Wisconsin roundup: 15 injured, 1 firefighter dead in Sun Prairie explosion and fire; more state news stories
An explosion and fire killed a firefighter and injured more than one dozen other people Tuesday evening in downtown Sun Prairie.
Emergency responders evacuated a half-mile radius around the location. One other firefighter was hospitalized in stable condition, a police officer was treated and released and at least 12 people suffered mostly minor injuries. WE Energies says workers apparently punctured a 4-inch gas main, which caused a major leak. The first explosion was reported at about 7:05 p.m. with fire crews already on the scene. The blast flattened a bar and caused a major fire at a pizza restaurant. The two firefighters had to be hospitalized, but other injuries were minor. A search-and-rescue operation was delayed due to the threat of additional explosions.
Charges: Wis. child locked in car while mom fished, drank
Franklin police report the discovery of a three-year-old girl left locked in a car during a heat wave — while he mother was fishing with a friend.
Twenty-four-year-old Jessica Jorgensen faces charges of felony child neglect in the June 30 incident. Police say the girl was sweaty, but alert when they unlocked the car and got her out shortly before 5:30 a.m. Jorgensen admitted she had been drinking. She told officers she thought it was too early to wake the girl, so she left her in the car. Jorgensen's attorney says she will enter a not guilty plea at her arraignment tomorrow.
La Crosse woman dies of Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are rare in Wisconsin, but the tick-borne disease has apparently killed a La Crosse woman.
The victim was bitten by a tick while she was camping in May. She was diagnosed in mid-June and died a few days later. Her name hasn't been released, but health officials say she was in her late 50s. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is typically found in the central and southeastern United States.
Is cryptic ‘Project Arrow’ pointing to Wis. Amazon facility?
An Amazon distribution center could be located at the new Ryan Business Park in Oak Creek.
Real estate industry sources say the online retail giant is considering the project that could mean more than 1,000 full-time jobs. An application for a water permit at the business park filed with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is a strong indicator of what could be coming.
The name on the water permit application is said to be "Project Arrow," referring possibly to Amazon's corporate logo, which includes a curved arrow. The building plans call for a four-story distribution center of more than 2.5 million square feet.
Johnson: Russians ‘not greatest threat to our democracy’
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says Russian interference in American elections is "unacceptable" and "serious," but the Wisconsin Republican says that's not the greatest threat to democracy.
Johnson and other senators met with Russian officials in Moscow last week. He told reporters Tuesday that more than half of the five-hour talk concerned the 2016 United States elections and Russia's involvement. Johnson thinks Russian interference on social media had little impact on the 2016 vote.
Former BoDeans musician accused of sexual assault
A co-founder of the Milwaukee-based musical group is denying accusations of sexual assault.
Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas founded the group. Neumann's daughter Tessa says Llanas repeatedly molested her over a six-year period, starting when she was nine and lasting until she was 15. Llanas says the two were just friends. Llanas hasn't been charged. His scheduled show at Milwaukee's Summerfest was canceled when the allegations went public.
Madison city engineers help find missing, stolen jewelry in creek
Jewelry and other stolen goods from a Madison business were found in a small bag under four feet of water and mud Tuesday morning.
The items had been stolen from Burnie's Rock Shop and were said to have a retail value of 10-thousand dollars. Suspect Richard E. Lynch told investigators he left the stolen bag near a bridge over Starkweather Creek. City Engineer Steve Mckenzie jumped into the creek, felt around under the water with his hand, and quickly found a small bag. The robbery took place last January.
Milwaukee to pay $5.3M over police stop-and-frisk policy
The city of Milwaukee has agreed to pay $5.3 million to settle a lawsuit against its police department over allegations that officers targeted black and Latino residents without probable cause through a "stop-and-frisk" policy.
The Milwaukee Common Council approved the settlement Tuesday and Mayor Tom Barrett is expected to sign it immediately. The ACLU of Wisconsin sued the department last year on behalf of a group of six people who claimed they were stopped once or multiple times since 2010. The agreement calls for the department to document every stop and frisk and regularly release the data.
Officers will also receive training, monitoring, and supervision on racial profiling. The $5.3 million settlement includes $3.4 million for an independent consultant to monitor the department's progress. The rest of the money is for attorneys' fees.