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Saturday morning state headlines

Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2013 --- 4:35 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Governor Scott Walker says he expects GOP leaders will reach some sort of compromise on a contentious section of his budget that would expand private school vouchers next week.

The voucher program subsidizes students' private school tuition. It's currently in effect in Milwaukee and Racine.

Walker's budget would expand the program to large districts with at least two schools receiving a D or F grade on new state report cards. Nine more districts would qualify next year.

Republican Senate leaders, though, have questioned using the report cards as program triggers and spending $73 million more on vouchers.

The Legislature's finance committee is slated to vote on the plan Wednesday. Walker told reporters on Friday he expects GOP leaders will strike a deal before then. He declined to elaborate.

WISCONSIN BUDGET-RENT-TO-OWN

Wis. gov shrugs off rent-to-own defeat

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Governor Scott Walker is shrugging off state lawmakers' decision to nix his plan to exempt rent-to-own businesses from Wisconsin's consumer protection act.

Under the consumer protection act, rent-to-own companies must disclose their interest rates. Industry supporters say their transactions don't involve credit and as such shouldn't fall under the act. Walker's plan would have exempted them from the disclosure requirements and created new statutes specifically tailored to them.

A handful of Republican lawmakers sided with industry critics who insist the businesses prey on the poor and pressed the Legislature's budget committee to wipe out the governor's proposal. The committee deleted the provisions Thursday.

Walker told reporters Friday he believes rent-to-own business should have a right to operate in Wisconsin but new regulations for them were never a priority.

LEMON LAW LIMITS

Wis. lawyer wants car dealers to oppose bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's Lemon Law King is trying to rally dealers against a Republican bill that would relax car buyer protection statutes.

The bill would revise the Wisconsin's lemon law to erase mandatory consumer damage awards and give manufacturers more time to deliver a replacement vehicle or refund.

Attorney Vince Megna touts himself as the Lemon Law King. He sent letters Friday to Wisconsin dealers telling them to oppose the bill. He says in the letter if the bill passes he'll bypass the lemon law and start filing lawsuits under federal consumer protection statutes, which means dealers can be held liable for damages.

Wisconsin Automobile and Truck Dealers Association President Bill Sepic says consumers would still get faster resolutions suing under the revised state lemon law than going the federal route.

EX-WALKER AIDE-OWI SENTENCE

Wis. gov didn't know of ex-aide's drunken driving

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Governor Scott Walker says he wasn't aware of his former campaign spokeswoman's drunken driving citations.

Twenty-five-year old Nicole Tieman pleaded guilty to her second OWI offense in Milwaukee on Wednesday and was sentenced to 20 days in jail. She had already been convicted in March of operating with a prohibited alcohol content in Waukesha County. Both incidents occurred within days of each other in June 2011, long before she joined Walker's campaign earlier this year. She abruptly resigned from the campaign on May 17th without explanation.

The governor told reporters on Friday he didn't know about Tieman's record and he had no role in the decision to add her to his campaign. He declined to comment further, calling the matter a personnel issue.

TEACHER-STUDENT ASSAULT

Milwaukee teacher accused in student sex assault

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee police say a female high school teacher is in custody for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.

Police Sergeant Mark Stanmeyer says the teacher is a 28-year-old woman, who works at Messmer High School. The boy is a student there.

Stanmeyer says the alleged assault happened Thursday evening in a car at Destiny High School. The teacher and student were there for a special event.

Stanmeyer says the teacher is in police custody and the case will be referred to prosecutors for possible charges. Stanmeyer says police are still investigating.

Mike Bartels is acting president of Messmer Catholic Schools. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bartels says in a statement that the teacher has been suspended pending the police investigation.

DRIVE-BY WATER BALLOONS

2 arrested for tossing water balloons at cars

LANCASTER, Wis. (AP) -- Two 18-year-olds have been arrested for tossing water balloons from a car, causing damage to at least three other vehicles.

The Grant County Sheriff's Department says it began receiving calls on Tuesday about objects that were being thrown from a car on Highway 11 in Jamestown and Hazel Green townships.

Officials caught up with the teens, and determined they threw more than 80 water balloons at vehicles or pedestrians.

The water balloons caused cracked windshields on three vehicles. Authorities say anyone else whose vehicle was hit by water balloons in the area around midday Tuesday should call the sheriff's department.

ODD-THONG CAPE SCOOTER MAN

Police: `Thong Cape Scooter Man' not breaking law

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A man known to ride through Madison on a scooter -- dressed in thong underwear and a cape -- may be disturbing to schoolchildren.

But police say the rider they call "Thong Cape Scooter Man" isn't breaking any laws.

Earlier this month, staff at John F. Kennedy Elementary School called authorities after the man rode by in his unmentionables while students were walking to a school bus.

Police spokesman Joel DeSpain tells the Wisconsin State Journal that a sergeant had a chat with Thong Cape Scooter Man, who admitted he used poor judgment in going past the school, but said he did it unintentionally.

The city attorney told police the man broke no laws.

So it seems Thong Cape Scooter Man is free to ride on.

MOTHER KILLED-SENTENCE

Wis. man sentenced to life in mother's death

FRIENDSHIP, Wis. (AP) -- An Adams County man convicted of killing his mother, hiding her body and using her checks and credit cards has been sentenced to life in prison.

A judge ruled Friday that 61-year-old Larry Clark won't be eligible for parole for 30 years.

A jury convicted Clark of seven felonies including first-degree intentional homicide. Prosecutors say he shot 79-year-old Marcella Clark in the back in 2010 and hid her body in the woods near their Big Flats house.

Clark testified that he shot his mother accidentally, passed out and woke to find her body. He told investigators he didn't report the death because he was more worried about training her puppy to survive in the event he ended up in jail.

His defense attorney didn't immediately return a message Friday.

COLD CASE CHARGES

Charges filed in 2008 Wisconsin Rapids death

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities have charged a man in connection with a 2008 murder in Wisconsin Rapids.

WSAW-TV reports that Joseph Reinwand is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and arson of a building with intent to defraud in the death of Dale Meister.

Meister was found shot to death in his Wisconsin Rapids mobile home on March 4th, 2008. Authorities had a suspect within a month, but didn't have evidence to prove it.

Wisconsin Rapids police did not say what led to Reinwand's arrest, but say they have been diligently investigating.

Online court records do not list an attorney for Reinwand. He is currently in custody in the Stanley Prison for burglary and weapons convictions.

His first court date is June 19th.

FAVRE-LAWSUIT

NYC lawsuit alleging Favre sent racy texts settled

NEW YORK (AP) -- A New York City lawyer for two massage therapists who sued retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre over claims he sent racy text messages says the case has been settled.

Lawyer David Jaroslawicz wouldn't comment Friday on the terms of the settlement.

Massage therapists Christina Scavo and Shannon O'Toole said Favre sent sexually suggestive texts to another therapist when he was with the New York Jets in 2008. The women said they lost their part-time jobs with the Jets after they complained about the texts. They sought unspecified damages from Favre, the Jets and a team massage coordinator.

Favre has denied the allegations and argued if the therapists lost work he wasn't responsible for it.

A lawyer for the Jets hasn't responded to a call seeking comment.

Favre also played for Atlanta, Green Bay and Minnesota.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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