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Wisconsin roundup: Walker goes on road to oppose Trump’s tariff plan; more state news stories

Gov. Scott Walker, shown here in a 2017 campaign stop in Hudson, made stops in Janesville and Oshkosh Tuesday, March 6, to share his concerns about President Trump's plans for tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. File photo

JANESVILLE — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made stops in Janesville and Oshkosh Tuesday to share his concerns about President Trump's plans for tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

This is one of the rare times the Republican governor has opposed the president's point of view. Business groups and other Republicans warn about the threat of a trade war, bringing with it economic and political consequences. Trump is pushing a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum from other countries. The tariffs could be imposed within two weeks.

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Defense attorneys call for new judge — just before sentencing

LA CROSSE — Defense attorneys for convicted killer Todd Kendhammer say the La Crosse County Circuit judge handling the case is biased.

They filed a motion Tuesday asking Judge Todd Bjerke to recuse himself before sentencing Kendhammer Friday. Kendhammer faces a life sentence for his conviction on a first-degree intentional homicide charge. He could be found eligible for release after a minimum of 20 years. The jury convicted him of killing his wife in September 2016. He had claimed a pipe fell off an oncoming truck and punched through the windshield of his vehicle, hitting his wife in the head. Investigators say he had beaten her to death.

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Embarrass residents tired of brown water

EMBARRASS — Residents of a village in Waupaca County are asking the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to help them get their tap water cleaned up.

Iron in the water flowing to customers in Embarrass makes it discolored and brown. A DNR examination finds the water isn't a health hazard, but it still makes the residents mad that the problem has existed for about a year. Embarrass has two water wells, but one has been offline for months. The DNR says it should be back in operation soon and the improvement should be immediate. State engineers suggest people flush their private plumbing and consider buying a water filter for their homes.

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Accused drunk driver slams into marked squad car

MILWAUKEE — It's not good to have an accident when you're driving drunk.

It might be even worse to hit a marked Milwaukee County squad car. Deputies say the driver of a pickup slammed into that squad car in Milwaukee at about 2:15 a.m. last Saturday on Interstate 43. Nobody was inside the squad car.

Deputies were conducting Operation Drive Sober as acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt tries to get intoxicated drivers off the roads. The 26-year-old driver hasn't been identified, but the Tennessee suspect had no previous drunk driving offenses on his record. A total of 14 suspected drunk drivers were arrested last weekend.

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Wisconsin’s Ryan calls for ‘more surgical’ approach to tariffs

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans are warning about potential economic fallout while pressing the president to narrow a plan for new tariffs on steel and aluminum coming in from other countries.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says what he calls a "more surgical approach" would help avoid a destructive trade war. The White House has said President Trump's mind is made up on imposing those penalties. The Wisconsin Republican leader from Janesville is urging him to make the tariffs "more targeted.” Ryan warns the president's approach is too broad and leaves the United States open to retaliation.

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U.S. Justice Department sues state nursing home

MILWAUKEE — An Ozaukee County nursing home faces a federal suit for forcing a former employee to take a flu shot despite her religious objections.

Lasata Care Center in Cedarburg told Barnell Williams she would lose her job unless she was vaccinated. The U.S. Department of Justice filed the suit Tuesday, alleging Williams suffered severe emotional distress. Her interpretation of the Bible would not allow her to put certain substances in her body. Lasata allowed exceptions to its staff but required a letter from a member of the clergy. Williams couldn't provide one.

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Former UW chancellor running for Congress

MIAMI — A former chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is running for Congress in Florida.

Donna Shalala was U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration from 1993-2001. She then served as president of the University of Miami for 14 years. Shalala will run as a Democrat in an effort to replace Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring. The Miami Herald reports the 77-year-old Shalala filed the paperwork for a campaign Tuesday in Miami. She was chancellor at the University of Wisconsin from 1988-1993.

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Man says women he hired for sex robbed him

MERTON — A Waukesha County man got himself in trouble by calling authorities to report he was robbed.

Scott Peschmann admitted he hired two women to come to his Merton home to have sex. Peschmann says he met Victoria Pena on the website Backpage.com. He says Pena, Maria Lebron, and a third woman arrived at his home Sunday night. All parties agreed on a $400 cash price, but Peschmann says they took his cash and his work cell phone with them when they left. He, Lebron and Pena are charged with prostitution. Lebron is also charged with theft. The third woman wasn't involved in the sex and hasn't been charged.

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Federal, state agents join locals in Beaver Dam investigation

BEAVER DAM — Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger says explosive chemicals in an apartment are considered sensitive and unstable.

That's why the body of the man killed in a Monday explosion in that apartment is still inside, while investigators remain outside. Federal and state agents have joined local officials at the site. Most work is being limited to a garage area where more chemicals were found.

Kreuziger says they are not dealing with a meth lab. It isn't clear what the dead man was doing with all of the different chemicals in the Village Glen Apartment complex. More than 100 apartment residents were displaced while the work goes on, but some have been allowed to return. The man killed in the blast hasn't been identified.

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Northern Wis. impatient for faster internet access

SUPERIOR — Internet service is still slow in northern Wisconsin despite promises and hundreds of millions of dollars in federal subsidies.

Leaders in Superior and surrounding Douglas County are getting impatient. They say their neighbors are paying the same rate for internet service as customers farther south in Wisconsin, but the speed hasn't improved. CenturyLink is the regional main internet service provider. It got $332 million from the FCC's Connect America Fund. The company says it is meeting federal requirements and it plans to expand broadband service in Superior over the next several years.

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