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Wisconsin news roundup: Sawyer County court clerk dies in apparent murder/suicide; DNC: Baldwin hails Hillary's health record, Moore slams Trump; nine more Wisconsin news stories

HAYWARD  --  An elected official in northwest Wisconsin has been killed in an apparent murder/suicide. Sawyer County sheriff's deputies say 56-year-old Claudia Burgan, the county clerk of courts, was shot in the chest Wednesday night at her home about 12 miles east of Hayward -- and she died later at a hospital. Fifty-eight-year-old Dennis Meyer, who lived with Burgan, was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The state Justice Department is helping Sawyer County sheriff's officials investigate. Burgan is being remembered for serving the county for almost two decades, and Circuit Judge John Yackel said everyone in the courthouse respected her.

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DNC: Baldwin hails Hillary's health record, Moore slams Trump

PHILADELPHIA, Penn.  --  Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin praises Hillary Clinton's record on health care, while Milwaukee's Gwen Moore slams Donald Trump's descriptions of women. Both federal lawmakers from Wisconsin made their remarks to the Democratic National Convention on its final night in Philadelphia. Appearing with a group of Senate women, Baldwin told how her grandparents had to pay for three months of hospital bills as a child, because she had a preexisting condition and nobody would cover her -- and Baldwin said she entered politics so other kids could get affordable care. Moore called some of Trump's descriptions of women "toxic language" that leads to sexual violence -- and she recalled her own experience of being sexually assaulted, saying women have been "bullied" and "beaten." Clinton accepted the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night, and Moore said the former Secretary of State would fight for women "each and every day."

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Waukesha deputies deny removing reporter from Pence Rally

WAUKESHA  --  Waukesha County officials say it was not their decision to remove a Washington Post reporter from Wednesday night's campaign rally with GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence. Deputies say they were backing up the Secret Service and private security staffers at the Waukesha Expo Center, and their only involvement was to pat down Post reporter Jose DelReal to see if he had a cellphone on him. Officials say DelReal arrived late, after a security sweep of the media area -- and Waukesha County sheriff's inspector Torin Misko says deputies had no idea why an event staffer escorted DelReal out of the building. The Post has been denied media passes for White House nominee Donald Trump's campaign events, but the paper's reporters normally get in with the general public. Pence's campaign promised to look into the incident.

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Two New Mexico men hospitalized from Fond Du Lac plane crash

FOND DU LAC  --  Two men from Santa Fe, N.M. remain hospitalized after their single plane crashed at the Fond du Lac County Airport. Sheriff's officials say 78-year-old David Spencer has life threatening injuries, and his 71-year-old passenger Rafael Chaves has lesser but serious injuries. According to the Fond du Lac County sheriff's department, the small plane had a mechanical problem right after it took off Thursday morning -- and when it tried to come back to land, the pilot apparently lost control during a quick banking maneuver. The FAA is investigating. Fond du Lac is among the airports which have a large increase in traffic this week due to the EAA's Air Venture Show at nearby Oshkosh.

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Suspects sought after cemetery headstones were tipped

GREEN BAY  --  Green Bay Police are looking for those who vandalized dozens of gravestones at Fort Howard Memorial Park. It was first reported that up to 100 grave markers were tipped to the ground on Wednesday night -- but WBAY TV says the number was later revised down to 40 because of a miscommunication. Police say maintenance workers could put some of the stones upright. Police Captain Kevin Warych says it took a sizable amount of force to bring them down -- and he calls the vandalism a "senseless act" because it strikes the hearts of numerous survivors and the community as a whole. The TV station says three boys were arrested in 2013 for vandalizing headstones at the same cemetery.

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State fairgoers to enter through metal detectors

WEST ALLIS  --  The 161st Wisconsin State Fair opens next Thursday in West Allis with something it never had before -- metal detectors at the gates. Interim CEO Kathleen O'Leary says recent worldwide terrorist incidents have made safety a top priority at the State Fair. She says visitors will not need to remove their belts or shoes like they do at U.S. airports. Fairgoers with larger bags, strollers and wagons will be checked with wands. O'Leary tells WISN TV the fair will have 50 additional public safety officers -- and while the officers have had extensive training, O'Leary says visitors should allow more time to enter the 11-day State Fair, which runs from Aug. 4-14.

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EAA: Harrison Ford pilots 2 millionth "Young Eagles" flight

OSHKOSH  --  Actor Harrison Ford has helped the EAA in Oshkosh achieve a huge milestone. On Thursday, Ford piloted the 2 millionth flight for the association's Young Eagles program, which encourages 8-17-year-olds to become interested in aviation by taking their first free airplane rides. Sixteen-year-old Jodie Gawthrop of West Chester, Ill., joined Ford on the milestone ride -- and she says she's thankful for the chance to pursue her "dreams of flying." Ford has been involved with the Young Eagles since the program began 24 years ago. He's no stranger to the Oshkosh area, having attended nearby Ripon College.

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State Patrol Chief Stephen Fitzgerald to retire

MADIDSON -- After almost 50 years in law enforcement, State Patrol Superintendent Stephen Fitzgerald will retire next Friday. He was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker in 2011, after serving for 14 years as the Dodge County sheriff. Fitzgerald was also a U.S. marshal for the western half of Wisconsin. The Republican Walker praised Fitzgerald for leading the State Patrol with a "steady hand." His sons Scott and Jeff both held leadership positions in the Legislature when he was appointed. Scott Fitzgerald is still the Senate's Republican majority leader, while Jeff Fitzgerald was the Assembly speaker when he stepped down at the end of 2012 to become a lobbyist.

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Charges filed against suspect sought for double murder

MILWAUKEE --  Charges have been filed against a 24-year-old Milwaukee man wanted for the killings of two people during a group argument 12 days ago. An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for 24-year-old Terry Strickland, on two charges of first degree intentional homicide. According to prosecutors, he shot 38-year-old Maurice Brown, Jr. multiple times -- and he shot 38-year-old Michael Reed in the head. It happened July 17 in an argument that involved up to eight men in a north side Milwaukee neighborhood.

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Avery blames trial lawyers for his murder conviction

Steven Avery says he would not be in prison if his two trial lawyers would have done any investigating into his case. Avery wrote the allegation in a new letter to In Touch Weekly. He and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were convicted of raping, burning and shooting Teresa Halbach in 2005 at the Avery family auto salvage yard in Manitowoc County. It's one of the most notorious crimes in modern Wisconsin history, because DNA evidence freed Avery from prison for a rape he didn't commit, however it helped convict him of murder just a few years later. His case was featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" late last year, in which producers made the case for the 54-year-old Avery's innocence. The series portrayed trial lawyer Dean Strang favorably.  Now, Chicago area attorney Kathleen Zellner is handling another request by Avery for a new trial.

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Police help save boy with autism near Miller Park

MILWAUKEE  --  Several Milwaukee police officers are being called heroes for helping save a 6-year-old boy with autism. Police say an officer patrolling the Brewers game at Miller Park Tuesday was flagged down by a man who said his son went missing. Authorities were searching the area when a woman yelled that a child was in the Menomonee River near the pedestrian bridge. Two off-duty police officers attending a tailgate ran into the river and pulled the boy to safety.

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 Febraury 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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