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Wisconsin roundup: Assembly speaker: Wis. not likely to legalize medical marijuana; more state news stories

MADISON — The speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly says he wishes the federal government would deal with the medical marijuana question.

Republican Robin Vos says it isn't likely the Legislature would legalize some form of marijuana when it is still illegal under federal law. Vos says he is actually a supporter of using the drug for medical reasons, but he doesn't like it when states take so many different approaches to legalization. Vos says if the federal government legalizes medical marijuana, then he could see Wisconsin following suit. It is legal in about half of the states, including neighboring Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan.


Man found dead in Dunn County house fire ID’d

TOWN OF GRANT — The Dunn County Sheriff's Office has identified the 84-year-old man who died in a house fire Saturday afternoon.

Firefighters from several local departments found the body of Wallace Cutting and removed it from the house. He was dead at the scene. The 911 fire call came in at 4:53 p.m. An autopsy conducted on Cutting's body found no injuries and no evidence of foul play. Cutting reportedly lived by himself. Investigators haven't determined the cause of the fatal fire yet.


UW-Stout grad to design new injury-preventing football helmet

MENOMONIE — A University of Wisconsin-Stout graduate is designing a new football helmet that aims to prevent traumatic brain injuries.

Mark Hatcher played football at UW-Stout and graduated on Dec. 16 with an industrial design degree. He says he is putting both experiences to work in his design of the "Aries" helmet project. The helmet’s design has three layers intended to reduce shock. The first is made up of plates that move independently. A second is a soft, plastic layer. The third layer employs a multidirectional impact protection system that keeps the skull from rotating.


Woman, 27, dies of exposure

FOND DU LAC — The official cause of death for a 27-year-old woman found on the shore of Lake Winnebago is exposure to the cold.

She had been reported missing at about 4:40 p.m. Saturday. The Fond du Lac woman's name hasn't been released. Witnesses say she was last seen walking away from an ice shanty at about 1:30 a.m. The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office says she apparently fell at the shore line. Deputies found her body at about 6:30 p.m. Foul play is not suspected.


CDC: Flu ‘widespread’ in state

MADISON — The Centers for Disease Control has determined Wisconsin is one of 35 states where the flu is now officially considered to be "widespread."

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports 776 patients have had to be hospitalized after contracting the influenza virus this season. More than one-third of those cases came in the last week. A majority of the patients admitted to a hospital involved residents of long-term care facilities over the age of 65.


Young boy sought as armed robbery suspect

MILWAUKEE — University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police say a young boy pointed a gun at student in an armed robbery attempt Sunday afternoon.

The victim says the would-be robber was white and about 10-13 years old. She says he pointed a handgun at her and demanded money and property. When the robbery attempt was unsuccessful, the suspect ran to a nearby car, which sped away. Nobody was injured and the woman’s name hasn’t been released.


Wis. DNR ends spraying program for gypsy moth infestation

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports it is ending an aerial pesticide spraying program for about 50 eastern counties.

The effort had been aimed at slowing the spread of the leaf-eating gypsy moth. The DNR says it was receiving fewer requests from local governments as private-sector alternatives have been developed. It seems to have worked, though. A 2016 report noted the national program had slowed the moth's spread by more than 60 percent, reducing the losses on more than 125 million acres over a 16-year period.


Bullet goes through headboard where mom, child slept

FITCHBURG — Fitchburg police are trying to determine who fired the shot which sent a bullet into a house Monday morning, narrowly missing the people inside.

The incident was reported to police at about 11:15 a.m. The stray bullet passed through an exterior wall, then through the headboard of a bed where a mother and her child were sleeping. It was found in an interior wall. Nobody was hit and no injuries have been reported. Investigators say they don’t have a suspect yet.