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Wisconsin roundup: Wis. ordered to pay for 2 transgender surgeries; more state news stories

A federal judge has ordered Wisconsin to pay for the surgeries that two transgender Medicaid recipients need to treat their gender dysphoria.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Cody Flack and Sara Ann Makenzie filed a lawsuit back in April saying the state's rule denying all coverage for such surgeries violates their civil rights. U.S. District Judge William Conley on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the rule in question. He also suggested the possibility of expanding the injunction to include any transgender Medicaid patient whose doctor recommends the surgery.


Wis. teens having fewer babies

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports teenagers in the state aren't having as many babies as in the past.

The birth rate among mothers between 15 and 19 years old is following a national trend by dropping dramatically. The Wisconsin rate was 31 per 1,000 in 2008. Eight years later the rate had fallen by half, to 15 per 1,000. The same report showed a small increase in infant mortality in the state.


Impatient restaurant customer charged with assault in June incident

Witnesses say a restaurant customer became impatient while waiting for his order last month and assaulted a worker.

Twenty-eight-year-old Raphael Calhoun Jr. is charged with substantial battery at the George Webb restaurant in Milwaukee. When he allegedly punched the female worker in the face, she suffered a bruise, a cut lip, and a severe concussion. Surveillance video was shared with the media and a person who knew Calhoun called the police. The victim also identified him. The video showed another George Webb employee pulling a gun on Calhoun after the attack.


Republicans Vukmir, Nicholson, stand firmly behind Trump

Two Republican candidates for U.S. Senate took time to compliment each other, then moved forward in a televised debate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson pushed their conservative credentials during the Thursday showdown. Both stood firmly behind their party's leader, Republican President Donald Trump. Polls show their campaign to take on incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin is in a dead-heat, with 30 percent of Republican voters saying they are still undecided. The Wisconsin primary elections are just 18 days away.


Federal appeals court exonerates Madison schools in assault

A federal appeals court ruled the Madison Metropolitan School District shouldn't be held be liable for the alleged sexual assault of a student by a security guard.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision Thursday. Whitehorse Middle School security officer Willie Collins faces charges in the 2013 incident. The victim's parents had filed a federal lawsuit three years ago alleging Collins was grooming the girl by openly hugging her and school personnel did nothing to stop him. The parents' attorney disagrees with the appeals court, saying he plans to carry the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Semi crash leads to 1K-gallon tar spill

The wreck of a tractor-trailer truck in southwestern Wisconsin left a gooey mess in a roadside ditch Thursday.

Police, fire, and E-M-S from several nearby communities responded to the scene less than a mile from Montfort. Fifty-nine-year-old truck driver Alvin Parvie lost control of the big rig on U.S. Highway 18 when he hit a driveway and left the road, spilling 1,000 gallons of tar. Parvie wasn't injured. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is leading the cleanup operation.


Community vigil being held for fallen Milwaukee police officer

A community vigil will be held Monday evening to honor fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Michalski.

He's the 17-year veteran of the department who was fatally wounded during a gunfight Wednesday night. Thirty-year-old shooting suspect Jonathan Copeland Jr. is in custody. Copeland's mother was the one who called for help. Her son was wanted for parole violation, drug possession and domestic violence. Neighbors say Copeland was a drug dealer. He wasn't injured in the exchange of gunfire.


Bittersweet final opening at Eau Claire’s State Theatre

A historic downtown Eau Claire theater is hosting a bittersweet final run.

The State Theatre held its last opening night Wednesday night for the play “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The play will run through the July 29 before the theater closes down.