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Wisconsin roundup: Walker to call special session for Kimberly-Clark decision; more state news

Gov. Scott Walker is asking the Legislature to return to the Capitol to consider the $100 million bill that might rescue more than 500 jobs in the Fox Valley.

Republican legislative leaders say they don't have the 17 Senate votes they need to approve tax incentives for Kimberly-Clark to keep one of its plants open.

Gov. Scott Walker is asking the Legislature to return to the Capitol to consider the $100 million bill that might rescue more than 500 jobs in the Fox Valley. He will have to convince some Democrats to give their support to get it passed. The Texas-based papermaking giant wants to know the incentives have been approved by the end of this month before it decides to keep one of two plants operating.


Ryan says businesses should be ‘patient’ with Trump tariffs

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he isn't a fan of tariffs, but he thinks the Trump administration approach could result in good agreements with United States allies, forming a united world front to get China to play by the rules.

Ryan hopes Wisconsin farmers and business owners will be patient as the tariff negotiations move forward. Ryan's comments were made in an interview with The Wisconsin Republican also defended the recent tax cuts, saying they have had the hoped-for effect on the American economy.


Walker takes first step toward federal disaster declaration

Walker administration officials say the Wisconsin governor has requested that FEMA conduct a preliminary damage assessment in the state.

That's the first step toward a formal request for a federal disaster declaration. Hundreds of Wisconsin families were impacted by the tornadoes and flooding events over the past three weeks. Federal teams from FEMA and the Small Business Administration will coordinate with state and local emergency management officials starting Sept. 24 in a process taking about one week.


Suspicious package leads to evacuation of Greendale private school

A suspicious package led officials at St. Adolphus School in Greendale to evacuate students, faculty and staff Thursday morning.

The package was found near a door where deliveries aren't normally made at about 9:15 a.m. All of the people at St. Adolphus were moved to nearby Greendale High School as a precaution. Paper was found inside the suspicious package and it was determined not to be a threat. The St. Adolphus students were dismissed. Classes at the high school weren't interrupted and went on as normal.


Report: Alcohol use a factor in double-fatal boat crash

An incident report on a double-fatal boat crash on Lake Winnebago last month indicates alcohol use was a contributing factor.

Sisters Lauren and Cassie Laabs were killed when two boats slammed into each other in the Town of Vinland. The report indicated both boat operators "had been drinking." It also cited a "navigation rules violation" as a contributing factor. The sisters were ejected from the boat and neither was wearing a life jacket. A family dog was also killed.


Milwaukee officer involved in Sterling Brown arrest fired

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales says one of the officers involved in the Sterling Brown arrest has been fired for violating the department's social media policy.

Morales says the conduct of Officer Erik Andrade the night the Bucks player was tased and taken into custody was not a factor in his termination. Brown has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the department and the city claiming excessive force was used and he was wrongfully arrested. Racist Facebook postings by Andrade were said to be at the center of the decision.


Convicted human trafficker sentenced to 7 years

An Outagamie County judge has sentenced a convicted human trafficker to seven years in a state prison facility.

Twenty-eight-year-old Shawna Baxter had been accused of getting runaways high on meth and forcing a "low-functioning" man to perform sex acts on other men for money. A witness told investigators the man would cry afterward. Baxter admitted injecting some of the victims with meth to get them high quicker.


UW-Madison launches partnership with Facebook to study teen tech use

The University of Wisconsin and Facebook are partnering to study the relationship between teen technology use and their mental and social health.

The research involving the UW School of Medicine and Health is part of a $1 million Facebook investment by working with academics, experts and partners across the industry to further explore this topic. Professor Megan Moreno of the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team is going to lead the project this fall. Moreno said the research will answer foundational and unanswered questions regarding youth, technology, and well-being and will provide guidelines for healthy family digital use.


Wis. congressman introduces bill to temporarily halt agriculture company mergers

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan introduced a bill Thursday that would impose a temporary moratorium on mergers between large farm, food and grocery companies.

The legislation also establishes a new commission to strengthen antitrust enforcement in the agribusiness industry. Pocan, who represents a district including Madison, said,"out-of-control consolidation has enabled agricultural firms to control prices at every stage of the food chain, from farming to distribution, and Congress must do more to allow local farmers and food systems to be competitive." He says concentration in the ag and food sectors is squeezing small family farmers, driving down wages for workers, and hurting rural communities. A similar bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.


Cranberry growers worried about USDA plans to deal with oversupply

Wisconsin cranberry growers are worried about recommendations from the USDA for a 25 percent cut in production.

The price of the fruit is being driven down by an oversupply. The owners of a bog in Warrens say they set a two-to-three-year plan to deal with market fluctuations. Harvesting is scheduled to start next week and run through October. Wisconsin produces 57 percent of the United States cranberry supply.