Posted: Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 -- 4:59 a.m.
Latest Wisconsin news, sports, business and entertainment
Democrats unveil jobs plan, hope GOP will support
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Legislative Democrats say they hope Republicans get behind a package of proposals Democrats say will create jobs quickly, close the skills gap and help the middle class.
Republicans control the Legislature and Democrats can't get anything passed without their support. Democratic leaders speaking Thursday when they unveiled the ideas say Governor Scott Walker and Republicans should get behind them because they have backed some of the ideas before.
The package includes creating a competitive grant training program to close the skills gap, making certain angel and early stage seed investment tax credits refundable, and requiring state and local governments to give preference to U.S.-made products when purchasing materials.
Walker and Republican legislative leaders had no immediate comment on the proposals.
Walker raises nearly $474,000 in last half of 2012
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Governor Scott Walker raised nearly $474,000 in the six months after he won his recall election in 2012.
Walker reported Thursday that he raised that much between July 1 and the end of the year. While significant, it pales in comparison to the $29.5 million he raised in the first half of the year as the June recall election loomed.
Walker entered this year with nearly $794,000 cash on hand.
Even though the recall is behind him, Walker faces his regularly scheduled re-election campaign in less than two years. He will enter that race with a significant cash advantage over whichever Democratic candidate emerges.
Walker made his summary page available late Thursday. His full report showing individual contributions was not immediately available on the state elections board website.
WOOD FLOORING FIRE-WISCONSIN
Damage tops $1M in Wis. wood flooring company fire
(Information in the following story is from: WSAW-TV, http://www.wsaw.com)
WESTON, Wis. (AP) -- Fire has caused more than $1 million in damage at a wood flooring manufacturer in Weston.
A sander started on fire Wednesday at the business called From the Forest.
Weston Fire Chief Steve Meilahn tells WSAW-TV the sander that started the fire cost $200,000 and about $1 million in product was destroyed.
The fire department was still on the scene Thursday, using a thermal camera to check for hot spots.
No one was hurt.
MISSING MAN HOMICIDE
Man pleads not guilty in Wis. half-brother's death
(Information in the following story is from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj)
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A former Wisconsin man accused of beating his autistic half-brother to death and then hiding his body has pleaded not guilty.
An attorney for 28-year-old Jeffrey Vogelsberg entered not-guilty pleas on Vogelsberg's behalf Thursday.
Vogelsberg is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.
Prosecutors have accused Vogelsberg of regularly torturing and finally killing 27-year-old Matthew Graville in Mazomanie (mah-zoh-MAY'-nee) last summer. Graville's body was not found until early November.
Authorities arrested Vogelsberg in Washington state where he had moved to be with his wife, who's stationed at a military base. Authorities returned Vogelsberg to Wisconsin in December.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports a defense request to move Vogelsberg's trial out of Dane County will be heard on May 6th.
BATF-JOURNAL SENTINEL INVESTIGATION
Members of Congress call for investigation into Wisc. BATF sting
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Members of Congress are calling for an investigation into the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives following a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report that the agency conducted a flawed sting operation in Milwaukee.
The newspaper reported Wednesday that the ATF ran a 10-month storefront operation intended to bust felons for drug and gun offenses. But no major drug dealers or gang members were taken down. Also, the store was robbed of $35,000 in merchandise, and agents left behind a document listing undercover agents.
On Thursday the newspaper reported that Republican and Democratic members of Congress want more details.
Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa says he'll be asking the ATF questions. Republican U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin says Wisconsinites deserve answers, and he'll demand them.
Letter to Senate Judiciary critical of ATF nominee
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A former head of the Minneapolis FBI office sent federal lawmakers a letter Thursday sharply criticizing President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Donald Oswald, a former special agent in charge in Minneapolis, says that B. Todd Jones an ineffective leader who consistently declined to prosecute violent gang and gun crimes.
Oswald's letter mailed to Senate Judiciary Committee members Thursday says that he felt morally compelled to share what he called Jones' "atrocious professional reputation" among Minnesota law enforcement officers. Oswald said he felt he could speak out because he has retired, while active law enforcement authorities might fear retaliation.
Obama announced in mid-January that he would nominate Jones to lead the ATF, an agency that hasn't had a permanent director for six years. The BATF has also been under a cloud of Congressional investigations into the botched guns tracking operation known as Fast and Furious.
Hunters took 5 percent more Wisconsin deer in 2012
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- State wildlife officials say hunters killed 5 percent more deer last year than in 2011.
According to preliminary data from the Department of Natural Resources, hunters killed a total of 366,747 deer over all the state seasons last year compared with 347,711 in 2011.
They killed 245,539 deer during the 2012 traditional nine-day November gun hunt and 93,452 during the archery season, including 45,775 bucks, a new state archery harvest record.
The numbers aren't final. The archery season continues in metro units