Saturday morning Wisconsin headlines

Posted Saturday, December 21, 2013 --- 5:18 a.m.


Ice cometh before the storm

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Freezing rain is making travel difficult overnight in Wisconsin.

Jefferson, Johnson Creek, Lake Mills, Edgerton, Boscobel and Burlington are among the dozens of schools closed on Friday.

The National Weather Service says widespread freezing rain and drizzle has ended but some parts of south-central and southeastern Wisconsin were seeing patchy freezing drizzle Friday evening.

Forecasters say the ice is a precursor to a winter storm that's expected to arrive Saturday night. The storm is carrying the potential for significant snowfall, sleet and ice.


Fed court upholds injunction on Wis. abortion law

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal appeals court panel has upheld an injunction blocking Wisconsin's new law requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges from taking effect.

Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services filed a federal lawsuit this summer alleging the law would force the organizations to close clinics in Appleton and Milwaukee because the facilities' providers lack admitting privileges. U.S. District Judge William Conley has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law while he weighs the case.

State attorneys asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to lift the injunction. A three-judge panel ruled unanimously Friday that the injunction can continue.

Judge Richard Posner wrote the clinics face greater harm than the state if the injunction is lifted, the law goes into effect and Conley then strikes it down.


Milwaukee alderman investigated for misconduct

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee alderman is being investigated for allegations that he used illegal tactics to force two sex offenders out of his district.

A search warrant suggests that investigators are looking into whether Alderman Jim Bohl committed misconduct in office.

A WTMJ-TV report says Bohl met with neighbors in October who were upset that two sex offenders were moving into a nearby house. A week later, the city issued several code violations against the house's landlord requiring thousands of dollars of repairs.

The warrant alleges that Bohl apologized to the landlord for playing "hardball" but the "guys needed to go."

Bohl released a statement saying he's disappointed the allegations were made public before a full examination of the facts was completed. He says he's cooperating with investigators.


Former Walker associate to get out of prison early

RACINE, Wis. (AP) -- A former associate of Gov. Scott Walker who was convicted of stealing more than $51,000 meant for veterans is getting out of prison early.

A jury last year convicted 63-year-old Kevin D. Kavanaugh of felony theft. He was sentenced to two years in prison, and he's served just over half the time.

The state Department of Corrections said Friday that Kavanaugh completed certain requirements of an early-release program, which makes him eligible to convert the rest of his sentence to extended supervision.

Defense attorney Chris Hartley says Kavanaugh had an alcohol problem, but apparently completed treatment successfully in prison.

Prosecutor Kurt Benkley said he was aware of the court document Wednesday ordering that Kavanaugh be released within 30 days. He says the decision is routine for these types of cases.


Wis. man pleads not guilty in deputy shooting

MEDFORD, Wis. (AP) -- A 28-year-old Westboro man accused of shooting and wounding a Taylor County deputy sheriff has pleaded not guilty.

Alexander Schneider was charged with attempted first-degree homicide and five other felonies in the September 8th shooting of Deputy Chad Kowalczyk, who was hit once in the abdomen.

Kowalczyk was shot after he went to Schneider's home to investigate a woman's complaint that Schneider had sent her at least 16 text messages that day, in violation of a restraining order.

Prosecutors say Schneider shot the deputy through the front door with a .22-caliber rifle.

The deputy has been cleared to return to work but the exact date has not been determined.

Schneider has been jailed on $1 million cash bond since his arrest. WAOW-TV reports no trial date was set.


Man dies after clash in Wis. mental health complex

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A 48-year-old Milwaukee man has died after being restrained by a Milwaukee police officer and security guards inside the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex.

Police were called to the man's home after he threatened his wife with a hammer around 12:30 a.m. Friday.

Milwaukee police say the man had a history of mental problems. According to a police news release, the two officers who responded were concerned the man "was in mental crisis," so they brought him to the Mental Health Complex.

Police say the suspect became combative and was restrained by security personnel and one of the arresting officers, and was medicated.

The man became unresponsive and died despite life-saving efforts.

The Journal Sentinel reports police don't know the cause of death and are waiting for autopsy results.


Brother of victim is shocked conviction is vacated

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The brother of a Wisconsin woman killed 15 years ago with antifreeze says he was shocked that a judge overturned her husband's conviction in the case.

A federal judge decided Wednesday that Mark Jensen was improperly tried in 2008 because he couldn't confront his dead wife, Julie Jensen.

The decision centered on a letter that Julie Jensen had slipped to her Pleasant Prairie neighbor because she was suspicious her husband was trying to kill her.

She died in 1998. The case was slowed by a legal debate over whether the letter and her statements to others could be used in court.

Paul Griffin, of Kenosha, told The Associated Press Friday that if Jensen is tried again, he's certain the other evidence will convince a jury to convict him again.


RB Melvin Gordon returning to No. 19 Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Running back Melvin Gordon will return to Wisconsin for his junior season in 2014.

The 1,400-yard rusher said in a statement released by the team Friday that he had room for growth, and that he hoped to get the 19th-ranked Badgers back to the Big Ten title game. He also cited a desire to complete his degree.

Third-year sophomore Gordon is half of Wisconsin's potent one-two backfield punch with senior James White. Gordon's 8.31 yards per rush career average leads active major college players.

Coach Gary Andersen last week said he gave Gordon his OK to seek an NFL draft evaluation, but encouraged him to return to school.

The Badgers (9-3) are preparing to play Number 8 South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl on January 1st.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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