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Wisconsin roundup:Accused cop killer waives preliminary hearing; worker suffers serious injuries in workplace fall; more state news

MILWAUKEE -- The suspect accused of shooting Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Michalski to death has entered a not guilty plea to four felony charges and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Thirty-year-old Jonathan Copeland Junior made a Milwaukee County Court appearance Thursday. Relatives of the fallen officer and the man accused of killing him filled the courtroom seats. The judge bound Copeland over for trial and scheduled a conference for Aug. 28.

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Worker suffers serious injuries in workplace fall

LAKE GENEVA -- A construction worker had to be airlifted to a Janesville trauma center after he fell about 30 feet at a Lake Geneva worksite. The man's name and age haven't been released. The crew was installing large concrete spans at a location where a new church is being built. The man suffered serious injuries his fall shortly before 1:30 p.m.Thursday. Emergency responders gave him care at the scene, then took him to a landing zone where a Flight for Life chopper picked him up  He was flown to Mercy Janesville Hospital. The victim's condition isn't known.

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Animal abuse case discovered when Eau Claire police respond to fight

EAU CLAIRE -- A man who fought with his roommate in an argument over rent money had a charge added after Eau Claire police responded Tuesday afternoon. Branden Hadt was taken into custody for beating his roommate. The victim told officers they had been drinking before the fight. His name wasn't released. Hadt's legal troubles got worse when officers noticed a dog which appeared to be severely underweight and covered with feces. A veterinarian examined him and discovered sores, wasted muscles, and a significant malnutrition problem. Animal abuse charges were added to the battery charge against Hadt.

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Federal, state, local law enforcement arrest 15 in cocaine roundup

FOND DU LAC -- Officials say the 15 people arrested in the Fond du Lac area this week were responsible for selling nine-point-six-million dollars worth of cocaine. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies worked together on the investigation. Authorities say the suspects dealt 127 pounds of cocaine and crack cocaine. More charges are expected because arrest warrants have been issued in the names of two people  Dozens of felony charges have been filed.

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Parents turn in their son for Milwaukee carjacking

MILWAUKEE -- Two Milwaukee parents recognized their son from media coverage earlier this week -- so, they turned him in. Police think the teenager was involved in at least 10 carjackings. The boy's photo was released to the public Tuesday and when his parents saw it, they made the call. Police had said their carjacking suspect was between 14-and-16 years old and they thought he was involved in a carjacking last weekend in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee. The suspect is underage, so his name hasn't been released.

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Dodge County jury finds 30-year-old driver not guilty of driving while impaired

JUNEAU -- It took a Dodge County jury just 20 minutes to find a man not guilty of driving while impaired during a fatal accident last year. Thirty-year-old Troy Kelm was driving the pickup which hit and killed Kayla Davis on Highway 151. Davis had stepped out of her SUV to help the people involved in a previous crash. She had parked the S-U-V in the left lane of the highway. Kelm hit her when he swerved to miss her vehicle. The state crime lab had found anxiety medications in his bloodstream shortly after the wreck.

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Australian man likely to be deported after he serves 2 years in prison

MAUSTON -- A 40-year-old Australian man will likely be deported after he serves the two-year prison sentence for fraud he was given Thursday. Scott Reaston had been charged with repeatedly defrauding an insurance company. Investigators said he took more than $350,000 by making phony parcel insurance claims for cell phones he said were lost or damaged during shipments. Federal Judge William Conley called the sentence "light," and had considered rejecting the plea agreement. He decided to accept it Thursday.

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Family survives explosion, fire -- business destroyed

SHELDON -- A Rusk County family lost both its home and its business in an explosion and fire earlier this week. Nick and Joey Reich and their two children lived above their restaurant in the Village of Sheldon. Fire officials say it's possible the blast was caused by a propane boiler or a water heater, though the official cause hasn't been determined. Seventy firefighters stayed on the scene for more than 10 hours. Reich's Roadhouse was a popular gathering spot. None of the family members were physically injured.

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Ascension Wisconsin to build new medical center near Foxconn

STURTEVANT -- Ascension Wisconsin has revealed plans to build a new $42 million medical center in Sturtevant, in close proximity to the Foxconn Technologies plant now being built. Ascension officials say the facility will include an outpatient surgery center and a medical office building. Construction should start by the end of the year and the location could begin accepting patients early in 2020. An estimated 100 full- and part-time jobs would be created. The medical center will be located at the intersection of Highway 20 and County Highway H.

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3-year-old struck by car in Wisconsin hotel lot dies

WISCONSIN DELLS -- Police say the 3-year-old who was struck by a car in a Wisconsin Dells hotel parking lot Tuesday has died. The Lake Delton Police Department said Thursday that the 3-year-old girl from Illinois died Tuesday evening from injuries she suffered when she was struck. Police say the girl had been in the parking lot of Hotel Rome on Wisconsin Dells Parkway at about 4:30 p.m. when she was struck. She was airlifted to a hospital. Investigators say alcohol didn't appear to be a factor in the accident.

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Sheboygan County ready to spend $1M on security

SHEBOYGAN -- Sheboygan County leaders say more than 90 percent of the workers at the county courthouse say they would feel safer if there was one secured entrance. X-ray machines and metal detectors make up a large part of a $1 million courthouse project which should be completed by October.  he courthouse in Sheboygan is one of the last in southeastern Wisconsin to add the security enhancements. It's also one of the largest Wisconsin counties which didn't have a secured entrance to its courthouse.

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Roosevelt Elementary students benefit from Project Backpack

EAU CLAIRE -- Roosevelt Elementary School students in Eau Claire are benefiting from Project Backpack. Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd hosted the event Wednesday where kids could pick out a backpack and fill it with school supplies. Organizers say they had 200 backpacks at the annual gathering. The event also included a DJ, face painting and games.

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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