Wisconsin roundup: Ryan rallies Republicans at RNC; sheriff tells drivers to put brakes on 'Pokemon'; eight more state news stories
CLEVELAND -- House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville says tensions within the GOP's nominating process are signs of a party "not just going through the motions."
Ryan spoke to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland Tuesday night, soon after delegates nominated Donald Trump for president. Ryan has had his share of disagreements with Trump, and he only mentioned the nominee's name twice in his 12 minute speech -- but Ryan said Republicans must unify and vote in droves to end the political year in what he calls "the finest possible way," electing a "conservative governing majority."
Also, Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin told delegates the election is a fight about freedom and security -- and he said Trump and running mate Mike Pence understand that. Johnson also slammed his election opponent, Democrat Russ Feingold, for being the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act after 9/11 -- a vote for which Feingold recently said he was proud to cast.
Sheriff: Don't drive while playing 'Pokemon Go'
MADISON -- The Dane County sheriff says he'd rather not see a state law to ban Pokemon while driving.
Dave Mahoney says he hopes motorists will be more careful on their own, after two of them crashed their vehicles last weekend while playing "Pokemon Go." Mahoney says a 26-year-old Fitchburg man drove his car into a tree while playing the smartphone game, and it started on fire.
In the other crash, Mahoney says a 25-year-old Madison man lost control on a curve and struck a utility pole. Both mishaps occurred in the town of Verona, and both drivers were not seriously hurt -- and Mahoney says playing Pokemon Go behind the wheel is just as unsafe as texting and driving.
Walker heralds Packers, Harleys at GOP convention
CLEVELAND – Gov. Scott Walker cast Wisconsin's presidential nominating votes that he once hoped would be for him.
Walker, who dropped out of the GOP White House race last year, delivered the state's votes at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday -- 36 for state primary winner Ted Cruz, and six for nominee Donald Trump, who received almost 70-percent of the total votes.
In delivering the usual state plug during the roll call, Walker called Wisconsin the birthplace of the Republican Party, and the home of the "13 time world champion" Green Bay Packers and the world's greatest motorcycles in Harley-Davidsons. State GOP chairman Brad Courtney introduced Walker, calling him "America's Governor" as the only one in U.S. history to win a recall election.
Excessive heat watches posted for Wisconsin
The much talked about heat wave will soon reach Wisconsin.
The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat watches statewide Thursday and into Friday evening in western areas.
A large band of hot and humid air is coming from the west, and forecasters say the heat index could reach 115 in some places Thursday with actual readings in the high 80s and 90s. State and local officials join the weather service in reminding Wisconsinites that heat exposure can cause illnesses -- and young kids, the elderly, and pets are most susceptible.
The state's transportation department issued a statement Wednesday warning motorists about the possibility of pavement buckling during heat waves.
Officials urge people to find cool shelters, keep an eye on those without air conditioning, and avoid outdoor activities Thursday afternoon and early evening. The weather service says thunderstorms will gradually cool things off Friday, and possibly on the weekend.
State weighs appeal options as judge lets some vote without IDs
MADISON -- The state Justice Department is considering an appeal after a federal judge said Wisconsinites who have trouble applying for photo IDs can vote without them in November.
Those voters would have to sign sworn affidavits to affirm their identities, after Milwaukee U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman ruled Tuesday that a "safety net is needed" for those who can't get IDs after meeting a "reasonable effort" to follow the law. Adelman sided with the ACLU, which said the state has not proven that the election process would be hurt by allowing the affidavits -- and the judge says those who lie would face perjury.
The ruling applies to the November presidential contest but not the August primaries. Earlier this year, the Walker administration agreed to let people vote with temporary documents if they were having trouble getting the birth certificates they need to obtain IDs -- and that came before another federal court trial which challenged the voter law, in which a final ruling has yet to be made.
Damage estimates keep rising from northern floods
Damage estimates have risen to $33.5 million from last week's massive rains and floods in far northern Wisconsin.
The vast majority of the damage continues to be from washed out roads and bridges, and to other public and tribal facilities like trails and harbors. More than $2 million has been reported to homes and businesses in eight counties -- and the Bad River Indian tribe near Ashland reports almost half that total, at $1.1 million.
The Sawyer County Emergency Management office is encouraging residents to report their home and business flood damage. It reminds people that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will assess the situation next week, and then decide if a declaration for disaster aid would be warranted.
Three paddle boarders rescued
GREEN BAY -- Three women escaped injury after they were rescued while paddle boarding on the Bay of Green Bay.
Nichole Remington tells WBAY-TV that she, her daughter, and a cousin left a park near UW-Green Bay late Tuesday when the air was calm. But after about 30 minutes on the water, they noticed the breezes picked up -- and they could not paddle back to the shore because the strong winds were in their faces.
Officials say they were not wearing life jackets, but one did have a cellphone and called 911. The Green Bay Metro Fire Department and Brown County sheriff's deputies sent rescue boats, and Green Bay Police coordinated the effort from the shore.
No charges to be filed against Walworth deputy in shooting death
ELKHORN -- No charges will be filed against a Walworth County sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a man during a drug investigation near East Troy.
District Attorney Daniel Necci cleared officer Juan Ortiz on Tuesday in the shooting death of 21-year-old Christopher Davis. The victim was shot was sitting in a car in a restaurant parking lot near East Troy.
Officials say Ortiz shot at the auto as it was trying to drive away from an undercover drug purchase and sped toward officers -- and the car later drove off and was chased by officers when it collided with a squad car in Muskego. After the state Justice Department investigated, the DA said it could only be concluded that Ortiz was trying to defend himself or others.
Milwaukee mayor accuses Johnson of fear mongering
MILWAUKEE -- Mayor Tom Barrett accused U.S. Senate Republican Ron Johnson of fear mongering in his latest TV campaign ad.
Johnson, who chairs the Senate's Homeland Security committee, cited recent apparent terrorist acts and said the world is "too dangerous" to put former Senate Democrat Russ Feingold back in office. Barrett, Milwaukee's Democratic mayor who's a former congressman and candidate for governor, told reporters in a conference call Tuesday that Johnson appears to be "panicking," while being willing to put the nation's safety in the hands of a "reality TV star" -- the description he used for New York businessman and likely GOP White House nominee Donald Trump. Johnson spoke Tuesday at the Republican National Convention.
Illinois woman gets back $11,800 she lost in La Crosse
LA CROSSE -- A northern Illinois woman who lost a purse containing $11,800 dollars has it back, thanks to an honest store employee in La Crosse.
Norberta Pickett of Rockford says she and her husband wanted to buy a camper while riding motorcycles around the Sparta area -- and on the last day of their trip this month, she left the purse in a restroom at the Hallmark store in La Crosse's Valley View Mall.
An employee found the purse and waited for the rightful owner to step forward. No one did, so she gave it to the police. Officers found the money inside the purse. As Pickett returned to get the purse, she told the La Crosse Tribune she was actually most feared losing photos of her children and grandchildren.