Wisconsin governor orders masks statewide amid virus surge
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has issued a statewide mask order amid a spike in coronavirus cases in the state, setting up a conflict with Republican legislative leaders who oppose such a requirement and successfully sued earlier to kill his “safer at home” order. The Democratic governor on Thursday ordered the wearing of masks starting Saturday. The Wisconsin Supreme Court in May tossed out an order from Evers’ health secretary closing most nonessential businesses. Republicans brought that lawsuit. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he is gauging the interest of his caucus in reconvening the Legislature and voting down the order.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS-POST OFFICE
Wisconsin official outlines absentee ballot system upgrades
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin election officials and the U.S. Postal Service are working on streamlining absentee ballot delivery after a crush of complaints from voters who never received their ballots in this past spring’s election. Wisconsin Elections Commission staff said in a report to commissioners ahead of a Thursday evening meeting that they’ve added so-called intelligent bar codes to ballot envelopes that can be scanned at postal centers, verifying the ballots were mailed. The report also said that staff have upgraded the state’s election database to record online applications, saving clerks from having to enter requests manually.
Oneida tribe wins closely watched Wisconsin legal fight
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal appeals court has sided with the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin in its fight with the village of Hobart over its authority to require a special events permit to hold an apple festival. While the lawsuit was about whether the tribe needed a permit for its annual Big Apple Fest, the underlying issue of tribal sovereignty could have wide-ranging impacts across the country. The tribe had support from the state of Wisconsin, the U.S. government and others in its appeal. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday overturned a lower court’s ruling in favor of Hobart, siding instead with the tribe.
POLICE CHASE-FATAL CRASH
Milwaukee teen dies after crashing during police chase
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police say a teenage driver has died after crashing during a police chase early Thursday. Police say around 2 a.m. they were trying to stop a stolen vehicle that was involved in an armed robbery. Officers activated their lights and sirens, but the 17-year-old driver refused to pull over and led police on a chase. The Milwaukee boy who was driving crashed into a pole and suffered serious injuries. He was taken to a hospital where he later died. A 16-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl who were in the car were taken into custody and treated at a hospital for minor injuries. Police say the investigation is ongoing and charges will be referred to prosecutors in coming days.
Wisconsin Republicans break with Trump on election delay
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s Republican legislative leaders and the state’s longest-serving Republican in Congress are breaking with President Donald Trump over possibly delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election. U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke all said Thursday that they oppose delaying the election, a date that is enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change, including agreement from the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. Steineke tweeted “Hard NO” in reaction to Trump. Vos says, “Elections need to happen for democracy to function.”
DNR board revises deer quotas after open meeting allegations
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Department of Natural Resources board has revised antlerless deer quotas in a handful of counties following complaints the panel violated open meeting laws and ignored local recommendations when it approved the limits last month. The board in a June 24 meeting reduced quotas that citizen committees in 11 northern counties initially recommended. Former board members accused the board of planning the reduction ahead of the meeting and the citizen committees complained they were ignored. The board decided Thursday to reconsider the June vote, then voted to approve the plan again but restore the original quotas for four counties.
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-FINE
UW-Madison fined $74,000 over animal research
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Madison has been fined $74,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 28 violations of federal animal research treatment standards. The Wisconsin State Journal reported Thursday that the fine was assessed in April as part of a settlement for 28 violations that occurred between 2015 to 2019. Many of the violations involved incidents in which monkeys became injured after staff errors or equipment failures allowed animals to exit their cages. The university has a large animal research program, with about 7,000 people certified to work with animals in nearly 50 facilities.
Virus spread hits rural, northern Wisconsin counties
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Rural counties in northern Wisconsin that had largely been immune from the coronavirus pandemic are now seeing a surge in cases, with Iron County now having the state’s highest rate of active confirmed infections. The number of confirmed infections in Iron County was in the single digits for four months before spiking in July, with 75 total cases. Of those, 68 involve residents and seven involve nonresidents. The cases are spread throughout the county. Wisconsin Public Radio reported Thursday that 38 people have recovered, three have been hospitalized and one has died. Cases have spiked statewide since mid-June.
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.