Pence casts Biden as socialist bent on ruining America
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is stepping up attacks on Joe Biden, casting the election in under four months as a choice “between freedom and opportunity and socialism and decline.” Pence made the aggressive attack on Biden at a speech Friday in Ripon, Wisconsin, birthplace of the Republican Party. Pence is drawing sharp contrasts between President Donald Trump’s vision for the country and that of Biden and Democrats. Pence says the election will determine “whether America remains America.” Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016. It is one of a handful of battleground states.
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino laying off 1,600 employees
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is laying off 1,600 employees from its Milwaukee facility due to a decline in tourism from the coronavirus pandemic. Potawatomi had 2,600 employees before shutting down in March. About 1,000 people were brought back for the reopening in June. Wisconsin Public Radio reports the remaining employees will be laid off starting Aug. 15. The number of positive cases in Wisconsin topped 40,500 on Friday. The seven-day average of new cases was 822, the highest since the start of the pandemic. The Madison School District announced that students will start the upcoming school year learning fully online.
Milwaukee public school students begin school year online
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Students in Milwaukee and Madison public schools will begin the new school year online with plans to eventually return to the classroom once the coronavirus abates. The Milwaukee Public Schools board approved a three-phase plan Thursday night that begins with virtual instruction, then moves to a combination of online and in-person learning and returning students to the classroom in phase three. Madison’s superintendent announced a similar plan Friday with decisions on each phase to be made quarterly. Metro Madison’s 27,000 students ended in-person instruction March 13.
Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe tests positive for coronavirus
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer confirmed Eric Bledsoe tested positive for COVID-19, but remains cautiously optimistic the veteran point guard will be ready for the start of the season’s resumption. Budenholzer’s comment came a day after multiple reports indicated Bledsoe said he had tested positive but was asymptomatic. The NBA-leading Bucks face the Boston Celtics on July 31 in their first game since the pandemic-imposed hiatus began in mid-March. Bledsoe is averaging 15.4 points, 5.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds.
Wisconsin prison workers fired, suspended after April escape
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The warden of a maximum-security prison has resigned and 11 other workers have resigned, been suspended or fired in connection with an April escape. The state Department of Corrections spokesman John Beard said Thursday that Columbia Correctional Institution Warden Susan Novak resigned June 29. Kitchen worker Holly Zimdahl resigned and two correctional officers have also resigned. Seven employees have been fired and one has been suspended for five days. Beard said Deputy Warden Lucas Weber and Security Director John Beard’s employment ended Thursday but he declined to say whether they were among the employees terminated.
WISCONSIN LEGISLATURE-LAME DUCK
Appeals court won’t reinstate Democrats’ lame-duck challenge
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal appeals court panel has refused to reinstate Wisconsin Democrats’ lawsuit challenging Republican-authored lame-duck laws weakening Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul. The state Democratic Party sued in February 2019, arguing the laws were meant to retaliate against people who voted for Evers. U.S. District Judge James Peterson dismissed the lawsuit in October, ruling Democrats lacked standing to sue. A three-judge panel from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Peterson’s decision on Thursday, finding that Democrats were seeking an unprecedented interpretation of voting rights and legislators’ partisan intentions don’t violate voters’ rights.
Northeastern Wisconsin manure spill thinning as it nears bay
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin environmental officials say a manure spill from an Oconto County farm is thinning as it flows downstream toward the bay of Green Bay. The Department of Natural Resources says manure ran off a field at the Betley Farms near Pulaski during a rainstorm on July 9 and July 10. The manure ran off into the Little Suamico River and has caused a fish kill as it moves downstream toward the bay. DNR spokeswoman Sarah Hoye said Thursday that the manure is thinning out as it travels and oxygen levels in the river are improving.
Board votes to remove Hiawatha statue from La Crosse park
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — After decades of debate, a Hiawatha statue will be removed from a park in La Crosse. The La Crosse Board of Park Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to remove the statue from Riverside Park. Mayor Tim Kabat had pushed for the western Wisconsin city to follow the lead of other cities in addressing racism and cultural appropriation. For decades Indigenous people and their allies had called for the statue’s removal, saying it represents exaggerated racial stereotypes and inaccurately depicts Native American tribes of the area. The La Crosse Tribune reports the statue will be stored at the city’s Municipal Service Center for at least one year until the artist’s family finds a new home for it.
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