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Wisconsin roundup: Deputy rescues worker stuck in salt truck auger; more state news stories

TOWN OF DUNN — A Dane County sheriff's deputy is being given credit for freeing a worker whose arm was stuck in the auger of a salt truck Monday.

Forty-three-year-old George G. Rotar suffered severe injuries, but he is expected to survive. Emergency responders were called to a location in the town of Dunn at about 2:45 p.m. The deputy crawled under Rotar's drump truck, took the auger apart and turned it by hand to free Rotar's arm. The deputy's name hasn't been released.


Super Bowl will have taste of western Wisconsin

LA CROSSE — The Super Bowl will have a taste of Western Wisconsin.

Bakalars Sausage Co. in La Crosse will be the official hot dog provider for this year's big game. The company has been the hot dog provider for the Minnesota Vikings for the past two years and is looking forward to getting the recognition for being association with the Super Bowl. Sales of the hot dogs have made huge growth in the Twin Cities market. Company officials say 45,000 hot dogs are in the Twin Cities for this year's Super Bowl and related festivities.


No criminal record for former Superior High School teacher

SUPERIOR — A former teacher at Superior High School will avoid a criminal record despite slapping one of her students on the head.

Forty-four-year-old Gretchen Hexum entered a no contest plea to a charge of misdemeanor disorderly conduct in Douglas County Circuit Court last week. Hexum was fired for slapping the male student last September. Following the slap, witness said Hexum called it a "love tap" and tried to give the student a hug. He complained to Superior Police.


Carjacking victim says he was visiting wife’s grave at the time

MILWAUKEE — A 75-year-old man says it shows you can be the victim of crime, even in the most unlikely of locations.

Dale Laabs was carjacked while visiting his wife's grave at a cemetery on Milwaukee's north side. Two men took his car in the middle of a rainy day earlier this month. Laabs says one of them pointed a gun at him and the second grabbed the collar of his coat and dragged him out of the vehicle.

Two suspects, 21 and 17 years old age, have been arrested. A similar crime happened in the same cemetery, Valhalla Memorial Park, a year ago.


Jakubowski convicted on state-level firearms charges

JANESVILLE — The man already found guilty on federal charges for stealing firearms from a Janesville gun store has now been found guilty of state charges.

A Rock County jury Tuesday convicted 33-year-old Joseph Jakubowski of burglary, theft and possession of burglary tools. Jakubowski has already been convicted in federal court on similar charges. He was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison in December.

Jakubowski said he took 18 firearms from Armageddon Supplies in Janesville last April. He mailed a rambling anti-government manifesto to the White House and went on the run. He was captured 10 days later 130 miles away in western Wisconsin. His sentencing hearing is set for Feb. 28.


Fired Lambeau food worker pleads not guilty in court

GREEN BAY — A former food service worker at Lambeau Field has pleaded not guilty to seven charges, including recklessly endangering safety.

Forty-year-old Chay Vang is accused of ramming several vehicles and chasing down two men during a rampage last month. Vang was apparently angry that he had been fired after arguing with one of the men. When he went to the stadium Dec. 22, he spotted that man and another getting out of a vehicle in the parking area. Witnesses say he repeatedly rammed the vehicle and chased them as they ran to safety.


Wausau public works: 3.7M gallons of wastewater spills into river

WAUSAU — Engineers with the city of Wausau estimate 3.7 million gallons of wastewater spilled into the Wisconsin River last week.

Milwaukee Public Works and Utilities director Eric Lindman says there is no health threat from what is actually a small amount of untreated water, when compared to the total flow in the river. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is still testing to determine the full impact. The city is looking at ways to prevent a pipe from becoming plugged up again — or ways to monitor so the problem is caught sooner.


Fake city employees steal jewelry from Madison woman

MADISON — An elderly Madison resident has been victimized by fake city employees.

The woman says a man came to her door saying there was a problem with water contamination in her neighborhood and he needed to make a check inside her house. While he took her to the basement to check the water faucets, an accomplice stole jewelry from the victim's bedroom. She says he yelled down the stairs that her water was fine and the two drove off in an SUV. Police have a good description and are looking for the two suspects. They say you should always ask for a photo ID before letting a stranger enter your home.