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Wisconsin roundup: Capitol streaker may have been drunk; one-quarter of Milwaukee's 911 calls not emergencies; 12 more state news stories

MADISON — Charges of lewd and lascivious behavior have been filed against a 22-year-old man accused of running completely naked in the Capitol Rotunda a little over two weeks ago.

Capitol police have looked at video evidence of the Feb. 4 incident. Investigators say a little girl can be heard on the video asking a question about what she was seeing while Russell C. Doupe was streaking.

The man who took the video told police he was afraid Doupe might fall over the railing to the ground floor. Doupe was putting his clothes back on when officers arrived and apologizing for being naked.


Report: More than one-quarter of Milwaukee 911 calls not emergencies

MILWAUKEE — Police in Wisconsin's largest city say more than one quarter of the 911 calls it received during the past two years were not emergencies.

WITI-TV checked out more than 1 million calls for help from January of 2015 through November of last year — and 275,000 of those calls were considered to be what they call "911 abuse." Some of the purported medical emergency calls were for things sore throats and canker sores — one teen made four prank calls claiming that people were shot — and somebody called 911 to complain they didn't get what they ordered from a fast food restaurant.

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan says the city has an ordinance to punish 911 abusers, but it's rarely used. Police officials say they don't have enough staff to enforce the measure.


Johnson: Russia issues should be investigated by congressional panels

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says investigations of issues involving Russia should be handled by intelligence panels in Congress, not new committees or commissions.

The Wisconsin Republican downplayed the urgency of taking a closer look at Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, its communications with the Donald Trump presidential campaign and leaks on those questions. Johnson is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. He blamed Democrats for obstruction to Republican efforts and blamed former President Barack Obama's administration for leaving behind a "big mess."


Condo fire leaves 1 dead, 11 displaced

MADISON — An early morning fire in an east Madison condominium building Sunday has left one person dead and 11 without a home.

When fire crews arrived at 4:44 a.m. they saw no flames or smoke and nobody was evacuating. The fire call was eventually tracked down to one of the units and firefighters evacuated the building. The lone occupant of the burning condo unit died after being taken to UW Hospital, but no names have been released. The American Red Cross spent the rest of the day finding temporary housing for the residents.


Corrections department unable to cancel $36,800 order

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Corrections was unable to cancel a nearly $37,000 order for new furniture placed by the Wisconsin Parole Commission just days before the agency was targeted for elimination.

Officials say the department will sell the furniture to an unnamed customer once the merchandise is received.


Ice anglers warned to be extra cautious

OSHKOSH — The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office had to rescue two people when their pickup broke through the ice Saturday morning.

No injuries were reported. The Battle on Bago fishing tournament was canceled, but Sturgeon spearing is still going on. Authorities are recommending no vehicles go out on the ice due to the mild temperatures.

An operation called "Sunk? Dive and Rescue" helped the two people in the sinking truck back to shore. The vehicle had dropped a couple of feet into the lake water when they drove onto deteriorating ice conditions.


Cash settlements to juvenile prison guards questioned

MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker's administration has given cash settlements to prison guards who were disciplined and at least one Democrat is questioning the practice.

Former Lincoln Hills School for Boys guard Travis Taves was fired last year for using unjustified force on two juveniles. The state settled with him for $9,000. Supervisor Kyle Hoff had his suspension reversed and he was given $1,100 in back pay. Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach of Middleton says he wants an explanation of why the Walker administration is cutting deals like those.


Mauston woman accused of using brass knuckles in attack

MAUSTON — Mauston police say a 55-year-old woman used a set of brass knuckles to attack a man last month.

Linda Heyroth at first denied using the weapon, then said she had to use it when she was fighting the man. Heyroth claims self-defense. Investigators say the man — whose name hasn't been released — had a cut on his forehead and was missing a clump of hair.

The two apparently started fighting after the man told Heyroth he was going to sue her for telling people he was a child molester. Heyroth has a pre-trial conference next month and a plea hearing in April in Juneau County.


State agents investigating officer-involved shooting in Shawano County

TOWN OF ALMON — The Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation is handling an officer-involved shooting case in Shawano County.

Deputies say a disturbance call escalated when they arrived Friday afternoon, ending with a 52-year-old Wittenberg man being shot. Deputies say the man tried to drive away from the house after a two-and-a-half hour standoff.

When he took action to threaten law enforcement officers, deputies opened fire. The man's name and medical condition haven't been released


Wisconsin forestry division workers moving north

MADISON — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's budget plan includes a move to the northern part of the state by the Department of Natural Resources' forestry division.

The headquarters for the chief forester would be relocated to an existing DNR facility north of Highway 29 by January 2018. The current staff of 55 based in Madison would relocate in phases.

No timetable has been established for the move. A DNR spokesman says it hasn't been determined yet how many staff members will relocate. The state will cover their moving expenses.


Attempt to join ISIS sends Wisconsin man to prison for 10 years

MADISON — A federal judge has sentenced a former Madison man to 10 years in prison after he admitted he had tried to join the Islamic State group.

Thirty-six-year-old Joshua Van Haften was charged in 2015 with trying to cross the border between Turkey and Syria to join the terrorist organization. He was arrested when he returned to the United States. Although Van Haften's mother says he is mentally ill, a psychologist found him competent to stand trial. He had pleaded guilty to the federal charge last October.


House fire claims 2 lives

PULASKI — A Friday morning house fire has claimed the lives of two people in Pulaski.

A neighbor spotted the flames at about 1 a.m. and called 911. Fire crews weren't able to enter the structure for several hours because of worries the remaining walls might collapse. Initial reports indicated a family of five lived in the home, but that information changed later. Investigators think the fire started on the upper level. The names of the victims haven't been released.


Madison joins cities, counties opposing travel ban

MADISON — Madison is one of 34 cities and counties getting involved with a federal lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's travel ban.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and other leaders filed a friend-of-the-court brief Friday supporting the plaintiff in a lawsuit pending in New York. Soglin said in a statement the group is confident their efforts will "thwart the chaos, foolishness and cruelty" fostered by Trump's Jan. 27 executive order.

The group argues that the order is unconstitutional and that cities benefit from immigrants. Other cities to sign on include Chicago, Minneapolis, New York and Philadelphia. Trump has said he plans to issue a new version of the executive order next week.


Musican known as 'Funky Drummer' dies in Madison

MADISON — A former drummer for soul singer James Brown has died of kidney failure in a Madison hospital.

Clyde Stubblefield was known as the "Funky Drummer" for his solo on Brown's 1970 single release of the same name. The drum break was used on more than 1,000 other songs and has served as the backbeat for many hip-hop releases. He performed on several of Brown's hits in the 1960s and early 70s. Stubblefield had struggled with kidney disease for the last 10 years. He was 73 when he died Saturday.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin. 

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