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Walker blames media for comparing workers to terrorists

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says his home-state battles against labor unions prepare him to take on terrorism -- but he denies he's comparing the two. Walker drew attention at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday with his response to a question about how he'd handle ISIS, and the "radical Islamic terrorism" he condemned during his speech. "If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the globe," he told the audience. The answer allowed Walker to pivot back to his most comfortable space -- his experience battling entrenched Democratic interests in Wisconsin. But it also sounded odd: Statehouse protestors, after all, don't use weapons. Afterward, Walker told reporters he wasn't making a direct comparison. "You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit," he said, "but I think it's pretty clear, that's the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there's any parallel between the two." His attack on members of the media mirrored comments he'd made days ago, when he accused reporters who'd pressed him on whether he agreed with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's comment that President Barack Obama doesn't love America and whether he believes Obama is a Christian of seeking a "gotcha" moment and refused to answer. Democrats quickly pounced on Walker's latest comment, with liberal opposition research group American Bridge blasting it out to reporters and the Democratic National Committee highlighting it as well. "If Scott Walker thinks that it's appropriate to compare working people speaking up for their rights to brutal terrorists, then he is even less qualified to be president than I thought. Maybe he should go back to punting," DNC spokesman Mo Elleithee said. Walker's comment came during a blistering critique of Obama's handling of foreign policy. "We need a president, a leader, who will stand up and say, 'we will take the fight to them and not wait until they bring the fight to America's soil, to our children and our grandchildren,'" he said. Later, in a short opening speech, he added: "We need to show the world that in America, you have no better ally and no greater enemy. In America, we will stand up for what is right and stand against what is wrong." Asked by an audience member about how he'd deal with the threat of ISIS, Walker responded that he gets FBI threat briefings from his adjutant general and that "without divulging confidential information," he's been concerned about the group for years. That's when he turned to his experience in Wisconsin taking on the protestors. Walker spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski underscored Walker's explanation later, saying the comment was intended to highlight his leadership capabilities. "Gov. Walker believes our fight against ISIS is one of the most important issues our country faces. He was in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS," she said in an email. "What the governor was saying was when faced with adversity he chooses strength and leadership. Those are the qualities we need to fix the leadership void this White House has created."

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:36:00 GMT

Man accused in fire at future home of sex offender released, charges not filed

The man accused of burning down a Cottage Grove home before a convicted sex offender could move in appeared in court Thursday. Russell A. Speigle, 50, was in court for a bond hearing, but no charges have been officially filed. Prosecutors asked for a $500 cash bond, but Speigle’s attorney claimed his client is not a flight risk, and that he was in Muscoda visiting his parents when he was arrested Monday night. “He had been in custody two days, not free to leave. He didn’t voluntarily admit himself and yet, four days later, there’s no criminal complaint because they don’t have enough facts upon which to charge him,” Speigle’s attorney, Bruce Rosen, said. The judge agreed, and released Speigle on a signature bond Thursday afternoon. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office said fire crews were called to 4721 Gaston Circle in the town of Cottage Grove Sunday night and found flames coming from the home when they arrived. The house was the target of a suspected arsonist on Dec. 8. In that fire, the home sustained $90,000 in damage. It was recently, but is now considered a total loss after the latest fire. Speigle was taken to UW Hospital and treated for burns after being arrested Monday. He was released Tuesday, and was subsequently booked into the Dane County Jail on a tentative arson charge. The house was to be the future home of convicted sex offender Howard Nyberg, 40. Nyberg is currently being held at a supervised living facility in Mauston. He pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault of a child in 1994. Mahoney said Speigle voiced his opposition to the move during a public hearing. Sheriff's officials said they believe video surveillance footage shows Speigle carrying gas cans toward the house, but deputies have not been able to find the gas cans. Officials are offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can provide crucial information pertaining to the investigation by calling the state's arson hotline at 1-800-362-3005. Investigators are also looking into whether Speigle was responsible for the first fire. Neighbors say they’re conflicted over the situation. Aaron Blom lives across the street from the destroyed home with his wife and 5-year-old daughter, Alexis. "We definitely got nervous when we found out it was the street directly across the street from our house, like right in the front yard,” he says. "[One] part of me says that I don't think it was justified to burn down a house - this man has done his penance, and now he's ready to rejoin society,” Blom says. “But the other half of me wishes it was somebody's else's society, it wasn't my neighborhood." Cottage Grove Town Chair Kris Hampton disagrees. “Dumb thing to do,” he says. "What did you accomplish? We have laws. There's a way to handle your grievance other than breaking the law, and it's a shame he chose to do that." That's what Kris and the Cottage Grove Town Board are trying to do - by taking a look at an ordinance to prevent or at least limit where sex offenders can live inside their community. Blum says he stands behind the ordinance option but admits he isn’t sad the house is now smoldering. "It's almost scary I feel that way - but I have to be honest and say, I really don't want him in my neighborhood, directly across the street from my child,” he says.

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:17:54 GMT

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Published: Tue, 10 May 2011 13:51:57 GMT

#TheDress goes viral: Sales soar 347%

A social media frenzy about the color of a dress is bringing fame and fortune for one small British fashion company. The retailer, Roman, said sales of the outfit that sparked #TheDress debate soared 347% Friday. Some people were convinced the dress was black and blue; others saw white and gold. "I can officially confirm the color is royal blue with black trimming," said Michelle Bastock, Roman's fashion director, during a television interview with CNN's Nina dos Santos. Bastock, who wore the dress during her CNN interview, said she planned to start offering a white and gold version. It would take about six months to make it available. Roman's website was quickly changed to feature the hotly debated dress on the front of its homepage. "We were really surprised and really happy... It's just amazing," Bastock said. "We're really busy. All the team on the website are going crazy." Bastock said the website had been coping well with the surge in sales and online attention, and the company still has more dresses in stock. "We still have plenty in stock," she said. "Plenty to go around," noting that the dress is available in other colors as well. It currently sells for £50 ($77). Roman has 132 stores across the U.K. and has been expanding at a breakneck pace, said Bastock. The company is opening one new store each week. The debate about dress colors was sparked after a Tumblr user named Swiked asked people for help in figuring out the dress's true colors.

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:52:09 GMT

Leonard Nimoy of 'Star Trek' dead at 83

Leonard Nimoy, whose portrayal of "Star Trek's" logic-driven, half-human science officer Spock made him an iconic figure to generations, died Friday. He was 83. Nimoy died this morning in Bel Air, California, his son Adam Nimoy told CNN. According to his granddaughter, Madeleine Nimoy, the cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His "Star Trek" co-stars, including William Shatner and George Takei, expressed sadness at his death. "We return you now to the stars, Leonard. You taught us to 'Live Long And Prosper,' and you indeed did, friend," Takei wrote. Nimoy's career in show business spanned more than six decades and included stints as a stage actor, television guest star, series regular and movie veteran. He also directed a handful of films, including the box-office hit "Three Men and a Baby" in 1987. He was a singer (of sorts), a published poet and an accomplished photographer. But his lasting claim to fame remains Spock, a native of the planet Vulcan whose pointed ears, unemotional manner and frequently uttered "fascinating" endeared him to millions. Astronaut Chris Hadfield remembered him as an "inspiration." He felt a close connection to the character. "Spock is definitely one of my best friends. When I put on those ears, it's not like just another day. When I become Spock, that day becomes something special," he told Starlog in 1989. Still, as an actor, he wrestled with the typecasting that came with his close association with Spock. He titled a 1975 memoir "I Am Not Spock." Though the book was less a rejection of the character than what he went through to develop him, fans took umbrage. Twenty years later, he called another memoir "I Am Spock." He maintained a sense of humor about being confused with a 23rd-century space voyager. "I had an embarrassing experience once, many years ago," he told The New York Times in 2009. "I was invited to go to Caltech and was introduced to a number of very brilliant young people who were working on interesting projects. ... And they'd say to me, 'What do you think?' Expecting me to have some very sound advice. And I would nod very quietly and very sagely I would say, 'You're on the right track.' " To the stars Leonard Simon Nimoy was actually born in Boston, far from Vulcan, on March 26, 1931. (His longtime "Trek" colleague, William Shatner, was born four days earlier in Montreal.) His parents were Russian immigrants, and he was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family. He incorporated some of his religious heritage into the "Star Trek" character, most notably the hand gesticulation accompanied by the phrase "Live long and prosper." It was adopted from a blessing given by a Jewish priestly class called the kohanim. Nimoy credited writer Theodore Sturgeon for the phrase "Live long and prosper," a variation of a spoken blessing. Nimoy continued to use the phrase long after his "Star Trek" days: On Twitter, he would close his tweets with the abbreviation "LLAP." Upon graduating from high school, Nimoy acted in small productions. After encouragement from other actors, he applied to the Pasadena Playhouse in California and was accepted. He moved to the West Coast when he was 18. His early years were bumpy; he found the Playhouse "disappointing" and left after a few months and, in between roles, served in the military and took jobs such as driving a cab. Nimoy eventually gained steady work as a character actor, taking parts on such series as "Bonanza," "The Twilight Zone" and "Dragnet." It was a 1964 appearance on a show about Marines, "The Lieutenant," that brought him to the attention of Gene Roddenberry, the show's producer. Roddenberry had pitched a science-fiction series as " 'Wagon Train' to the stars" and liked the idea of casting Nimoy as the series' science officer, an alien originally with red-tinted skin. Nimoy got the part in the show, which was called "Star Trek." (Roddenberry drew several other "Trek" performers from "The Lieutenant," including Nichelle Nichols, Majel Barrett and future "Trek" guest star Gary Lockwood.) "Star Trek" was never a major hit during its original broadcast run. It lasted just three seasons and got the third partly because of an intense viewer lobbying campaign. But the characters became indelible: Shatner's gung-ho Capt. James T. Kirk; DeForest Kelley's wisecracking doctor, "Bones" McCoy; James Doohan's chief engineer, Montgomery "Scotty" Scott; and all the rest of a diverse and -- with the exception of the half-Vulcan Spock -- all-too-human crew. According to the Internet Movie Database, Nimoy made $1,250 an episode for "Trek's" first season. Though always popular with audiences -- Shatner remembered being disappointed that Nimoy got more fan mail than he did -- Spock wasn't a hit with network executives, at least at first. His pointed ears made him look satanic, the executives said, and his character was dry and logical, as opposed to the energetic Kirk. But Nimoy brought a much-needed humor to the character, with selectively raised eyebrows and deadpan delivery, and he quickly became a favorite of "Trek" fans. Nimoy even put out a few albums of songs. The character has entered the culture as an archetype of an unemotional intellectual; when New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wants to criticize President Obama as being distant, she refers to him as Spock. Into the movies After three years, "Star Trek" went off the air. Nimoy quickly rebounded by joining the cast of "Mission: Impossible" as Paris, part of Peter Graves' secret-agent team. In the '70s, he made a few movies -- the most notable being the 1978 remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" -- and a handful of TV guest appearances. He also hosted the syndicated show "In Search of ..." and appeared in a number of stage plays. But Spock was never far away. Despite its short original run, "Trek's" 79 episodes had become rerun gold after the show's cancellation, creating hardcore fans nicknamed "Trekkies" and bringing the voyages of the starship Enterprise to a new generation. The show was revived for a cartoon series in the mid-1970s. Then Hollywood came calling with a theatrical feature, 1979's "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," which reunited the original cast. Though the film garnered mixed reviews, it was a box-office success and led to a series of sequels, under the "Trek" banner, that continue to this day. The "Trek" movie series also gave Nimoy a chance to direct. He helmed both the third and fourth films, 1984's "The Search for Spock" (which takes place after the Spock character dies in the second film, though he's eventually revived) and 1986's "The Voyage Home." Following "The Voyage Home," Nimoy directed the biggest box-office hit of 1987, "Three Men and a Baby." As a director, his other films include 1988's "The Good Mother" and 1990's "Funny About Love." Though Spock kept Nimoy busy and well-employed, he found plenty of time for other endeavors. He received an Emmy nomination for the TV movie "A Woman Called Golda," where he appeared with Ingrid Bergman. He lent his voice and appearance to one of the best-loved "Simpsons" episodes, "Marge and the Monorail," in 1993 (and later was in 1997's "The Springfield Files"). He narrated documentaries, provided voice-over for video games and sent up his image in some commercials, including Priceline ads with his old friend Shatner and an Audi commercial with his movie successor as Spock, Zachary Quinto. "My heart is broken," Quinto tweeted Friday. He also took roles in a few other TV series, notably in the paranormal series "Fringe" as Dr. William Bell. He lent his voice to Sentinel Prime in 2011's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." And he immersed himself in photography, a hobby he'd taken up as a teenager. His works include "Shekhina," a controversial series of female nudes, and "The Full Body Project." 'I would choose Spock' For all that, Nimoy knew how he'd be remembered. He hadn't left Spock behind, after all: He acted in the first two of the rebooted "Trek" movies, playing Spock Prime in 2009's "Star Trek" and 2012's "Star Trek Into Darkness." He and the character were now on very good terms. "I am not Spock," he wrote. "But given the choice, if I had to be someone else, I would be Spock. If someone said, 'You can have the choice of being any other TV character ever played,' I would choose Spock. I like him. I admire him. I respect him." Nimoy married his wife, Susan Bay, in 1989. She survives him, as do his two children by his first wife, Sandra Zober.

Published: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 00:27:35 GMT

Police release images possibly connected to west side vandalism

Images released by Madison police on Friday are believed to be connected to a rash of vandalism and graffiti on the city’s west side nearly two weeks ago. Police said the images from a home surveillance camera show a car on Brule Circle at about 2:26 a.m. More than two dozen Madison families woke up Feb. 14 to find vulgar language and ethnic and racial slurs spray-painted on their property. Police say about 38 west side houses, including garage doors, driveways and vehicles, were vandalized - and the number of reported damage to homes continues to grow. While most of the damage included profane language and explicit drawings, several contained racially based and anti-Semitic slurs and swastikas. Some of that property damage, located on Brule Circle, had neighbors in the community calling the incident a hate crime. Police Chief Mike Koval told News 3 that while the incident isn't yet being classified a hate crime, just one example of a racial or ethnic slur is too much. Koval said the vulgar tone and widespread damage from the taggings make them worse than previous graffiti incidents in the city. Madison police said the nature of the taggings doesn't appear to be gang-related. Koval said the department is following several strong leads, and he is confident they will find those responsible. Officers are asking anyone with information on the crimes to call the department or Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:23:10 GMT

Capitol Square protesters ask Walker for apology

Protesters who came to the capitol in 2011 in the lead-up to the passage of Act 10 are calling for an apology from Governor Scott Walker. Walker drew attention at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday with his response to a question about how he'd handle ISIS, and the "radical Islamic terrorism" that he condemned during his speech. "If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the globe," he told the audience. The answer allowed Walker to pivot back to his most comfortable space: his experience battling entrenched Democratic interests in Wisconsin. But it also sounded odd to some: statehouse protesters, after all, don't use weapons. Afterward, Walker told reporters that he wasn't making a direct comparison. "You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit," he said. "But I think it's pretty clear -- that's the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there's any parallel between the two." Union members and veterans who attended protests at Capitol Square in 2011 called for an apology from Walker on Friday, saying his comments were out of line. "His comments were disgusting and offensive to both my service and the pillars of our democracy," firefighter and Iraq war veteran Sam Yackel said Friday. "He owes me and every man and woman who wore the uniform and continues to wear that uniform an immediate retraction and apology." Dawn Lamberty said she brought her children to the capitol in 2011 and doesn't understand the comparison. "We just walked around the capitol for hours and held signs," Lamberty said. "I don't see how that remotely compares to ISIS with the beheadings and kidnapping and burning people alive." Democrats quickly pounced on Walker's latest comment, with liberal opposition research group American Bridge blasting it out to reporters, and the Democratic National Committee highlighting it as well. "If Scott Walker thinks that it's appropriate to compare working people speaking up for their rights to brutal terrorists, then he is even less qualified to be president than I thought. Maybe he should go back to punting," DNC spokesman Mo Elleithee said. Walker's comment came during a blistering critique of President Obama's handling of foreign policy. "We need a president, a leader, who will stand up and say, 'We will take the fight to them and not wait until they bring the fight to America's soil, to our children and our grandchildren,'" he said. Later, in a short opening speech, he added: "We need to show the world that in America, you have no better ally and no greater enemy. In America, we will stand up for what is right and stand against what is wrong." Asked by an audience member how he'd deal with the threat of ISIS, Walker said he gets FBI threat briefings from his adjutant general and that "without divulging confidential information," he's been concerned about the group for years. That's when he referred d to his experience in Wisconsin taking on the protesters. Walker spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski underscored Walker's explanation later, saying the comment was intended to highlight his leadership capabilities. "Gov. Walker believes our fight against ISIS is one of the most important issues our country faces. He was in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS," she said in an email. "What the governor was saying was when faced with adversity he chooses strength and leadership. Those are the qualities we need to fix the leadership void this White House has created."

Published: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 01:28:16 GMT

Walker says UW requested deletion of sexual assault report

Gov. Scott Walker's spokeswoman says the University of Wisconsin System requested that it no longer have to report allegations of sexual assaults to the state since it was already required to do so under federal law. Walker's budget deletes a required annual state report from every UW campus about allegations of sexual assaults. Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said Friday that UW requested the deletion as part of the de-coupling of the university from state laws and oversight. UW System spokesman Alex Hummel says the change would allow the university to focus on the federal report. He says the requirements being proposed for removal were largely duplicative of what's reported under federal law, which Hummel says UW is "deeply committed to."

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:26:21 GMT

Bullets strike residence with mom, children inside

Bullets struck a parked car and a residence where a mother and her children were inside sleeping early Friday morning, according to a release from Madison police. Officers were called to the 4700 block of Crescent Road at 1:23 a.m. after several callers reported hearing gunshots. Police said shell casings were found outside a duplex. The 41-year-old woman told police she didn’t know why someone would shoot at her home. Her 16-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter were home at the time. No one was injured. A police dog was brought to the scene, but no suspects were located.

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:25:18 GMT

Man beaten after confronting burglar, police say

A Madison man was beaten after confronting a man trying to steal electronics from a common area of a building in the 2800 block of Hauk Street on Thursday morning. The 52-year-old man told police the burglar called to an accomplice outside and both men beat him as he tried to call police. The man suffered minor injuries. Police said the other two men left empty handed. The men are described as white. One is 18-20 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 135 pounds with a thin build, blond hair and blue eyes. The other was 20-25 years old and 5 feet 6 inches tall with a stocky build.

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:11:13 GMT

Family advocate at Capitol during Rare Disease Day

Adults and children living with uncommon illnesses gathered at the Wisconsin Capitol Friday for Rare Disease Day. The nationally recognized day, typically held on the final day of February, brought out legislators and families sharing their story to help connect an illness that's hard to pronounce with the person who lives it. Ross Berning's 7-year-old son, Colin, is one of those people. He was diagnosed with sanfilippo syndrome, an illness that Ross describes as "dementia for children." "It slowly takes away his abilities," Ross says. "His ability to learn, his ability to communicate, even his ability to walk." "Today, each word is precious, because we don't know the next time we'll hear it - we know that someday in the future will be the last time we hear him say 'Mommy' or 'Daddy.'" There is no treatment for Colin's condition. Most children with sanfilippo syndrome die in their teens. "What's his life going to stand for? What's his legacy?" says Ross. The hope in Friday's meeting was that stories like Colin's will help raise awareness with lawmakers who have the power to make funding decisions for research and other rare disease programs. "If these stories can move them, [maybe] they can help contribute to making progress and saving these lives," Ross says. "Colin didn't choose this diagnosis, but if his life could help bring an end to future children having to going down the path he's going down, that would be a great legacy to leave behind."

Published: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 01:18:00 GMT

Wisconsin Rapids teenage girl reported missing has been found

A teenage girl reported missing has been found, according to the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department. Mariah Czappa, 16, of Wisconsin Rapids was said to have been missing since Wednesday on the WRPD Facebook page. According to WRPD's newest Facebook post, they received a number of tips, and were able to locate Czappa. They thank everyone who viewed and shared the information for their help and concern. 

Published: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 03:51:30 GMT

#TheDress proves the power of social media

What’s black and blue and read 1,700 times a minute?  The answer is tweets about #TheDress.  The social media phenomenon started over the color of a dress created by Roman, a small British fashion company.  When some people look at the dress they believe it is blue with black trim while others see it as gold and white. The dress manufacturer says the dress is, in fact, royal blue with black trim, but they now see it as a lot of "green."  Sales of the dress rocketed by 347 percent in one day. Watching a Twitter feed of #TheDress helped explain the overnight success for the dress manufacturer. “That is Twitter on speed,” says Katy Culver, an assistant professor at the UW Madison School of Journalism and an expert in social media.  “It goes by so quickly that you can’t even process any of the messages.  You actually have to stop it to be able to read and absorb any of them.” “Here you have all these millions of people offering their take on what color the dress is," she said. With social media providing a voice to the masses, mainstream media is listening. “News media have always been fascinated by what people are talking about,” says Culver. Social media provides mainstream media with a real-time glimpse, and when so many people are talking about a dress, it puts that subject in newspapers and on broadcast news programs.  All those eyeballs focused on #TheDress also will get the attention of advertisers.  Multiple tweets were posted by companies like Lego depicting one Lego figure wearing a blue and black dress and another wearing a gold and white one.  Even Heineken beer weighed in with an image of beer and foam with a script of “Definitely White and Gold.” “They want to connect with consumers and the thing that they can do, if they are authentic with social media, is be part of the conversation and make people think about their brand positively,” says Culver. While much of the dialogue on social media is thoughtful or clever, Culver is concerned about the platform being used for inappropriate comments. “You begin to see harassment catch fire and that to me is really problematic,” says Culver.  “The dress has had less of that than we’ve seen in other things, but it is still there.  If I searched down the Twitter feed I will find some racists messages, I will find some chauvinistic messages and we have to be careful about that, about what that means and what that does to society.” While a dress has developed a life of its own in a matter of hours, on social media, life expectancy is not always long. “Yes, as quickly as they catch fire, they will be extinguished,” says Culver.

Published: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 00:15:25 GMT

Mad-City Badgers to host open house

The Mad-City Badgers are hosting an open house scrimmage Saturday, Feb. 28 at Madison West High School from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.  The Badgers are a co-ed wheelchair basketball team, with ages ranging from eight to 18. They practice twice a week at Black Hawk church and travel around the midwest, playing games about once a month.  The team consists of kids born with disabilities like spina bifida, as well as people that ended up with paralysis later in life.  Benny Guerin was born with spina bifida and has spent his whole life in a wheelchair. Benny has played wheelchair basketball since he was six. He got involved with the Badgers to scratch his competitive itch, "I'm a very competitive person and I love basketball, so this was a good fit for me." Talen Jourdan is a 15-year-old from Deerfield. Jourdan fell from his tree stand while hunting when he was 13. He suffers from paralysis from the chest down. Once a standout basketball player, Jourdan picked up wheelchair basketball to reclaim the sport he once loved. "I missed the game. It's been fun. I like this sport." For more information on the Mad-City Badgers, visit their website http://www.madcitybadgers.org/. 

Published: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 00:54:08 GMT

Wausau man gets 25 years in fatal baseball-bat beating

A Marathon County judge has sentenced Warren Krohn to 25 years in prison in the 2012 beating death of popular Wausau bowler Kerby Kniess. Daily Herald Media reports that Circuit Judge Gregory Grau handed down the sentence Friday after hearing more than two hours of testimony. Krohn, 23, of Wausau, was convicted of felony murder and burglary in December. His co-defendant, 21-year-old Zachary Froehlich of Wausau, was sentenced on Nov. 4 to 35 years behind bars. Kniess fell asleep on the night of June 18, 2012, after watching a Milwaukee Brewers game with a friend in a detached, furnished garage where he had been living. Prosecutors say Krohn and Froehlich went into the garage to rob him, and that Krohn knew Kniess was staying in his friends' garage.

Published: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 02:21:19 GMT

Wis. man killed in 3-semitrailer wreck in Arkansas

Arkansas State Police say one man was killed and two others were injured after three semitrailers crashed on a northwest Arkansas highway. A preliminary report says a Harrison man was driving a truck Wednesday night north on Interstate 49 near Greenland when it veered off the road and into a median. The vehicle overturned back onto the interstate. A tractor-trailer slowed to avoid the wreck and was hit from behind by another tractor-trailer. The second semitrailer also was hit from behind by another tractor-trailer driven by 48-year-old Billy W. Kramer Jr., of Sparta, Wisconsin. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Kramer was killed in the crash. Kramer's wife and the Harrison man both were injured. They were taken to a hospital, where their conditions weren't immediately known.

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:08:18 GMT

Federal judge slashes jury award in illegal-search lawsuit

A federal judge has slashed a jury's award from over $500,000 to just $60,000 in an illegal-search lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department. The jury found in August that two officers violated Leo Hardy's civil rights in 2012 by searching him without sufficient reason and wrongfully arresting him for resisting. It awarded $500,000 in punitive damages and $6,000 in compensatory damages. In an order Friday, U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller said the officers' actions were "reprehensible." But he wrote that case law generally requires a single-digit ration between the amount of compensatory and punitive damages. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that more than 60 people have sued the department alleging illegal searches, and four officers convicted in connection with illegal strip and cavity searches have been forced to resign.

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:42:46 GMT

Packers to offer stadium seating for Favre's Hall of Fame event

The Green Bay Packers will offer a ticketed viewing opportunity inside Lambeau Field for fans who want to watch Brett Favre's Hall of Fame ceremony this summer. The Packers said on its website Friday morning that fans will be able to share in the experience of inducting the former quarterback into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame on July 18. The event will also be live on TV and streaming online. It will be carried live by the Packers TV Network, NFL Network as well as streamed live on packers.com. Fans inside the Lambeau Field seating bowl will see the ceremony live on the video boards, according to the release. Favre will also make an appearance in the bowl to address the crowd. Tickets will cost $4 and will go on sale at 10 a.m. on May 12, the Packers said. Net proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Favre 4 Hope, Favre and his wife Deanna's charity that supports disadvantaged and disabled children in Wisconsin and Mississippi.

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:56:34 GMT

Former Dane County deputy pleads insanity in deaths of 2

A former Dane County sheriff's deputy has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the killings of his wife and sister-in-law. Forty-year-old Andrew Steele, of Fitchburg, was diagnosed with terminal ALS in June. The defense says his disease causes poor impulse control and affects his ability to obey the law. Steele is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the killings of his wife, 39-year-old Ashlee Steele, and her 38-year-old sister, Kacee Tollefsbol, of Lake Elmo, Minnesota, at the Steeles' home Aug. 22. His trial is scheduled to begin April 13. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Steele was wheeled into the courtroom for a pretrial conference Friday. It says his speech sounded slurred, his tongue thick, as he spoke briefly, but that he otherwise appeared engaged and attentive.

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:41:52 GMT

Mining company closing office in northern Wisconsin

The company looking to open an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin says it is closing its office in Hurley effective on Sunday, casting doubt on the future of the project that sparked fierce debate and opposition from environmentalists and tribal members near the site. Bill Williams, president of mining company Gogebic Taconite, released a statement Friday announcing the sudden move. He says the company will "continue to investigate the possibility of pursuing a permit to mine" but it can't justify having an office in Hurley without the prospect of immediate action. Williams says the company's revelation of wetlands in the area makes continued investment "unfeasible at this time." He says reclamation activities at monitoring and testing sites will be completed.

Published: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:32:07 GMT