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Man accused of killing ex-girlfriend's finance; Canine tornado survivors arrive in Green Bay; more state news

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Man accused of killing ex-girlfriend's finance; Canine tornado survivors arrive in Green Bay; more state news
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

An Arizona man was charged Friday with killing the fiancée of his ex-girlfriend in Superior.

Juan Padilla, 41, of Fort Mohave, Ariz., is charged in Douglas County with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Terrence Luukkonen.


Luukkonen was found shot to death Thursday in his car outside of Genesis Attachments in Superior. Authorities said the body was found in the driver's seat, and the vehicle had its brake lines cut and a tire slashed. A 911 caller told police Luukkonen had committed suicide.

Prosecutors said the victim was engaged to a woman who had broken off a relationship with Padilla about a month ago. She told police Padilla was upset about the breakup, and he wanted to kill her fiancée.

Padilla was reportedly staying at a motel in West Duluth where a barrage of officers arrested him Thursday night.

Prosecutors said the woman had contact with Padilla several times since he arrived in Duluth-Superior. Padilla won't face his charges until he's extradited to Wisconsin from the Minnesota side of the Twin Ports.


Canine tornado survivors arrive in Green Bay

More than two dozen dogs that survived the Oklahoma tornado have been brought to Green Bay in the hopes that they'll find new homes.

Dozens of displaced animals were sent to the Central Oklahoma Humane Society after Monday's storms in suburban Oklahoma City. A number of groups - including the Bay Area Humane Society - offered their facilities.

Christy Counts of the Central Oklahoma group said there was no way her facility alone could have handled all the animals orphaned by the tornado.

The new Green Bay pets are mostly puppies. They rode for 16 hours with the goal of finding new and caring owners in northeast Wisconsin.

Karen DeBaker of the Bay Area Humane Society says the new pets will increase foot traffic at the shelter plus its overall adoptions.


Ho-Chunk Tribe gets grant for biomass plant

Wisconsin's Ho-Chunk Indian Tribe will create a waste to energy biomass plant.

The U.S. Energy Department said the Ho-Chunk was among five tribes around the country to be awarded technical assistance grants this week.

Officials say the project will convert municipal solid waste, agricultural waste and other biomass into electricity. The new plant will generate about one to two megawatts.

The Energy Department says it will analyze the tribe's plans for the biomass plant. Experts will review the tribe's plans for obtaining permits and financing.


Central Wisconsin firm plans to add 350 jobs

A Wausau area company plans to add up to 350 jobs in the next three years.

Crystal Finishing Systems of Schofield has purchased the former Weather Shield window plant in Mosinee. Company President Mark Matthiae said production at the new facility is expected to begin early next year.

Crystal Finishing provides industrial coatings, masking, packaging and warehousing services for a host of industries and fields. Matthiae said the company will provide new technology that will expand Crystal Finishing's markets.

He said the economy remains spotty, but his firm was still able to add about 250 jobs over the past three years.


Murder suspect says police botched handling of evidence

A Minnesota man says La Crosse police may have mishandled evidence that would have cleared him of charges that he murdered a camera store owner and his son.

Attorneys for Jeffrey Lepsch, 40, of Dakota say they either want the homicide charges dropped or a surveillance video not be admitted as evidence.

Lepsch is scheduled to go on trial July 23 in the shooting deaths of Paul Petras, 56, and his 19-year-old son A.J. - plus the theft of $20,000 in camera equipment from May's Photo.

A witness told officers he saw a man behind a desk at May's Photo close to 4:30 p.m. last Sept. 15. Police said they had surveillance video showing Lepsch leaving the store, but his attorneys said the video ended around 3:30 p.m. before the witness saw the man in the store. A state agent wrote that parts of the video were recorded over by the time police obtained it.

Lepsch's attorneys claim the video should not be used against their client, saying it would violate his due process rights.


Moose convention underway in Milwaukee

One of Milwaukee's biggest conventions got underway Friday when about 8,000 people arrived for the 125th annual Moose International Convention.

The six-day event runs through Wednesday. The Visit Milwaukee group says the local economy will gain $11.3 million from the convention.

Moose International is a fraternal and service group that was started in 1888. It has 1.1 million members throughout North America, Bermuda and England.


Monk accused of abduction released on bond

A Benedictine monk from Wisconsin is free on bond as he awaits a possible trial in Illinois on charges that he abducted four girls.

Thomas Chmura, 57, was freed after a judge reduced his bond from $150,000 to $50,000. He had been held in the Lake County Jail in Waukegan, Ill., since May 2 after one of his alleged victims was able to give police a description of the suspect.

Chmura has pleaded not guilty and has a trial set for July 12.

He lived at St. Benedict's Abbey in the Kenosha County hamlet of Benet Lake. But a judge says Chmura cannot return to the abbey because children live there, and he cannot have contact with anyone under 17 as a condition of his bond. Chmura is living with his father in the Chicago suburb of Lansing.