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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Racine man to be sentenced for making bomb threats at work because he wanted Halloween off

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

RACINE -- A Racine man will be sentenced July 18th for making bomb threats at work because he wanted Halloween off and didn't have the vacation time for it.  28-year-old Jacob Vanderhoef has pleaded no contest to a felony charge of making a bomb scare.  A second similar count was dropped in a plea deal.  According to Racine County prosecutors, Vanderhoef left a pair of threatening notes at his employer, Poclain Hydraulics, last October.  On one of the notes, Vanderhoef wrote "Catch me if you can."

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A northeast Wisconsin pilot is recovering, after he hurt his back in the crash of a single-engine plane near Crivitz.  Marinette County authorities said the plane was apparently heading to Iron Mountain Michigan -- and it had engine problems before it went down yesterday in a farm field in the town of Stephenson.  The pilot was a 66-year-old man from Lena.  Officers said he was conscious and alert when rescuers got to him -- and he was taken to a Marinette hospital to be checked out further.  He was the only person aboard the plane at the time.

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A special prosecutor expects to appeal a federal judge's ruling yesterday, which halted a secret John Doe probe into Republican campaign activities during Wisconsin's recall elections.  Milwaukee Federal Judge Rudolph Randa said one of the targets -- the Wisconsin Club for Growth -- had its free speech rights violated.  The judge said the group and its treasurer found a way to circumvent campaign finance laws, and the move should be recognized as a way to promote political speech instead of restricting it.  Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz says he'll need to consult with other prosecutors in the case, and his own attorney, before deciding on an appeal of Randa's decision.  The judge said prosecutors were scrutinizing group consultant R-J Johnson as a hub who coordinated activities for Governor Scott Walker's campaign and several groups that included the United Sportsmen and Wisconsin Right-to-Life.  Prosecutors were looking for violations of the law which prohibit campaign coordination between candidates and outside groups. The Club for Growth said it was unfair that the probe only targeted conservatives.  The investigation centered on the 2011-and-'12 recall contests, in which Walker became the nation's first governor to survive such an effort.  Judge Randa ordered the return of all evidence seized during the probe, plus the destruction of any materials gathered by prosecutors.  Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm started the probe in mid-2012.  

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Wisconsin's best-known Lemon Law attorney said he turned down a request to give advice to a top state D-O-T lawyer on interpreting recent changes in the law.  Vince Megna of Milwaukee tells the Associated Press it would have hurt his legal practice, had he honored general counsel John Sobotik's request to answer questions about the law.  Megna is best known for suing companies which make defective cars -- and he said those defendants would have accused him of helping the state interpret the same provisions he challenges in court.  Sobotik confirmed to the A-P that he sought advice from Megna and others on a number of things.  One was the law's requirement for using a D-O-T form to report defective cars to manufacturers.  Sobotik told Megna the form would "virtually gut" the Lemon Law because consumers would have no idea that a government form is required.  Megna said he believes a form posted on the D-O-T's Web site this week is inaccurate.  Lawmakers approved the Lemon Law changes a few months ago with support from both parties, automakers, trial lawyers, and the state's largest business group.  Owners of defective cars now have three years to sue manufacturers, instead of the previous six years. Buyers can only actual damages, after the previous law required double damages.

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Former state public school Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster has been named the new president of a community college in Maryland, in the town where she grew up.  Burmaster has headed Nicolet College in Rhinelander since 2009 -- and she told officials there yesterday that she'll become the next president of Frederick Community College starting on August 18th.  Burmaster was recently a finalist for the president of Madison Edgewood College.  The Frederick News-Press said she was also a finalist this year to head Rochester Community and Technical College in Minnesota, and Rock Valley College in Illinois -- but she was passed over at all three places.  Burmaster was quoted as telling Frederick College officials that none of those schools would have been a "good fit" for her anyway.  Burmaster once attended Frederick, and she told a recent public forum at the school that she looks forward to the challenge of leading a larger, more diverse institution. Burmaster was among 60 candidates hoping to replace Adrian Lobetske.  She was the state public school Superintendent from 2001-to-'09, when current superintendent Tony Evers replaced her.  

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Two Manitowoc County men are due in court Monday, for allegedly running a pair of meth-amphetamine labs that may have caused wastewater testing issues.  29-year-old Michael Fenn of Kiel and 33-year-old Craig Holtz of Saint Nazianz were charged this week with a total of nine felony counts.  Fenn is dealing with five counts, and Holtz four -- mostly involving the manufacturing and possession of meth.  Holtz is also charged with possessing improvised explosives as a repeat offender.  Both men were arrested two weeks ago by Manitowoc County's metro drug unit.  Officials said their recent pharmacy purchases of meth ingredients helped give them away.  They also said some of the chemical waste was found in the Saint Nazianz sewage system, possibly resulting in wastewater testing concerns.  

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A Perkins restaurant in Shawano had a surprise guest on Monday night -- a deer that broke the front window.  No one was hurt.  Reports said the deer rushed into the dining area and ran off just as quickly.  Surveillance video showed two deer in the parking lot, but the other one did not enter the building.  Waitress Amanda Peppler tells W-A-O-W T-V in Wausau that she thought she heard a gunshot before the deer emerged out of nowhere.  A manager said the animal appeared to be injured.  It has not been spotted since.

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Wisconsin cheese products have more variety these days.  According to the National Ag Statistics Service, 93 of the state's 126 cheese plants produced 640-million pounds of specialty cheeses last year.  That's 29-million pounds more than the previous year -- and it represented 22-percent of Wisconsin's overall cheese output for 2013.  Feta is the most popular specialty cheese.  Blue cheese is next followed by Hispanic types, specialty Mozzarella, Parmesan Wheel, and special Provolone.  Limburger cheese had the biggest increase in Wisconsin specialty production -- 24-percent from 2012.  The official definition of specialty cheese is a product with one-or-more unique qualities like exotic origins, a special process, extraordinary packaging, or an unusual type of usage.  Wisconsin is the nation's top cheese producer.

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