No photo ID needed to vote Tuesday; parish's pig 'rassling' unfolds despite protests; more state news
Wisconsinites won't need photo identification to vote in Tuesday's Wisconsin fall primaries but ACLU attorney Larry Dupuis is concerned about possible confusion by voters, because of the July 31 State Supreme Court ruling which upheld the ID requirement.
The judge's ruling cannot take effect because a federal judge had earlier ruled the photo ID mandate as unconstitutional.
The state's appealing that, and is trying to put the federal judge's ruling on hold so ID's would be required in November.
Dupuis said one of the ACLU's own clients is confused about the status of the ID law. However, the League of Women Voters has joined local and state election officials in sending out information to make it clear that voters won't need to show photo ID's Tuesday.
State Government Accountability Board director Kevin Kennedy says most voters bring their ID's with them anyway.
Only a 15 percent turnout is expected, and Kennedy says primary voters are generally those who pay lots of attention to the process.
The biggest items on the ballot is a three-way Democratic primary for attorney general, and a four-way GOP primary for the Sixth District U.S. House seat.
Bloomberg, other out-of-state groups fund opposition in Milwaukee Co. sheriff's race
MILWAUKEE -- It's not often that a county sheriff's election attracts big outside money, but that's what Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke is facing Tuesday. The left-leaning Greater Wisconsin Committee and groups funded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have put up around $600,000 for TV and radio ads to try and get Clarke defeated.
The third-term sheriff got into hot water by his critics when he said on radio shows that residents should arm themselves and learn self-defense.
Despite his staunch conservative views, Clarke runs with the predominant party in heavily-Democratic Milwaukee. Because primary voters can only choose one party, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has urged his fellow Republicans to cross over and vote for Clarke.
Clarke is running against Milwaukee Police lieutenant Chris Moews. The winner will take the seat, since there's no GOP opposition on the ballot in November.
According to the Journal Sentinel newspaper, Thompson has told supporters that Tuesday is a "defining moment" for the state's most-populated county.
Wisconsin Senate Democratic leader Chris Larson of Milwaukee says Clarke has made a "mockery" of the sheriff's office, and he's in a "fight for his political life" because of it.
Clarke has also received support from less-funded groups like the Citizens for Responsible Government.
'Speed bumps' are simply rough pavement, DOT attests
MARSHFIELD -- Some drivers believe the state put in speed bumps on the 10-mile stretch between Marshfield and Stratford on Highway 97, but state officials say that's not it at all.
The Department of Transportation's Brent Matthews says old concrete pavement has pushed up into the newer asphalt over the past couple weeks. He said the weather was the culprit, as temperatures got warmer and rose into the 80's every day.
The speed limit there is 55, but some drivers say the bumps have forced them down to 20 miles per hour.
Matthews says there's not much that can be done until it gets cooler. Crews will then grind down the bumps and smooth them out.
The National Weather Service says it will be awhile before we see a noticeable cool-down. Highs are projected to be in the 70's and 80's statewide all week. There was a chance of rain Monday into Monday evening, but clear skies are predicted for the rest of the week.
-- Larry Lee, WSAU, Wausau
Vigil held for two killed, eight hurt in SUV rollover
WAUSAU -- A candlelight vigil was set for Monday evening in downtown Wausau to remember those killed and injured in a sport utility vehicle crash on Friday.
Two children died -- the latest on Saturday. Eight others were hurt when their large sport vehicle rolled over on Highway 52, about 12 miles northeast of Wausau.
A survivor's relative said the group was heading to the Eau Claire Dells County Park for a picnic and swimming. Broadcast reports said only one victim remained hospitalized as of Sunday evening.
The other seven survivors were treated at hospitals and released during the weekend.
A 12-year-old Oshkosh girl was among those killed, along with another girl.
Marathon County sheriff's officials were expected to release victims' names and more details about the crash later Monday.
The victims' friends and relatives have been visiting the crash site throughout the weekend, along with Good Samaritans who stopped to help right after the mishap.
Pig 'rassling' exhibition unfolds, despite protests
APPLETON -- A 44-year-old church pig-wrestling tradition near Appleton went off with few hitches Sunday after it caught the eyes of animal rights protesters for the first time.
The Appleton Post-Crescent said around 20 activists showed up at Stephensville to condemn the popular "Pig Rassle" during the annual Round-up Days at St. Patrick's parish.
WLUK TV of Green Bay said the protesters were in the "dozens," but the station's Web site did not list a specific number.
Two protesters were escorted away after disrupting a mass at the church. Most simply held signs saying "Animal Abuse is Evil," and "Rassle Each Other, Not Pigs." Still, most of the mudslinging occurred in the pig pens, where organizers said no animal was ever hurt in the event despite claims from the Global Conservation Group of Watertown.
The controversy attracted 62,000 people who signed on-line petitions condemning the event.
Diggers' Hotline hoping Monday's date raises profile
Monday is 8/11. Eight-one-one is also the number to call for Diggers' Hotline.
The Wisconsin Public Service utility is using the date to remind people to "call before they dig," to make sure their projects don't run into underground utility lines.
Todd Steffen of Public Service says lots of people assume that the statewide Digger's Hotline is for larger projects.
Actually, many utility lines are cut by folks doing smaller projects at home. Steffen says they can cause injuries, major expenses, and other problems for both residents and their neighbors by not calling.
-- Ken Krall, WXPR, Rhinelander
EPA leaders says Green Bay's water supply vulnerable to Ohio-style algae bout too
GREEN BAY -- The Environmental Protection Agency's regional leader says the Bay of Green Bay could develop the same type of algae that caused Toledo Ohio's water to be undrinkable for several days.
During a visit to Milwaukee, EPA Midwest administrator Susan Hedman said Green Bay has significant blooms which are ripe for the development of blue-green algae and other types.
Phosphorus run-off from farms appeared to feeding blue-green algae that's related to a toxin in the Toledo area's water supplies for 400,000 people.
Hedman said federal funds are being spent on the problem in a number of places, including the Bay of Green Bay.
The Alliance for the Great Lakes praises the EPA's efforts there, as well as the Department of Natural Resources' effort to keep phosphorus in check elsewhere in Wisconsin.
Lyman Welch of the Alliance told Wisconsin Public Radio that voluntary measures may no longer be enough and it's time to address the entire watershed and address all phosphorus pollution sources.
The state approved standards to reduce phosphorus levels in 2010.
In the last legislative session, Republicans gave businesses and communities up to 20 years to comply, after some said it cost them too much to do so now.
Three drownings marr weekend water activities
Authorities continue to investigate three weekend drownings in north central Wisconsin.
In Wausau, an 18-year-old man disappeared Saturday afternoon in Man Made Lake off shore from the city's Sunnyvale Park. Investigators did not know what led to the incident. Others in the park pulled the man from the water and tried CPR until witnesses could get him to a hospital where he died.
In Vilas County, sheriff's deputies said a 77-year-old man fell from his boat while it was being towed by another boat Saturday morning on Catfish Lake near Eagle River. The man died at a hospital a short time later.
Also, authorities said a 28-year-old man swam across the St. Croix River into Wisconsin, and was heading back to the Minnesota side when he drowned. He was found Saturday evening close to where he entered the water at Rush City, Minn. None of the victims' names were immediately released.
-- Larry Lee and Raymond Neupert, WSAU, Wausau
Elm Grove man dies during mountain-bike event
MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Authorities are investigating the death of a 37-year-old suburban Milwaukee man in a weekend mountain bike race in Marquette.
Police found the man unresponsive after learning that a rider in the "Ore to Shore" bike races never reached the finish line. The victim was from Elm Grove. He was located just off the race course, and efforts to revive him failed.
The event featured several mountain bike races up to 48 miles in length. It was not immediately known which race the Elm Grove biker had entered.
The "Ore to Shore" course goes through a variety of terrain, including wooded areas, and along Lake Superior and the Dead River.
Organizers said the death was the first in the event's 15-year history.
Alleged exhibitionist invader nabbed in Fond du Lac
FOND DU LAC -- A 26-year-old man is in police custody after he was allegedly nude while committing at least three home invasions since June 24. The man was arrested on Saturday.
Police said he confessed to entering homes that were not locked. At least three such incidents were reported to police by the homeowners.
Officers are also investigating a fourth home invasion that was not reported because the owners did not know he had entered the house.
In one of the entries, police said the man touched a woman while she slept. He was booked on possible charges of second-degree sexual assault, lewd and lascivious behavior, and burglary.
Plymouth council mulls bar license for senior center
PLYMOUTH -- There's opposition to letting alcohol be served at a senior center in Sheboygan County which also has facilities for kids.
The city council in Plymouth will vote Wednesday on whether to override Mayor Donald Pohlman's veto of the proposed liquor license.
The Plymouth Inter-Generational Coalition wants to bring in revenue by letting alcohol be served at events like weddings and reunions.
The Common Council said no to the group's original license request in May. The senior center appealed, and the aldermen voted July 29 to grant the serving of liquor before the mayor vetoed it.
The Plymouth facility is open to people of all ages, not just seniors. Among other things, it has an adult community center, a day care facility and kindergarten classrooms.\