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Wisconsin roundup: Western Wis. police chase ends in suicide; more state news stories

The Barron County Sheriff's Office reports a police chase early Saturday morning ended when a domestic abuse suspect killed himself.

A Bloomer police officer was trying to stop a vehicle driven by 66-year-old Michael Haile when deputies deployed a set of spike strips. Three tires were deflated. The driver failed to get out of the vehicle when it came to a stop, but deputies stayed back because they'd been told Haile had a rifle. When they made a tactical approach, they found the suspect from Stitzer dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


Store closings could sideline 2,200 workers

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development estimates that more than 2,200 jobs could be eliminated by the closing of 12 Boston Stores and Younkers locations by early June.

The parent company, Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., says it hopes jobs can be preserved through a sale process. It said it is in active discussion with an investor group to acquire the stores.

State and federal laws require companies like Bon-Ton to make an official notification when there is potential for job losses. If employees do lose their jobs, that would start to happen June 5.


Northern Wis. house fire caused by smoking near oxygen

Taylor County Sheriff's deputies say a 71-year-old woman who died in a house fire had been smoking a cigarette near her oxygen supply.

Authorities say they got a 911 Friday afternoon from a man saying he and his wife were inside their burning home. Arriving deputies say 79-year-old Michael Rantanen was outside when they arrived, telling them his wife was still inside. Smoke and fire kept the deputies from entering. Firefighters from Rib Lake were able to enter the house shortly after that, finding Susan Rantanen's body in the living room.


Retail theft investigation leads to human trafficking case

A weekend investigation of a retail theft turned into something else altogether in Madison.

An off-duty detective determined the suspected thief was a victim of human trafficking. Madison police spent the rest of the weekend looking for that person's abuser and trafficker. No names were released and the trafficking victim was taken to a relative’s home for safe-keeping. Police say they are trying to track down the trafficking suspect and arrange for an interventionist to help the victim originally targeted for shoplifting at West Towne Mall.


Rescue divers pull man from Milwaukee River

Witnesses say a man walking along the Milwaukee River simply lost his balance and fell in shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday.

The 49-year-old man's name hasn't been released. Members of the Milwaukee Fire Department Rescue Divers were able to pull him to safety. A police officer tossed a flotation device to the man in the water as rescue divers were jumping in. Authorities say the man was taken to a nearby hospital and has been listed in good condition.


Madison man accused of abusing baby son

Doctors have determined injuries suffered by an infant in Madison were not accidental.

Nineteen-year-old James E. Johnson has been arrested on one count of first-degree reckless injury. Emergency responders were called to an address last Wednesday at 3 a.m. about a child in distress. At the hospital, a pediatrician found two skull fractures and three rib fractures that appeared to be more than 10 days old. Johnson originally told officers he dropped his son. He also said he probably had sunk his teeth into the baby's face while hugging him.