Wisconsin roundup: State's Top 3 Republicans skipping Trump-Pence rally; unsolicited hugger arrested; eight more state news stories
GREEN BAY -- When Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump campaigns with running mate Mike Pence in Green Bay Friday, he's sure to draw a big crowd, but three powerful state politicians won't be there.
Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan are involved in a mini-feud over endorsements. Gov. Scott Walker, another Wisconsin Republican, says he's "100 percent with Paul Ryan" and he needs to go to the northern part of the state to view flood damage anyway. U.S. Senator Ron Johnson's office says he has prior commitments.
Burlington man arrested for hugging people without consent
UNION GROVE -- An 18-year-old Burlington man has been arrested for hugging two people who didn't welcome the expression of affection.
Jacob Brown is charged with disorderly conduct. One woman says she was packing up after studying at the Graham Public Library in Union Grove when Brown approached her, told her she was cute and asked her out. When she refused, he hugged her and asked if he could kiss her.
She said no, pushed him off and walked away. A second report indicated he had approached a 15-year-old girl, talked to her while putting his arms around her and then kissed her on the cheek.
Democratic running mate Kaine campaigning Friday in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE -- The Hillary Clinton campaign says vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine will discuss plans to build an economy that "works for everyone, not just those at the top."
Kaine is making a stop at Milwaukee's Lakefront Brewery Friday afternoon at 1 p.m., with doors opening two hours before that. Kaine is a U.S. senator from Virginia. He's in Wisconsin on the same day Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence are to be featured at a rally in Green Bay. He will tell the crowd Hillary Clinton is planning to make the largest investment in job creation since World War II.
DNR board approves $2M land purchase
ASHLAND -- The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board has approved spending $2 million to buy nearly 1,000 acres in Dunn County.
The property northeast of Durand includes nearly three-and-a-half miles of shoreline on the Chippewa River's south bank. Xcel Energy is the seller.
The state board approved the transaction during a meeting Wednesday, saying it should close next month. The Legislature's finance committee and Governor Scott Walker will also have to give their approval.
Dane County medical examiner: Missing woman drowned
MADISON -- The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office reports foul play is not suspected in the death of a Madison woman.
Thirty-five-year-old Megann Schmitt was reported missing early Tuesday and her body was found in Lake Monona that night, the victim of an apparent drowning. A forensic autopsy was done Wednesday.
Two fishermen found her body near the mouth of the Yahara River. The Madison Fire Department lake rescue team made the recovery shortly after 11 p.m., about 50 yards off the shore.
Racine police say driver of crashed car tried to report it as stolen
RACINE -- Racine police accuse a 30-year-old man of trying to report his car was stolen shortly after he crashed it into a house.
Investigators say they found the car abandoned at the end of about 40 feet of skid marks. Jacoby returned to the scene and officers found he was in possession of the keys to the car which was locked.
Police decided he was lying and had been driving the car, so they arrested him. Jacoby has a pretrial conference set for next month.
Attorney general's office asks for emergency stay of federal court ruling
MADISON -- The Wisconsin attorney general has asked for an emergency stay of a federal judge's ruling which struck down several provisions in the voter ID law.
U.S. District Judge James Peterson said the restrictions were unconstitutional. State Department of Justice attorneys say Peterson's ruling would force changes in election procedures and could cause confusion for voters.
Lawyers representing groups opposing the voter ID law have filed their own notice of appeal.
Two hurt when small plane hits power lines, crashes
TOWN OF FOND DU LAC -- The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office reports the crash of a single-engine plane has left two people with injuries serious enough to require hospitalization.
The plane apparently hit some power lines Wednesday morning. That's the second small plane to crash in Wisconsin in two days.
There were no injuries in the Tuesday night crash in neighboring Winnebago County. A road was closed while emergency responders and power crews were working at the crash site near an intersection in the town of Fond du Lac.
Walker asks feds for flooding disaster declaration
MADISON – Gov. Scott Walker is asking President Barack Obama's administration for a federal disaster declaration for nine northern Wisconsin counties and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa tribal nation in the wake of torrential rains and flash flooding.
Thunderstorms barreled across the region beginning July 11, bringing heavy rain, damaging winds and hail. Walker's office said Wednesday that the storms caused more than $25 million dollars in damages to roads and public infrastructure.
A federal disaster declaration would mean the Federal Emergency Management Agency would cover 75 percent of local governments' recovery costs. Walker plans to make his third visit to the region since the storms hit on Friday.
Court: Union restrictions voided teacher retirement benefits
MADISON -- A state appeals court says Gov. Scott Walker's public union restrictions voided retirement benefits for Neenah teachers.
Neenah schools and teachers negotiated a two-year contract in 2009 that provided a stipend and medical benefits to retiring teachers. The contract included an evergreen clause that guaranteed the deal would continue after the contract expired. Walker's restrictions were passed by the state legislature in 2011.
Neenah schools subsequently reduced benefits, prompting teachers to sue. The 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the school district acted properly, finding the 2009 contract didn't extend benefits beyond its expiration and the union restrictions voided the evergreen clause. Attorneys for the teachers say they plan to appeal to the state Supreme Court.