Wisconsin headlines

Posted on Saturday, July 6, 2013 -- 8:02 a.m.


Wis. gov signs unemployment benefit changes

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill that would increase the maximum weekly unemployment insurance payout but install new limits on who can collect the benefits.

The bill increases the highest monthly benefit by $7 to $370. It also makes it easier for the state to recover overpayments made to the unemployed by allowing audits of beneficiaries, repeals a program that allows claimants to receive an additional 26 weeks of benefits if they're enrolled in vocational training and bars inmates in work-release programs from collecting unemployment.

The measure cleared the Republican-controlled Legislature in June. Walker signed it into law on Friday.


Milwaukee County sheriff seeks 137 new positions

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Junior is looking to add 137 positions to his staff next year.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report says about 100 positions would be deputies. Another 35 would be correctional officers.

The new positions would more than compensate for a two-year trend of reductions imposed by the County Board and County Executive Chris Abele.

The expansions are detailed in Clarke's 2014 budget request. It would mean a 17 percent increase, or $15 million, in tax-levy support over his current budget. Abele's budget guideline for next year called for no levy increase, in line with the guidance given to most other county departments.

Abele has been pushing efficiency measures since last year. The efforts have led to him and Clarke exchanging harsh words.


Chinese researcher reaches deal in Wis. drug theft

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A researcher accused of stealing a possible cancer-fighting compound from the Medical College of Wisconsin has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Hua Jun Zhao was accused of accused of stealing three vials of the compound. Prosecutors say he also stole academic research that he planned to pass off as his own in China.

Zhao initially pleaded not guilty to charges of tampering with a private computer and lying to a federal agent. He agreed to change his plea at a hearing set for Wednesday.

Online court records say Zhao agreed this week to plead guilty to accessing a computer without authorization. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A message left with Zhao's defense attorney Friday was not immediately returned.


3-year-old girl drowns at Devil's Lake State Park

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- A 3-year-old Madison-area girl is one of three people presumed drowned in Wisconsin lakes in the last two days.

Sauk County dispatch says the girl died Thursday evening after her body was found at Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo. She was flown to a hospital by helicopter, but did not survive.

Her name has not yet been released.

Two men also died of possible drowning on Friday.

WTMJ-TV reports authorities found the body of 20-year-old Bruce Beckley of Milwaukee early Friday in Mount Morris Lake. Beckley was spending the weekend there with friends and was swimming after hours. Officials believe alcohol was involved.

A 56-year-old West Allis man died Friday morning after an incident in Shawano Lake. His name was immediately released.


Authorities ID victim in Wisconsin go-kart crash

LAKE DELTON, Wis. (AP) -- Lake Delton police have released the name of the Iowa man who died after losing control of his go-kart at a Wisconsin track.

Police say 45-year-old Wade Wiese of Charlotte died Wednesday at Alligator Alley Adventures Go-Kart Track in Lake Delton, Wisconsin.

Authorities say he lost control of his vehicle and struck a wooden post along the track, and suffered a fatal head injury. Witnesses say there were no other go-karts near him at the time.

A medical helicopter was called in. But a doctor declared him dead at the scene about 45 minutes after the accident.

The man was visiting Wisconsin with his family.

WKOW-TV reports that state inspectors have been at the track. Owner Orlando Pedroza says the go-kart ride passed inspection earlier this year.


Reward increases for info in turtle beating

DELEVAN, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities are still looking for suspects in the death of a snapping turtle found bludgeoned on a Delevan golf course last month.

And a reward for information in the case is now more than $10,000.

The Janseville Gazette reports that authorities believe someone attacked the female snapping turtle with a golf club on June 10th. The turtle later died at a wildlife rehabilitation center.

Walworth County Sheriff's Captain Scott McClory says officials are still following up on leads, and they are hopeful someone will come forward with information.

The monetary reward is thanks to the Watertown-based Global Conservation group and the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.

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