Wisconsin roundup: Assembly members head home after chamber completes its work; more state news stories
MADISON — The Wisconsin Assembly completed its work for this legislative session early Friday morning, with members heading for home.
The last day lasted 12 hours. Gov. Scott Walker's $100-a-child tax rebate was passed, along with a tax incentive package for Kimberly-Clark and several other bills. Assembly leaders have said they have no plans to return to the Capitol this year. The Wisconsin Senate has one more day on its schedule to be held next month. It has to give its approval to the late-night work done by the Assembly, or the bills won't be forwarded to Walker for his signature.
Regional arts center official charged with sexual assault
EAU CLAIRE — The executive director of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center is facing charges of third-degree sexual assault.
Eau Claire police say Ben Richgruber was arrested Feb. 13 in connection with an assault reported on Feb. 7. The president of the Board of Directors for the Arts Center says Richgruber is on paid administrative leave until March 5. She said the board is still gathering information about the incident.
Motorcycle club’s new home greeted by high-visibility patrols
LOMIRA — The Dodge County Sheriff's Office says nearly two dozen traffic stops were made near a new motorcycle clubhouse in the village of Lomira during a crackdown.
The Outlaws Motorcycle Club recently established a presence there. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says the arrests for traffic and drug violations came when he instituted a "high visibility criminal interdiction." Deputies flooded the area Feb. 16 — with more patrols coming. Schmidt says the infamous motorcycle club has been known to bring criminal activity to areas in the past, including drugs, weapons and violence. Not all of the people ticketed were club members.
Emergency responders rescue snowmobile rider
PINE RIVER — Lincoln County first responders say they had to use a rope to rescue a snowmobile rider when his machine went through the ice.
The incident happened Saturday afternoon when authorities received a call about a man lying on the ice near open water. The victim was riding his snowmobile when the ice broke. The rope was used to pull the man to shore. He was put into an ambulance and transported to get medical attention. The man's name and age haven't been released.
Speaker Ryan tells Wis. Republicans ‘we’re going to win’
WAUKESHA — House Speaker Paul Ryan predicts his Republican Party will emerge victorious in the general elections in November.
Ryan spoke to Waukesha County Republicans Saturday night. He says Republican successes like the tax cuts will carry the party, even though midterm elections are often difficult for a president's party. Ryan expanded on previous comments about the mass shooting in Florida, saying 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz "slipped through a whole bunch of cracks." In recent history, the party controlling the White House has lost an average of 32 seats in the House of Representatives. Republicans currently have a 24-seat majority.
Sun Prairie man arrested after crashing into Dane County salt truck
COTTAGE GROVE — Deputies with the Dane County Sheriff's Office have arrested a 24-year-old Sun Prairie man for second offense operating while intoxicated.
Road flares had been set up at the site of a previous accident when deputies say Andrew Lloyd drove over them. He did stop, but took off when a deputy approached his vehicle, only to slam head-on into a Dane County Highway Department salt truck after narrowly missing the deputy. Lloyd was treated for injuries he suffered in the crash with the truck at UW Hospital, then taken into custody.
Victims of plane crash include Wis. dairy farmer
CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. — A deadly small plane crash in Indiana is under investigation as friends and family mourn the loss of a Wisconsin dairy owner.
There were no survivors when the plane went down in a field about 7:30 p.m. Thursday on a flight from Indianapolis to Green Bay. The family of John Pagel says the owner of Pagels' Ponderosa Dairy Farm in Kewaunee was on the plane. Pagel's son-in-law and the pilot also perished.