Wisconsin roundup: Trump reportedly to make first official announcement of Wis. business expansion; 7 more state news stories
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will apparently get to make the announcement that Foxconn has chosen Wisconsin for its new United States electronics plant.
Trump's schedule has a "jobs announcement" for 5 p.m. Wednesday in the East Room of the White House — and media reports say a follow up program is planned Thursday at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Trump told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday that the Taiwanese Foxconn is "strongly considering" a Wisconsin location for a plant that could hire 5,000 to 10,000 workers, rumored to be in Racine or Kenosha counties.
The Journal Sentinel says Foxconn could be in line for a $1 billion to $3 billion package of federal, state, and local incentives. Chief of staff Reince Priebus, a Wisconsinite, says Trump started talks with Foxconn in April when he visited Snap On Tools in Kenosha — and he told a Waukesha audience in mid June that Gov. Scott Walker would get a "very happy surprise" when a plant he didn't disclose would knock on the state's door.
Ryan: Sessions’ future is up to Trump
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville says the future of the nation's attorney general is up to President Donald Trump.
The Republican Ryan waved off questions Tuesday about Jeff Sessions' job status, and Trump's ongoing public feud against him. Ryan told a Milwaukee radio interviewer this week he defends Robert Mueller as the special counsel heading up the probe into Russia's allegedly involvement in last year's elections. Otherwise, Ryan says the president "gets to decide what his personnel is."
He says the House is dealing with a busy legislative agenda, and it does not have time to be "micromanaging" the Justice Department. Trump has been upset that Sessions withdrew from the Russia probe several months ago.
Scammer ‘spoofs’ state consumer hotline
MADISON — It's getting harder for people to fight off phone scams.
Wisconsin's Consumer Protection Bureau says imposters have been calling people in at least eight states, "spoofing" as the state's "Consumer Protection Hotline" — and they're using an 800-number to call people, a telltale sign that the call's a fraud, at least in Wisconsin. Frank Frasetto of the state's consumer agency says his bureau does not use a toll free number to call people — and if they do call consumers, they'll use the area code for Madison, 608.
Frasetto says one person lost $500 when told that the person's phone service would be disconnected. Another caller left a message about Wisconsin's Do Not Call List, which is now being handled by the federal government.
Johnson: Those concerned about losing care get ‘misinformation’
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says Wisconsinites worried about losing health coverage in an Obamacare replacement are getting "misinformation" from what he calls "scaremongering and demagoguery."
The Republican Johnson made the comments in a media conference call, after he cast the final tying vote Tuesday to let the Senate debate a bill that repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tiebreaking vote after all Democrats voted no, including Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin, who says she'd rather see more affordable care and lower drug prices.
Johnson says his biggest concerns are slowing the rise in premiums for many who buy insurance in the government exchanges, and cutting off new applications for expanded Medicaid for childless able bodied adults. A final Senate vote could come by the end of this week.
Farm pays $50K to settle manure pollution complaint
MADISON — A Kewaunee County dairy farm has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a state complaint that it applied manure improperly, causing nearby water pollution.
The Stahl Brothers Dairy of Luxemburg reached the settlement last month, but it was not made public until the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project dug up state records about it. The group called it the "tip of the iceberg for industrial dairy violations that deserve" state penalties. The dairy told WLUK-TV that a "third party applicator" did not comply with certain regulations on two occasions in 2014 and '15 — and bad weather and mechanical failures caused manure applications outside authorized limits.
The dairy said the issues have been resolved. Later on Tuesday, the state Justice Department defended its record for handling environmental cases, saying it collected more in fines from January through June than in all of 2016.
State environmental penalties higher than all of 2016
MADISON — The state Justice Department has collected more fines from polluters this year than in all of 2016.
Attorney General Brad Schimel said Tuesday his agency took in almost $487,000 in fines and related charges for environmental violations from January through June. That's more than the $449,000 collected in all of last year, the lowest in at least 22 years.
The Walker administration has gotten heat for reduced environmental enforcement since taking office in 2011, and Schimel insists his agency "actively enforces" those laws. Unlike previous attorneys general, Schimel has downplayed environmental cases until now — and former DNR Secretary George Meyer who heads the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation says he's pleased with both Schimel's announcement and the higher fines, noting that the public has a "strong interest" in these cases.
Woman faces OWI-related charges for hitting officer
GREEN BAY — The public safety chief in Ashwaubenon says police agencies throughout Wisconsin are showing their support for Officer Brian Murphy, after he was hit by an alleged drunk driver.
Twenty-eight-year-old Kalin McGuire of Greenleaf is jailed on a $20,000 bond on charges of causing injury by driving drunk, and OWI with a child in her vehicle. Prosecutors say she was driving home from a wedding reception Saturday night when her vehicle hit Murphy, who was directing traffic at a car fire on Interstate 41 near Green Bay. He remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition with head and leg injuries. McGuire told police that she was driving up a freeway entrance ramp on Interstate 41 near Green Bay and she didn't see Murphy until it was too late. She's due back in court Aug. 8.
UW study: Single-sport athletes at higher risk of injury
MADISON — A new study suggests prep athletes who specialize in one sport are more prone to injury than others who play multiple sports.
Research by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found high schoolers who say they were highly specialized in one sport had an 85 percent higher chance of lower extremity injuries than multi-sport athletes. Those are injuries that affect the ankle, knee and upper leg and include ligament sprains, muscle/tendon strains and tendonitis.
Those who were moderately specialized had a 50 percent higher risk. Researchers enrolled 1,544 individuals, with 50 percent female with an average age of 16, into the study during the 2015-2016 school year. Participants completed a questionnaire which identified their sports participation, history of injury and level of specialization (low, moderate, high).