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Wisconsin statewide news roundup - Monday, June 13

Wisconsin responds to Orlando slayings

Wisconsin's top Republicans are speaking out more loudly against terrorism in the wake of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando. 

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Sunday's mass shootings at the Pulse gay nightclub that killed 50 people -- while the father of accused shooter Omar Mateen says his son recently got upset when he saw two men kissing while in Miami. 

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville updated his Twitter commentSunday evening by writing, "We need to be clear eyed about who did this -- we are a nation at war with Islamic terrorists." Ryan earlier extended sympathies for the victims and their families -- and GOP Gov. Scott Walker did the same while tweeting, "United we stand against terrorism." 

An official of the Islamic Society of Wisconsin says the violence is "not acceptable."

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Wisconsin's federal response to Orlando

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson says his committee will support the federal role in investigating the mass shootings in Orlando. 

The Wisconsin Republican calls the worst mass shooting in U.S. history a "terror" attack. That's after the suspect, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, reportedly told law enforcement he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State before officers killed him in a shootout. 

Earlier, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville tweeted that the victims and their families will "not be forgotten." Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay U.S. senator, says it is "past time to act together" to "stand united against hate, gun violence, and terrorism."

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Obama-Clinton Wisconsin appearance delayed

NEW YORK -- The Orlando attack caused Democrat Hillary Clinton to postpone her visit to Green Bay on Wednesday with President Barack Obama. 

The president and his possible successor were going to appear together for the first time since Obama endorsed Clinton, the Democrats' presumptive nominee for the fall White House election. The Clinton camp says it will announce details on rescheduling the Green Bay event as soon as possible. 

Brown County Democratic Party vice chairman Rich Langan says he's just fine with the postponement. He tells WLUK-TV that the worst mass murder in American history "trumps a campaign 100 percent."

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Vinehout: Wisconsin needs water answers

MADISON -- Wisconsin Sen. Kathleen Vinehout says it's time the Department of Natural Resources provide some real answers about the state's drinking water. 

A new audit shows the DNR didn't send required letters to over 90-percent of the local water districts which failed water quality tests. 

The agency says it followed up on each test, just not with a letter. Vinehout, an Alma Democrat who represents portions of Pierce County, says everyone drinks water and everyone needs to have confidence in Wisconsin's water quality.

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Man hurt in Lake Winnebago tubing accident

FOND DU LAC -- A 32-year-old Fond du Lac man was seriously hurt in a Sunday afternoon boating accident on Lake Winnebago. 

Police say the man jumped from the rear of a boat that was pulling an inner tube the man was trying to reach -- but the boat's throttle was engaged, and the propeller was spinning when the man got one of his legs caught in it. Officials say the leg was severely bleeding, and he was flown to a Neenah hospital. 

His name and condition were not immediately released. Fond du Lac County sheriff's deputies continue to investigate the mishap, which took place about three-quarters of a mile from the shore of Fond du Lac.

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Baraboo woman killed in Sauk County crash

LAKE DELTON -- Sauk County sheriff's deputies say high speed was partially to blame for the death of a 23-year-old woman in a weekend crash near Lake Delton. 

Officials have not released the victim's name, but an obituary to the Baraboo News Republic identifies her as Sarah Holm. Deputies say her vehicle lost control on a sharp curve and struck a tree lateSaturday afternoon. The crash remains under investigation.

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Wisconsin responds to Orlando tragedy

More than 100 people gathered outside the State Capitol in Madison to express their thoughts about Sunday's mass shooting that killed 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando. 

Organizer Callen Harty says that for every mass killer, there are "thousands upon thousands" of kind and generous people -- and they're the ones responding. 

Former Orlando resident Thommy Sandvick was among dozens attending a vigil in La Crosse. He tells WKBT-TV he visited the Pulse nightclub many times -- and he was still waiting to hear Sundaynight whether a couple of people were involved in the massacre. 

Almost two dozen people attended a similar vigil in downtown Wausau -- and in Milwaukee, Mayor Tom Barrett and the city's LGBT Community Center have scheduled a vigil Monday night outside of City Hall.

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Groups ask that those struggling with voter ID be allowed to cast ballots

MADISON -- Two groups are asking a federal judge to let people having a hard time getting a photo ID cast their ballots anyway. 

The motion filed in Madison federal court Friday was submitted by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty. They say the person experiencing the trouble should be able to sign an affidavit starting why they can't comply. 

Reasons submitted include lack of transportation, not having a birth certificate, disability or illness and family responsibilities. The Wisconsin Justice Department is opposing the request.

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State: Med facilities shy away from treating former deputy

MADISON -- A state official says at least some medical facilities will not treat former Dane County sheriff's deputy Andrew Steele, an ALS patient found innocent by insanity for two murders. 

Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara told a state agency Friday to keep looking for a place that will treat the 41-year-old Steele, and come up with a plan for a conditional release. Steele is still getting care at the state's Mendota Mental Health Institute, but the judge ruled in March he could go to another facility that's more adept at treating what the judge called Steele's "powerless, paralytic body ravaged by an irreversible and unrelenting disease." 

State health services official Beth Dodsworth says 40 facilities have been contacted, none said they were interested in treating Steele, and his high profile murder case was a major factor. Steele killed his wife and sister in law in Fitchburg in 2014.

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Trial to being for 1990 murder of Berit Beck

FOND DU LAC -- A trial is scheduled to begin Monday morning for the 1990 murder of 18-year-old Berit Beck. 

A jury will be selected to hear the case Dennis Brantner, a 62-year-old former truck driver who is charged with first degree murder. Officials say Beck was driving from her home at Sturtevant to Appleton for a work seminar -- but she stopped at Fond du Lac to buy some things, and her skeletal remains were discovered five weeks later in a ditch with tall weeds in a rural area near Fond du Lac. 

After pursuing another suspect for two decades, sheriff's detectives say they found Brantner's fingerprints in Beck's van in 2014, and he was later arrested. Brantner has denied any involvement, and his trial is scheduled to run for three weeks in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court.

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One dead, 1 injured in Waushara County crash

WAUTOMA -- A passenger has died in a one car crash in central Wisconsin. 

Waushara County sheriff's deputies say the driver was flown to a hospital in Neenah after the auto apparently hit several trees earlySunday morning on a rural road in the town of Saxeville, northeast of Wautoma. The passenger died at the scene. Both were male, but their names were not immediately released.

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Two SWAT teams take man into custody

FOOTVILLE -- SWAT teams from Rock County and Janesville were called to a home Saturday by a woman saying a 21-year-old man was threatening to use a gun. 

Jason Graham was alone, armed and refusing to leave the home when officers arrived. Safety notifications were sent to people living in the area and the street was blocked off. 

Negotiators finally convinced Graham to give himself up. He is charged with domestic disorderly conduct and failure to comply with an officer.

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Appleton police name 2 persons of interest in fatal shooting

APPLETON -- Appleton police report they are looking for two men labeled as persons of interest as they investigate a fatal shootingSaturday morning. 

A 43-year-old man was found with gunshot wounds when officers were called to a home at about 2:44 a-m. A woman was also wounded, but she was treated and released. The man, whose name wasn't released, died at a local hospital. Police say they want to talk to 29-year-old Jorge Luis Zendejas-Cano and 31-year-old Miguel Luis Zendejas-Cano.

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Homebuilding trend mixed throughout Wisconsin

OSHKOSH -- New home construction is way up in metro Milwaukee so far this year, while there's only a slight increase in the Madison area and decreases in three other Wisconsin metros. 

MTD Marketing Services of Oshkosh reports a mixed trend. In the Milwaukee area, 116 building permits were issued last month for new houses -- up from 87 the previous May, with a 24 percent increase for the first five months of this year. 

Building permits were up by two percent in Dane County from January through May -- while MTD reports decreases of around three percent in the Racine-Kenosha area, the Fox Valley, and the Green Bay and Door County region.

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Chippewa Falls looks to fundraise for Riverfront Park

CHIPPEWA FALLS -- City leaders in Chippewa Falls are looking for $2.2 million for a new riverfront park.

The park has been in the planning stage for four years and Mayor Greg Hoffman says that's too long. Hoffman is looking at a private fundraising push to complete the new park and just about everything on the west side of Highway 124.

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Teen given 23-year prison sentence for killing parents

RHINELANDER -- An Oneida County Circuit Court judge says believes that family members were abused, but he's still sending an 18-year-old convicted of killing her parents to prison for 23 years. 

Ashlee Martinson was found guilty last March on two counts of second-degree intentional homicide. Testimony was given that her father, 37-year-old Thomas Ayers, was abusive. Martinson shot her stepfather, then stabbed her mother more than 30 times last year. She and her boyfriend were arrested in Indiana.

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UW Credit Union bumps minimum wage to $15 per hour

MADISON -- Employees at the bottom of the pay scale at UW Credit Union will earn more money next year. The Madison-based credit union says it will pay a 15-dollar-an-hour minimum wage by September 2017 and the minimum will go up to 13-dollars-80-cents this fall. About 25-percent of the employees of the credit union will be impacted.

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