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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Evansville man charged with death of Fitchburg woman

EVANSVILLE - An Evansville man has been arrested and charged in the death of an 18-year-old Fitchburg woman.

The Rock County Sheriff’s office says the victim and 29-year-old Nathan Middleton allegedly met up at his place, just outside of Evansville, for a night of sex and drugs. The following morning, the victim was dead. Middleton allegedly told police that he hid the body and later burned it in a backyard pit. Middleton was arrested and tentatively charged with several count, including mutilating a corpse and drug possession charges. He will be formally charged in court tomorrow afternoon.


The state Assembly is scheduled to take up a bill that aims to "fix" the state's current law requiring photo I-D to vote.  Assembly leaders have made the bill a priority, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) wants to wait until there are court rulings on several legal challenges to the law, which has been used in only one primary election. The bill would allow voters to cast ballots IF they sign an affidavit that they cannot afford identification or don't have needed documentation. Jay Heck with Common Cause Wisconsin condemns the bill and says there are more pressing issues, like job creation, that the Assembly should address to end the year.


The owners of a "pedal pub" in Milwaukee hope to be back on the street by Saint Patrick's Day.  Yesterday, the Wisconsin Senate sent Governor Scott Walker a bill to legalize "pedal pubs" for those communities that want to allow them.  It's a type of bus which the driver steers, and partiers pedal down a street while drinking.  Milwaukee had the "Pedal Tavern" until the city shut it down last year.  Former Assembly Republican Jeff Stone had the Legislature vote to allow them with community support.  Both houses passed the measure.  Milwaukee's Pedal Tavern gave folks a chance to party while heading from bar-to-bar in the city's popular Water Street district.  One of the pub's owners, Ryan Lloyd, praised the bill's passage.  He said the party vehicles are good for his company, and good for Milwaukee tourism.


With raw milk legislation once again before lawmakers, one UW expert says the risks simply don't equal the claimed benefits. Professor with the University’s Department of Dairy Science Pam Ruegg says that while many advocates claim health benefits for consuming unpasteurized milk, there’s no credible science facts to back those claims. Ruegg was a member of the state Department of Agriculture's Raw Milk Working Group that released a report in 2011. She say drinking raw milk is like riding a motorcycle without a helmet - something that's fine for adults who understand the risks, not for the vulnerable… especially children. Legislation allowing the sale of TESTED raw milk passed a legislative committee this week.

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) says the panel that's supposed to reach an agreement on a full-year's federal budget is not striking any common ground.  The Janesville House Republican co-chairs the conference panel, which met again today. Ryan previously said he was lowering his expectations, with the hopes of reaching a short-term compromise on federal spending and deficit reduction.  Today, he said the 16 panel members have spent enough time talking about their differences.  They also had a two-hour question-and-answer session with Congressional Budget Committee director Douglas Elmendorf, who had a mixed review on the economy's future.  Ryan said the panel has a little wiggle room for striking a deal.  It was given a December 13th deadline, but Ryan said it was never hard-and-fast.  The panel's Democratic co-chair, Senator Patty Murray, kept pushing to close tax loopholes for special interests.  Ryan said other committees should handle those kinds of tax concerns. _______________________________

A northeast Wisconsin man is scheduled to be sentenced January 28th, after he was convicted of molesting four young children at his mother's child care center.  39-year-old William Anderson of Crandon has pleaded guilty to all but one of six charges against him in Forest County.  A count of repeated child sexual assault was dropped in a plea bargain.  He admitted to another charge of repeated child sex assault, plus four felony counts of exposure.  Prosecutors said Anderson molested children ages-4-to-6 while his mother left the child care unit to run errands.  The mother, Nancy Anderson, is charged with four counts of child neglect, and three chargesof not having a required day-care license.  She has pleaded innocent, and is due back in court January 22nd.________________________________

Federal workplace safety officials have recommended a $156,000 for a company in Superior where an employee was killed in May.  The White Cedar Shingles-and-Lumber Company has been cited for nine safety violations by the U.S. Occupational Safety-and-Health Administration.  That's after 30-year-old David Clink of Superior died May 21st.  Officials said his clothes, or one of his arms, got caught in a conveyor belt -- and he might have been asphyxiated after he was pinned against the machinery.  He was working alone at the time.  OSHA said Clink's machine was not quote, "locked out to prevent an unexpected startup."  Officials said White Cedar was cited for the same problem last year.  The company makes cedar shingles and boards with about 10 employees.  The firm has 15 days to either pay the fine, challenge the citations, or seek a settlement conference with the agency. 


Wisconsin's governor and first lady were scheduled today to chop-down the Christmas tree to be placed in the governor's conference room at the State Capitol.  Scott and Tonette Walker went to the Whispering Pines Tree Farm at Oconto in northeast Wisconsin.  Owners Dave and Mary Vander Velden received grand champion awards from the state's Christmas Tree Producers Association in both 2012 and 2010.  In a statement, Walker noted that it's a "huge undertaking" to decorate his conference room, the Capitol, and the Executive Residence for the holidays.  Christmas trees are a big business in Wisconsin.  The governor said 1.8 million trees are harvested each year, with an impact to the state's economy of around $50-million.  _________________________________

A $10,000 reward is being offered to help find a Milwaukee woman missing for just over a month.  Kelly Dwyer's mother Maureen announced the reward at a news conference with Milwaukee Police today.  The Dwyer family put up the reward.  They said they waited this long because they had faith that Kelly would turn up earlier.  The 27-year-old Dwyer was last seen October 10th.  Her boyfriend, Kris Zocco, was reportedly the last to see her before she vanished.  Since then, he's been arrested twice on non-related charges -- although prosecutors say he's a person-of-interest in Dwyer's disappearance.  The 38-year-old Zocco faces five drug counts and 17 charges of child pornography possession.  He recently went free-on-bond after posting a quarter-million dollars.  Maureen Dwyer said it was quote, "sickening" that Zocco is free, considering the charges he faces.  She said she never met the man, even though he was dating her daughter for about a year.

_________________________________A Madison woman was still trying to make contact with her mother today, fearing she was caught in the wreckage of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  Vanessa Taggetz tells WKOW-TV that she remained positive, and hoped her mother is still alive there but quote, "I saw the pictures ... The houses are gone."  Her mother lived in Capoocan in the Philippines, about 45-minutes from the hardest-hit city of Tacloban.  Taggetz said she last spoke with her mom as the storm was approaching last week, and phone lines have been down since the typhoon made landfall.  The Madison woman said she could hear the storm in the background the last time she spoke with her mother on the phone.  She said the Phillipine government was struggling to get help to smaller towns outside of Tacloban.  There were estimates of 600,000 people displaced.  The death toll was at almost 23-hundred-50 today.  WKOW says the UW-Madison Filipino-American Student Organization does not recommend that people send relief donations to the Philippine government.  The same recommendation comes from the Philippine-American Association of Madison and Neighboring Areas._________________________________

A company that sells industrial-and-medical gases is reportedly planning a larger facility in Germantown that would hold up to 400 employees.  Air-Gas now has 230 workers in Metro Milwaukee.  It plans to add up to 50 more employees within the next year-and-a-half and more later, if it can get the necessary government approvals.  The company and Germantown officials have not commented.  The Village Board has approved funding to study the stability of what it calls a large prospective development in Germantown's Business Park.  The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said the proposal was outlined in a request for a state DNR permit to move just over an acre of wetlands at the Germantown site, and replace the lost wetlands at another location.  The DNR held a public hearing on the wetlands permit last night -- and the state permit application outlined Air-Gas's future plans.  The industrial park site would include new offices and a distribution center.  The state plans to decide on the wetland mitigation proposal in December.  If the company does not get its permits, its state documents said the firm's new jobs would be created outside Wisconsin.  The firm said it wants to stay in Germantown because up to 60-percent of its employees live in or just north of that Milwaukee suburb.  _________________________________

A deer had to be euthanized after it broke through a window at a church in Janesville, felt into the basement, and ran wildly to try and escape.  It happened last Sunday at Bethel Baptist Church.  Youth Pastor Andrew Moffitt tells the Janesville Gazette the deer leaned up against a window, broke in, and somehow fell down into the basement.  Moffitt said there was no choice but to euthanize the animal, because it had severe injuries and heavy bleeding while slamming into bookshelves and busting into ceiling tiles to try-and-jump out.  Moffitt said two nearby rooms had Sunday school classes going on at the time -- and he's grateful that the incident was not worse.


When it comes to flying, Milwaukee businesses say their biggest concern is to get more non-stop flights to-and-from Mitchell International.  The Greater Milwaukee Committee surveyed area businesses about their priorities for airline service -- which has declined in the wake of consolidations, a slow-growing economy, and big rises in jet fuel costs.  The committee released only general figures, and did not give details as to the cities where Milwaukee businesses want more non-stop flights.  Eighty-seven percent of the corporate travel respondents said non-stop service was their biggest concern, and 77-percent mentioned overall flight availabilities.  Sixty-percent mentioned fares as a concern.  Only 23-percent expressed concerns about the convenience of flying out of Mitchell, as opposed to other Midwest airports. __________________________________

A lumber-and-milling plant in south-central Wisconsin could be on the verge of closing.  Glen Oak Lumber-and-Milling of Montello has told state workforce development officials it might shut down on January 5th, unless it finds new business to replace a major customer that was lost in October.  The state's plant closing law requires most larger businesses to give the agency 60 days' notice of shutdowns or major layoffs.  Media reports say a closure would affect 43 employees.

__________________________________Wisconsin's first cold snap of the fall season appears to be ending today.  In the northwest, it was a balmy 26 at eight a-m in Siren -- the same place which had the state's coldest reading of the season at six-above early yesterday.  The National Weather Service said the entire state had highs 10-to-20-degrees below normal yesterday.  Today, a strong high pressure system is pushing the mercury up to the 40-degree range -- still a few degrees below the norm for this date.  Freezing rain is possible tomorrow morning in west central Wisconsin, as another low pressure system moves in.  Other parts of the state could get light rain tomorrow.  Southerly winds are due in Saturday, pushing temperatures up to the low-50's in some places for the weekend.  Below-normal temps are due to return early next week.