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Wisconsin roundup: Police urge Packer fans to beware ticket scams; Feingold, Johnson squaring off Friday night; 11 more state news stories

GREEN BAY -- Green Bay Police are again urging Packers fans to be careful about where they buy their game tickets.

Officials say a number of fans were turned away after they bought fake tickets from unauthorized sellers, especially on Craigslist. And it happened at all three major football events at Lambeau Field this fall -- the Packers games with Detroit and the New York Giants, and the Badger/LSU game in early September.

The NFL promotes its Ticket Exchange through Ticketmaster as the only source that electronically verifies resale tickets. But police say you'll most likely be safe if you purchase from dealers in the National Association of Ticket Brokers -- because they offer money back guarantees if there are problems.


U.S. Senate candidates take center stage for debate

GREEN BAY -- The tight U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin will be on full display Friday when incumbent Ron Johnson and challenger Russ Feingold hold a one hour debate.

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association is sponsoring the debate, which will originate from Green Bay and broadcast statewide starting at 7 p.m. The Republican Johnson, an Oshkosh businessman, unseated the Democrat Feingold six years ago by portraying himself as a manufacturer who gets things done -- and he's using that same strategy in his campaign ads this fall.

Feingold, who served 18 years in the Senate, has focused on helping the middle class grow in the economy. Feingold leads Johnson by 2 points in the latest Marquette Law School poll -- and each is now getting strong support from their respective party voters, while independents prefer Feingold 44-to-37-percent.


State won't challenge judge's order on voter ID education

MADISON -- The state Justice Department says it will not challenge a federal judge's order that the state be clearer in telling people how to receive voter IDs.

The order comes after motor vehicle workers gave incorrect information to some who tried applying for IDs so they can vote on Nov. 8. Madison District Judge James Peterson told state officials Thursday to print cards people can carry in their palms that more clearly explains the process to obtain IDs for those without birth certificates or other documents.

The judge also wants the state to give out more information after people apply, so they know what to expect -- and he said the voter credentials for those without IDs must run for 180 days instead of the current 60. Two liberal groups also asked Peterson to suspend the voter I- requirement for next month -- but the judge said he would not do that.


Trump appearing Monday in Green Bay, West Allis

Donald Trump will make campaign stops in Green Bay and West Allis on Monday.

His campaign website confirms that the Republican White House nominee will hold a rally at 4 p.m. Monday at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay -- and a campaign spokesman says Trump has a rally planned at 7 p.m. at the state fairgrounds in West Allis.

Media reports say House Speaker Paul Ryan won't be in Wisconsin Monday, as he's scheduled to campaign for GOP House candidates in Texas. Ryan canceled what was supposed to be Trump's last appearance in Wisconsin last weekend, after the nominee's controversial video about women was leaked out -- and Trump said he didn't need Ryan's support. In the latest Marquette poll, Trump trails Democrat Hillary Clinton by 7 points among likely voters.


Home heating bills expected to rise from last year

The U.S. Energy Department says Midwesterners can expect to pay $150 more than last winter to heat their homes with natural gas.

But Wisconsin utilities say the increase won't be that high. The federal government says it expects a 30-percent rise in Midwest natural gas bills, due to higher fuel costs and a colder winter than last year's extremely mild season. We Energies, which provides natural gas to most of Wisconsin, says its preliminary findings show much smaller increases than what the federal government is saying -- and the Wisconsin Public Service utility expects about a 10-percent increase. Propane and heating oil customers can also expect price hikes, but officials say they'll be smaller than the average for the past five years.


La Crosse police chief opposes officer gun ban during trials

LA CROSSE -- Police Chief Ron Tischer says he's against a judge's policy not to let officers carry guns during jury trials.

The issue came up during a trial this week -- and the La Crosse police chief says Circuit Judge Ramona Gonzalez compromises safety when she bans police weapons in an emotionally charged courtroom.

But the judge says jurors can be distracted when they see an officer testifying on the witness stand with a gun -- and she says a gun that's visible to a juror could be grounds for an appeal. But Tischer says he's never heard of such an appeal for that reason. Guns are banned for officers in federal courts, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court allows individual judges and court commissioners to decide the matter for themselves on a case by case basis.


Ryan: Clinton would foster 'government for the elites'

MADISON -- House Speaker Paul Ryan says a liberal progressive government caters to the "elites," and Democrat Hillary Clinton will foster that notion if she's elected president.

The Janesville Republican released excerpts of a speech he planned to deliver Friday to College Republicans in Madison. Ryan attacked Clinton's campaign slogan of "Stronger Together," saying it means we'll only be stronger if "we give up our ties of responsibility to one another, and hand all of that over to the government."

And he says liberals plan to make progressive government an "arrogant, condescending, and paternalistic reality." Ryan's speech will mark his first major address on the election since he vowed not to campaign for Republican nominee Donald Trump, after commenting instead on his party's agenda which the speaker says would bring "less government and more freedom."


Man wanted for execution-style slaying in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Police are looking for a 32-year-old man who's been charged in what a witness calls an "execution style" killing of another man.

A criminal complaint charges Eric Bills with reckless homicide -- and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Bills is accused of shooting 36-year-old Jemell McMillan to death while the victim was sitting in a vehicle and talking on a cellphone late at night on Sept. 29 in a north side Milwaukee neighborhood.

Police say a pickup truck pulled behind the vehicle McMillan was in. A witness reported seeing a man leave his pickup, shoot the victim several times, and kept shooting even after McMillan fell to the ground.


Fall colors shine

MADISON -- Wisconsin's annual nature show is in full swing in most areas.

The state Tourism Department says fall colors are at their peaks in much of the northern two-thirds of the Badger State. says a few counties in the far north are past their peaks -- but much of the southern region is at 35 to 40 percent of the shiniest red, yellow, and orange leaves.

The far south does not normally peak until late October, anyway -- so that region still has a couple of good weeks of viewing left. As for the north and central areas, Friday and Sunday appear to be the best days to see the colors, with partly cloudy skies predicted on both those days, with rain likely statewide Saturday.


Walker spells out road funding increase for towns

MADISON – Gov. Scott Walker says he'll propose an 8.5 percent increase in funding for town roads, as part of the next state budget he'll give lawmakers in February.

Last month, the DOT proposed a nearly $9 million hike in state transportation aid for town governments -- and the Republican Walker told a meeting of town officials this week he would add $14.6 million to that pot. The governor has promised higher road aid for all types of local governments, but he has not specified how much more counties, cities, and villages would get.

The increase for towns is announced at a time when the governor and lawmakers disagree on whether taxes should be raised for road work. Walker says he wants to show that "we do not need to raise taxes or fees to maintain a safe and strong transportation network."


One-year-old dies after being run over by horse

GREENWOOD -- A 1-year-old child has died after being run over by a horse.

Clark County sheriff's deputies say the infant's father was in a barn with the child when the incident happened on Wednesday night in the town of Eaton, north of Greenwood.

Officials say the youngster was in and out of consciousness when rescuers arrived -- and the child died later at a hospital. The infant's name and gender were not immediately released. Deputies are still investigating.


Made in Wisconsin, USS Detroit to arrive in namesake city

MARINETTE -- A city that's legendary for making land vehicles is about to celebrate the arrival of a big water vessel made in Wisconsin.

The USS Detroit is expected to arrive in its namesake city Friday and will have one week of tours and festivities before it's commissioned next Saturday. The $440 million littoral combat ship was made at Marinette Marine in northeast Wisconsin, as part of a post 9-11 fleet that runs in shallow waters with more agility and speed than other combat ships. The USS Detroit the sixth vessel that carries the name of America's car manufacturing capital.


Wisconsin bear hunters recover from weaker 2015 season

MADISON -- Wisconsin bear hunters have recovered from a weaker season in 2015.

Preliminary totals from the DNR show a total harvest of 4,643 black bears in this fall's season that ran from Sept. 7 through Tuesday -- and about two thirds of the animals were taken in the northern third of the state.

This year's total was almost 450 more than last year's harvest of around 4,200, which was 7 percent less than the year before. The DNR's David MacFarland says hunters took about 100 fewer bears than the season's quota of 4,750. He says the state continues to have a healthy bear population -- and it "provides more hunting opportunity than any other state in the country."