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Wisconsin roundup: Evers to begin first week on job with tour at Lincoln Hills; more state news stories

Shortly after he takes the oath of office next week, Wisconsin Gov.-elect Tony Evers plans to take a trip to the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake schools in Irma.

Evers promises to hit the ground running, saying he wants to hold several meetings with state lawmakers while starting work on a new state budget. The Democrat says he's an "eternal optimist" who isn't too concerned about the prospect of gridlock with the Republican-dominated Legislature.


New charges filed against man accused of killing 3 Girl Scouts, 1 adult

The man accused of fatally injuring three Girl Scouts and an adult last November in Chippewa County is facing additional charges.

Colten Treu faces several drug-related offenses after a hearing in Rusk County Circuit Court Wednesday. Those charges are connected to a previous accident in Rusk County in September. Investigators say Treu had inhaled chemical vapors before hitting the scouts and their leader as they were cleaning an area on the side of the road in Lake Hallie Nov. 3.


Field of candidates set for Wis. Supreme Court election

Two judges on the Wisconsin Appeals Court are running for the state Supreme Court seat being vacated by the retirement of Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

Liberals are backing Judge Lisa Neubauer and conservatives are behind Judge Brian Hagedorn, although justices are officially nonpartisan. The state court currently has four conservative-leaning and three liberal-leaning justices. Wednesday was the deadline for candidates to file for the April 2 election.


Appeals court rejects request from Avery attorney

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals sided with prosecutors by rejecting a request from Steven Avery's attorney for the testing of human remains.

Avery and his nephew are serving life sentences for the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. Attorney Kathleen Zellner contends the remains found in another location are Halbach's. Avery and Brendan Dassey were found guilty based, in part, on bones found in a burn pit on the family's property. Zellner has until Feb. 1 to file her next brief in Avery's appeal.


Private wells in 3 counties contaminated

The Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey reports its testing of groundwater samples from 301 private wells found unsafe contamination levels.

Scientists found nitrate and coliform bacteria. The report released this week found 42 percent of those wells were considered to be unsafe. It still isn't known what caused the contamination in the wells located in Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties. A second set of samples will be taken this spring.


Milwaukee firefighter nearly dies during rescue attempt

The Milwaukee Fire Department says one of its divers almost died while trying to rescue people in a submerged car.

Conditions at the site of the accident in the Kinnickinnic River were challenging, with temperatures near freezing and strong currents. The diver reached the car with a woman inside and got stuck as he tried to swim to the river's surface. The 15-year veteran's name hasn't been released. He credits his training with helping him stay level-headed while other members of the dive team helped him get free. Three people died.


$2B sales of Rayovac to Energizer finalized

Spectrum Brands Holdings has announced the $2 billion sale of its Rayovac battery business has been finalized.

The transaction first became public last year when Spectrum reached the agreement with Energizer. Spectrum says the deal clears the way for it to improve its capital structure for fiscal year 2019. It plans to concentrate on its four remaining businesses — hardware and home improvement, global auto care, global pet supplies, and home and garden.