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Wisconsin state new briefs: Juvenile court judges: ‘We take youth accountability seriously; and more state news stories

MADISON -- The Circuit Court of Dane County's Juvenile Division is reacting to criticism of the process after a series of auto thefts. A statement released by the court says community safety, victim impacts and youth accountability are taken seriously.  

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval had said a group of about 75 teenagers are continually re-offending. He said the system needs to create more accountability  The court's statement said, "Youth are not picked up and simply released."

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Eau Claire man accused of raping roommate

EAU CLAIRE -- An Eau Claire woman tells police she took a sleeping pill last February and then took a nap. She says she woke up to find her roommate having sex with her.  

Daniel Chance is charged with sexual assault and felony intimidation of a witness. Investigators say Chance's semen was found during an examination. The victim says he threatened to burn all of her possessions if she reported the assault to police.

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7 people arrested for series of burglaries near UW-Oshkosh campus

OSHKOSH -- Police have arrested seven suspects in a series of burglaries reported near the U-W-Oshkosh campus. The first reports were received in early September.  

Four of the people arrested are juveniles. They face charges like party to the crime of burglary, receiving stolen property and operating a motor vehicle without the owner's consent. Three men 20-to-26 years old are also being held as suspects in the crimes.

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Bernie Sanders visiting Wisconsin next week

MILWAUKEE -- U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will headline Democratic rallies in Milwaukee and Kenosha next Monday.  

The independent senator from Vermont will be in Milwaukee to rally liberal voters for Democrats like U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers and congressional candidate Randy Bryce. He will make a second appearance later the same day in Kenosha, again rallying Democrats for Bryce.

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UPDATE: Wisconsin sheriff: Florida report about missing teen not credible

BARRON -- Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says a tip indicating a Wisconsin teenager was seen in Florida isn't credible.  

Thirteen-year-old Jayme Closs has been missing since early Monday when the bodies of her parents were found in the family home. Autopsies on 46-year-old Denise Closs and 56-year-old James Closs are to be completed later Wednesday.  

Their teenage daughter was last seen at a family gathering Sunday. Additional resources have been called in to deal with the more than 200 tips which have been received so far.

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Federal trial concerning Wisconsin gerrymandering could be held in April

MADISON -- A three-judge federal panel could hear arguments in Wisconsin's gerrymandering lawsuit in late April. A summer ruling would be possible, setting the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case by the fall of 2019.

The lawsuit was filed in an effort to overturn the maps for the Wisconsin Assembly which would favor Republican candidates in elections. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled once already, saying the parties who filed the original suit didn't have legal standing.

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Republican leader in Wisconsin Senate won't rule out health protections

MADISON -- The majority leader in the Wisconsin Senate says passage of a state-level protection for people with pre-existing health conditions can't be ruled out.  

Republican Scott Fitzgerald tells reporters there are members of his party in the Senate who are probably "not on board" with the protections. Gov. Scott Walker has promised those pre-existing conditions will be covered in the state as long as he is governor. Fitzgerald says opponents don't like the fact it would be a mandate, but he says he thinks the measure would pass in the Senate.

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Season 2 of ‘Making A Murderer’ to be released Friday

MANITOWOC -- Netflix producers say season-two of "Making a Murderer" will focus on the appeals process. It is scheduled for release this Friday.  

The controversial series focuses on the murder cases against Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. Both men are serving life terms for the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005. The first season suggested Avery was wrongfully convicted and Dassey's confession was coerced.

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City of Madison sends mistake bills to some residents

MADISON -- Officials in the city of Madison says letters were mistakenly sent to some city residents indicating they owed fees.

City officials said Tuesday that a number of Madison residents may have recently received a letter from the Madison Finance Department indicating they were being charged a special assessment for an unpaid reinspection fee. Officials say the letters were sent in error and the notice was generated by mistake.

Officials say all of the mistake charges have been reversed and a letter is being sent out advising recipients to disregard the special assessment notice and a corrected bill will be sent out if any fees are due.

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Chippewa Fire District member threatening to bolt

TOWN OF WHEATON  -- Officials with the Town of Wheaton say the Chippewa Fire District needs to balance its budget. Town officials are threatening to leave the district if $200,000 in expenditures aren't cut. Taking that step would lower the Town's financial responsibility.

It's not as easy as it sounds. The Town of Wheaton would have to give a 15-month notice by October of next year and it couldn't officially leave the fire district until December 2020.

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Stevens Point schools dealing with aging pipes

STEVENS POINT -- Officials with the Stevens Point Area School District say they need to replace some aging pipes.

The pipes at P.J. Jacobs Junior High are said to be more than 80 years old and one burst about three weeks ago causing thousands of dollars in damages. There are other similar problems.  One teacher says her classroom never gets heat until later in the school day. Repairs and replacement of the crumbling infrastructure are part of a $75 million referendum coming up before voters next month.

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3 teens face charges after stolen vehicle chase ends with crash at Milwaukee Air Base

MILWAUKEE -- Police say three teens in a stolen car are facing a series of charges after they crashed through the gate at Milwaukee's air base over the weekend.  

St. Francis police say the teens were trying to escape after stealing a woman's car. They sped through the gate at the 128th Air Refueling Wing Sunday. A guard there fired at them.  Prosecutors in Milwaukee are pushing ahead with felony charges against 17-year-old Lucas Zynel and a 14-year-old suspect. The other 17-year-old in the car is facing a charge of being an accessory to the crime.

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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