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Wisconsin roundup: No rush to react to debates for state Republicans; union rebuffs public education proposal; 13 more state news stories

None of Wisconsin's top political leaders of either party gave immediate reactions to Sunday night's Trump-Clinton debate.

Like many Wisconsinites, Gov. Scott Walker appeared more interested in the Green Bay Packers' home victory against the New York Giants, as his personal Twitter account had photos of the Packers' two touchdowns in their 23-16 win at Lambeau Field posted close to the times the scores came.

Walker, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville, and U.S. Senate Republican Ron Johnson say they continue their support of Trump -- while denouncing the 2005 video in which Trump was seen making lewd comments about women. Trump downplayed the video during the debate, repeating his initial claim that it was "locker room talk." A number of other Republicans around the country called on Trump to leave the race as a result of the video's emergence.


Union: Education accounts 'scheme' to cut public school funds

MADISON -- Wisconsin's largest teachers union has wasted no time opposing the idea of letting low- to middle-income parents use tax funded savings accounts to pay for things like private school tuition.

The Wisconsin Education Association Council calls it a "back door scheme" to take funds away from public schools. Union president Ron Martin says money from neighborhood schools would go for private school tuition with what he called "zero accountability."

Martin says lawmakers would have to explain new cuts in teachers and programs at their next re-elections. The tax funded savings accounts could also pay for tutoring and textbooks. The proposal is part of next year's Assembly GOP agenda.


Justice department acknowledges DMV gave inaccurate information

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Justice acknowledges that DMV employees gave some people inaccurate information as they tried to obtain alternative credentials so they can vote next month.

A report indicating that was filed Friday. The state says it has corrected the issues and re-trained some employees. The Department of Transportation says it sent undercover state troopers into more than 30 of those officers and they were all given the correct information. Federal Judge James Peterson will consider the report during a hearing in Madison next week.


FEMA wraps up Wisconsin inspections

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has completed its review of the state's most recent flood damage from late last month.

Tod Pritchard of Wisconsin Emergency Management tells WKOW-TV in Madison that the state's preliminary damage estimates will probably change once the final numbers are added up this week. State officials recently said there was $14 million in damage to flooded roads and other public infrastructure in roughly the western half of Wisconsin.

Pritchard says some of the earlier damage that was reported did not qualify for general FEMA aid because it was covered either by another relief fund -- or was covered by insurance. The final damage total will be sent to Gov. Scott Walker, who will then decide whether to seek FEMA assistance.


At least 8 traffic deaths reported in state since Friday

At least eight people have been killed in Wisconsin traffic accidents since Friday.

Three of the deaths were reported early Sunday. In Kenosha County, sheriff's deputies say a driver died after a sport vehicle struck a tree near Salem -- and in Racine County, police say a 20-year-old man died in Mount Pleasant, after being hit by a vehicle while walking across Highway 32.

In Milwaukee, police say a woman was killed when her car drove through a stop sign and collided with another auto at a west side intersection. Investigators say passengers in the dead woman's car ran off, the other driver was treated at a hospital for minor injuries, and the victims' names in all three crashes were not immediately released.


Democrats aim for some gains in Legislature

With Election Day four weeks from Tuesday, most of the buzz in Wisconsin has been about the races for president, U.S. Senate, and the open U.S. House seat in the Green Bay area.

Meanwhile, Democrats hope to make at some gains in the state Legislature, where Republicans have essentially controlled both houses and the governor's office since 2011. There are seven contested seats in the state Senate, where Democrats would need to defeat three Republicans to win back the upper chamber.

Republican Dan Kapanke of La Crosse, who was recalled in 2011 due to his support for the near elimination of public union bargaining, goes up against Senate Democratic Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling. In the Assembly, the GOP expects to easily keep its 63-36 majority -- and Republicans have already announced their agenda for the next session that begins in January.


Man killed in Tomahawk area ATV crash

TOMAHAWK -- Sheriff's deputies in northern Wisconsin continue to investigate a weekend ATV crash that killed a 40-year-old suburban Milwaukee man.

Lincoln County sheriff's deputies say the 40-year-old rider from West Allis slammed his all terrain unit into a tree Saturday night near Tomahawk. The man died at the scene, and his name was not immediately released.


Special needs cheering squad plans national TV audition

STEVENS POINT -- A cheerleading team that has 11 people with special needs has been invited to audition for "America's Got Talent."

The Extreme Dream Team of Stevens Point is planning a bus trip to Chicago for an audition on Nov. 12. The squad has a wide range of special needs individuals ranging from youngsters to people in their 40s.

Assistant coach Pam Swope tells WAOW-TV the cheerleaders want to prove they can do anything they set their minds to -- and they don't need to be "excluded from anything." The team members and their caregivers have a Go Fund Me account to raise money for the Chicago trip. They're more than one-quarter of the way to a goal of $4,000.


Speaker Ryan gets mixed reception at Republican gathering

ELKHORN -- House Speaker Paul Ryan heard a mixture of cheers and boos as he stood before the Republican crowd at a rally in Elkhorn Saturday.

Supporters of Donald Trump were angered because the Janesville Republican had disinvited Trump after a recording of Trump making lewd comments about women went public. Although Ryan referred to "the elephant in the room," he didn't mention Trump by name.

Gov. Scott Walker also focused on campaigns involving party members and didn't refer to Trump, a man many Republicans have said should step aside. Vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, who was invited, decided not to attend.


Wisconsin deputies helping N.D. with pipeline protests

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Forty sworn sheriff's deputies from Dane County and the surrounding area are help North Dakota authorities deal with protesters at Dakota Access pipeline construction sites.

The deputies will work 21-day rotations in Morton County. The manpower is needed because protests are springing up at many locations along the pipeline as it crosses four states. Thousands of people have joined the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe encampment in its effort to stop construction on that $3.8 billion project.


Racine man due back in court after dumpster death

RACINE -- A Racine man is due back in court Wednesday on charges that he killed a neighbor, hid her body in a refrigerator, and tossed her into a dumpster behind a supermarket.

Forty-nine-year-old Harry Fumich has a $500,000 bond while being held for first-degree intentional homicide, hiding a corpse, and forcible robbery. Racine County prosecutors did not identify the murder victim. They said she was reportedly killed last Tuesday because she did not pay for crack cocaine he apparently sold her -- and because she stirred up controversy while living in his apartment complex.


College ministry urges staff members supporting same-sex marriage to quit

MADISON -- The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has stirred controversy by asking any of its staff members supporting same-sex relationships to resign.

The Madison-based evangelical college ministry is one of the largest in the country. Critics call the move a purge. The fellowship says it conducted a three-year study of sexuality which concluded sex should be reserved for marriage between a woman and a man. Supporters call the decision an affirmation of true Christianity.


Prosecutors: Keep Brendan Dassey in prison

MADISON -- Calling him a "serious threat to public safety," prosecutors are asking a federal judge to keep Bendan Dassey in prison while they appeal a ruling which would release him.

A judge ruled in August that Dassey had been tricked into confessing he had helped his uncle kill Teresa Halback in 2005. Wisconsin Department of Justice attorneys filed a brief last week saying Dassey should remain behind bars while their appeal is argued. The state says the magistrate had indicated his ruling would be stayed, if an appeal was filed.


Homeowner captures, holds intruder until authorities can arrive

TOWN OF ALTO -- A 26-year-old man appears to have chosen the wrong home to burglarize.

His name hasn't been released. The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office reports a homeowner found the suspect inside his house when he came home Friday afternoon. The man tried to run away, but that unnamed homeowner captured him and held him until deputies got there. Investigators think the suspect had broken into other homes in the area to steal prescription medicine.


Wisconsin volunteers heading south for hurricane help

MADISON -- Dozens of Red Cross volunteers from Wisconsin are headed south to help victims of Hurricane Matthew.

About 30 people from across the state are in the first wave of volunteers headed for Florida. The hurricane approached Florida overnight, bringing damaging winds and heavy rain. Over 1 million Florida residents are without power. A second wave of volunteers are scheduled to be deployed, depending on how much help is needed in the areas rocked by hurricane damage.