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Wisconsin roundup: Madison records worst-ever month for heroin deaths; more state news stories

Madison police say the city is at the epidemic stage for heroin deaths.

When the final numbers are totaled, June is expected to be the worst month in the city's history. Emergency responders were called to 35 known drug overdoses during the month. That compares to nine calls in June 2017. Eleven overdoses resulted in death this year, compared to two during the same month the year before.


UW-Madison fraternity suspended after investigation into TV tossed from balcony

University of Wisconsin officials say a fraternity has been placed on suspension following an incident last weekend where a TV was thrown from an upper floor balcony, narrowly missing a woman walking underneath.

Videos of the incident have been circulating on social media since the incident, prompting university and law enforcement to investigate the case. A UW-Madison spokesperson said Thursday that university officials have placed the Kappa Sigma fraternity chapter on interim suspension for the incident. On Tuesday, the Kappa Sigma national office terminated the charter of the UW chapter, which further suspends its status and operations, pending any appeal.

A university spokesperson says an investigation will be conducted by the Division of Student Life on behalf of the Committee on Student Organizations. If a fraternity is found in violation of the Student Organization Code, sanctions are possible for the organization. Individuals can be held accountable under the nonacademic misconduct code.


U.S. Sen. Johnson: Russians put on notice for election interference

Hands off the midterm elections.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he and the members of a congressional delegation to Moscow put their Russian hosts on notice. The Wisconsin Republican says the Russians were warned not to interfere with the November vote.

Johnson says that country's meddling in the 2016 presidential election was brought up "constantly," by several of the senators. He says "the point was made." President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in a summit in Helsinki, Finland, July 16.


Eau Claire group home resident faces 6 felonies

A resident of a group home in Eau Claire is accused of locking another resident in a bathroom and sexually assaulting her.

Six felony charges have been filed against Dustin H. Pederson. A staff member at Liberty View Group Home was trying to call the police to report Pederson when he allegedly entered the room and started punching her in the face. Police say she had several visible injuries and there was a pool of blood on the floor. If he is convicted on all the charges, Pederson could be sentenced to more than 75 years in prison.


Man sentenced for running meth operation from behind bars

A federal judge has sentenced a Waupun man to three years in prison for allegedly working on a drug-selling operation while he was in the Fond du Lac County Jail.

Thirty-one-year-old Justin Kohl was serving eight months on another drug conviction at the time. Kohl chose his own replacement on the outside and stayed in touch with her on sales and collections while he was serving time. Prosecutors say the Madison-based network sold about eight pounds of meth over a three-year period. Its ringleader is serving a 15-year prison term.


Former high school employee accused of making sex tape with boy

A former worker in the truancy abatement program at Case High School in Racine is accused of using her cell phone to shoot video of her having sex with an underage boy.

School officials say 22-year-old Amanda Eckblad has been fired. Because the boy was 17, the video is considered to be child porn. Investigators haven't said if the boy was a student at the school. The two had been living together and the woman has called him her "significant other." If she is convicted of the charges, she could be sentenced to 25 years in prison.


Dane County Sheriff’s Office investigates jail-inmate death

The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office has completed an autopsy on the body of an inmate who died Wednesday morning.

The 29-year-old was being held after his arrest for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, fourth offense. An earlier news release referred to a James Borck Jr. being taken into custody Tuesday night, but Madison officials haven't formally identified the dead inmate. Borck had been involved in a traffic accident shortly after 9 p.m. A 28-year-old woman passenger in his car and a 41-year-old woman in the car he hit were both hospitalized. Neither woman's name has been released.


La Crosse chamber wants mayor’s veto override

The La Crosse Chamber of Commerce worries that delays could push the $49 million cost of expanding the city's convention center even higher.

Downtown business owners are being urged to put pressure on city council members to override the mayor's veto. Mayor Tim Kabat said he is concerned about the encroachment on the city's Riverside Park. The chamber's executive director says La Crosse will continue losing conventions if an agreement isn't reached. Vicki Markussen says every six months the construction is delayed will cost La Crosse $1 million.