Latest Wisconsin Headlines

Posted Sunday, July 21, 2013--- 7:15 a.m.


500 rally in Milwaukee against Martin verdict

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- About 500 people have rallied in downtown Milwaukee to protest the outcome of the Trayvon Martin shooting case.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that a series of speakers outside the Federal Court building Saturday, including politicians and religious leaders, called on the U.S Department of Justice to file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the death of Martin.

The Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network organized "Justice for Trayvon" rallies and vigils outside federal buildings in over 100 cities Saturday.

A Florida jury acquitted Zimmerman of all charges in the March 2012 shooting of the 17-year-old Martin, who was unarmed. The former neighborhood watch leader claimed self-defense, while others contend Martin was targeted because he was black.


5th suspected heat-related death in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee authorities are reporting a fourth and fifth suspected heat-related death.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says the latest victims are a 64-year-old woman who died early Saturday and a 69-year-old man who died Friday.

The office says the woman developed breathing problems in her Milwaukee home, where the air temperature was 93 degrees. Her body temperature was 110 degrees.

She had an air conditioner, but was unable to install it on her own. All the windows in her home were closed, and the family never opened them because they feared shots being fired in the neighborhood.

The man was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital from a home in Milwaukee on Thursday with a body temperature of 102 degrees. He died Friday night.

Their names have not been released.


2 Wis. Rapids women die in Portage County crash

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) -- Two Wisconsin Rapids women have died in a crash in rural Portage County of central Wisconsin that also left one man hospitalized.

The sheriff's department says 21-year-old Melissa Peterson and 21-year-old Stephanie Eberhardt were rear-seat passengers in a pickup truck that left the road and crashed into several trees around 2 a.m. Saturday in the Town of Linwood. The truck came to rest on the passenger side.

A front-seat passenger, a 21-year-old man from Rudolph, was airlifted to a Marshfield hospital where he was listed in serious condition Saturday afternoon.

A statement from the sheriff's office says the driver, a 22-year-old man from Loyal, was arrested on suspicion of operating under the influence of alcohol and faces additional charges. He's being held in the Portage County Jail.


River Falls raises money for memorial playground

RIVER FALLS, Wis. (AP) -- A run and walk in the western Wisconsin community of River Falls has raised nearly $50,000 for a proposed playground dedicated to the memory of three girls who were slain by their father.

The Tri Angels 5K at Hoffman Park on Saturday honored the three Schaffhausen sisters-- 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie, and 5-year-old Cecilia. Organizers say it drew 1,250 participants.

Jessica Schaffhausen says summers spent at Hoffman Park are among her favorite memories of her daughters. She says they would walk from their home past the park to the library and home again.

Prosecutors say the girls' father, Aaron Schaffhausen, killed them last year in an act of revenge against his ex-wife. He tried to claim insanity. He was sentenced Monday to life in prison with no chance of parole.


Police ID 8-year-old who drowned in Wis. river

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (AP) -- Police have identified an 8-year-old boy who drowned in the Oconomowoc River.

Oconomowoc police say Shane Needles of Nashotah was with a group visiting Riverside Park when a chaperone noticed he was missing Thursday.

The boy was found in the river shortly before 2:30 p.m. and was pulled from the water by one of the chaperones.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that responders performed CPR on the boy and he was taken to a hospital, where he died a short time later.


Pastor: Boy found in trunk had keys with him

DRESSER, Wis. (AP) -- The pastor of a Wisconsin family whose 2-year-old boy was found dead in the trunk of a car says the toddler had the keys to the car with him.

The Rev. Rick Van Gundy of St. Peter's Community Church in Dresser says he got the information from the family of Isaiah Theis. He tells The Associated Press Isaiah had several sets of keys with him when a deputy found his body Wednesday in the trunk of a car on his parents' property, where the boy's father runs an auto repair business.

Preliminary autopsy results say Isaiah likely died of hyperthermia due to the heat.

Polk County investigators have not yet said how Isaiah got in the trunk when he disappeared Tuesday night from his home near Centuria in western Wisconsin.


121 cows and calves killed in Wis. barn fire

GRANTON, Wis. (AP) -- More than 100 cows and calves are dead after a barn fire in Clark County of western Wisconsin.

WQOW-TV reports the fire broke out Thursday night at Naedler's Farms near Granton. Four area departments battled the flames, which were fanned by brisk winds. The barn and three large additions were destroyed.

A total of 121 cows and calves died.

Several firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.


Door County commercial cherry harvest under way

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The Door County commercial cherry harvest is under way.

WBAY-TV reports that big machines have been clamping onto and shaking thousands of trees at Soren's Valhalla Orchards near Sturgeon Bay.

Owner Terry Sorenson says the trees are very heavy -- almost too heavy.

Ann Cannon, who's helped with the harvest for three decades, says the big crop makes it harder for the fruit in the middle of the trees to ripen.

The abundance, though, is good news for growers and consumers after losing well over half of last year's crop. Sorenson says prices for frozen products with Door County cherries will go down once this crop is processed and hits the market.

It'll take about three weeks to harvest the entire county, moving north as the cherries ripen.


Balloon litter pose problems for marine wildlife

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wardens are warning of the harmful effects that balloon releases have on marine wildlife.

A beautiful release of a collection of balloons is a popular way to celebrate, commemorate or memorialize a person or event. But, what goes up, must come down. And when the balloon litter reaches the Great Lakes it can prove deadly for native and migratory birds and other species. They can even cause problems for boats.

DNR marine warden Dave Allen and warden Lynna Gurnoe have been picking flattened balloons out of Lake Michigan. They say they picked a dozen balloons from the lake on a single day.

The DNR has a simple message. If the balloons are used to make memories, just keep them. Otherwise, the old balloon remnants can pose threats to wildlife which can choke or drown when they try to eat them or get tangled in the strings.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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