Wisconsin roundup: Man allegedly used nails as political retribution; poll worker training promised to keep 17-year-olds from voting; 7 more state news stories
LA CROSSE — Polarized politics turns into criminal damage in La Crosse, where a man faces charges for tossing roofing nails into the driveways of Republican supporters.
Fifty-nine-year-old Martin Sellers told police he went after those with GOP yard signs after somebody stole his sign that supported a Democrat. According to the La Crosse Tribune, five homeowners reported nails in their driveways for three years — one saw his damage resume after President Donald Trump was inaugurated — and one victim had to replace four tires on his car.
Police say Sellers was caught when a surveillance camera spotted his license plate, and officials said he admitted acting "out of anger for the political system." Police booked the man Sunday for criminal damage and disorderly conduct.
Poll worker training promised to keep 17-year-olds from voting
MADISON — The chairman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission says poll workers will be trained better to make sure 17-year-olds don't vote in future elections.
At least 60 underage voters in 29 counties cast ballots in last April's presidential primary — and officials say most learned on social media that they could vote in the primary, as long as they turned 18 before November. Panel officials say Bernie Sanders' campaign was responsible, saying it blurred the various state election laws to give young readers the impression they could vote — and Elections Commission chairman Mark Thomsen told his fellow members Tuesday that Sanders should take responsibility. Sanders courted the youth vote, and he won Wisconsin's Democratic primary.
Ryan, Baldwin take opposite sides on health care plan's losses
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville says the estimate of 24 million people losing health insurance shows that the GOP's health care package would reduce premiums.
And the Wisconsin Republican says the Congressional Budget Office numbers show that the federal deficit would fall. Ryan also says the CBO report downplays his party's effort to give Americans more choices, and better access to plans they can afford.
But Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin says the Ryan plan would force millions of people to "pay more for less care," and in her words, "The people of Wisconsin did not send me to Washington to take people's health care away." Milwaukee House Democrat Gwen Moore says the Budget Office projects are "far worse" than expected.
Union raises questions in hiring of felon for state supervisor
MADISON — The regional head of a public employee union raised questions about the hiring of convicted felon Houston Jamison as a supervisor at a state home for the mentally disabled in Union Grove.
Rick Badger of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees questions whether the governor's civil service changes are effective — and whether the state's paying enough to attract better candidates. Jamison is scheduled to start Sunday at the Southern Wisconsin Center.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says he was convicted of shooting a gun into a floor during a domestic argument in 2008, he had a drunk driving conviction in 2014, and was investigated for a couple of prison incidents in previous stints as a supervisor. Julie Lund of the state Health Services agency says Jamison had his background and references checked.
Shullsburg fire chief extinguishes controversy
SHULLSBURG — The fire chief in Shullsburg has snuffed out a controversy about the time honored tradition of using fire trucks to escort high school champion sports teams back home.
On Sunday, the Shullsburg Fire Department Facebook page said it would only use its trucks for emergency calls — after noise complaints late Saturday night when the fire trucks escorted the boys' basketball team back into town from a sectional victory which earned Shullsburg its first state tournament bid since 1991.
Fire Chief Bradley Weigel wrote a statement Monday insisting his department never said it would not support the school's accomplishments — others used a train horn to make noise, as well as the fire trucks — and nobody pressed charges. Weigel's statement appeared on the Shullsburg Police Facebook page, while the Sunday post was on a page that had not been used for 15 months. Still, it attracted lots of attention from residents and area news media.
Viall proposes on 'The Bachelor'
WAUKESHA — After four efforts to court or be courted on national TV, Waukesha native Nick Viall has finally chosen a fiancee.
The former state high school and UW-Milwaukee track star got down on one knee and proposed to special education teacher Vanessa Grimaldi on Monday night's finale of its current "Bachelor" series on ABC. Viall made his choice following one week of dates in Finland with Grimaldi and runner up Raven Gates. Viall's father Chris, who lives in Waukesha, tells the Journal Sentinel he thought his son would choose Grimaldi — and they have as "good a chance as anybody" to make their romance work.
Pedestrian killed near Beaver Dam
BEAVER DAM — A 19-year-old pedestrian has died after being hit by a semi-trailer near Beaver Dam.
Dodge County sheriff's deputies say the teen was walking on the inside left lane of the Highway 151 expressway when he was struck by a 46-year-old trucker who escaped injury. The pedestrian, whose name was not immediately released, died at the scene. The incident happened about 9:30 p.m. Monday, and it's still being investigated.
Milwaukee police ID officer, wife killed in murder-suicide
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Police have released the names of an officer and his estranged wife killed in a weekend murder/suicide.
Officials say 47-year-old Leon Davis shot his 38-year-old wife Sherida, and then turned the gun on himself Saturday afternoon. Online court records show that the couple filed for a divorce last summer, and their next court appearance in the case was set for later in March. Davis had been with the Milwaukee police force for 22 years.
Coroner: Man found dead near Lake Mead was Wisconsinite
LAS VEGAS — Authorities in Las Vegas have identified man found dead near a shoreline in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area as a 53-year-old tourist from Wisconsin.
The Clark County, Nevada, coroner said Monday that it could take several days to determine what caused the death of Thomas A. Olsen of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Olsen's body was found March 8 in the desert, not far from a rental car found parked for several days at the Sunset View Overlook near the Colorado River reservoir behind Hoover Dam. Olsen had been reported missing Feb. 28, a day after he was seen leaving the Caesars Palace resort on the Las Vegas Strip.