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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Residential property values rise in Wisconsin

The value of residential property in Wisconsin rose by two-and-a-half-percent last year, ending a five-year stretch of losses dating back to the national housing market collapse. 

Homes and other residences gained more than eight-billion dollars in equalized value between January 1st, 2013, and January 1st of this year.  The Wisconsin Department of Revenue released its report Friday.  Increasing home sales prices were the main driver of the improving.  Residential property values in Milwaukee were down by two-percent.  Commercial property and manufacturing businesses showed gains during the same period statewide.


Cook County, Ill.  prosecutors say 15-year-old Denzel Burke was urged on by an adult gang member and at least one friend.  When the Chicago teenager shot at a gang rival, he hit photographer William Lewis of Wisconsin.  Burke and 17-year-old Michael Phillips were arrested in Racine.  Lewis suffered a fatal wound while he waited at a bus stop July 12th.  Both teenagers are charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.  Eric Vaughn is accused of supplying the murder weapon and driving a getaway car.  He is also charged with first-degree murder.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are reportedly look for the person who shot an osprey and a barred owl in Bayfield County in recent weeks.  Both species are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  The adult male osprey had to be euthanized.  It was found to be the father of two chicks found a few days later.  One of them jumped from its nest and was hit by a vehicle.  The mother’s body was also found and it appears she was shot, too.  The federal agency is hoping it gets some help from the public in identifying the shooter.  The surviving chick will eventually be put in a nest with other chicks.


A 32-year-old Wisconsin man has entered a guilty plea to charges he illegally harvested wildlife pelts in Mississippi.  Peter Jesunas has been fined $10,000 and has been banned from any trapping for three years.  He came to Mississippi two years ago to trap even though he had been barred from buying a license due to previous offenses.  The federal agents say he collected 354 pelts, which he was ordered to forfeit. 


Wisconsin law enforcement officials are looking for a man who robbed a bank in Weston.  Investigators say they are analyzing a note left by the suspect at the Intercity State Bank Friday morning.  Although the robber implied he had a weapon, one was never shown.  He reportedly got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.  Weston police say it isn’t clear if he left the scene on foot and used a vehicle to get away. 


U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh) was challenged and he came through.  As part of a fundraising effort for ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease – Johnson poured ice-cold water over his head in the Utah mountains, where he is camping.  He had been challenged by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  Johnson tweeted a photo of the act yesterday.  In that same tweet, Johnson challenges three radio talk-show hosts.  Word is, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) wrote a check.