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Wisconsin roundup: State's mobile phone speeds lag behind neighbors; more state news stories

Cross the state line and your mobile-phone internet speeds get a lot faster.

A national ranking places Wisconsin in the bottom half of the 50 states, while Minnesota is No. 1. Internet through mobile devices averages almost 37 megabits per second in Minnesota, while Wisconsin's average is slightly over 23.5. Only Laredo, Texas, and Anchorage, Alaska, had slower average internet speeds than Madison's 20 megabits a second, according to a company offering online speed tests.


Contractor who caused fatal Sun Prairie explosion wasn’t registered

The Michigan-based contractor whose workers caused the fatal explosion in Sun Prairie by cutting a gas line isn't registered to do business in Wisconsin.

It's possible VC Tech doesn't have to be registered to function as a subcontractor on jobs like that one. Crews were installing fiber optic cable lines July 10. Sun Prairie police say they are still considering whether to file criminal charges against any worker involved in causing the explosion and the timetable for making that decision has been pushed back. Sun Prairie firefighter Cory Barr was killed after the leaking gas was sparked and created a huge fireball, destroying seven downtown businesses.


Walker attends White House ceremony on jobs

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the White House Thursday when the president signed an executive order establishing a council to help workers.

Members the council will be charged with creating a national strategy for making sure those workers have access to affordable, relevant education and job training. It is supposed to create solutions for all of the country's most urgent workforce issues. Among the companies attending were representatives of Foxconn Technologies, which is building that multi-billion dollar electronics plant in Racine County.


Election fraud charges filed against former Milwaukee County supervisor

Felony election fraud charges have been filed against a former Milwaukee County supervisor.

The original complaint against Peggy Romo West was referred to the County Ethics Board. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez defeated Romo West in the April election. Ortiz-Velez had accused her opponent of failing to circulate nominating papers, despite certifying she had done so. Romo West lost the election by slightly more than 200 votes. She had a previous run-in with the Ethics Board involving campaign work and county business.


OSHA proposes $49K penalty for Menasha roofing contractor

A Menasha roofing contractor has been cited for exposing its workers to falls for the sixth time in the last five years.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Ketz Roofing after federal inspectors reported seeing its employees working without adequate protection against falls at a job site in Appleton. The federal agency is proposing penalties of nearly 49-thousand dollars. Ketz Roofing has 15 days after getting the citations to comply with the orders or contest the OSHA findings.


Drug dealer accused of trying to put hit on prosecutor

Prosecutors say a convicted drug dealer tried to have a Milwaukee County assistant district attorney killed after she recommended he get a 25-year sentence.

Steven R. Jordan has been charged with soliciting a hit on ADA Laura Crivello. He's accused of trying to work through other inmates and his mother. Forty-four-year-old Latasha N. Savage of Brown Deer was arrested this week. Jordan has a court appearance Friday. He reportedly offered thousands of dollars to have Crivello attacked in the courthouse cafeteria. Later, he said he'd pay even more for someone to "pop" her. State investigators say that makes the case a murder plot.


Second investigation targets DeForest police chief

The DeForest Village Board doesn't plan to file a formal complaint about its police chief, but a meeting earlier this week revealed there is a second investigation underway.

Chief Daniel Furseth has been on administrative leave since late May. His troubles started when a three-year-old YouTube video was discovered showing Furseth making derogatory comments about a group of African-American men. An investigation found no evidence of explicit or overt racial discrimination in the way he had been running the DeForest Police Department. Village officials haven't said what the second investigation concerns.


400 pheasant chicks stolen from Dodge County facility

The Dodge County Sheriff's Office says Hundreds of baby pheasants were stolen from a property in the county.

Sheriff's officials say they received a report at around 2 p.m. Tuesday that 400 chicks had been stolen from a property on Cleveland Road in the town of Lebanon. Investigators say the chicks were just one day old. Deputies say they came from a game farm-type facility. So far, no suspects have been identified.


Eau Claire County Board approves $30 wheel tax

Eau Claire County will be implementing a new $30 wheel tax.

The fee was approved by the County Board Wednesday night by a vote of 20-9. Vehicles such as motorcycles, mopeds, and motor homes will be exempt. Officials say the fee will help raise over $2 million for county highways.