Sunday morning Wisconsin headlines

Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 --- 6:13 a.m.


Ruling in Penn. voter-ID case buoys Wis. hopes

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Opponents of Wisconsin's voter-ID law hope a recent win in a Pennsylvania court bodes well for their efforts to get Wisconsin's law overturned.

Last month, a Pennsylvania judge struck down a requirement that nearly all of the state's voters show photo identification at the polls. A federal judge is considering a similar challenge in Wisconsin.

Supporters say voter-ID laws would cut down on voter fraud. But opponents say the laws exclude poor and minority voters disproportionately because they're less likely to have photo IDs.

Challengers in the Wisconsin case include the American Civil Liberties Union. Spokesman Dale Ho says the Pennsylvania case had many aspects similar to the Wisconsin case.

But state Justice Department spokeswoman Dana Brueck says a state decision in Pennsylvania sets no precedent in Wisconsin.


Waukesha fire leaves man in critical condition

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- Waukesha police say a man who suffered severe burns in a garage fire this week is in critical condition.

Firefighters responded Friday evening to a Waukesha home after a neighbor noticed flames coming from the garage. They found the man in need of immediate medical assistance.

Some firefighters began treating the man while others brought the fire under control. The 34-year-old was airlifted to a burn center, where police said he was in critical condition Saturday.

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.


Bank, Wis. man file class-action suit vs. Target

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A class-action lawsuit against Target Corporation over last year's security breach has been filed by a Wausau, Wisconsin bank and a Fitchburg, Wisconsin man.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that similar lawsuits have been filed in other states, but this is the first of its kind to be filed in Wisconsin.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Madison. The plaintiffs are seeking restitution for customers and compensation for banks that are re-issuing cards and monitoring bank accounts for fraud.

The breach gave hackers access to information credit and debit cards and personal data for about 70 million customers.

Target did not immediately respond to the newspaper's request for comment.


Low-power FM stations in Minn., Wis., get boost

VIROQUA, Wis. (AP) -- Federal officials have granted a license for a low-power FM station to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and are considering another application from a nonprofit organization.

A La Crosse Tribune report says it's the first round of licensing since 2000. The move could eventually triple the 34 low-power FM stations now licensed in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Low-power FM stations are intended as an affordable way for community organizations to reach local populations. They have a range of about three miles.

Those licenses are only issued to nonprofit and public-safety organizations. The licenses were first made available in 2000 but the Federal Communications Commission didn't open another application window until 2013.

Minnesota and Wisconsin have another 36 low-power FM stations approved for construction and 47 with applications pending.


Report: Winona woman who drowned in Wis. was drunk

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- New reports say a Minnesota woman who drowned after her car plunged down a 40-foot embankment and crashed through ice in Wisconsin was legally drunk at the time.

A La Crosse Tribune report says 21-year-old Ellen Ahmann of Winona, Minnesota had just left the downtown tavern where she was tending bar on New Year's Eve. Police reports obtained through an open-records request say her blood-alcohol level was 0.16 percent, or twice the legal limit.

The reports quote Ahmann's roommate as saying Ahmann and friends had "a couple" of drinks before she drove to work.

Surveillance video from the Cheap Shots bar shows Ahmann drinking three shots in about 30 minutes.

She left about 10 p.m. Video shows her car jumping a curb and plunging toward the river.


Oshie latest success story from tiny Minn. town

WARROAD, Minn. (AP) -- T.J. Oshie is the latest hockey player from a small town in far northern Minnesota town to skate on Olympic ice.

Warroad, Minnesota churns out wildly successful Olympic hockey players. No U.S. men's team has won a gold medal without a player from the town of fewer than 2,000 people that's just a few miles from the Canadian border.

Whether Oshie can be as successful remains to be seen, though his four shootout goals helped the U.S. beat Russia on Saturday in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the home team's crowd in Sochi.

The 27-year-old forward is 7 for 10 in NHL shootouts this year. He said after Saturday's game he's going to "try to represent the town" and the "big shoes to fill in there."

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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