Wisconsin roundup: Bill would allow delivery 'bots in state; Walker says new union limits promote 'healthy competition'; 11 more state news stories
MADISON — A Wisconsin Senate committee was hearing testimony Tuesday on a bill to let robots deliver groceries and other things on sidewalks.
Delafield Republican Chris Kapenga proposed the measure, allowing rolling devices to carry parcels up to 80 pounds at no more than 10 mph. Somebody would have to monitor them -- and while they could use crosswalks, they could not travel along roadways.
Walker: New union limits promote 'healthy competition'
Gov. Scott Walker says Wisconsin's latest union limits will promote "healthy competition between contractors."
The Republican Walker went to a construction material supplier in De Pere Monday to sign a bill that bars contractors for public projects from having to follow union labor agreements. Walker says the new law will ensure "neutrality" toward unions by local governments, and contractors that are chosen for public projects will have to show "excellent service" and "good value" — but Democrats disagree, saying it could result in lower paid employees with fewer incentives to do high quality work.
Walker also went to Burlington to sign the law which makes it easier for parents to possess the marijuana derivative CBD that treats childhood seizures. The governor made it clear that he's not open to further legalizing pot related products in the state.
Walker wants private meeting with Trump on dairy trade dispute
DE PERE — Scott Walker says he hopes to meet Tuesday with President Donald Trump in Kenosha, to seek more help for Wisconsin dairy farmers in their trade dispute with Canada.
The Republican governor says he wants to give the president the Wisconsin take on the matter — in which at least 100 farmers will no longer be able to sell milk to their main dairy contractors, possibly forcing them and others out of business. State officials and the Wisconsin congressional delegation accuse Canada of violating a trade deal by no longer taking Wisconsin's specialized milk for a cheese product — but Canada blames the state for the situation it's in. On Monday, officials said Mullins Cheese of Knowlton would take some of the milk cut off by two large dairies because of the Canadian pricing issue.
Police honor guards honor fallen state trooper
SPARTA — Law enforcement honor guards from as far away as Texas came to Sparta Monday to honor Wisconsin trooper Anthony Borostowski.
Hundreds attended a visitation and service to remember the 34-year-old State Patrol officer from Tomah, who died in a traffic crash last week. A Texas Highway Patrol honor guard unit drove 19 hours to attend Borostowski's service — and Sgt. Paul Simpson tells WKOW-TV it was worth it to pay honor to whom he called a "fallen brother, and to support the family in their time of need."
State Patrol Lt. Dan Gruebele said it was "unbelievable" to feel the support of law enforcement, fire agencies, medical personnel, and others from around the country. Borostowski also had military honors, after he served three tours of duty in the Middle East as a National Guard medic.
Jakubowski to court: 'I'm not your slave, man'
JANESVILLE — Joseph Jakubowski told a court commissioner in Janesville, "I'm not your slave, man ... You can't tell me what to do."
The alleged gun shop burglar and threat suspect made his initial appearance in state court Monday on three felony charges connected with this month's burglary at Armageddon Supplies in which he reportedly stole 18 guns and two silencers. That was before he spent 10 days on the lam before being arrested last Friday near Readstown in southwest Wisconsin.
The 32-year-old Jakubowski appeared in court on TV from his jail cell, and a $30,000 bond was set on his state charges of theft, armed burglary, and possession of burglary tools. He's due back in Rock County Circuit Court next Tuesday for a preliminary hearing — the same day he's due in federal court for allegedly stealing guns from a licensed firearms dealer.
Probe continues into driver's death following police chase
GREEN BAY — An investigation continues into the death of a motorist who was being chased by police officers in Green Bay.
It happened late Sunday night when a woman told police that a man was banging on her house windows, and trying to get into her vehicle and that of a neighbor. When officers responded, they said they saw a reckless vehicle driving around — and a chase ensued before the driver reportedly jumped a curb and hit a tree.
The vehicle split in two, and the motorist died at the scene. Green Bay Police consider it an "officer involved death," so officers from Appleton are investigating, along with the State Patrol. The dead driver's name was not immediately released.
Trump to order agencies to 'buy American' in Kenosha visit
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will use his visit to Kenosha Tuesday to sign an executive order he calls "Buy American, Hire American."
Administration officials in Washington told reporters Monday that Trump will start clamping down on the "H1B" visas that let foreign workers take highly skilled jobs in the United States — something he criticized during his election campaign, saying it brings in low wage workers to take jobs from American college grads. Trump's order will also require federal agencies to buy more things from domestic firms and employees.
The Republican president will sign the order at Snap On Tools in Kenosha — a private event in which Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Senate Republican Ron Johnson will be among those on hand. It will be Trump's first visit to Wisconsin since becoming the first Republican since 1984 to carry the Badger State in last fall's presidential contest.
State cheese plant takes surplus milk cut off by Canada
MADISON — A cheese factory in central Wisconsin has agreed to take some of the milk that at least 100 farmers can no longer sell to their main suppliers next month.
State Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel said Monday that Mullins Cheese of Knowlton in Marathon County will take some of the milk that Grassland Dairy of Greenwood and Nasonville Dairy of Marshfield say they can no longer buy. Brancel thanked Mullins and "several other milk handlers" for stepping forward — and he encouraged other dairy processors to do the same, saying it could help "sustain the long term success of Wisconsin's dairy industry."
Grassland and Nasonville say they're stuck with milk they can no longer ship to Canada, because of new pricing policies that encourage Canadian dairies to buy specialized milk for cheese from their own country — which American officials say violates trade deals.
Man pleads guilty to cyberattacks in Madison, Arizona, D.C.
PHOENIX — An Arizona man has pleaded guilty to hacking into Madison's police radio system, just days after a city officer killed Tony Robinson in 2015.
Twenty-two-year-old Randall Tucker of Apache Junction struck a plea deal in federal court in Phoenix, in which he was convicted of hacking into the Madison emergency communications network — while charges were dropped for similar cyberattacks in the Phoenix suburbs of Chandler and Mesa, and the Washington news website News 2 Share. Tucker admitted bragging about the Madison hacking incident on social media. A sentencing date was not immediately set, but Tucker's plea deal calls for a prison sentence of up to four years.
Tornado, severe weather awareness week begins
MADISON — Wisconsin schools, businesses, and homes will have a chance to test their emergency drills during Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week.
The National Weather Service normally puts out new tips each day for being prepared. On Thursday, Wisconsin Emergency Management will conduct two statewide tornado drills, complete with simulated warnings that will sound the sirens at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. If there are real warnings on Thursday, the drills will be moved to Friday at the same times.
Wisconsin normally averages 23 tornadoes each year. There were 16 twisters last year, all of them in the two least severe categories of EF-0 and EF-1. Wausau had a confirmed tornado just last week.
Two men rescued from Lake Altoona
ALTOONA — Police officers in Altoona says the first rescue of the season on Lake Altoona should be a warning to all boaters.
Crews pulled two men from the lake Sunday afternoon, after their boat capsized. Officers say both men put on life jackets as the boat started to sink. Police say the life jackets saved their lives.
Nygren: Assembly GOP working on its own transportation plan
MILWAUKE — Assembly finance Chairman John Nygren says his fellow Republicans in the lower house are working on their own transportation package.
The Marinette lawmaker was on the statewide TV show "Upfront with Mike Gousha" Sunday when he said the GOP representatives would seek long term funding solutions, take them to the people, and then hope that Gov. Scott Walker would see "value" in their proposal. Nygren says the last two governors of both parties have relied too much on borrowing — and the debt payments are "eating up" dollars that could be used for new and improved highways.
Nygren says it's his personal opinion that "revenues have to be part of the equation." But he emphasizes he is not speaking for all 65 members of the Assembly's large GOP majority.
State's first carfentanil drug death confirmed
MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin's first death is confirmed from the ultra potent drug carfentanil.
The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office tweeted news of the death Monday morning — but it did not identify the victim, gender, hometown, or how the death took place. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says carfentanil is showing up in more communities, often disguised as heroin or powdered cocaine.
It's said to be 10,000 times more potent than morphine, and 100 times more potent than fentanyl — the painkiller that's said to be 50 times more potent than heroin. The DEA says carfentanil is a tranquilizing agent for large mammals including elephants — and the lethal dose for humans is not known at the moment.