Wisconsin roundup: Clinton says campaign didn't blow off Badger State; 7 more state news stories
NEW YORK — Democrat Hillary Clinton insists that her presidential campaign did not ignore Wisconsin and the industrial Midwest last year.
Clinton's new book "What Happened" has come out, and she'll be promoting it during an appearance in Milwaukee on Nov. 9. Clinton was roundly criticized for not campaigning in Wisconsin last fall when the Badger State, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were the deciding states in Republican Donald Trump's victory.
She took a shot at Wisconsin Republicans, saying the state's photo ID law for voting may have had an impact. Clinton wrote that states with what she called "harsh new voting laws such as Wisconsin" had a reduced turnout of 1.0 percent, compared to a 1.3 rise in states where voting laws did not change.
Hunters urged to watch for CWD as bow season nears
MADISON — Wisconsin deer hunters will start taking bows and arrows into the woods on Saturday.
State officials urge all successful hunters to have their deer tested for chronic wasting disease. Most hunters don't take advantage of the free tests, but David Poulsen of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab says it might be a good idea this year. Studies in Canada found that CWD can be transmitted to primates.
There have been no reported human cases of the fatal deer disease, and Poulsen says the risk is most likely very low. But it's not zero like it used to be, and Poulsen says it would be a mistake for hunters to ignore the risk by not testing their animals.
Assembly to act on budget; Senate doesn’t have the votes yet
MADISON — The Wisconsin Assembly will consider a two year, $76 billion state budget Wednesday.
Majority Republicans will reportedly consider some minor, undisclosed changes in the package — which the Joint Finance Committee approved last week after two months of GOP disagreements on how to pay for road work. Easy passage is expected in the Assembly, which has a 64-35 Republican majority.
But assuming all Democrats will vote no, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald can lose no more than three GOP votes in his chamber — and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says four Republican senators remain undecided on whether they'll vote for the current package. Big Bend Republican Dave Craig says a 3.1 percent increase in state spending is a problem for him — but Fitzgerald says he'll propose an amendment to try and appease the holdouts, with a goal of passing the budget on Friday.
Irma response: First responders return, utility crews head out
A team of Wisconsin first responders is heading home from Florida, while state utility crews are leaving to help victims of Hurricane Irma.
The state's Urban Search and Rescue Task Force was asked to help with searches in the Jacksonville area — but the mission was called off when Hurricane Irma did not hit the region as hard as expected. The team is made up of first responders and search dog handlers from the Antigo, Appleton, Beloit, Chippewa Falls, Green Bay, Janesville, La Crosse, and Oshkosh fire departments.
Meanwhile, another team of We Energies' utility workers is leaving from Racine Wednesday morning to help restore power. The utility says about 100 contracted employees have been sent to Florida for power restorations.
Senate OKs Foxconn incentives
MADISON — A $10 billion Foxconn smartphone and TV screen plant is one step closer to being built in Racine County.
The Wisconsin Senate approved a modified version of a three-billion dollar state incentive package Tuesday 20-13, and the Assembly will take up the changes Thursday. Bob Wirch, from the area near the plant, was the only Democrat in favor — and Green Bay's Rob Cowles was the only Republican to vote no. The GOP tightened job requirements, and Green Bay area Republican Frank Lasee says the only way taxpayers are on the hook is if Foxconn creates up to 13,000 jobs as promised.
Democrats said taxpayers could pay a lot and still not see the promised numbers of jobs, and Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling said Foxconn executives should have appeared before legislative panels to answer questions. The measure still lets Foxconn and its litigants bypass the appellate court, but the Supreme Court would have the choice of whether to take those cases.
UW-Madison falls to 12th-best public college on list
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is rated the 12th best public college in the nation, down two spots from last year in the annual rankings from U.S. News and World Report.
The state's flagship school also dropped slightly in the ratings for all American colleges and universities, tying for 46th — also two spots down from one year ago. In the area of "strong commitment to undergraduate teaching," Madison was sixth among public colleges and 14th overall. Among public campuses in the Midwest, U.S. News ranks La Crosse fourth, Eau Claire fifth, Stevens Point ninth, and Stout 15th.
Prosecutor announces bid against U.S. Rep. Gallagher
GREEN BAY — Wisconsin's newest congressman has his first election challenger for next fall.
Brown County assistant district attorney Beau Liegeois is announcing his candidacy as a Democrat for the Eighth District U.S. House seat held by GOP freshman Mike Gallagher of Green Bay.
The 36-year-old Liegeois works with drug cases and offenders in the Brown County Veterans Treatment Court. He's also a military attorney for the state's Army National Guard. Liegeois tells the Green Bay Press Gazette he'll try to fight for families like his own in the middle class.
‘Slender Man’ sanity trial underway
WAUKESHA — A jury in Waukesha will hear its second day of testimony in the “Slender Man” sanity trial of Anissa Weier.
Her attorney told jurors Tuesday the 15-year-old Weier should be found insane at the time she helped a friend stab a classmate in allegiance to the Slender Man horror character. Attorney Joseph Smith said Weier thought Slender Man would kill her or her family if she didn't do what she did. Weier earlier pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second degree homicide, and the trial will determine if she'll go to prison or a mental institution.
Her father, William Weier, testified there were trying times in their home life as he was going through a divorce — but Anissa appeared to be a "normal child" and he didn't see any indications that she needed mental health care.