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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Wausau woman accused of throwing her baby in the trash

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A Wausau woman is accused of throwing her newborn baby in the trash. 33-year-old Zoua Yang appeared in Marathon County Circuit Court yesterday on a felony charge of concealing a child's death, and misdemeanor bail jumping. She was held under a one-thousand-dollar cash bond. Prosecutors said Yang gave birth October 10th in her bathroom. She claimed she didn't realize she was pregnant, and the infant showed no signs of life after apparently being born two months premature. Investigators said Yang made no effort to get medical help for the child. She told officers she didn't have health insurance. A witness said Yang placed in the infant in a plastic bag and tossed the baby in a Dumpster. Officers tried recovering the body from the Marathon County landfill, but couldn't find it. Yang could have escaped criminal charges had she known about Wisconsin's long-running "Safe Haven" law, which lets mothers drop off unwanted infants at hospitals or law enforcement offices within 72 hours of birth with no questions asked. Instead, Yang faces a pre-trial hearing next Monday, and a preliminary hearing on her felony count a week from today.

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The State Supreme Court will wait to see what an appellate court decides before getting involved in the latest dispute over Act-10, the law that limits most public union bargaining. The Justice Department has asked both courts to let the state proceed with about 400 annual re-certification votes for local government and public school unions -- and then decide whether the state was in contempt-of-court for moving forward with those votes. The Fourth District Appellate Court said it would rule by next Monday on the Justice Department's request for an emergency stay, so the union votes can be held in November as scheduled. The Supreme Court said yesterday that the losing side in the matter will have one day to challenge the appellate court's ruling. Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas recently said the state employment relations agency continued with the re-certification process in violation of his decision from last year that the public union bargaining limits were unconstitutional for local-and-school unions. The state contended that the ruling only applied to the plaintiffs in the case -- the Madison teachers union and a Milwaukee city union. Meanwhile, a state challenge continues to Colas's original ruling from last year. The justices plan to hear arguments November 11th on that matter.

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The trial of a man charged with killing his girlfriend's two-year-old son in central Wisconsin could be delayed for a third time. 27-year-old Reymundo Perez was scheduled to have a two-week trial starting December 4th on Portage County felony charges of reckless homicide and reckless child abuse. Now, the defense wants the trial to be pushed back to March, when an expert witness will be available. Prosecutors said Perez threw two-year-old Felix Espinoza-Villa to the ground twice in October of 2011 at his girlfriend's mobile home in Bancroft. Perez told authorities the toddler would not stop crying. He died two days later. Felix's mother is also charged. Authorities said she beat the youngster with a sandal and a rhinestone-studded belt buckle. The child had severe spinal cord and blunt-force injuries to his head and stomach. Investigators said they believe Perez caused those injuries, and not the mother. Online court records show that Perez is being held at the Lincoln County Jail in Merrill.

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A new poll shows that more than half of Wisconsinites support same-sex marriages. 53-percent in the new Marquette Law School poll expressed support for gay marriage. That's nine points higher than the 44-percent support in the same poll a year ago. Nineteen-percent said there should not be any legal recognition of same-sex marriages or civil unions -- down from 23-percent a year ago. Marquette pollster Charles Franklin says it's the first time in more than a year of polling that Wisconsin has shown over 50-percent support for same-sex marriage. Franklin says it's very much in line with other polls around the country. It's also quite a change from seven years ago, when 59-percent of Wisconsin voters approved a constitutional ban on gay marriages and civil unions. The group which promoted that ban, Wisconsin Family Action, is now trying to get the State Supreme Court to throw out a domestic partner registry that gives same-sex couples about one-fifth of the legal benefits of married couples. Arguments in that case were heard last week, and a ruling could be a few months away. The new Marquette poll surveyed 400 voters on the question last week. The error margin is five-percent either way.

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Crews are almost finished installing temporary trusses to keep the Leo Frigo Interstate bridge in Green Bay from sagging any further. Bruce Enke of the state D-O-T said yesterday that three-of-the-four vertical trusses have been installed. Horizontal trusses will also be added, to assure the safety of those working to make permanent repairs on the I-43 bridge. Those repairs are expected to begin on Monday -- and they'll cost much less than what the D-O-T expected. Zenith Tech of Waukesha submitted the lowest of three bids -- seven-point-seven million dollars to bolster five corroded support piers, and to extend one support pier so it touches bedrock for the first time. That pier fell two-feet into the ground in late September, causing a sag in the high-rise Frigo Bridge that crosses the Fox River on the north end of Green Bay. Enke says the temporary trusses will be installed by next Wednesday. From there, work on the permanent repairs will be done around the clock. Officials hope to re-open the bridge in mid-January.

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Sheboygan Police are trying to find why a car struck-and-killed a pedestrian. It happened around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. Police said a 63-year-old Hingham man struck the pedestrian, who died later at a Sheboygan hospital. The man and his 63-year-old female passenger both had minor injuries. Police said they declined medical treatment. Investigators do not believe that speed-or-alcohol were factors in the crash. Sheboygan Police are asking the public for information about the incident. 

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A southern Wisconsin man died, after he fell from a tree-stand he was working on. He was identified yesterday as 64-year-old Albin Ennis of Wonewoc. Sauk County sheriff's deputies said Ennis fell Sunday afternoon in the town of Woodland. He was taken to a Reedsburg hospital, where he died from his injuries several hours later. 

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Authorities are taking another look at the death of a baby girl whose body was found inside a bag two years ago in the Mississippi River. Dave Brand, the sheriff of Winona County Minnesota, said people who called Crime-Stoppers offered two new tips over the last week. Investigators from the Gopher State's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are looking into those leads. An infant named "Baby Angel" was found in the Mississippi River near Homer on the Minnesota side in September of 2011. Since then, several searches have taken place, and officers followed up on various leads. Through it all, there's been no trace of the baby's parents.

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts with his wife and two daughters. 
(715) 243-7767 x243
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