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Wisconsin state news briefs: Madison Police arrest suspect In UW student's beating, and more state news

MADISON -- Madison police have taken a suspect in the beating of a student at the University of Wisconsin into custody. Twenty-two-year-old Jerome Winslow was picked up on a probation hold Wednesday night. Police Chief Mike Koval says there was a greater sense of urgency to get the suspect off the streets because the weekend attack was brutal and unprovoked. The victim suffered serious facial injuries, but she is expected to survive.  Her name hasn't been released.

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Good Samaritan uses tow strap to rescue 19-year-old man from creek

WHEATLAND -- A good Samaritan says he keeps a tow strap in his car for emergencies and has used it to help get other cars out of a ditch. Thursday morning was the first time Matthew Snoerk had ever used it to help save a person from drowning.  

The 19-year-old victim was shouting for help in a creek near the Fox River after his car had swerved off a county road. Snoerk and Kenosha County highway worker Bill Fink pulled the victim to safety at about 6:30 a.m.  The name of the man they saved hasn't been released.

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Semitruck driver flips off bus driver as he blows through stop lights

FENNIMORE -- A citation has been issued to the driver of a semi-truck who failed to stop for a school bus dropping off children Wednesday afternoon. The driver hasn't been identified, but four points have been taken off his license. Witnesses say the big rig driver not only endangered the students getting off the bus, he also flipped off the bus driver as he drove past. Wisconsin authorities tracked the driver down to the Pennsylvania company where he works.

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Rock County Courthouse guards may carry guns

JANESVILLE -- Security guards at the Rock County Courthouse could begin carrying guns as part of a plan to improve safety at the Janesville public building. More than 1,500 people visit the courthouse each weekday.  

Global Security Services made the proposal. The change would cost Rock County $13,000 and the county board will make the final determination. The idea will go before the general services committee first.

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Assembly Speaker open to negotiating with Governor on tax cut plan

MADISON -- Republicans and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers want to cut taxes, but they differ over how to do it.  

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he's open to negotiations. His party's version of the bill would use a budget surplus to cover the lost revenue and it is to be debated Tuesday in the Assembly. Vos says he's open to alternatives as long as nobody's taxes go up. Evers wants to cut or eliminate a tax credit for manufacturers.

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Burned body found in Illinois identified as Milwaukee teacher

WARREN TOWNSHIP, Ill. -- An Illinois medical examiner used dental records to identify the burned body found in a car last weekend as a missing Milwaukee teacher.  

Fifty-six-year-old Kathleen Ryan was reported missing Saturday night. She was headed to a high school basketball game where two of her sons were coaching. Ryan was a business teacher at Milwaukee's St. Augustine School.

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Jury finds rural Poynette man guilty of poisoning dog

PORTAGE -- A jury in Columbia County Circuit Court has found a rural Poynette man guilty of mistreatment of animals and stalking.  

Twenty-eight-year-old Trent L. Hebel had been accused of poisoning a 4-year-old golden retriever who died in 2015. Columbia County deputies were called to investigate suspicious food containers found in a fenced-in backyard in 2016. One contained rat poison-tainted meat. No sentencing date for Hebel has been set.

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Former Wisconsin governor to get $15-25K per speech

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A Virginia-based national speakers group has added former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to its list. Walker will receive $15,000 to $25,000 to speak on topics like "the power of faith in times of crisis" and "insights on the current and future political landscape in America."  

Walker served two terms as Wisconsin top political leader before he was defeated by Democrat Tony Evers last November. Other speakers represented by World Wide Speakers Group include Gen. John Kelly, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.

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Milwaukee community mourns, pays tribute to slain police officer

MILWAUKEE -- Tributes are mounting on a makeshift memorial for slain Milwaukee police Officer Matthew Rittner outside the police station where he worked.  

Rittner is being remembered by his former Greenfield High School classmates and veterans who served alongside him in the Middle East. Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales also has praise for officers who arrested the suspect after Rittner was fatally shot Wednesday. Chief Morales says the members at the scene "utilized tremendous, tremendous restraint during his apprehension which is a true testament to their character and their professionalism."  

Detectives are still gathering evidence as suspect Jordan Fricke awaits formal charges in jail.

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Johnson introduces amendment to delist gray wolf in Great Lakes states

WASHINGTON, DC --  U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is sponsoring a bi-partisan amendment to the Natural Resources Management Act that would delist the gray wolf in the western Great Lakes states.  

The amendment would restore the gray wolf to the status deemed appropriate by Department of the Interior wildlife experts in 2011, and return management of the wolf population to the Wisconsin DNR. Johnson said," gray wolf listing decisions should come from wildlife experts, not from courtrooms." Fellow Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is a co-sponsor.

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Two Wisconsin climate-change activists among 4 arrested at protest site

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. -- Four Wisconsin climate-change activists have been arrested while trying to shut down the operation of a Minnesota pipeline. Two of those taken into custody by the Itasca County Sheriff's Department are from Cuba City, Wisconsin.  

Brenna Cussen Anglada and Daniel Yildirim were part of a group from the Catholic Worker movement who are accused of breaking into a fenced area near Grand Rapids. They were trying to access shut-off valves for an Enbridge oil pipeline, but the company diverted the flow from a remote location.  

The four Catholic Workers are charged with felony level aiding and abetting pipeline property damage and a misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property.

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40-year-old Green Bay-area man could get life sentence if convicted

GREEN BAY -- A 15-year-old girl told Green Bay police a man began sexually abusing her when she was in the third or fourth grade. Forty-year-old Marc Hoppe could spend the rest of his life in prison if he is found guilty of sexual assault charges.  

There are two victims whose names haven't been released. The second one is 11-years-old. A detective with Green Bay police met with the girls and their parents late last month.

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Columbia County Correctional Institution ending 23-day lockdown

PORTAGE -- The State Department of Corrections says it is ending a 23-day lockdown at a central Wisconsin facility. Normal scheduled visitations will resume Friday and all other inmate activities and programs will start up again over the next few days.  

The lockdown at the Columbia County Correctional Institution went into effect Jan. 14. At that time, officials say they needed to perform a complete and thorough search of the prison to get rid of contraband.

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Man accused in shooting death of Beloit 5-year-old pleads guilty

BELOIT -- A 24-year-old suspect in the fatal shooting of a Beloit 5-year-old has pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless homicide charges.  

Isaac W. Torres is one of four suspects in the case. Torres returns to court April 5 for a sentencing hearing. He identified Sergio Ortiz-Raygoza as the person who fired the shot which killed Austin Ramos Jr. while the boy was a passenger in a car driven by his father last year.

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Sen. Baldwin expects reauthorization of Land and Water Conservation Fund

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin says she expects the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to pass no later than next week. Hunters, fishermen and conservationists had asked the Wisconsin Democrat to work on its passage when they met with her last September. The fund uses money from federal oil and gas leases for projects in parks, rivers and forests. It had expired four months ago. Baldwin says this passage will be permanent.

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Eau Claire woman charged with attacking her mother

EAU CLAIRE -- Two of the five charges filed against an Eau Claire woman are felonies connected to an assault on her mother. Michelle Gritzmacher-Ring made an initial appearance in Eau Claire County Circuit Court Tuesday. Investigators say she pushed the 66-year-old victim out of her wheelchair and punched her in the back last weekend. The two women were arguing about the daughter's drinking. The suspect's boyfriend confirmed the assault. She could be sentenced to up to four years in prison if she is convicted.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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