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Common Core vote expected Thursday; Iron River couple found murdered; more state briefs

MADISON -- A special state Assembly committee is scheduled to release a report on recommendations for changes to the Common Core education standards in Wisconsin.

The committee, created by Republicans earlier in the year, was formed to study and release possible changes to the voluntary standard.

Some Republicans have criticized the standard, claiming it’s too weak and is a step towards nationalized curriculum.

Supporters disagree, saying it vastly improves previous standards in Wisconsin and concerns are overblown.

The report is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, with a vote scheduled for Thursday.

Iron River couple found murdered; son arrested

IRON RIVER — This Bayfield County community was reeling Sunday on news that a well-known and well-liked elderly couple had been killed in a violent attack in their apartment the previous evening, allegedly carried out by one of their grown children.

Officials identified the victims as Jim Crain, 79, and Eunice “Crickett” Crain, 76, and identified the suspect as one of the Crains’ sons.

“This is a shock for everyone here in town. Everyone absolutely loved the couple that was murdered,” said Julie Zolondek of Iron River, who knew the victims from their mutual involvement in the Trails North ATV Club. “They were two of the sweetest people. They always had smiles on their faces.”

Authorities said Bayfield County sheriff’s deputies responded about 6:15 p.m. Saturday to a 911 call reporting an altercation in progress at the apartment on North George Street in Iron River, a town of about 1,000 people about 40 miles southeast of Duluth on Hwy. 2.

Responding deputies found the Crains dead in the home. Officials said their 44-year-old son was found injured in the residence, and deputies arrested him at the scene. He was transported to a Duluth hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and is being held under guard.

The Crains’ landlord, Eric Olson, said the scene in the apartment indicated a violent attack.

-- Forum News Service

Gun owner facing reckless charge after handgun fires

RACINE --A Milwaukee couple turned themselves in to police after a handgun incident at a Burlington Coat Factory in Racine.

Police say on Saturday, 34-year-old Marvin Jackson allegedly took off his coat and handed it to an unidentified woman. A handgun reportedly fell out of his coat pocket and fired one shot when it hit the floor, striking a metal fixture.

The couple allegedly picked up the gun and took off.

Racine Police say Jackson turned himself in after seeing pictures from a surveillance camera online, he was arrested for reckless endangerment by negligent weapon handling.

Police say Jackson was a valid concealed carry permit holder.

Barrett hospitalized after 20 kilometer birthday run MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was hospitalized for exhaustion after running 20 kilometers on his 60th birthday.

A spokesman says Barrett completed the run at the Pettit National Ice Center, but needed medical treatment for exhaustion.

An ambulance transported Barrett to a hospital, where doctors found he suffered from dehydration and overexertion. The mayor was hospitalized overnight and could be released Monday.

Barrett is a regular runner who often participates in community runs.

A spokesman noted that Sunday's run was the furthest he had previously completed, placing third in his age group.

Walker attends ceremony commemorating Pearl Harbor

Gov. Scott Walker and other dignitaries attended a ceremony to mark the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor over the weekend.

Fifty-six Wisconsinites were among those killed during the attack on Dec. 7, 1941, which led to the U.S. entering World War II.

Walker thanked those who gave their lives that day, and the four living survivors who attended Sunday’s ceremony in King.

He added that it’s important to teach our children about their sacrifice.

Other state officials who attended the event included Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos and National Guard Major General Donald Dunbar.

Sex offender heading back to prison

A convicted sex offender is going back to prison for violating the terms of his extended supervision.

Andrew Guenther will spend two more year behind bars for allegedly abusing an elderly man.

A judge found Guenther guilty of subjecting an at-risk person to abuse and two counts of intimidating a witness.

The abuse stems from a 2008 incident where Guenther punched the older man in the leg and hit his foot with a baseball bat.

The victim’s wife saw Guenther do it, and the couple’s pastor reported the crime. The complaint also says Guenther threatened to cut their throats while they slept if they called authorities.

Guenther also got in trouble for lying to his case managers and not informing them about his new live-in girlfriend.

Firearms recovered beneath Wausau bridge

Wausau police are trying to determine how a number of rifles and shotguns ended up underneath a bridge on the frozen Wisconsin River.

Lt. Michael Juedes says they got a tip about the guns early Saturday morning, saying several firearms were on the ice underneath the Bridge Street Bridge.

Several burglaries have taken place in Wausau over the past few months with a number of guns and rifles stolen.

Police are now trying to determine who the original owners of the guns are.

DNR board to be briefed on recent hunt

Department of Natural Resources officials will be presenting the results of this year's gun deer hunt Tuesday.

Biologists and other officials will be meeting with the Natural Resources Board at 2 p.m. to go over the results of the hunt and other information.

Early numbers from the season show total harvest down about 7 percent and buck harvest down 15 percent.

Last week, spokesman Ed Culhane said the cold temperatures and stinging winds on opening weekend contributed to the lower numbers this year.

Cedarburg student wins park sticker contest

A southeast Wisconsin high school student has won the Department of Natural Resources’ annual state park sticker contest.

Ursula Reid is a junior at Cedarburg High School, her design featuring a turtle on a blue canvas was the winner from over 200 other entries.

The winning design, along with the other submissions, can be viewed at the department’s website at

DNR is now accepting submissions for next year’s contest until April 13.

The contest is open to public, parochial and private high school students in the state.

Turkey, bear permit deadline is Tuesday

Tuesday is the deadline to apply for Wisconsin turkey and bear hunting permits for the upcoming season.

The state’s Department of Natural Resources will hold a lottery in the coming month for the two seasons.

The rest of the permits will be sold over-the-counter on a first come, first served basis.

The regular spring turkey season begins on April 16, with bear season starting on Sept. 3.

Applications are available at any license sales location or the department’s website ( There is a $3 fee to apply.