Shootout in Town of Madison threatens nearby residents
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A shootout between two groups in the Town of Madison sent residents of a nearby apartment complex scrambling as several bullet rounds traveled into their homes. The Town of Madison Police Department says it appeared two groups of people were firing at each other from an SUV and a sedan after they exited a nearby gas station. Police officers found bullet rounds had traveled through apartments, including one that ended up in a family’s bathtub. There was a child in the home at the time, but no one was injured.
Garage explosion kills 2, hospitalizes 2 more in Lessor
Lessor, Wis. (AP) — An explosion in a garage in the Wisconsin township of Lessor has killed two people and hospitalized two more. The sheriff’s office said that a pressurized container had been punctured, which caused the explosion in the town northwest of Green Bay. Multiple law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical agencies responded to the scene, including the Wisconsin State Patrol and emergency helicopter services. The sheriff’s office says it is continuing the investigate the explosion.
Wisconsin bill aims to ban high fees for jail phone calls
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democratic lawmakers are proposing a law that would stop county jails from charging excessive fees for phone calls. The bill would cap jail call charges to the same rates that national prepaid wireless telephone providers charge, Wisconsin Public Radio reported. It comes after a report from the Prison Policy Initiative found that some Wisconsin counties charges over $14 for a 15-minute phone call. Democrat Rep. Samba Baldeh is supporting the bill. He says those charges amount to making a profit on inmates who have not been convicted of any crimes and cuts them off from friends and family.
Nass demands commission publish drop box, absentee rules
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — One of the leaders of the Legislature’s rules committee is demanding that the Wisconsin Elections Commission publish emergency regulations governing absentee ballot drop boxes and corrections to absentee ballot information by early February. Republican Sen. Steve Nass made the demand Thursday. He wants the commission to publish rules codifying guidance to local clerks in March 2020 expanding the use of drop boxes. He also wants to see published regulations codifying guidance issued in 2016 that allows clerks to correct mistakes in absentee voters’ witness addresses on their ballot envelopes. Publication would give the committee a chance to invalidate the rules, in turn negating the guidance.
Onalaska man charged with groping 10-year-old in Walmart
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a man with groping a 10-year-old girl in an Onalaska Walmart. Online court records show 30-year-old Josey Amann was charged Dec. 15 with first-degree child sexual assault and resisting an officer. The La Crosse Tribune reported details from the criminal complaint on Wednesday. According to that document, Amman groped the girl in a store aisle on May 22. The girl told her mother, who confronted Amman. He fled the store. Police caught up with him at his job on Oct. 29. He said he didn’t remember the girl or her mother. He then fled but was apprehended a short time later He told officers he was sick and needs help. Amman’s attorney declined to comment.
Wausau man wins $1.1 million in fantasy football
WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — A Wausau man has won $1.1 million playing fantasy football. The Wausau Daily Herald reported Wednesday that 45-year-old ginseng farmer Will Hsu won the money in a game hosted by website Draft Kings. The Green Bay Packers’ 31-30 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 19 helped him beat out 180,000 competitors. Hsu says the win was a once-in-a-lifetime thrill and he plans to donate about a quarter of the money to charity, including the University of Wisconsin, the Wausau church his family attends and the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. He also plans to take his family to a warm vacation spot and pay off his wife’s car.
Wisconsin tops 10,000 COVID-19 deaths
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — COVID-19 has now claimed the lives of more than 10,000 Wisconsin residents. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that state health officials counted 34 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the death total since the pandemic began to 10,014. The state tracked 5,748 COVID-19 deaths last year and 4,266 so far in 2021. Nearly three-quarters of people who died were at least 70 years old. The state saw 6,477 new cases on Wednesday, the highest daily total since November 2020, before vaccines were released. Health officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated as the omicron variant of the coronavirus sweeps across the state and the nation.
Semitrailer driver charged in wild interstate chase
PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) — A semitrailer driver from Iowa faces charges in Wisconsin after he allegedly led state troopers on a wild interstate chase. The Portage Daily Registers reports that Kyle Futrel was charged Dec. 21 in Columbia County with fleeing an officer, reckless endangerment, possession of methamphetamine and possession of narcotics. According to a criminal complaint, state troopers received calls from motorists on Dec. 17 reporting a semitrailer was all over the road on Interstate 39-90-94. A trooper caught up to the truck and followed with emergency lights activated. The truck deviated from the right lane onto the shoulder multiple times, turned off its lights and nearly crashed into multiple vehicles. The truck eventually stopped and blocked the northbound lanes.
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