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Wisconsin state news briefs: Madison man involved in teen's disappearance sentenced to 10 years, and more state news

MADISON -- A 31-year-old Madison man is going to prison for at least 10 years under a plea agreement reached this week.  

Bryan Rogers was involved in the disappearance of a teenager from Tennessee. He met her online and drove to Tennessee, picked her up and returned her to Wisconsin.  

A grand jury had indicted Rogers on multiple charges related to transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent that the minor engage in sexual activity. The girl told him she was being sexually abused and she sent him a video as evidence.

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Resistance building against expansion plans for The Hop

MILWAUKEE -- Critics of the mayor's plans to extend Milwaukee's streetcar line say the city can't afford it.  

Mayor Tom Barrett is hoping to add several miles to the line by the time the Democratic National Convention comes to Milwaukee next summer.  

Alderman Tony Zielinski points out the $3.4 million-a-year in federal subsidies will go away after next year. Barrett has until May 29 to convince the City Council to release funds for a study of the project and construction work.

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15 years in prison for man who sold drugs which caused 4 overdoses

APPLETON -- A Kaukauna man who admits he sold heroin or fentanyl to four people who overdosed is going to prison for at least 15 years.  

One of Leslie Antonio Brown's customers died in 2015. An undercover investigation led to his arrest.  The 27-year-old Brown entered a no contest plea to the reckless homicide charge in March. He was convicted under Wisconsin's Len Bias law which holds drug dealers responsible when people overdose while using their product.

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Ashland police officer retires after being named a suspect in a stolen car case

ASHLAND -- No charges have been filed yet, but a veteran police officer from Ashland has retired after being named in a stolen car case.

The vehicle was taken from in front of the owner's house April 28. He found it, undamaged, later the same day in front of an Ashland convenience store.  

The Iron County Sheriff's Office told Ashland police its investigation was completed Tuesday. The officer's name hasn't been released.

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Brown County man charged with homicide in wife's disappearance

GREEN BAY -- Brown County prosecutors have charged a 73-year-old man with first-degree intentional homicide in his wife's disappearance.  

James Prokopovitz made a court appearance Wednesday. He was arrested May 8, six years after Victoria Prokopovitz went missing. Her body has never been found.  

The judge in the case decided the evidence against him was strong enough to set a $2 million cash bond.

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WEDC provides paper company with $1.7M in tax credits

MADISON -- Expansion at the ND Paper division in Biron is expected to create 27 new jobs for the Wisconsin Rapids area.  

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is providing $1.7 million in tax credits to help the project get going.  

ND paper has 1,200 employees. Company officials say its economic study suggests the expansion will indirectly create another 31 jobs for the region.

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Fairchild woman accused of sex trafficking a child

EAU CLAIRE -- Authorities in Eau Claire County have charged a woman with two counts of trafficking a child.  

Investigators say a 15-year-old girl was sexually assaulted over a three-day period by Catherine Ottinger's boyfriend in 2017. Ottinger has a court appearance scheduled for next week.  

The criminal complaint says Ottinger was present when her boyfriend had sex with the underage girl in exchange for money.

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‘Free Fun Weekend’ coming to Wisconsin state parks June 1-2

MADISON-- For two days next month admission charges for all Wisconsin state parks will be waived.  

The Department of Natural Resources has announced "Free Fun Weekend" will be held June 1-2. Visitors will be able to fish, hike, bike and use all trails without paying a fee. You won't even need a license to fish.  

The DNR is hoping people will like it so much they return -- when there is a fee to be collected.

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Assembly Republicans propose far less for schools than Evers' budget

MADISON -- Assembly Republicans propose increasing state aid to Wisconsin school districts by about $500 million over the next two years.  

The GOP plan would increase funding for special election by around $50 million and mental health services by $20 million. That's about $900 million less than Gov. Tony Evers' proposed $1.4 billion increase for schools. Evers' budget also includes $600 million more for special election and $64 million in mental health funding.  

Republicans would increase per-pupil funding by $200 next year and $204 the following school year.  

The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee holds a pivotal vote Thursday on the state schools budget for the two-year cycle starting July 1.

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DNR board approves deer hunt that doesn't include buck-only counties

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board is approving a 2019 deer hunt framework that doesn't include any buck-only counties for the first time since 2009. No counties requested a buck-only season suggesting the herd numbers are healthy statewide.  

The DNR says hunters took more than 160,000 bucks last year, which was the second-highest harvest in ten years topped only by 2012. A holiday hunt will offer an additional nine days of antlerless-only gun deer hunting across 29 counties within southern and central Wisconsin. There will be extended archery and crossbow seasons in 22 Wisconsin counties with a holiday hunt - an increase from 12 in 2018.  

The 2019 deer season framework was unanimously approved at Wednesday’s meeting.

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DNR and other state agencies will be looking for drunken boaters

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reminding boaters to stay safe during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  

Patrols will be out on the lakes and waterways looking for operators who are under the influence.  

Every watercraft has to have a Coast Guard-approved flotation device for every person onboard. Safety regulations are posted online.

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Possession of guns results in return to prison for felon

MADISON -- A convicted felon will return to prison after he was found with two guns in his possession.  

Twenty-seven-year-old Matthew J. Soban entered a guilty plea to the federal charge last March. Baraboo police took Soban into custody last summer on an outstanding warrant. When he was searched, officers found a loaded gun in the holster on his waist and a Derringer in his backpack.  

Soban spent six of the last 10 years in prison for violent and drug-trafficking felony convictions.

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Wisconsin suit over federal health care rule change

NEW YORK, NY -- Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul says the federal government shouldn't make it more difficult for patients to access health care.

Wisconsin is joining nearly two dozen states and local governments who are suing over a new rule which would let health care clinicians object to providing abortions and other services which conflict with their religious beliefs. They are asking a federal judge in New York to block the Department of Health and Human Services rule.  It is set to go into effect in July.

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Lake Delton woman admits stealing more than $358K

MADISON -- A 54-year-old Lake Delton woman admits she embezzled more than $358,000 from two bank accounts.  

Stephanie Czuprynko was the bookkeeper for the Dells-Delton Emergency Medical Services and the Lake Delton Fire Department Commission at the time. She says she took the money to cover gambling debts.  

The FBI began its investigation in November. Federal prosecutors say the thefts date back at least to 2016.

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Woman who faked hostage call will be on probation for 2 years

RHINELANDER -- An Oneida County judge has given a 20-year-old woman two years probation for calling authorities about a fake hostage situation.  

Alyah Wayman of Lac du Flambeau made up a story about being held at gunpoint in a Rhinelander motel. If Wayman violates her probation, she will face tougher punishment. She entered pleas of no contest to theft and bail jump. Prosecutors dropped four other charges.

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Bloomer considering construction of new high school

BLOOMER -- Officials with the Bloomer School District say the high school is the oldest building in the district. They are considering the idea of putting a referendum before voters to build a new high school.  

It isn't clear when that vote might happen. The district has added a new middle school and elementary school in the last 20 years. The high school building needs to be replaced next.

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