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Saturday morning Wisconsin headlines

Posted Saturday, March 8, 2014 --- 5:06 a.m.

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR-ADS

Walker pushes back against Burke in first ad

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Governor Scott Walker is releasing his first television ad in the governor's race, pushing back against Democratic challenger Mary Burke's message that unemployment has gone up under his watch.

The Republican incumbent launched his first ad on Friday, the same day that Burke was running her initial spot.

Walker's ad takes aim at Burke's claim that unemployment has gone up under Walker.

Unemployment was 7.8 percent when Walker took office. It is 6.3 percent now.

However, unemployment never went higher than 4.8 percent when Burke was Wisconsin's commerce secretary between 2005 and 2007.

Burke campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki says the fact that unemployment was lower when Burke was commerce secretary than now is inconvenient for Walker.

ELECTIONS

Elections bills moving forward in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Several Republican-led elections bills are moving through the Legislature as it moves into the final two weeks before the end of the session.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported Friday that eight of the 15 election-related bills have Democratic support. But a spokesman for Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says the fate of four other elections-related bills is unknown.

One proposal would limit in-person absentee voting to between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays in the two weeks before an election. Another would create buffer zones for election observers.

Issue advocacy groups would be exempt from disclosing campaign finances under a third bill, but it faces Republican opposition in the Senate, making it unlikely to pass.

WI-REHIRING RETIREES

Thousands of public retirees returned to work

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team is reporting more than 3,000 public sector retirees returned to work for a public employer last year while drawing pensions from their old jobs.

The team reported Thursday state Department of Employee Trust Funds data show 3,025 Wisconsin Retirement System retirees returned to work in 2013.

The state began tracking retiree rehires after provisions in the current state budget required WRS retirees who go back to work for a public employer to stop collecting a pension and resume paying into the system if the job is two-thirds time or more.

A DETF spokesman said no retirees halted their pension to return to work full-time from July 2013, when the new law took effect, and Jan. 31 of this year.

PURDUE SHOOTING-TRIAL

Purdue shooting suspect's murder trial postponed

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The murder trial of a Purdue University engineering student accused of killing another student on campus has been postponed for six months.

The trial date for 23-year-old Cody Cousins was rescheduled for October 6th during a hearing Friday in a Tippecanoe County court. It had been scheduled to begin April 22nd.

The Warsaw resident has been charged with murder in the January killing of 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wis.

Prosecutors and police say Cousins attacked Boldt around noon January 21st in Purdue's Electrical Engineering Building on the campus in West Lafayette. Court documents say Boldt suffered both gunshot and knife wounds and that several people were in the classroom and witnessed the attack.

Court documents have not cited a possible motive for the slaying.

HEROIN DEATH-SENTENCE

Man gets 7 years in prison in teen's heroin death

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) -- A Fitchburg man accused of supplying the heroin that killed a teenager in 2012 has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Twenty-three-year-old Milton Moore pleaded no contest Thursday to first-degree reckless homicide by delivery of drugs.

After his prison term, Moore will be on extended supervision for seven years.

The Portage Daily Register reports Moore apologized to the family of the victim, 17-year-old Jacob Adler of Lodi.

Adler's mother, Shelly Johnson, says she hopes her son's story might save other lives.

Moore's co-defendant, 20-year-old Lars Atkinson of Lodi, was sentenced in October to 5 1/2 years in prison and 5 1/2 years on extended supervision.

According to the complaint, Atkinson told police he and Adler purchased the heroin in Madison, giving Moore $75 for half a gram.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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