Wisconsin statewide news roundup - Wednesday
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Donald Trump is telling Wisconsin's top Republicans to "get over it," after they criticized his stance against a federal judge due to his Mexican descent.
Three of the state's highest GOP elected officials -- House Speaker Paul Ryan, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, and Gov. Scott Walker -- were among the Republicans criticizing Trump for being against a judge with Mexican parents hearing his court case involving Trump University.
The presumptive GOP White House nominee issued a statementTuesday that his remarks were "misconstrued," denying a racist motive -- and later on Fox News, Trump said Republicans have a "lot of anger" they have to get past, noting it's OK if they don't endorse him. Ryan calls Trump's remark from last week a "textbook definition of a racist comment."
Gender not rallying point for Clinton among Wis. women
MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin women do not seem to be rallying around Democrat Hillary Clinton just because she's the first woman to secure a major party presidential nomination.
UW-Milwaukee professor Kathy Dolan says young women in particular believe that a candidate's gender should not determine their vote. Exit polls from the April Wisconsin primary showed that Clinton and Bernie Sanders split the women's Democratic vote -- and a Marquette Law School poll just before the primary showed that 64 percent of Wisconsin women under 30 chose Sanders, while 30- to 60-year-old women split between him and Clinton.
Luz Sosa is a national convention delegate committed to Sanders. And while she'll vote for Clinton in November, she told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel the former secretary of state needs to be more likable and less "robotic" to attract more young female voters.
Regents to consider various UW-Madison requests
MADISON -- The UW Board of Regents will consider some key requests involving the flagship campus at Madison Thursday andFriday.
There are two building proposals. One would renovate the Witte Hall dormitory for $47 million -- and the other would add $4 million for unexpected asbestos, electrical, and plumbing issues in a reconstruction of the Memorial Union.
Also, Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank will ask to spend an $800,000 donation from Eleanor Casebier to help alleviate the school's budget crunch. Because the donation was not designated for anything specific, the Regents generally prevent the principal from being spent while allowing only investment interest to be spent.
Lawmaker blames Milwaukee mayor for regional crime
MILWAUKEE -- A Republican state lawmaker blames Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for spreading violent crime into the suburbs.
Rep. Janel Brandtjen of suburban Menomonee Falls says she might push for a cut in state funds to the city unless it fills vacant police officer jobs, arrests more car thieves, sends more repeat criminals to prison, and stands up to judges she says "let repeat offenders off easy."
Brandtjen says residents in northwest suburban Washington County were "held hostage in their homes" recently as police chased five alleged Milwaukee carjackers into the suburbs where they were arrested. Barrett's office says it would "welcome" Brandtjen's assistance in reducing violent crime -- and city officials note that recent state budget cuts were more than offset by higher city spending for law enforcement.
Two Democratic lawmakers call Brandtjen's comments racist, while GOP Gov. Scott Walker says taking money away is not the answer, and Milwaukee is in greater need of support.
Northeastern Wisconsin zoo deals with deaths of otters
SUAMICO -- The Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo plans to say moreWednesday about the recent deaths of three North American otters.
Zoo director Neal Anderson tells the Green Bay Press Gazette that a 2-year-old mother and two pups born in March appeared to be OK last Wednesday -- but they got very ill on Thursday.
He says a veterinarian believes that a rapidly moving virus may have affected the otters -- but it won't be confirmed until final results become available in about three or four weeks.
In the meantime, two remaining adult otters and two youngsters are being isolated as a precaution. The Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo is in Suamico, north of Green Bay.
Man accused of leading police into Fox River while naked
WAUKESHA -- A Waukesha man is due back in court next Tuesdayafter being accused of leading police on a car and foot chase into the Fox River while he was nude.
Police say 29-year-old Mark Hunkins was either loitering or trying to rob somebody early on June 1 when a neighbor called 911 -- and when officers responded, Hunkins car refused to stop so a chase ensued.
Officers removed the defendant from the Fox River, but they say he lunged at the patrol personnel -- so they subdued him with a Taser stun gun. A judge sent Hunkins to jail under a $15,000 cash bond on two felony counts of fleeing officers, two misdemeanor charges of obstructing police and one misdemeanor count of lewd and lascivious behavior.
Two dead, at least 2 others injured in Hobart homicides
HOBART -- Police say two people have died, and two others were injured at a house in Hobart just west of Green Bay.
Hobart Lawrence Police Chief Randy Bani says his officers were called just before 8 p.m. Tuesday to a situation involving weapons -- and they did not know how serious it was until they got there. Officials say the public is not in danger, but they did not confirm any other major details of the incident.
State Justice agents and crime lab personnel are helping Brown County and local officers investigate.
Firefighter pleads not guilty in drunk driving deaths
MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee firefighter has pleaded not guilty to causing a drunk driving crash that killed two people.
Thirty-one year old Joshua Larson waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday, and he entered pleas instead to four felony charges that include homicide by drunk driving.
Prosecutors say Larson had just left a Brewers game on April 4 when his pickup truck was going 70 mph on a West Allis street -- and it struck a minivan that was leaving a factory, and then hit a car.
An Uber driver, 64-year-old Yoruba Lundasi, was killed along with his passenger Wendell Johnson. Larson is due back in court June 17, when a trial date is expected to be set.
Tree trimmer falls 75 feet from bucket truck
MADISON -- A tree trimmer is hospitalized after falling 75 feet from a bucket truck south of Madison.
Dane County sheriff's deputies say a 50-year-old man from Albany was working for a private tree trimming service when he fellTuesday afternoon -- perhaps because a boom connected to the truck had snapped.
Almost 50 Wisconsin Power and Light customers lost power soon after the incident. But officials say the man was not working next to power lines, and there was no indication he was electrocuted. He was taken to UW Hospital in Madison, where he was in serious condition at last word.
Five injured in food plant chemical spill
GERMANTOWN -- Five people were hospitalized following a chemical spill at a food plant in a Milwaukee suburb.
Broadcast reports say dozens of employees were evacuated from Gehl Foods in Germantown Tuesday because of some type of hazardous chemical release. Authorities say the five people were not seriously injured. The foods processing plant is in a residential neighborhood in Germantown, north of Milwaukee.
Amendment would continue Navy shipbuilding in Marinette
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Marinette Marine would not have to worry about losing the Navy's business, under an amendment to a major defense bill.
Right now, two types of littoral combat ships are being manufactured, one in Marinette, and the other at a plant in Mobile, Ala. The Pentagon previously wanted to let only one version be built, which might cut Marinette Marine out of the picture.
Also, the Defense Department wants to reduce the total number of littoral combat ships from 52 to 40. Lockheed Martin has the main contract, and three ships have been delivered so far including the USS Milwaukee which was christened last fall. Marinette is currently making seven more boats that are in various stages of progress.