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Wisconsin state news briefs: Lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct defeated in primary; and more state news stories

MADISON -- Voters have ousted a Democratic state lawmaker who was accused of sexual misconduct.  

Immigration attorney Marisabel Cabrera defeated State Rep. Josh Zepnick in Tuesday's primary. Zepnick was accused by two women last winter of trying to kiss them against their will at political events in 2011 and 2015. Zepnick issued an apology and was criminally charged.  Democratic leaders demanded he resign, but Zepnick refused.


Pilot suffers injuries in Brown County plane crash

ROCKLAND -- The Federal Aviation Administration is handling the investigation of a small plane crash in Brown County Tuesday evening.  

Deputies say the four-seat, single-engine Cessna went down at about 6 p.m. near the Birch Creek Airport in Rockland. The 69-year-old pilot was the only person in the plane and he was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. His name hasn't been released. Deputies say the plane appears to be a total loss.


No evidence of shots fired on I-43 found

MILWAUKEE -- Investigators with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office say they have found no evidence shots were fired on Interstate 43 during the noon hour Tuesday. Multiple reports were called in.  

Witnesses told dispatchers they heard three shots and that led deputies to shut down the southbound lanes for about an hour and 15 minutes. Investigators say they found no bullet cases and ShotSpotters technology issued no alerts. The response was quick because there have been several shootings and rolling gunfights on Milwaukee-area interstates in the last 12 months.


Wasp nest creates dangerous situation

BELLEVUE -- Residents of a home in Bellevue were alarmed earlier this week when their carbon monoxide detectors started going off. Because it is odorless and colorless, carbon monoxide can be very dangerous. It can kill.  

Firefighters responded to the call and did find elevated levels of the gas. A search of the home found wasps had built a nest in a water heater exhaust pipe. The nest blocked the pipe, causing the backup of the gas. No injuries were reported and the family's name hasn't been released.


Wisconsin vote: Evers to face Walker; Vukmir wins Senate primary

MADISON -- Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers says he will "take the fight" to incumbent Gov. Scott Walker. Evers emerged from a field of eight Democrats in Tuesday's primary election.  

The other statewide race getting a lot of attention was won by veteran state lawmaker Leah Vukmir. She defeated businessman and Marine Kevin Nicholson for the opportunity to oppose incumbent U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin in November. Vukmir won an expensive primary battle which included almost $37 million in spending.  

After warning of a "blue wave" of Democrats taking over state government, Walker hits the campaign trail Wednesday with the start of a state tour. The Wisconsin Republican Party plans to spend $500,000 on an attack ad against Evers.


Man pleads not guilty to homicide charges in drug case

CHILTON -- Prosecutors say the man they're charging with first-degree reckless homicide provided the drug which caused a woman to die.  

Evan Schultz entered a not guilty plea in Calumet County Circuit Court Tuesday. An Appleton woman overdosed and died in April 2017. Surveillance video shows him meeting the victim outside of a convenience store just two hours before she died. Schultz has a status hearing scheduled for Sept. 10. The woman's name hasn't been released.


Douglas County jury finds 2 protesters guilty

SUPERIOR -- A jury in Douglas County has convicted two protesters on charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer.  

Twenty-four-year-old Alexander Emery Good-Cane-Milk and 26-year-old Kyla L. Hassig were also found guilty of trespassing. They were arrested last year at a construction site where Enbridge Energy was replacing a segment of an oil pipeline. An attorney representing the two had argued the two were worried for the impact on the environment. Work on the pipeline was completed and it is now in use.


Farmer only partially successful in rescuing horses from barn fire

FRANKSVILLE -- A Racine County farmer says he got on his hands and knees to crawl under the smoke in his burning barn as he tried to rescue his horses from a fire.  

James Stamas says he got most of the 16 horses free, but not all of them. The fire swept through the barn at Landlife Farms Monday night. A limited water supply made it even harder for firefighters to get the flames under control. Stamas says he doesn't know how the fire started, but he had been using a torch to kill weeds. That could be the source. Neighbors are holding the horses which survived for him.


Teachers in Suring undergo special training

SURING -- Teachers in Suring are among several hundred Wisconsin educators getting special training in case of a school shooting or other disaster.

Staff members have been learning how to stop bleeding from serious injuries. A special program through the Regional Trauma Advisory Council is placing medical kits in every classroom in the Suring School District. All schools in Oconto County are participating. RTAC coordinator Dave Taylor calls the program a critical safety net needed in every community.


Madison man given 7-year sentence for drug possession, sales

MADISON -- A Madison man will spend up to seven years in prison for selling cocaine and possessing a gun.  

Twenty-four-year-old Marquise S. Howard had entered a guilty plea to the charges in May. He was arrested last June when he appeared to be intoxicated as Madison police responded to the scene of a three-vehicle accident. Officers say Howard kept standing up while he was told to remain seated. While another witness was being interviewed, he stood up again and a loaded gun fell to the ground. That discovery led to other charges.


Beloit woman putting on shoes just before crashing into 2 parked vehicles

DARLINGTON -- Police in the Lafayette County seat of Darlington say a Beloit woman was cited for inattentive driving and failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle after a three-car crash Monday morning.

Darlington police say 26-year-old Alexis Furino was trying to drive her car while putting on her shoes. Police say the crash occurred at around 5:30 a.m. Monday. Investigators say Furino sideswiped two parked vehicles, one of which sustained minor damage while the other sustained severe damage. Furino's car also sustained severe damage. Nobody was injured in the crash.


High school in La Crosse implementing clear backpack policy

LA CROSSE -- La Crosse Central High School is implementing a clear backpack policy when school begins in early September. Any backpacks that are not clear will have to be left in lockers for the entire school day.  

Students will be able to carry clear or mesh backpacks to classrooms throughout the day or can carry their books in their hands. The school district says the policy is meant to ensure student safety and to prevent students from carrying heavy backpacks around all day and injuring their backs.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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