Tuesday Wisconsin News Roundup: Ryan: If Trump wants, I won't run GOP convention
JANESVILLE -- House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville said he will step down as a chairman of this summer's Republican National Convention if that's what Donald Trump wants.
Ryan told several Wisconsin news outlets Monday that Trump is the GOP nominee, and if he wants somebody else running the July convention, it's “his choice.”
Ryan made waves last week when he said he is not ready to support Trump for the White House, but he said he's against a conservative making a third party bid for the White House.
Ryan and Trump are scheduled to meet face-to-face Thursday.
Ryan said he has no preconceived notions of how he and Trump can resolve their differences.
“We can't pretend we're unified and then go into the fall half strength and lose the Supreme Court and the White House and suffer in Congress,” said Ryan.
Chippewa Valley seeing haze from Canadian wildfire
EAU CLAIRE -- Residents in and around the city of Eau Claire may be seeing and smelling the smoke coming from the north.
Forecasters say the Chippewa Valley is seeing the effects of the Canadian wildfire torching thousands of acres in Alberta.
Residents can expect to see more haze and smell more smoke at least until firefighters get the fires under control.
With gas pipeline down, Walker allows more runs by fuel trucks
The only gasoline pipeline between Milwaukee and Green Bay has been shut down for two months, and Gov. Scott Walker has issued an “energy emergency” that lets fuel trucks keep the product flowing.
The West Shore Pipeline Company has been repairing sections of its pipeline in the Jackson area since March. This is the same line that spilled 55,000 gallons of fuel in 2010.
The state's Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association asked Walker to take action after its Green Bay members raised concerns.
The group says there are no reports of stations running out of fuel. But the state's AAA says gas prices – at $2.23 per gallon -- in both the Milwaukee and Green Bay areas are six to nine cents more expensive than in other parts of Wisconsin.
Sen. Johnson meets today with Supreme Court nominee
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Senate Republican Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said he will meet today (Tuesday) with the president's nominee for the nation's highest court.
Johnson has been among the vocal opponents of confirming the choice of a Democratic president to replace a conservative.
Barack Obama appointed Appeals Judge Merrick Garland for the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Johnson has said in the past that he would be willing to meet with Garland, but it would not change his stance that the Senate should wait until the next president can appoint a nominee, thus giving voters an indirect say in who the next justice should be.
Summit seeks return to state wolf management
MADISON -- Two Republican state lawmakers said they will host a summit this fall to encourage the federal government to return the management of grey wolves to the states.
Hazelhurst Senator Tom Tiffany and Balsam Lake Rep. Adam Jarchow say livestock and pets are being killed because of a federal court ruling from 2014 that put wolves back under the federal Endangered Species Act -- thus banning the killing of any wolves, even those who kill other animals.
The court ruling also ended Wisconsin's three-year-old wolf hunt.
The Department of Natural Resources says wolves have killed 14 farm animals and pets so far this year, including a female cow in Shawano County that was about to have her first calf.
DNR specialist David MacFarland said his agency is doing what it can to prevent wolf attacks, including the use of fences, lights, sounds and animal guards.
Man dies two months after being punched by bus rider
MILWAUKEE -- A teenager who punched an 82-year-old bus passenger two months ago in Milwaukee may now be wanted for murder.
Abbas Yasin died Monday after he suffered a traumatic head injury.
Police say the victim and the suspect both got off a Milwaukee County transit bus March 17, and the teen followed Yasin, punched him to the ground and ran off.
Police released a video of the youngster last month, but they were still looking for the suspect at last word.
Facebook denies giving conservatives short shrift
Facebook denies withholding news about conservatives as part of its “Trending Topics.”
The Gawker media site “Gizmodo” reported the claim, citing a former journalist who worked on the section. The report was picked up by Wisconsin's largest newspapers because it mentioned that Gov. Scott Walker's activities were among those given the short shrift.
“Gizmodo” said stories from conservative outlets that were trending among Facebook users were not included in the topic list unless mainstream media outlets were also covering them.
A statement from Facebook says the section shows the most popular topics and hashtags that are talked about, and there are procedures to assure neutrality with no suppression of political viewpoints or prioritizing one over another.
West Allis man now charged in two murder cases
MILWAUKEE -- A West Allis man suspected of killing a resident in his apartment building and a motorist near Wisconsin Dells has now been charged in both those incidents.
It might be a while before Zachary Hays, 20, appears in court because he's still hospitalized after being shot by police following a freeway chase.
Hays was charged in Milwaukee County Monday with first-degree reckless homicide in the May 1 shooting death of Gabriel Claudio-Sanchez. Prosecutors said Hays shot into an apartment door while looking for a brother.
Hays was charged last week in Sauk County with intentional homicide and three counts of reckless endangerment for allegedly shooting at a random vehicle while driving home from Wisconsin Dells on the same day as the West Allis incident. Tracy Czaczkowski, 44, of suburban Chicago died.
Two of Hays’ brothers were also arrested. One of them -- Jeremy Hays, 30 -- is free on signature bond pending charges.
Walker to lead trade mission to Mexico
MADISON – Gov. Scott Walker will try to drum up more business this summer with Wisconsin's second largest trading partner.
Walker has announced a trade mission to Mexico for June 12-17.
Wisconsin businesses sold about $3 billion worth of products to Mexico last year -- almost 5% more than the previous year. That represented 13% of the state total exports.
The governor will be joined by officials from the state’s Economic Development Corporation and agriculture department. They plan to meet with leaders of Mexican companies, and they will attend an annual dairy trade show in Guadalajara.
State employee charged with possessing child porn
JUNEAU -- A state employee is due back in court Thursday after being charged with 10 felony counts of possessing child pornography.
Sean Robillard, 48, of Randolph was stopped last Tuesday as he was driving in Eau Claire, the same day officers executed a search warrant at his home with his stepson there.
Robillard is a technical engineer for the state's online court records.
According to reports, he allowed officers to search laptop computers he had in his vehicle when he was stopped, and he reportedly admitted that they had child porn.
Robillard is jailed under a $10,000 cash bond as he awaits a Dodge County Circuit Court hearing that will determine whether he will be ordered to stand trial.
Wisconsin Supreme Court hopeful steps down as Dane County judge
MADISON -- Dane County Circuit Judge Jim Troupis has resigned, saying he needs to work on the estate of his mother who died in March.
Troupis recently said he hopes to win Gov. Scott Walker's appointment to replace the retiring David Prosser on the State Supreme Court.
In his resignation letter, Troupis said, unlike an appellate judge, a trial judge needs to be in court every day. And because there is not a legal provision giving him time off to tend to his mother's estate, he stepped down effective last week.
Waukesha appellate Judge Mark Gundrum, a former GOP lawmaker, has also said he plans to seek the Walker appointment.
Request for new attorney denied for alleged hostage-taker
OSHKOSH -- A Winnebago County judge has rejected a request for a new attorney from a man accused of taking hostages at a Neenah motorcycle shop.
Brian Flatoff wrote a letter to Judge John Jorgensen recently asking that his public defender be replaced because she didn't seem to have time for his case and is encouraging him to take a plea agreement.
Television station WLUK reported Jorgensen has denied his request to assign a fourth attorney to his case.
Flatoff faces a long list of felony charges for the incident last December at Eagle Nation Cycles.
Chinese man gets 30 months in prison for synthetic drug dealing
MILWAUKEE -- A Chinese man has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in a federal prison for selling synthetic marijuana from the Milwaukee area.
Federal prosecutors were hoping to lock up 33-year-old Haijun Tian, 33, for more than 17 years after he struck a plea deal. But District Judge JP Stadtmueller said he could not find very much proof that Tian was responsible for making the K2 drug in question after an explosion at his plant in China in 2013 burned away much of the evidence.
Tian was arrested in 2014 when he flew into Los Angeles as part of a federal sting operation. He has served about half of his prison term while the case was going through the courts.
Wisconsin officers make ‘Unity Bike Ride’
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- More than 30 Wisconsin law enforcement officers started riding bicycles from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, Monday.
They are joining the “Unity Ride” to the National Law Enforcement Memorial. It's a fundraiser for the memorial and is held as part of National Police Week.
The Wisconsin delegation is also riding to honor State Patrol officer Trevor Casper, who was killed in a shootout with a bank robber in Fond du Lac last year and McFarland police Officer Ryan Copeland, who died in a traffic crash with a Department of Natural Resources vehicle while on duty.
Bill Birkholz helped send the Wisconsin bikes to Philadelphia for the event. It was his son, Fond du Lac officer Craig Birkholz, who was killed in the shootout five years ago.
Seymour teacher, coach due in court in sex case
GREEN BAY -- A teacher and coach at Seymour High School was in court in Green Bay Monday afternoon.
Thirty-four-year-old Nicholas Darnick, 34, has been in custody since Friday night and was charged Monday with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and child enticement-sexual contact.
Darnick is a health and physical education teacher who has coached the Seymour High girls basketball team since the fall of 2013.
La Crosse man charged with nine counts of child porn possession
A La Crosse man is due in court Friday on nine felony charges of possessing child pornography.
Brian Segner, 50, was arrested after officials searched his home computer and found 137 images of child porn along with two video files.
Authorities say Segner admitted using a file sharing service for several years to download child porn.