Prosecutors: Agents will probe crimes, not bust protests
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Milwaukee, Cleveland and Detroit are working to dispel concerns that federal agents headed to their cities will work to solve violent crimes and not break up protests. Matthew Krueger, the U.S. attorney in Milwaukee, said during a news conference Wednesday that the agents will work side-by-side with local and state task forces as part of Operation Legend, a national initiative launched in December to combat violent crime. He insisted the agents will be trained investigators and not “beat cops.” Questions have swirled about the agents’ mission since President Donald Trump sent federal agents to Portland, Oregon, to protect federal property in the city. Critics say the agents have overstepped their mandate and abused their power.
Women charged in beating of Wisconsin state senator
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors have charged two Madison women accused of beating a Wisconsin state senator during a protest over police racism with battery. Online court records show charges were filed Wednesday against 33-year-old Kerida O’Reilly and 26-year-old Samantha Hamer. Each is charged with one felony count of being a party to substantial battery. Investigators believe the women attacked Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter during a protest outside the state Capitol on June 23. Both appeared in Dane County court Wednesday and were released on signature bonds. Defense attorneys asked for the charges to be dismissed because of insufficient evidence, but a court commissioner denied the request.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE TESTS
UW-Madison won’t require ACT or SAT tests this fall
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Madison won’t require freshmen applying for entrance this fall to submit ACT or SAT scores amid the coronavirus outbreak. The school announced the new policy on Wednesday, saying it had won a waiver from UW System admissions policies. The school plans to go before the Board of Regents next month to seek a longer-term waiver. The College Board, which administers the SAT, said in June that millions of students were unable to take the test this spring due to the pandemic. UW-Madison officials say they’ve always taken a holistic approach to admissions in any case. Applicants who were able to take the tests can submit their scores if they choose.
Baldwin dodges questions on VP pick, Russian interference
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin isn’t saying what her chances are to be picked as presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate. She’s also not saying whether she shares concerns raised by other Democrats about her Republican colleague, Sen. Ron Johnson, possibly assisting a Russian disinformation campaign through his work leading a Republican probe looking into Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. The Democrat Baldwin said Wednesday that Milwaukee should be considered for a future Democratic National Convention given that the one starting in less than three weeks is just a shadow of what was originally intended. Baldwin took questions from a panel of journalists at an online event organized by the Milwaukee Press Club and WisPolitics.com.
Wisconsin counties, cities face ‘difficult’ mask decisions
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s business community has been told that the state’s cities and counties are struggling with whether and how to enact local mask mandates in the absence of a statewide order. Leaders of organizations representing Wisconsin cities, villages and counties said Wednesday that many of them are looking for some uniformity from the state. They spoke to state business leaders on a virtual meeting run by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. League of Wisconsin Municipalities leader Jerry Deschane says an “overwhelming majority” of Wisconsin cities have “no intention of adopting a mask mandate.” Many of Wisconsin’s larger cities have mandated the wearing of masks.
MAKING A MURDERER-ATTORNEY
Court upholds ruling against former Dassey attorney
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin appeals court has upheld a ruling that the former attorney for a man whose story was documented in the 2015 Netflix series “Making a Murderer” violated a harassment restraining order against him. The restraining order against Len Kachinsky was issued in 2018 when he was a municipal court judge in the village of Fox Crossing. Kachinsky had previously served as an attorney for Brendan Dassey, who was convicted along with his uncle of killing Teresa Halbach in 2005. The appeals court upheld a Winnebago County Circuit Court ruling lsat year finding that Kachinsky violated the restraining order.
FATAL ROAD RAGE-SENTENCE
Life in prison for fatal shooting in road rage incident
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A suburban Milwaukee man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting a woman in a road rage incident.Tracey Smith, a sergeant at the state prison in Milwaukee, was teaching her son how to drive when they had a minor accident with Matthew Wilks. Her son, Caleb Smith, testified his mother got out of the car and started yelling and the Wilks cursed and told her to stop before shooting her once in the chest. Wilks was sentenced to life for first-degree intentional homicide in Milwaukee County Circuit Court Tuesday. He will not be eligible for extended supervision, WITI-TV reported.Wilks claimed he shot Smith in self-defense. Jurors deliberated for less than two hours before convicting Wilks in February.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-DRIVE-THRU VOTING
Drive-thru absentee voting available in Eau Claire
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — Voters don’t have to leave their vehicles to vote in the primary election in Eau Claire. City officials have set up drive-thru service for absentee voters in the parking lot behind City Hall in order to reduce contact during the coronavirus pandemic. Voting started Tuesday and will run weekdays through Aug. 7. Wisconsin’s partisan primary is Aug. 11. City officials say people do not need to arrive in a vehicle to vote in the parking lot, they can also walk up and cast their ballot.
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