expected to survive. Police are not commenting on the man's condition.
The state DNR said today that 15 Wisconsin communities had overflows from their sewage plants, due to the heavy snow in the north and heavy rains in the south. Ashland spilled the most -- almost 16-million gallons of partially-treated sewage that went into Lake Superior over a four-day period. It avoided a flood in the city's treatment plant and sewage back-ups in homes. That was before the area picked up more than a foot of snow on Wednesday and Thursday. Earlier in the week, southern Wisconsin had five inches of rain at the same time the north had five-inches of snow. Superior also reported a pair of sanitary sewer overflows last Thursday and Sunday, with almost a million gallons of untreated sewage going into Lake Superior. Mequon had 72.000 gallons of untreated wastewater flow into Fish Creek, which is connected to Lake Michigan. Sheboygan had around 30,000 gallons go into Lake Michigan.
A man who died in a Milwaukee duplex fire was identified this afternoon as 78-year-old Leo Roethig. Fire-fighters found him without a pulse in a second-floor bedroom yesterday. He was taken to a hospital, where he died earlier today. The cause remains under investigation. Milwaukee deputy fire chief Terry Lintonen said two smoke detectors were found unopened in Roethig's upstairs unit. The lower unit had a smoke detector in a hallway, but its batteries were dead. Three downstairs residents are getting assistance from the Red Cross. Wisconsin's largest city offers smoke detectors to residents as part of their property taxes or rent payments. Lintonen says the detectors are vital for exposing fire and smoke early, and saving lives.
The federal government is about to get a better handle on a disease that has killed millions of farm pigs in the last year. Wisconsin is one of over two dozen states where Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, or PED, has shown up. This morning, the USDA said it would require farmers to report pig infections -- and labs must send tissue-and-fecal samples to the USDA when they report positive test results. Also, farmers affected by PED outbreaks will have to take part in a program to help keep the virus from spreading. Until today, the federal government has been using voluntary lab reports to try and keep track of the virus, which began showing up in the U.S. last year. Officials say PED is believed to have originated in China. It causes severe diarrhea in newborn piglets, and many of them die from dehydration.
A man killed in a freeway crash in the Fox Valley was identified Friday as 60-year-old James Lindeman of Green Bay. Authorities said he was in the back seat of an SUV that was struck by a car which veered out of control. It happened Wednesday morning on the Highway 41 freeway near the Highway 15 exit near Appleton. Lindeman died at the scene. The SUV driver and two other passengers had non-life-threatening injuries. The car driver was not injured.