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Wisconsin roundup: Walker calls special session to pass welfare reform; more state news stories

Gov. Scott Walker has the backing of legislative leaders for his call for a special legislative session on welfare reform. File photo

MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker has the backing of legislative leaders for his call for a special legislative session on welfare reform.

Walker says Wisconsin needs more people in its workforce. A reform package called “Wisconsin Works for Everyone” would make people receiving food stamps increase their job search or job training from 20 hours a week to 30. They would also have to take drug tests to get benefits. Walker says he wants an asset check to make certain people getting state aid really need it. Republicans hope to introduce the legislation next week.


Wisconsin budget-makers find money in state’s pockets — $138M

MADISON — The Legislative Fiscal Bureau is telling state leaders the current budget will end in 2019 with $138 million more than they expected.

The Fiscal Bureau says Wisconsin will have a balance of $385 million when the two-year budget ends June 30, 2019. The adjusted forecast is the result of an additional $76 million in tax collections and a spending reduction of $98 million — mostly due to new estimates of debt payments and a fund transfer totaling $38 million.


Cumberland father accused of poisoning son, 4

BARRON — A western Wisconsin father is charged with child abuse after allegedly poisoning his son.

Investigators say Nicholas Goodwin of Cumberland initially told them he didn't know why his 4-year-old son got sick last month. Later, police say he admitted he had smoked meth in his basement the night before, emptying the bong into a glass. He said his son drank from that glass the next morning, immediately started to have problems. Goodwin is scheduled to make his first court appearance next Wednesday.


La Crosse approves $49M design for convention center

LA CROSSE — The budget for the new La Crosse Center has been bumped up by $7 million before the final plan goes to the city's common council.

Backers say La Crosse needs the $49 million facility to remain competitive for conventions and trade shows. They say it could have a $12 million annual impact on the downtown area and mean 150 new jobs. The city is still looking for more funding sources. Preparation work could start in late spring and the project is expected to take two years to complete.


Body of missing Sun Prairie man found in storage locker

MARSHALL — The Dane County Sheriff's Office has arrested a 59-year-old Marshall man for a fatal shooting earlier this week.

Deputies say the body of 21-year-old Jesse Faber was found in a storage locker in Rio Thursday. They think Faber was shot during a confrontation in Medina Monday night. Daniel Lieske of Marshall has been arrested on a tentative charge of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. The owner of the storage facility says Lieske has rented the locker where Faber's body was found for the last eight years.


Woman, 70, told she’s too old to adopt young dog

HARTLAND — A Wisconsin-based animal rescue group is refusing to let a 70-year-old woman adopt a 1-year-old yorkie mix and the reason appears to be her age.

The woman identified only as Mary says the email she got from Fluffy Dog Rescue suggests there may be a dog "more suitable" — a dog aged 3 years or older. The Hartland-based rescue says it has established a formula for older applicants who are looking for a dog to adopt. The organization did not use the words "too old" in its communication.


Officer-involved shooting leaves suspect dead

RACINE — Racine police say a Wednesday afternoon officer-involved shooting has left a suspect dead.

The incident started with an afternoon traffic stop, though police haven't said why they stopped the car. They say the driver jumped out and started running. when he showed a gun to officers, they opened fire. Witnesses report hearing 10-15 gunshots. The two officers involved both have more than 15 years of service with the department. They have been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is reviewed. The suspect's name has not been released.


UW-La Crosse announces largest single gift in its history

LA CROSSE — UW-La Crosse says it has received its largest single gift in the university's history.

The school announced Wednesday a $2 million endowment from Prairie Springs: The Paul Fleckenstein Trust. The endowment will support research and scholarships at the university in different environmental studies programs, like Wildlife Habitat Protection and Ecological Technology.