Wisconsin roundup: Nails again found in Halloween candy; Walker in Jerusalem; more state news stories
NEENAH — For the second year in a row, a trick or treater in Neenah found nails in Halloween candy. Police say the mother of an 11-year-old boy saw a nail in each of three Kit Kat bars, and the nails were sticking out of wrappers that were closed. Neenah Police say the candy has been sent to the state Crime Lab where it will be examined further.
Walker Invites Netanyahu, Israeli Water Firms To Wisconsin
JERUSALEM — Gov. Scott Walker is inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Wisconsin. And he's inviting Israeli water firms to do business with the state and help Milwaukee area water companies grow. Walker is wrapping up a trade mission to Israel, where he met for an hour with Netanyahu on boosting the state's ties. In a conference call Wednesday, the Republican Walker said the "hot spots" for water science are Israel, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and Milwaukee. Wisconsin water leaders and the state's job creation agency joined Walker on the trip, seeking to bring some Israeli know-how to Wisconsin companies — and the governor is due back in the state Friday.
Mother Charged For Letting Nine-Year-Old Ride On Minivan Roof
PORT WASHINGTON — A Fredonia woman is due in court Nov. 14 for allegedly letting her 9-year-old son sit on the roof of a minivan to hold down a plastic wading pool they were transporting. Amber Schmunk, 28, is charged in Ozaukee County with felony reckless endangerment for the Sept. 9 incident. Police say another motorist saw the unusual incident in Saukville and called 911. Schmunk reportedly told officers she didn't think anything of it, because she did those kinds of things with her dad when she was little. She claimed the boy was on the roof for only 20 to 30 seconds.
Lawmakers Seek To Encourage New, More Buyers At Foreclosure Sales
MILWAUKEE — A state Assembly Democrat asks colleagues to support two bills to discourage abuses at sheriff's sales where foreclosed homes are sold. Milwaukee Rep. Evan Goyke has proposed measures to ban people from buying foreclosed homes if they owe past due taxes and fines of building code violations. The Journal Sentinel says landlord Todd Brunner won auctions for hundreds of homes, and he once bragged about boosting his bids if he saw someone unfamiliar trying to buy the same properties. The second bill would put the sheriff's sales online instead of in public buildings where Milwaukee Senate Democrat LaTonya Johnson says new buyers can be intimidated if they're just looking for fixer uppers — and Johnson and Senate Republican Luther Olsen of Ripon are the bill's main sponsors. Oostburg Assembly Republican Terry Katsma also plans to sponsor the ban on purchases for those owing taxes and fines, saying it would boost competition.
Man Acquitted In Killing Of Ex Girlfriend's Father
LADYSMITH — A northwest Wisconsin man has been cleared of allegations that he killed the father of his former girlfriend. A Rusk County jury deliberated for five hours this week before finding 27-year-old Thomas Martin of Ladysmith not guilty of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Richard Larson in April of last year. Jurors were also given the option of convicting Martin on a lesser charge of reckless homicide, but they decided to acquit him altogether. Before he died, Larson and two witnesses told officers that Martin started the fracas by attacking his daughter — but Martin told investigators that Larson attacked him first.
Assembly To Act On Mining, Abortion, Hunting Bills
MADISON— The Wisconsin Assembly is scheduled to act on more than 30 bills Thursday in its first session since passing a state budget and billions in incentives for Foxconn. One measure to be considered would put more limits on insurance coverage for abortions in state government health plans. Current law only allows coverage for abortions that are medically necessary — and the new bill would only allow them in cases of rape and incest, or if the mother's life is in danger. Also today, the Assembly is expected to end the state's 19-year-old moratorium on new sulfide mines. Another bill would end the age limit for children who want to hunt, thus allowing those nine and younger to hunt for the first time.
GOP Lawmakers Sued For Blocking Liberal Group On Twitter
MADISON — Three Republican state lawmakers have been sued for blocking a liberal advocacy group on Twitter, preventing them from seeing comments from the lawmakers that others get to read. One Wisconsin Now accuses Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, finance chair John Nygren, and Rep. Jesse Kremer of violating the First Amendment. Group leader Scot Ross says that if government officials create a public forum, everyone should get access — not just those they agree with. One Wisconsin Now has asked a federal judge to order the lawmakers to stop blocking the group, which often criticizes GOP policies on Twitter. In response, Kremer called himself "probably one of the most accessible statesmen in Wisconsin," and he tweeted that he often has discussions on social media with people of opposing viewpoints. Vos and Nygren have not commented.
Bill Would End Waiting Period To Get Remarried After Divorce
MADISON — Wisconsinites who get divorced would no longer have to wait six months to get remarried in a measure that awaits committee approval. The Assembly's Family Law panel held a public hearing on the bill from Delafield Republican Cindy Duchow. Wisconsin is one of only six states that has a "cooling off" period following a divorce. The six-month wait comes after a four-month period to complete divorce proceedings in court. Duchow says it all discriminates against those who want to get on with their lives. She says people understand their feelings better than anyone else. But the head of Wisconsin Family Action, Julaine Appling, told the panel that the waiting period gives divorcees time to reflect on their decisions, instead of rushing into another marriage.
No Threat At UW-Madison Campus After Report Of Gunman
MADISON — Officials at the University of Wisconsin-Madison say there is no threat to the campus after a report of a gunman at the school's law library on Wednesday. Police gave the campus the all-clear in an alert sent out by the school and campus police at around 12:15 p.m. The school had urged everyone on campus to find a safe location while they investigated reports of a gunman at the law library at 975 Bascom Mall. School officials say the report was "erroneous."
Walker Calls Special Election To Replace Lawmaker Who Died
MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker has called a special election for January 16th to replace Assembly Republican Bob Gannon of West Bend. Gannon died Oct. 3 of apparent natural causes at age 58. Candidates could start circulating nomination papers Wednesday. They must be filed in Madison Nov. 21. If there are more than two candidates in the same party, a primary would be held Dec. 19.