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Wisconsin state news briefs: Wisconsin governor proposes 3 tax cuts while hitting campaign trail; and more state news briefs

GREEN BAY -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker started his re-election campaign by proposing three tax cuts and beginning a television ad campaign.  

College graduates, seniors and working parents would benefit from the tax cuts. Walker made several stops around Wisconsin the day after the state's primary elections. He told an audience in Onalaska the state child tax credit he wants would be a "huge break for working families."  Democratic challenger Tony Evers says the incumbent has made many promises he hasn't kept over the last eight years.

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Wisconsin Sen. Johnson meets with Supreme Court nominee

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says the president's nominee for the Supreme Court is easy to support when his legal background and compelling personal history is considered.  

The Wisconsin Republican met with Judge Brett Kavanaugh in Washington Wednesday.  Johnson says he is confident Kavanaugh will apply the law "as a judge" and not try to change it as "a super-legislator." Hearings for the nominee are scheduled to start the day after Labor Day.

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National Guard soldier accused of sexually assaulting boy

WAUSAU -- Wausau police accuse a 28-year-old Wisconsin National Guard soldier of sexually assaulting a boy he met online. The incident reportedly happened Aug. 3 at the Plaza Hotel.  Anthony McWhorter entered a not guilty plea to four felony charges in Marathon County Circuit Court Wednesday. Investigators say he gave the 15-year-old victim an XBox and $500 in exchange for the sexual contact. McWhorter denied giving the boy oral sex and said he gave him the money and the gaming system because he was "trying to be nice."

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Milwaukee bus driver recognized for helping 2-year-old girl

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee County bus driver Diana Serrano was just starting her route on the city's south side when she spotted a small girl alone and in the street.

Serrano brought the 2-year-old onto her bus and called her dispatcher. She says she showed the child pictures of her daughter's dog and kept her safe on the bus and out of traffic.  Milwaukee police officers responded and the girl's mother quickly showed up. Serrano is being praised for keeping the child safe. Officials say this is the eighth time in less than two years an MCTS bus driver has helped a lost child.

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Contract agreement ends Trane strike

LA CROSSE -- Picket lines are down and workers are back on the job at the Trane plant in La Crosse. Members of two unions have reached an agreement on a new contract. The previous four-year contract expired Saturday and the membership had expressed doubts about the latest offer while rejecting it last week. Workers said they were seeking relief from the work weeks which sometimes included 60 hours on the job.

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Man accused of punching carpet installer, racing off in U-Haul truck

MADISON -- A Madison man accused of punching a carpet installer has been arrested on suspicion of battery and disorderly conduct.  

Witnesses say 35-year-old Edward I. Smith got mad at the worker when he thought some items had been stolen from his rented U-Haul truck. When police were called, Smith jumped in the van and took off, clipping an ambulance which was just arriving to help the injured worker. The incident happened at a downtown apartment complex Tuesday. The 54-year-old victim had a bloody lip and a swollen face.

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Hit-and-run driver sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing man

LADYSMITH -- A Rusk County judge has sentenced a hit-and-run driver to 10 years in prison.  Michael Niles pleaded no contest to a reduced charge. He admitted he had too much to drink the night his car went out of control in Ladysmith and hit Joseph Hraban, then left the scene.  Hraban was able to tell police what happened before he died of his injuries. The fatal accident happened in February 2017. Niles was sentenced Tuesday.

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Scientists checking to see if Lake Superior algae bloom is toxic

DULTUH, Minn. -- Scientists at the University of Minnesota-Duluth are checking to see if a large algae bloom on Lake Superior is toxic. The bloom has melted away for now, but it may have extended for up to 50 miles from near Superior to the Apostle Islands.  

The big lake is so deep and cold, blue-green algae blooms are very rare. So far, there has been little impact on Lake Superior's water quality. The scientists say they should know whether the bloom was toxic by the end of this week.

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Chicago man arrested in Appleton suspected of human trafficking in 9 states

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Attorney General's Office says a Chicago man was arrested last week on tentative human trafficking charges in at least nine states, including Wisconsin. Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said a criminal complaint was filed against Glenwood Brown Jr. in Outagamie County.

Investigators say Brown trafficked two young women out of hotel rooms in Appleton and Grand Chute using the now-defunct website Backpage. Investigators say Brown posted 225 advertisements for prostitution services in at least nine states, including Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

Brown was arrested on Aug. 7 in Appleton and is being held by the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office on tentative charges of two counts of receiving funds for human trafficking.

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Brendan Dassey's mother surrenders computer

MANITOWOC -- The attorney for convicted killer Steven Avery says she has received the computer she was seeking. Brendan Dassey's mother gave it up for a forensic examination Monday.   

Avery is Dassey's uncle and both are serving time for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. Avery is appealing. He says thousands of images found during a previous investigation of that computer included scenes of sexual violence against young women. The computer was primarily used by another person in the Dassey home. Avery's attorney says that person should have been a suspect in Halbach's murder.

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Chippewa County polling place broken into, suspect in custody

EDSON -- A suspect is in custody after a Chippewa County polling place was vandalized. The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office says the Edson Town Hall was broken into overnight Monday.  The site was used as a polling place on Election Day.

Deputies say a juvenile male broke a window after trying to get in through the doors. The suspect tried to start a fire inside. Deputies haven't said if the vandalism was motivated by Tuesday's election.

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Wisconsin State Fair attendance tops 1 million for 6th year in a row

MILWAUKEE -- Organizers report the Wisconsin State Fair set a record for attendance this year.  They say 1,037,982 people ate 55,000 grilled cheese sandwiches and 16,000 butterfly pork sandwiches, taking 90,000 rides on the WonderFair Wheel.  

The annual event topped 1 million in attendance for the sixth straight summer. More than 3,000 exhibitors took part in contests in agriculture, art, culinary competitions and much more.

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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