WWII vets will still have top priority
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee appeared to have deviated from prepared speech
Thank you, Mr. Kennedy. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy has stepped down from that position after decades overseeing Wisconsin's election and ethics laws. Kennedy didn't so much step...
(AP) Two Republican legislators say they'll try again this session to overhaul Wisconsin's drunken driving laws. Rep. Jim Ott of Mequon and Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills say they plan to introduce bills that would criminalize first-time offenses for drivers with high blood alcohol percentages; require first-time offenders to appear in court; make a third conviction a felony; establish mandatory minimum sentences for drunken drivers that cause injuries or death; and require police to seize drunken drivers' cars beginning with a third-time offense.
The package closely mirrors bills Ott and Darling pushed during the last session. None of those proposals got a vote after fiscal estimates showed they would have cost the state tens of millions of dollars.
Ott says those estimates were unrealistic.
(AP) The University of Minnesota plans to review the cost of tuition for out-of-state residents. The university dropped its nonresident tuition four years ago to attract more undergraduates from elsewhere. It is now the cheapest school in the Big Ten for those students, but it's the fourth-most-expensive for residents.
The number of nonresident students has swelled since 2007 from nearly 8 percent to more than 17 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of resident students dipped slightly and the number of students from reciprocity states such as Wisconsin shrank.
University President Eric Kaler says it's probably a good time to look at nonresident tuition and whether it needs to be changed. He says the university first needs to study how sensitive out-of-state students are to price.
(AP) Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen wants to make ending child trafficking a priority in the next year. He says he wants to hire five full-time employees, including three special agents and two criminal analysts, who would work to fight child sex trafficking.
In addition, he wants to hold more training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim and witness coordinators and to work with lawmakers to draft human trafficking-related legislation. Van Hollen asked for more than $900,000 in his department's two-year budget request.
Gov. Scott Walker's spokesman Cullen Werwie said the governor's office is reviewing it. Van Hollen's spokeswoman Dana Brueck says the department doesn't have statistics on the scope of the problem in Wisconsin. But she says it would naive to think it isn't happening.
Recent State Senate candidate Bill Feehan has launched a campaign for mayor of La Crosse. Feehan was the Republican nominee against Jennifer Shilling in the 32nd District Senate election this fall. He told a group of supporters at the Radisson on Saturday that people have urged him to run for mayor on the April ballot. Feehan lists his top priorities as public safety, economic growth, and reducing property taxes. He believes that his Senate campaign will help him with name recognition in a field of about a dozen candidates for mayor.
(AP) If background checks are any indication, Wisconsin's gun sales seem to be up. Total sales figures for firearms don't exist. But a good yardstick is the number of background checks when a gun is purchased.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice's background check hotline for handgun purchases has handled 60 percent more calls year to date as of Dec. 23 than it did for the same period last year. And the total number of calls this year has far surpassed all of 2011.
There also appeared to be a spike after the Connecticut shooting Dec. 14. State figures show for the week of Dec. 9 to 15, the hotline handled more than 3,700 calls. That number jumped to nearly 6,000 the week after.
A small Wisconsin community near the Minnesota border is paying tribute to the 20 children killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting. Supreme Graphics, based in Arcadia, created a display of photographs of the children and teddy bears and put it in the middle of town.
Company chief executive officer and president Chuck Blaschko says they wanted to do something because they felt so bad about the tragedy.
It went up last week Friday, about 30 minutes before Wisconsin's statewide moment of silence.
If a judge tells a personal story in court, it's not an automatic sign of bias by that judge...
La Crosse County D-A Tim Gruenke makes that argument, in a brief opposing a new sentencing for Jesse Herrmann...serving 30 years in prison for a drunk-driving death. Herrmann claims Judge Ramona Gonzalez was biased against drunk drivers in general, because she talked in court about a drunk driver killing her sister. Gruenke filed a brief last week, arguing that Herrmann hasn't shown that a judge speaking in a comforting way to victims is evidence of bias. Music teacher Theresa Kroes was killed last year, when Herrmann rear-ended the car she was riding in.