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Wisconsin roundup: State poll shows Clinton with 6 point lead; reward up to $20K in Menomonie homicide case; 9 more state news stories

MILWAUKEE -- Donald Trump's support has grown a little among his fellow Republican voters in Wisconsin.

But a new Marquette Law School poll still shows that one of every five GOP voters do not plan to choose their party's nominee for president on Tuesday. That's opposed to one of every 10 Democrats who won't vote for Hillary Clinton, and the extra support in her own party is one reason she's leading in the Badger State by 46-40 percent among 1,255 likely voters.

The final Marquette poll before the election shows that Trump still has a 12-percent lead among rural voters, while Clinton has a 27 point edge in cities and suburbs. Trump is still not getting the normally strong conservative support in Milwaukee's suburban areas like Waukesha County.


Clinton emails bother half of state voters

MADISON -- Half of Wisconsin's registered voters in the Marquette poll say they're bothered by Democrat Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state -- and 68 percent still won't describe her as honest, while 61-percent don't trust Republican Donald Trump.

Still, Clinton has led in all 13 Marquette polls this year, the most current one giving her a 6 percent lead on Trump -- who has made several visits to Wisconsin in recent weeks while Clinton has stayed away. She's been sending surrogates -- including Bernie Sanders Wednesday and her daughter Chelsea three times since late September.

Now, Vice President Joe Biden plans to appear in Madison Friday for Clinton but a time and place have not been announced. In Milwaukee Wednesday, Sanders said his Wisconsin primary victory helped the party produce "the most progressive Democratic platform in the history of the United States."


Reward fund grows to $20,000 to solve Saudi student's murder

MENOMONIE -- There's a $20,000 reward for information that will convict the man responsible for killing a Saudi Arabian student at UW-Stout.

Menomonie residents and campus employees have donated $15,000, and the other $5,000 comes from Minnesota's chapter of the Council of American/Islamic Relations. Menomonie Police Chief Eric Atkinson says his officers have not identified a suspect and a motive in the beating death of 24-year-old Hussain Alnahdi early Sunday morning, who was in the city's tavern district with large numbers of Halloween partiers.

The chief says he would not rule out the possibility of a hate crime until the white male assailant is arrested. A memorial service for Alnahdi is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday outside Stout's Memorial Student Union.


Wisconsin traffic deaths down in October

MADISON -- The state DOT says 43 people died in Wisconsin traffic crashes last month.

That's three fewer than last October, and seven fewer than the average for the past five years. The decrease comes despite a relatively warm and dry month that was better for attracting fall color watchers on the roads.

For the year as a whole, 484 people have died in state traffic accidents during the first 10 months of the year -- 16 more than the same period last year, and 22 more than the five year average. Seventy motorcyclists have been killed in 2016, not including a rare November motorcycle fatality in Racine County.


Four killed by apparent drunk driver in Dane County crash

DEERFIELD -- Four people have died in a three vehicle crash caused by an apparently drunk SUV driver heading the wrong way on Interstate 94 near Deerfield in Dane County.

The State Patrol says the SUV was driving erratically about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday -- and as officers tried catching up with the vehicle, it turned around and started driving against the traffic. An officer almost hit the vehicle head on, and then turned around to stop the motorist -- but before that could happen, officials say the SUV hit two oncoming cars.

Two Milwaukee women, ages 26 and 28, and a 26-year-old Waterloo man died as passengers in the first car that was hit -- and a 23-year-old suburban Chicago man who drove the second car also died. Troopers also say the driver of the first car, a 28-year-old man from Whitefish Bay, suffered life threatening injuries and was taken to UW Hospital in Madison along with the driver who caused the crash, a 32-year-old Waunakee man, and no names were released.


Wisconsin companies get more federal business

WASHINGTON -- Wisconsin businesses that are prime contractors for the federal government have received $2.8 billion from Washington this year.

That does not include contracts awarded by the Pentagon that have not officially been listed for several months. Also, the state's total does not include the littoral combat ships built at Marinette Marine, because the boats' main contractor -- Lockheed Martin -- is headquartered in Maryland.

Still, Anna Vilumsons of the Wisconsin Procurement Institute expects this year's final government spending numbers to exceed last year's. The Oshkosh Corporation, which makes military vehicles, has about 29 percent of the official federal spending figures for this year -- and other top federal contractors include W-P-S health insurance of Madison and Logistics Health of La Crosse.


Mother charged in suffocation deaths has died in jail

KENOSHA -- A woman found dead in the Kenosha County Jail was reportedly awaiting trial for killing her two young children.

WITI-TV in Milwaukee says 34-year-old Lucia Hernandez Alvarez died Wednesday morning in a section of the jail that houses defendants awaiting trials. Officials did not immediately confirm that the woman was the same one accused of killing her 3-year-old daughter Alicia and 1-year-old son Javier in September of last year.

Officers said at the time that Hernandez Alvarez drugged the youngsters before suffocating them, and she then tried stabbing herself to death. Sheriff's investigators from neighboring Racine County will investigate the jail incident, in which the inmate was found with no pulse and not breathing.


UW, Madison community leaders work on new costume policy

MADISON -- Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez and Madison community leaders are working on a new policy for allowing costumes and masks at Badger sporting events.

That's after a controversy erupted when a Badger fan wore a mask of President Barack Obama with a noose at last Saturday night's game against Nebraska -- and the university did not remove the fan after he agreed to take the noose off. Michael Johnson, who heads the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, is among those working on the new policy after he was among the biggest critics of letting the fan stay at the game. Johnson tells WKOW-TV it's "unacceptable for someone to bring such a thing into a public stadium." He said it's possible that a new policy could take effect before the Badgers' next home again on Nov. 12 against Illinois at Camp Randall Stadium.


No bond reduction for man accused of poisoning wife

KENOSHA -- A judge in Kenosha said no to reducing the $1 million bond of a man who's facing a second trial for poisoning his wife to death.

Mark Jensen wanted his bond reduced to $300,000. His lawyer says his client is not likely to run off, saying he checked in with officials hundreds of times since his first conviction in the death of his wife Julie in 2008. In his new trial, a letter that Julie wrote suspecting that her husband wanted to kill her will not be allowed as evidence.

That's after Jensen took advantage of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that dead people cannot be questioned on the witness stand, and therefore their evidence cannot be used against defendants. His new trial is scheduled to begin next March 6. Three days of pretrial hearings are set to start Jan. 9.


State traps fewer gypsy moths this year

MADISON -- The number of gypsy moths trapped by the state Agriculture Department went down by 11 percent this year, but it does not necessarily mean there were fewer moths roaming the state.

Officials stress that only male moths were caught, because female months do not fly. The 11,000 traps were designed as a measuring tool, not a means for population control as almost 86,500 moths were trapped this summer, down from 97,000 in 2015.

Gypsy moths can defoliate trees and shrubs. The tracking system helps the state decide where to spray each year. Officials say moths normally decline in places with trapping data. Despite the decline in moths that were trapped, official Chris Whitney says moth populations can return quickly, "given the right conditions."


State report: Opioid prescriptions down 8.2 million from 2015

MADISON -- The number of opioid prescriptions dispensed in Wisconsin from July 1 to Sept. 30 fell by 8.2 million compared to the same period last year.

Gov. Scott Walker announced the findings Tuesday of the Controlled Substances Board, which highlighted the success of the Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Walker called the report "very encouraging" and says it shows the efforts being made to battle prescription drug abuse and misuse are working. The Wisconsin monitoring program started in June 2013.