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Wisconsin roundup: Beloit College leader after threats: ‘Let us reject hate;' UW advises Muslim students not to leave U.S.; and 11 more state news stories

BELOIT -- Beloit College president Scott Bierman tells his campus community, "Let us reject hate together." That's after threats against two students at campus dorm rooms since last Friday.

The private school says an anti-Semitic note was slipped past the door of a student's room Friday -- and on Monday, a security officer found graffiti on another student's door which included the words "Muslim ban," and a swastika on the wall across from the student's room.

The college says Beloit city police have been investigating both incidents, and the school boosted its numbers of security staffers and is reviewing key card entry records to the dorms.

The college president says he's concerned about students' well being and in his words, he's "filled with anger and outrage because someone in our community feels emboldened to attack them."


GOP attorney general: Trump not a sacred cow

MADISON -- Wisconsin's Republican attorney general promises not to shy away from suing his party's new administration in Washington.

Brad Schimel's state Justice Department was a frequent party in lawsuits against the Democratic Obama White House, citing federal "overreach."

Schimel vows to sue President Donald Trump's GOP administration for matters that would have negative impact to Wisconsin, and if there's what he calls "unconstitutional overreach."

Schimel is not saying whether he supports the president's order to ban travel to the U.S. by immigrants from predominantly Muslim nations. He calls it a "policy decision," and he vowed to "steer clear" of policy matters that don't violate the U.S. Constitution and don't interfere with the state's Tenth Amendment autonomy.


No signs of foul play in Janesville fatal fire

JANESVILLE -- Investigators say there are no signs of foul play in a house fire that killed a 39-year-old man in Janesville.

The state Fire Marshal and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have been trying to find out what started the fire -- and a cause has not been determined.

The Dane County medical examiner's office says it's still trying to find dental records to confirm the victim's identity, and it's not known whether he lived in the building.

Officials say the Sunday night fire apparently started in the upper unit of the building where the victim was found. Several others escaped unharmed, and reports say a police officer pulled one woman off a balcony.


Woman charged in Mequon heroin death

PORT WASHINGTON -- A Milwaukee woman is due back in court Thursday, after being accused of providing the heroin that killed a 38-year-old man at his home in Mequon.

Twenty-six-year-old Brittany Evans is charged in Ozaukee County with first degree reckless homicide in the death of James Connors last August.

Police were told that Connors found two prostitutes online who provided drugs to him -- and officers say they found Evans' younger sister in the victim's apartment, where she denied flushing evidence down a toilet.

At Brittany Evans' next court appearance, a judge will decide if there's enough evidence to order a trial in the case.


Wisconsin gets 1-4 inches of snow Monday, fresh coating forecast

Most of Wisconsin could get a fresh coating of snow Tuesday, after 1-4 inches fell in much of the Badger State.

A wave of snow went through southern Wisconsin early Tuesday morning, with places from Richland to Jefferson counties getting close to 2 inches -- and Waukesha had 1 inch of snow plus freezing rain.

On Monday, the Green Bay area had more than 4 inches of new snow, and New Post in Sawyer County had the most with 4.3.

Minor accumulations are possible with Tuesday's snow, and the National Weather Service says it will be drier and colder from Wednesday through the end of the week.


UW advises Muslim students not to leave U.S.

MADISON -- UW-Madison has urged its nearly 90 students and staffers from predominantly Muslim countries not to leave the U.S. for any reason right now.

The state's largest campus also joined other U.S. colleges Monday in asking President Donald Trump to reconsider his temporary ban on entry visas.

Spokeswoman Meredith McGlone says the Madison campus knows of at least one student who's at risk of not being able to return -- and it's trying to find out if others face the same thing. Seventy-two students and 16 staff members are at the UW on visas from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and the Sudan.

In Janesville on Monday, several protesters gathered outside House Speaker Paul Ryan's home office to oppose the speaker's support of the president's travel ban.


Former juvenile inmate files federal civil rights suit

MADISON-- A former inmate at the state's Copper Lake juvenile institution for girls has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming it did not have enough staffers to deal with her suicide attempt. Eighteen-year-old Sydni Briggs of Janesville and her mother say the girl's civil rights were violated two years ago at the girls' school near Irma in Lincoln County -- and as a result, they say Sydni suffered severe brain damage and she'll need 24-hour rehab care for the rest of her life.

The Briggs lawsuit says Copper Lake did not have protections in place, even though she told a therapist she was considering suicide and bled her arms twice by scratching them.

The lawsuit claims a "prolonged rash of suicide attempts" at Copper Lake, which along with the boys' school at Lincoln Hills are being investigated by the federal government for numerous alleged abuses and civil rights violations.

The state says it's reviewing the lawsuit but has not commented further.


Former UW-Oshkosh vice chancellor denies wrongdoing

OSHKOSH -- Former UW-Oshkosh vice chancellor Tom Sonnleitner says he did nothing wrong when he helped transfer millions of tax dollars to a private foundation.

In a court filing Monday, Sonnleitner says he acted in good faith -- and school officials never objected to the actions until the Board of Regents challenged them in a lawsuit 13 days ago.

Sonnleitner and former Oshkosh chancellor Richard Wells are accused of illegally transferring $11 million in school funds so the foundation could move ahead with five building projects -- and the officials allegedly guaranteed that the university would cover the debt if the foundation couldn't.

A foundation board member recently said it might have to file for bankruptcy.

The projects included a downtown hotel in Oshkosh, a new campus sports complex and welcome center, and two energy biodigesters.


Woman dies after Milwaukee freeway crash

MILWAUKEE -- A suburban Chicago woman has died after riding in a car that slammed into a wall on a Milwaukee freeway.

Eighty-nine-year-old Frankie Johnson of Bellwood, Ill., died Monday at a hospital, after the crash Sunday night on southbound Interstate 94 on the city's south side.

Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies say two others were hospitalized after the car blew a rear tire before hitting the wall.


Wisconsin AG, group announce sex assault kit tracking

MADISON -- State Attorney General Brad Schimel and a sexual assault prevention group have launched a new initiative to help victims track evidence in their cases.

The Department of Justice and the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault Monday announced the creation of the By Your Side campaign. The campaign is designed to reach out to all sexual assault victims who had an evidence kit collected following an exam by a sexual assault nurse.

Victims can or go to to begin locating their kits and explore options for DNA testing. The website also offers contact information for support services.

More than 6,000 sexual assault evidence kits were sitting untested on Wisconsin shelves in 2014. DOJ received $4 million in federal grants in September 2015 to accelerate testing.


Milwaukee County pays almost $300 million for pension bonuses

MILWAUKEE -- Four Milwaukee County officials get backdrop bonuses of more than $1 million each for working past their retirement dates.

The Journal Sentinel says the million-dollar bonuses are the most for a single year since the backdrops began in 2001, and they're on top of the officials' normal pensions that range from $50- to $80,000 a year.

Officials who first promoted the backdrops said they would cost little in the long run, but they're about $5 million short of $300 million in total payments in the past 16 years.

One of the four new recipients, former Milwaukee County Zoo operations manager Karl Hackbarth, says he did not feel 100 percent right that the backdrops were offered, but he took it because he figured that not many would turn them down.

The backdrops were cut out for new employees more than 10 years ago.


Marquette University building to be named after ex-President

MILWAUKEE -- The first residence hall built at Marquette University in 50 years will be named after one of its most beloved former presidents who still works on campus in fundraising.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that President Michael Lovell announced earlier this month that the two-tower complex will be named in honor of the Reverend Robert A. Wild.

The hall's naming is being made possible by alumni Ray and Kay Eckstein, who have challenged the university to raise another $10 million toward construction. The couple will match that $10 million once that goal is met.

Lovell said the gift is being made in appreciation and honor of Wild's exceptional service and dedication to the university.


Sheboygan County cow sets new national milk production record

WALDO -- California may be the nation's top milk producer, but Wisconsin still has the hardest working cows.

A 4-year-old Holstein at Tom and Gin Kestell's farm near Waldo in Sheboygan County has set a 365-day lactation record of 77,480 pounds of milk, topping the previous mark of 74,650 pounds set early last year by a cow at Bur-Wall Holsteins of Brooklyn, south of Madison.

John Meyer, who heads Holstein Association USA, says the Kestell animal shows what a Holstein can accomplish when "excellent genetics, care and management are combined."

The animal is called "Ever Green View My Gold ET," named in part for the farm's name of Ever Green View Holsteins.