Posted: January 20, 2013 -- 6:40 a.m.
Latest Wisconsin news, sports, business and entertainment
Gun advocates hold rally in Madison
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin gun advocates joined nationwide rallies in support of gun rights.
The group Wisconsin Guns Across America held a peaceful rally Saturday outside the Capitol in Madison.
Capitol police spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis (mar-KEE') says an estimated 500 to 600 people showed up and there were no issues.
The Facebook page for the event called it a "peaceful picketing protest."
Pictures posted on the page showed people holding signs like "Know Guns Know Freedom."
The rally is one of many slated to take place on state capitols across the country thanks to a loosely organized campaign via social media. The rallies were sponsors by the Washington D.C.-based group Political Media.
SIKH TEMPLE-SHOOTING SURVIVOR
AP Exclusive: Sikh shooting victim slowly improves
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Sikh (seek) priest who suffered severe head injuries in last summer's shooting rampage in Wisconsin remains largely unresponsive, but has begun showing signs of awareness his doctor call remarkable.
Punjab Singh is in a long-term facility. He was shot in the head in August, in an attack at a Milwaukee-area Sikh temple that left six people dead and three others injured.
His prognosis was grim but he has been improving. He can move his eyes to track movement, he tries to mouth words and he seems genuinely aware of his surroundings. His family credits prayer, love and constant companionship.
Still, Singh's best-case scenario remains limited. He'll most likely never walk, and communication likely will consist of deliberate eye blinks, simple gestures and perhaps whispered words.
Wisconsin starts issuing Real IDs
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin is one of just 13 states that have started issuing driver's licenses that abide by tighter federal standards.
The licenses cost the same, but include stringent checks on proof of legal presence, address and identity.
The State Journal reports drivers have to bring documents like their Social Security card, passport and proof of address, such as a utility bill or current license.
The IDs are made to be compliant with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, which lays out standards recommended by the 9/11 Commission.
Drivers can still get regular licenses but the new IDs will be mandatory for air travel or getting into some federal buildings in a few years.
The federal government has granted extensions to states that weren't ready to start the new IDs.
SCUBA DIVING DEATH
Milwaukee man dies after scuba diving
DELAFIELD, Wis. (AP) -- A 32-year-old Milwaukee man is dead after scuba diving in Nagawicka Lake in Delafield.
Police say Steven LaLonde had been scuba diving Saturday under the ice near the beach at Naga-Waukee Park when he apparently had equipment problems.
Other divers in his group pulled him from the water and performed CPR but he was later pronounced dead.
Jurors to consider felonies in Wis. custody death
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A special prosecutor is considering felony charges in connection with the death of a suspect while in Milwaukee police custody.
That's according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which obtained documents filed Friday in Milwaukee courts.
Special prosecutor John Franke plans to ask inquest jurors to consider charges of first- and second-degree reckless homicide and failure to render aid by law enforcement in Derek Williams' death.
Williams died in July 2011 after gasping for breath and begging for help for about eight minutes in a police car.
The inquest is scheduled to begin February 11th.
Franke plans to present five days of witnesses, including independent medical experts.
Attorney Robin Shellow, who represents Williams' mother, says the charges proposed by Franke will give jurors a chance to fairly hold officers accountable.
GREAT LAKES-SHIPPING DOWN
Less shipping on Great Lakes in 2012 than in 2011
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Great Lakes freighters carried less cargo in 2012 compared to 2011.
That's according to the annual report released Friday by Ohio-based Lake Carriers' Association.
U.S.-flag ships working on the Great Lakes carried 89.5 million tons of the dry-bulk cargo last year, which is down 4.6 percent from 2011. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports it's also down 1.5 percent from the five-year average of 90.8 million tons.
Iron ore shipments dropped 4.3 percent from 2011 but the total was above the five-year average of 42 million tons.
Coal shipments fell to 17.6 million tons last year, below the five-year average of 22.5 million tons.
The decline has been partly attributed to the phasing out of Canadian coal-fired electrical plants.
Cement and limestone shipments were slightly ahead of the five-year average.
Restaurant settles sexual harassment complaint
MERRILL, Wis. (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered the owner of a Merrill restaurant to pay $41,000 to a former waitress who said she was sexually harassed and then fired.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Qemal Alimi, claiming he violated federal law by allowing female employees at the New Pine Ridge restaurant to be sexually harassed and did nothing to stop it.
EEOC attorney John Hendrickson says that the agency's investigation found one of the restaurant's cooks repeatedly made crude remarks to waitresses and grabbed them. The EEOC alleged Alimi took no action and that the women were fired in retaliation.
The waitress who received the settlement money was the only one who filed a claim. Alimi did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
BOOKS FOR AFRICA
Books for Africa to send libraries to Africa
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- St. Paul-based Books For Africa is teaming up with another nonprofit to send more than 2,500 Little Free Libraries to Africa over the next several years.
Little Free Libraries, based in Hudson, Wisconsin will design and build the book boxes. Thousands are already located in neighborhoods throughout the U.S., and the movement has spread to 36 countries around the world. Books For Africa will supply the books.
A distributor has already been established in Ghana. Other Little Free Libraries will be distributed across Ghana, Nigeria and the rest of Africa using the network established by Books For Africa.
The two groups are asking groups, businesses, schools and individuals to help sponsor the effort. Each $1,000 covers the costs to build and ship one library and $1,000 worth of books.
Trek Bicycle Corp. reacts to Armstrong interview
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Officials at Trek Bicycle Corp. say they are monitoring the developments of Lance Armstrong's statements.
In a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong admitted using performance-enhancing drugs when he won seven straight Tour de France titles.
Armstrong rode Trek bikes during those wins. The Waterloo-based company dropped him last fall.
The company released a statement after the second part of the interview aired Friday night.
It said they were hopeful for the future of clean cycling and don't plan to "re-engage" with Armstrong. The statement said they "will monitor the developments of his statements." A Trek spokesman didn't immediately answer an email or call Saturday seeking clarification.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports some prominent sponsors may try to recover money paid to Armstrong while he was doping.
Packers touchdowns raise $100,500 for hungry
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The Green Bay Packers raised more than $100,000 for the hungry, just by scoring touchdowns.
During the regular season, Sargento donated $1,000 to the Wisconsin Hunger Task Force and $500 to Paul's Pantry in Green Bay for each of the Packer's 53 touchdowns scored.
Sargento doubled the touchdown contributions in the postseason, resulting in an additional $21,000 donation on seven TDs.
In total, Sargento donated $67,000 to the Wisconsin Hunger Task Force and $33,500 to Paul's Pantry.
Sargento has contributed $920,500 to the two Wisconsin food charities over the last 10 years of the "Touchdowns for Charity" program.
Copyright: Associated Press 2013