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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Oldest college trivia event starts Friday

UW-Stevens Point has the world's largest trivia contest, and Lawrence University of Appleton has the nation's oldest college event.

Lawrence will hold its 50th annual contest this weekend with 50 hours of questions on campus station WLFM.

As always, it will begin 37 seconds after 10 p.m. on Friday. A new question is asked every ten minutes until the final and most difficult question -- the Super Garruda -- comes out just before midnight on Sunday.

Almost 80 teams were in last year's contest at Lawrence. Its first one was in 1966.

The Stevens Point event came three years later and is held each spring. It has attracted over 500 teams in recent years with more than 12,000 players.

To be competitive, teams used to rifle through encyclopedias and have specialists in different areas of trivia like movies and music. Now, you can answer almost any question by Googling it, and it's a lot tougher for trivia contest organizers to ask challenging questions.

They still do it, though, and the weekend contests still attract mini-reunions for team members who've been in the same groups for years.

As part of the 50th anniversary of the Lawrence contest, one question per hour will be repeated from past competitions.

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 If you filed a settlement claim from the LCD price-fixing lawsuit, don't forget to cash your check.

The state Justice Department says the checks are good for only 90 days after they were sent out, and checks totaling $500,000 have still not been cashed in Wisconsin.

The state took part in a class action lawsuit that accused the makers of LCD screens of conspiring to inflate their prices. The case was settled in 2012.

Those who bought flat-screen TV's, laptops and computer screens from 1999 through 2006 were eligible for settlement checks ranging from $25 to over $100.

Residents and businesses that filed claims received over $27 million worth of checks in the mail in November. If you still have a check coming, you're urged to call the state attorney general's office in Madison.

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If you're a Christian, don't be surprised if you start doing more religious things with people of other faiths.

The Wisconsin Council of Churches has issued a new statement on interfaith relations called "Loving Our Neighbors." It's designed as a platform for Christian churches to develop "deeper ties" with neighbors from other denominations.

Council Director Scott Anderson says interfaith activities have long been a part of the Christian tradition.

Over the next year, the coalition hopes to further encourage interfaith dialogue and cooperation in communities throughout Wisconsin. It may involve coming together to feed the hungry or taking steps to improve the environment.

The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee does those things, and it holds regular meetings to explore common ground amid their religious differences.

The state council is providing its 2,000 member churches with resources to help them encourage interfaith dialogue with an emphasis on understanding other faiths without seeking to convert people.

The Council of Churches serves 18 Christian denominations. Its new interfaith statement is the result of a successful Christian-Muslim dialogue in Milwaukee in 2011, the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

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A Wausau man will spend 40 years in prison for shooting and dismembering a St. Paul man almost two years ago.

Kou Thao, 28, was sentenced Wednesday for killing 58-year-old Tong Pao Hang, placing his body in a vehicle, beheading and mutilating the victim, and then driving Hang to Milwaukee. That's where his severed head was found in a pail in the trunk of a car in the spring of 2013. Other body parts were found in the basement of a Milwaukee home.

Thao was ordered to spend 20 years under extended supervision after leaving prison, but Marathon County Circuit Judge Michael Moran said he was not comfortable with letting Thao go free with a chance to reoffend.

Thao will be 68 at the end of his prison term, and he may or may not die behind bars. He escaped a possible full-life sentence when he struck a plea deal in which a first-degree intentional homicide charge was reduced to a second-degree count.

Prosecutor Theresa Wetzsteon said she was satisfied with the sentence and was more pleased that the victim's family did not have to go through a trial. She hopes it will help begin their healing process.

Wetzsteon said the case involved the most heinous crime she ever dealt with, and it was especially horrible for Hang's family, "given their cultural beliefs."

--Larry Lee, WSAU, Wausau

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A third person has been charged in the shooting death of a gas station clerk during a robbery in Waukesha.

Darrin Malone, 28, was still being sought at last word. An arrest warrant was issued yesterday, along with a criminal charge of felony murder against Malone.

Prosecutors said he was involved in a holdup Jan. 13 at a Waukesha Citgo station where employee Saeed Sharwani, 65, was killed.

Kenneth Thomas, 19, allegedly pulled the trigger. He's charged with homicide, robbery and five other felonies.

The alleged getaway driver, Jessica Cotton, 23, is charged with felony murder and robbery. Cotton told officers she agreed to help the robbers get away because she's naturally a helpful person.

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A Wausau area woman has been sentenced to nine months in jail for vandalism during a protest at the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine.

Katie Kloth, 27, of Weston, formerly of Stevens Point, was convicted of felony robbery and misdemeanor criminal damage. Two other misdemeanors were dropped in a plea deal.

The protesters disrupted mining workers who were drilling exploratory holes at the mining site in Iron County in 2013. Authorities said Kloth led a group that threw cans and water bottles at workers, damaged equipment and got upset with an employee who was videotaping the protest. Kloth and another person seized the camera and stole the operator's cellphone.

Circuit Judge Douglas Fox called it an "assault on people" and ordered Kloth to pay $2,400 in restitution.

State Senate Republican Tom Tiffany later proposed a bill to cut off public access to lands at the mining site to avoid a repeat of the vandalism. However, Tiffany accepted a compromise after learning that people's families who've hunted on the land for generations could no longer do so.

--Larry Lee, WSAU, Wausau

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Two Milwaukee teens are charged in the shooting death of another teen during a marijuana deal.

Jarvell Little, 17, is charged with reckless homicide, reckless injury and three other counts. Dante Bell, also 17, is charged with possessing marijuana with the intent to sell it.

Police said Vonnae Whitaker, 19, was killed, and a 15-year-old boy was wounded in the incident, which occurred Jan. 13 on a street on Milwaukee's northwest side.

Investigators said three teens approached a car that Little was driving. Bell, who was a passenger, was allegedly in the process of selling the marijuana when Little pulled out a gun and started shooting.

Little is being held under a $100,000 bond. He's due back in Milwaukee County Circuit Court next Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.

Bell waived a similar hearing and will enter a plea on Feb. 10. He's under a $1,000 cash bond.

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 A 21-year-old college student died late yesterday, nine days after he fell 20 feet from a balcony at a suburban Milwaukee shopping mall.

Authorities said Dustin Strzelecki, a UWM student from Silver Lake, suffered a brain injury and was in a coma following the incident. He also broke a pelvis, shattered a spleen and had other injuries in the fall.

His mother said Strzelecki was trying to slide down a railing when he slipped and landed on the floor below. He was said to be drinking with coworkers, and there were no reports of foul play.

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A Sheboygan Falls man and his four-year-old passenger were killed in a three-vehicle collision east of Fond du Lac at about 1:40 p.m. yesterday on Hwy. 23.

Sheriff's deputies said the 37-year-old Sheboygan Falls man was driving west when he crossed the centerline and hit the bumper of an oncoming SUV. The car then collided with an oncoming semi-truck.

The four-year-old boy died at the scene, and the driver died later at a hospital. The trucker escaped injury as did the SUV driver and her five-year-old male passenger.

The victims' names were not immediately released.