Wisconsin roundup: Evers says he'll try to work with Republicans as he takes helm; more state news stories
Incoming Gov. Tony Evers says Wisconsin voters showed their displeasure with partisan politics when they elected him.
The Democrat officially assumed the top elective office in the state Monday. Evers says he will try to work with majority Republicans after becoming the state's 46th governor. Every statewide office in Wisconsin will be held by a Democrat, while Republicans maintained wide majorities in both the Assembly and state Senate. Evers' inauguration starts at 11 a.m.
Bill would criminalize first-time drunken driving cases
Legislation to criminalize first-time drunken driving is being circulated at the Wisconsin state Capitol.
Republicans Jim Ott and Alberta Darling are seeking co-sponsors for the measure. It would make a first-time OWI a misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. Wisconsin is the only state where first-offense drunken driving is a civil violation and not a criminal offense.
Walker not ready to retire from politics
Outgoing Gov. Scott Walker is not ruling out a future run for office or possibly his old job in four years.
The Republican governor lost his bid for a third term to Democrat Gov.-elect Tony Evers. Walker told the Associated Press Friday he would not rule out a future campaign either for governor again or U.S. Senate in four years. That's when Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's term ends. The GOP incumbent pledged to serve two terms in the U.S. Senate. The lame duck session bills signed into law by Walker were not very popular among Wisconsin residents.
Walker says he and his wife, Tonette, will live in a downtown Milwaukee condo after they move out of the governor's mansion Monday.
Walker continued living in his Wauwatosa home after he was first elected eight years ago. He's been living in the governor's mansion on Lake Mendota in Madison since 2016. Incoming Gov. Tony Evers has been living in a downtown Madison condo, but he and his wife, Kathy, will move into the governor's mansion after his inauguration at 11 a.m.
Wis. smoking rate down, but still higher than national average
The Wisconsin Department of Health reports the state's smoking rate is down to 16 percent — an all-time low.
That rate was 21 percent just seven years ago. The study shows low-income residents and minorities continue to smoke at much higher rates. Those numbers are also headed down, but not as rapidly as the overall figure. Wisconsin's rate of 16 percent is still higher than the national smoking rate of 14 percent.
Babysitting charged with first-degree intentional homicide
Formal charges of first-degree intentional homicide have been filed against a Wausau babysitter accused of causing the death of a 2-month-old child who was in her care last October.
Investigators say 28-year-old Marissa Tietsort dressed the dead boy in a snowsuit, then put him in a car seat and let the mother pick him up — without telling her her son was dead. Charges were filed Friday. Tietsort was already behind bars on child abuse charges in another case involving an 11-month-old girl.
Walker orders flags at half-staff in honor of Lake Mills firefighter
Gov. Scott Walker ordered flags in Wisconsin to fly at half-staff Sunday in honor of Lake Mills Fire Cpt. Christopher Truman.
Truman was killed by a suspected drunken driver New Year's Eve while assisting a driver involved in a crash on Highway 12 in Monona during a snowstorm. Truman was a member and volunteer of the Lake Mills Fire Department for 13 years. A memorial for Truman is being held on Sunday.
6 months after Sun Prairie explosion, families still look for homes
A nonprofit organization that helped Sun Prairie residents displaced by the downtown explosion last summer is asking local landlords to help.
Six families that lost their homes are still looking for a permanent residence six months later. The organization Sunshine Place says there were originally 35 families without homes. Monetary issues have slowed the process. The hope is to have the remaining families settled in a new home by mid-March.
Ruling: Jailers don’t have to follow inmates’ DNR orders
Wisconsin's attorney general tells jail workers they aren't bound by inmates' do-not-resuscitate orders.
Sauk County had requested the legal opinion after a prisoner wearing a DNR bracelet was incarcerated in September 2017. Attorney General Brad Schimel says only emergency medical technicians, emergency medical responders, emergency room staff and urgent care clinical staff are bound by those orders.