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Update: Red Wing shooting suspect arrested in Woodbury hotel; victim identified

Wisconsin state news briefs: Slovenia says remains found of missing Wisconsin man; and more state news

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA -- Authorities in the Central European nation of Slovenia say human remains found near a popular hiking place have been confirmed as those of a missing American man from Wisconsin.

Slovenian police in the capital city of Ljubljana said Saturday that identification tests established the death of 25-year-old Jonathan Luskin of Wisconsin. They said the remains discovered Dec. 23 at Iski Vintgar gorge displayed no signs of foul play. Police say Lukin was reported missing to Slovenian authorities on July 25. Family members have said he traveled with them in Austria and Germany before parting in June. They said Luskin, who worked as a teacher in Hong Kong, wanted to extend his trip with a visit to Slovenia.

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Janesville man arrested for false imprisonment after car chase

JANESVILLE -- The Rock County Sheriff's Office says deputies arrested a Janesville man Friday morning after a car and foot chase. Sheriff's officials say deputies identified 40-year-old Jess Hurley in a parking lot on Venture Drive and moved to box him in with police cruisers.

Officers say Hurley backed his vehicle into a squad car and then sped from the area. Police followed Hurley and eventually executed a maneuver, causing his car to go through a fence on Avalon Road and into a farm field. Sheriff's officials say officers set up a perimeter and found Hurley on foot about 1 mile away from where he was last seen. He attempted to escape on foot but was taken into custody.

Deputies arrested Hurley on charges of battery, strangulation and false imprisonment, in addition to charges related to his resisting arrest.

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Racine police recover woman's body from Lake Michigan

RACINE -- Police in Racine are still not saying how a woman's car ended-up in Lake Michigan.  Rescue crews recovered the body of a 30-year-old woman Sunday from that car.

Police got a call at around 2:30 a.m. Sunday that the car was driven into the lake near The Oasis, which is close to North Beach in Racine. Racine police say they're still looking for answers in the case.

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Milwaukee police:  Homicides down again in 2018

MILWAUKEE -- Fewer people were killed in Milwaukee in 2018 than the year before.  Milwaukee police said as of Sunday, 99 people had been killed in the city. That's the lowest homicide total since 2014. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says 2018 was the third year in a row that homicide numbers fell.

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Building struck by bullets in Janesville early Sunday morning

JANESVILLE -- Police say officers responded to reports of shots fired near the intersection of Beloit Avenue and Delavan Drive in Janesville early Sunday morning.

Janesville police say officers discovered shell casings and found one unoccupied home hit by gunfire. No injuries were reported and police have not identified a motive for the shooting. The incident remains under investigation.

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Two fishermen rescued on Bay of Green Bay

BROWN COUNTY -- Two fishermen were rescued from the Bay of Green Bay early Sunday morning after being caught when ice broke away. The Brown County Sheriff's Office say deputies were called at around 1:25 a.m. Sunday to Volk's Landing on Edgewater Beach Road.

Sheriff's officials say the fishermen were on a chunk of ice about 300 yards from the landing and drifting farther away. Sheriff's officials say they sent out their airboat for rescue. They reached the men, who had drifted another 1.5 miles away. Deputies say the men, who are from Illinois, were returned safely to shore. Their names were not released.

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Southeast Wisconsin starts day under winter weather advisory

MILWAUKEE -- Most of southeastern Wisconsin is starting the day under a winter weather advisory. Forecasters are expecting freezing rain to glaze most of the area with a thin coating of ice.  

Folks in Jefferson, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties are under the advisory until 10 a.m. After that, forecasters say the freezing rain will either change to rain or transition to snow for areas to the north.

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Two injured in explosion at home in Vernon County

VERNON COUNTY -- Two people were injured during an explosion at a home in Vernon County.  

The Vernon County Sheriff's Office says the incident happened Saturday afternoon on Pine Street in Stoddard. Deputies say a propane leak from a dryer in the basement likely caused the explosion. Two people in the home were taken to a hospital in La Crosse with non-life-threatening injuries.

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Gov.-elect Evers announces 3 more cabinet appointments

MADISON -- Wisconsin Gov.-elect Tony Evers is naming three more appointments to his incoming administration.  

Dane County Supervisor Mary Kolar is his pick for state Department of Veterans Affairs secretary.

Kolar said, "Veterans contribute to their communities in many ways. Our WDVA will work to ensure they and their families achieve their employment, education and quality of life goals."  Kolar is a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Evers also named Kathy Kolten Blumenfeld to head the Department of Financial Institutions, and Brian Pahnke will serve as state budget director in the Department of Administration.

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Racine man charged with beating man with baseball bats

RACINE -- A Racine man is facing a first-degree attempted homicide charge for an alleged attack involving baseball bats on Christmas.  

Police responded to an apartment Tuesday evening and found a man unconscious and bleeding on the kitchen floor. Twenty-six-year-old Deandre Charles was located unharmed and covered in blood with several bloody baseball bats. Charles was arrested and the victim was taken to the hospital and is currently in stable condition.

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Western Wisconsin man accused of stealing car and service dog

EAU CLAIRE -- A Chippewa Falls man is accused of stealing a woman's car and her service dog.  The criminal complaint says 26-year-old Nathan Hakes stole the woman's car from a parking lot in Eau Claire over the weekend.  

The woman and her husband found the car and the woman's service dog with Hakes at a nearby bar. Police arrested Hakes after he failed a field sobriety test and charged him with vehicle theft, drunken driving and dog napping. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

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Milwaukee ranks high on "Surge Cities Index"

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee ranks among the best cities to start a new business for the first time.  Wisconsin's largest city comes in at 29th on the so-called "Surge Cities Index."

Rankings were based on seven key indicators -- the rate of entrepreneurship, high-growth company density, population growth, net business creation, wage growth, job creation and early-stage funding deals.  

Milwaukee ranked third for net business creation and eighth for job growth. Its biggest challenge is young people taking their talents elsewhere -- called "millennial brain drain."

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Police try to find burglars who hit Target store on Christmas Day

MADISON -- Madison police are looking for two burglars who broke into a Target store on Christmas Day. Their activities were recorded on surveillance video. Off-site security reported an intrusion alarm was triggered at about 6:40 a.m.  The suspects were gone by the time officers arrived. They were seen targeting electronic devices.

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DOC: Inmate escapes from Milwaukee Correctional Facility

MILWAUKEE -- State corrections officials say a minimum-security inmate has escaped from a correctional facility in Milwaukee.

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections says 50-year-old Clarence Saffold escaped from Felmers Chaney Correctional Center. The incident has been reported to the Milwaukee Police Department, and anyone with information about Saffold’s whereabouts is asked to contact law enforcement.

Saffold is described as African American, 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 210 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. Officials say he was found guilty in 2016 of being a felon in possession of a firearm and obstructing an officer for an incident in 2014.

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Milwaukee police, anti-violence groups point to fewer homicides in 2018

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police and anti-violence groups are pointing out Wisconsin's largest city has seen 20 fewer homicides so far in 2018. As of Thursday, there were 98. That compares to 118 on the same date in 2017.  

An organization called Heal the Hood provides guidance and mentoring to young people. It does outreach at more than a dozen schools in the city. Leaders say they are celebrating the improving numbers.

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Firefighters avoid injury when burning home's floor collapses

KAUKAUNA -- Kaukauna firefighters had to scramble to avoid injury when the floor of a burning home collapsed Thursday. Crews say smoke and flames were visible from both levels of the home as they drove up. Fire on the first floor was extinguished quickly, but the fire crews had to battle the rest of the fire from outside after the collapse. No injuries were reported.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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