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Saturday morning Wisconsin headlines

Posted Saturday, January 11, 2014 --- 5:29 a.m.

DISASTER DECLARATION-WISCONSIN

2 Wis. counties eligible for disaster assistance

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared two Wisconsin counties eligible for disaster assistance because of drought.

Burnett and Douglas counties are next to counties in Minnesota that were declared primary natural disaster counties.

The declaration is due to losses caused by drought and lack of moisture that took place between September 1st and November 15th, 2013.

Farmers who suffered losses in the two Wisconsin counties are eligible for assistance from the Farm Service Agency. The assistance includes emergency loans.

Farmers in those counties have eight months to apply for the loans.

WISCONSIN MINE

Report: Wis. mine poses possible threat to humans

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A new report says iron mining in northern Wisconsin poses a potential threat to human health and water supplies.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the Department of Natural Resources produced the report to review research about the type of mine being proposed.

Bob Seitz is a spokesman for Gogebic Taconite, which wants to dig a mine in Iron and Ashland counties. He complained the document was created before testing of core samples was completed and accused the DNR of bias.

Jack Sullivan, chief of the DNR's science services bureau, says they aren't taking sides.

DNR spokesman Bill Cosh says the report was meant to identify issues that need review and won't replace an environmental impact study that will be done when the company applies for a mining permit.

MILWAUKEE FIREFIGHTERS-VANDALISM

Review recommends firing 5 Milwaukee firefighters

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Fire Department's Board of Investigation is recommending firing five firefighters for failing to prevent or report vandalism at a fire station.

The department announced the recommendations Friday.

Nine Milwaukee firefighters were placed on administrative suspension last fall. Of the suspended firefighters, two have since retired and two who were probationary employees were fired.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the remaining five will have a chance to present evidence to the fire chief before he makes a decision.

The investigation centered on vandalism at Engine House 32 during the September 28th overnight shift. That shift was the last before many of the firefighters assigned there were to be transferred.

Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing has not discussed specific acts of vandalism but has called the situation "upsetting and disappointing."

RESTRAINED STUDENT-DEATH

No charges after restrained Wis. teen dies

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Three men who restrained a suspected shoplifter in Milwaukee County won't face charges stemming from the teen's asphyxia death.

Police say the men restrained 16-year-old Corey Stingley outside VJ's Food Mart in West Allis in December 2012.

Prosecutors investigated the case, and then released a statement Friday saying there wasn't enough evidence to bring charges of homicide or even reckless conduct.

District attorney John Chisholm says the charges require that the men either intended to kill the boy or knew their actions could lead to death. He says there's not enough evidence to prove either.

The statement says the men took Stingley to the ground and held him in a sitting position with his head near his feet. When they released him he slumped over.

ADVOCATE MURDERED

Wis. man gets life for girlfriend's fatal stabbing

MARINETTTE, Wis. (AP) -- A Peshtigo man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for fatally stabbing his girlfriend, who was an advocate for domestic violence victims.

Forty-nine-year-old Brent Kaempf was sentenced Friday for the murder of Trish Waschbisch.

Waschbisch was found stabbed to death last April in the home she shared with Kaempf. She was the interim director of a domestic violence shelter in Marinette.

Kaempf pleaded no contest to first-degree intentional homicide. The conviction carries an automatic penalty of life in prison.

WLUK-TV reports Judge David Miron had the option to set an initial parole eligibility date after 20 years, but decided that Kaempf will never get out of prison.

According to the complaint, friends told authorities that Waschbisch said she was going to break up with Kaempf.

DRUGGED ASSAULTS

Wis. man accused of drugged assaults gets 15 years

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin man accused of drugging, assaulting and videotaping women has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for taking pictures of a 17-year-old girl.

Twenty-nine-year-old Brian Stowe of Madison was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty in October to sexual exploitation of a child.

Stowe told U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb that he felt "guilty and ashamed."

Crabb called Stowe "a very serious, harmful, dangerous predator."

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Stowe still faces hundreds of years behind bars for crimes he pleaded guilty to in state court.

In December, Stowe pleaded guilty in Dane County to 16 counts of sexual assault and 11 counts of taking or possessing sexually explicit images of his victims.

Stowe is to be sentenced on the state convictions March 14th.

SENIOR HOUSING FIRE-DANE COUNTY

56-year-old Dane County woman's death in fire ruled accidental

WAUNAKEE, Wis. (AP) -- The Dane County sheriff's office says investigators cannot determine what caused a fire at a housing complex that killed a woman.

Fifty-six-year-old Raeanne Tucker died when fire broke out at a 16-unit complex in the Village of Waunakee Wednesday night.

The medical examiner ruled Tucker's death accidental. Investigators spent most of the day at the scene Thursday.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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