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Wisconsin Roundup: Republicans Seek Cutbacks Of State Air, Water Protections; and more state news

State lawmakers look to address air and water quality regulations as well as fees for credit freezes. RiverTown Multimedia file photo

MADISON — Republican lawmakers want Wisconsin to reduce its protections for wetlands and air quality to what the federal government requires. Lawmakers say they're trying to get rid of expensive rules for businesses — but the Wisconsin State Journal says 1 million acres of wetlands could be lost, and up to 300 types of hazardous air pollutants might go without regulations. The state Wetlands Association says the dropping of state protections could cause more floods and groundwater pollution — but the office of GOP Sen. Roger Roth of Appleton says only a few states regulate wetlands beyond federal mandates, and businesses that cover up wetlands would still pay fees to restore them elsewhere. Meanwhile, GOP Sen. Duey Strobel and Representatives Jesse Kremer and Cody Horlacher are seeking sponsors for a bill to end DNR air pollution rules not covered by federal laws. The lawmakers say only one-third of the pollutants in question are actually emitted.

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Bill Would End Fees For Personal Credit Freezes

MADISON — In the wake of the Equifax data breach, state lawmakers of both parties propose a bill to end a fee to place or remove freezes on personal credit reports. Senate Republican Patrick Testin of Stevens Point says it does not make sense to charge people to be "in control of their own information and their own data." The Federal Trade Commission says credit freezes stop all access by potential lenders to your credit report — a common step for victims of identity theft. They can also order free fraud alerts, in which creditors must verify your identity before they can see your report. Testin says the fee is only about $10 for a credit freeze, but it adds up when it's given twice to each of the three major credit bureaus — and the FTC website says some states charge the fees, but it does not say how many.

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Madison Murder Trial Begins

MADISON — Testimony begins Tuesday in the trial of a man accused in a brutal murder in downtown Madison. Darrick Anderson, 24, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and several misdemeanors, after he allegedly stabbed Andrew Nesbitt more than 70 times in a Madison apartment in March. A motive for the killing has not been disclosed. A jury was selected Monday in Dane County Circuit Court, and testimony is expected for much of the next two weeks.

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Search Continues For Missing Man In Northwest Wisconsin

MAPLE, WI — A search resumes this Tuesday morning for a northwest Wisconsin man missing since last Thursday. Rescuers and volunteers spent their Monday looking for 52-year-old Fred Loustari of the town of Cloverland near Maple in Douglas County. Officials believe that his last known contact was when he called his wife from his home. His car was later found on land owned by the family in Cloverland. Sheriff's deputies were notified Sunday — and Monday's search involved rescuers from Douglas and Sawyer counties and the Minnesota county of Saint Louis — plus volunteers who trudged through wet soils.

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Father Of Vegas Shooter From Sheboygan

SHEBOYGAN, WI — The father of Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock was born in Sheboygan and later became a serial bank robber and psychopath. Benjamin Paddock was born in 1926 — and more than 50 years later, the Sheboygan Press said the city's police had no contact with him except for a poster showing that he was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. Paddock was put on the list in 1969 — he escaped from prison in 1971 from a bank robbery sentence — he was arrested in Oregon in 1978 for running an illegal bingo hall — and he died in 1998. His son Stephen Paddock killed at least 59 people and wounded 527 when he opened fire on a country music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort in Vegas Sunday night. Benjamin Paddock reportedly had several aliases, and newspaper columnist Don Bishoff said he once claimed to be a pro football player and wrestler, a Dixieland singer, and an auto racing crew chief — and as Bishoff wrote, "Some of that may have been true."

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UW Eau Claire Grad Critically Injured In Vegas Shooting

LAS VEGAS, NV — A UW Eau Claire graduate wounded in the Las Vegas shootings was in critical condition at last word. Philip Aurich is an area president for a mortgage company in Las Vegas, and he was among the hundreds who survived after being shot at Sunday night's Route 91 country music festival. He's a native of Minnesota, where he graduated from Concordia Academy in Roseville in 1999 — and he received a degree from Eau Claire in 2005. Aurich is the father of two daughters. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton asked people on Monday night to pray for his recovery.

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Body Found In Dane Could Be Missing Person

DANE, WI — Dane County sheriff's deputies say they're not sure whether a body found Monday was that of a 27-year-old woman missing since last Thursday. Deputies say the body was found in the water at Lake Melvin Park in the village of Dane, northwest of Madison. Investigators say Marisa Dahms was last seen in the park last Thursday. The death is being investigated, and Dane County sheriff's officials are asking the public for information about the case.

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Waushara Co. Sheriff: Man Found Dead After House Fire Was Homeowner

WAUSHARA COUNTY, WI — Authorities have released the name of the man found dead after a fire in Waushara County nearly two weeks ago. Television station WLUK reports that the Waushara County Sheriff's Office says that the body of 62-year-old Sean Kerry Bruechert was found in the remains of the house Sept. 20. He was the owner of the house on Highway A in the town of Bloomfield where firefighters were called the previous night. The fatal house fire remains under investigating.

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Appleton Paper Firm Appvion Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

APPLETON, WI — An employee-owned paper company in Appleton has filed for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy. Appvion, the former Appleton Papers, reported debts of $445 million dollars in June with assets of $378 million. The company makes carbonless, thermal, and other types of papers. Chapter Eleven allows financially struggling companies to reorganize, and Appvion says it has $85 million dollars in financing commitments from a group of lenders with the first liens on the company. Appleton Papers started in 1907, and its successor firm now has 820 employees in Appleton and 1,400 total workers with other facilities in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

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Dodge County Deputies Probe Train Death

LOMIRA, WI — Dodge County sheriff's deputies are investigating the death of a person who was hit by a passing train. It happened about 11:50 p.m. Sunday in Lomira. Officials say a Canadian National freight train was going north near Industrial Drive and County Trunk Double "H" when the victim was struck and died at the scene. It did not occur at a highway crossing.

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