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Saturday Morning Wisconsin News Headlines

Posted: February 16, 2013 -- 5:12 a.m.

WISCONSIN BUDGET-WALKER

Wis. gov promises $6.4 billion for transportation

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Governor Scott Walker plans to use a combination of general fund revenue and bonding to cover more than $800 million in transportation spending in his executive budget.

Walker announced Friday his budget will include $6.4 billion for a range of transportation projects, including rebuilding Milwaukee's Zoo Interchange. That's about $500 million more than the 2011 to 2013 budget.

The governor's office says about $824 million for 2013-2015 will come from the state's general fund, petroleum inspection fund and new bonding.

WISCONSIN BUDGET-WALKER-PROPERTIES

Wis. gov's budget will include property sales

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Governor Scott Walker's executive budget will call for selling state properties to cover debt.

Walker spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster says proceeds will be used to pay off debt on the properties and repay $200 million in bonding the governor plans to propose to pay for renovations on Milwaukee's Zoo Interchange. Any remaining money will go to repay other outstanding state debt.

Webster says the properties could include state power and hearing plants.

EDUCATION CONTRACT-BID

Wisconsin company protests losing $15M contract

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin company that lost out on a $15 million contract to run a student information system in the state's schools is protesting the awarding of the bid to Minnesota's Infinite Campus.

Skyward Incorporated of Stevens Point filed the protest with the state on Friday.

The company says the process was not fair, transparent or open. It says the contract should either be awarded to Skyward or the entire process should be voided.

Skyward says it has identified problems that inflated Infinite Campus's score and that the costs of each proposal were not properly evaluated.

The state hired an outside attorney to observe the process and she identified no problems.

A state education department spokesman says the protest will be promptly reviewed and a written decision will be issued.

WOMAN'S KILLING-ARRESTS

3 arrested in connection with 2007 Wis. death

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -- Three women have been arrested in connection with the killing of a Greenville woman found shot in a shed in 2007.

The Outagamie (awt-ah-GAY'-mee) County Sheriff's Department says one of the women is the victim's domestic partner 53-year-old Dianna Siveny.

Siveny had been charged in 2010 with paying someone to beat Lara Plamann a year before Plamann died. The attack wasn't carried out, and charges were dropped.

WLUK-TV reports a 34-year-old woman and a 38-year-old woman who live in St. Paul, Minnesota are also in custody.

The 30-year-old Plamann was found shot in the head in an outbuilding on the property she and Siveny shared.

In a statement Friday, Plamann's family said they were pleased about the arrests and thanked officials for their work over the years.

KILLER'S FREEDOM

Man who killed 4 to remain in Wis. mental hospital

MENOMONIE, Wis. (AP) -- A Dunn County jury has denied conditional release for a man committed to a state mental hospital for killing four people in the Chippewa Valley.

Jurors deliberated about an hour Friday before denying 65-year-old Alvin Taylor's request.

Taylor's attorney contended his client is no longer on medication and hasn't had a violent outburst at Mendota Mental Health Institute in 25 years. Taylor once portrayed himself as a "soldier of God" who received messages over radio and TV directing him to kill four people in the 1980s.

In closing arguments, District Attorney James Peterson called Taylor "a very dangerous man" and urged jurors to recommit him, the Leader-Telegram reports.

The victims include Timothy Hayden of Menomonie; Robert Williams and James Severson, both from Eau Claire; and Daniel Lundgren of Esko, Minnesota.

WISCONSIN FATAL FIRE

Father convicted of killing sons

DARLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- An Argyle man has been convicted of killing his sons and his unborn child in a house fire.

Thirty-three-year-old Armin Wand pleaded guilty Friday in a deal with prosecutors to four counts of first-degree intentional homicide, one felony murder through arson of a building and one count of arson of a building. Prosecutors dropped two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Wand faces life in prison when he's sentenced on April 17th.

Authorities say he set his rented house on fire in September in hopes of killing his family and collecting insurance money. His three sons died in the fire. His wife and his 2-year-old daughter escaped, but the fetus his wife was carrying died.

Wand's 18-year-old brother faces similar charges and is set for a separate trial.

Copyright Associated Press 2013


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