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Wisconsin roundup: Bus driver honored for rescuing barefoot baby girl; more state news stories

A driver for the Milwaukee County Transit System is being honored for rescuing a barefoot baby girl who was spotted wandering alone on an overpass last month.

Driver Irina Ivic pulled over, ran across the busy street, quickly grabbed the child and took her back to the warm bus. A rider gave up her coat to warm the child who was wearing only a onesie. The girl had apparently been left outside by her mother who may have been suffering through a mental health issue.

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Federal Regulators Cite Contractors For Safety Violations In Sun Prairie Gas Explosion

Federal safety regulators have cited two contractors for their failure to locate a gas main that exploded during work in a Madison suburb in July.

Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) say a VC Tech employee punctured the line while installing fiber optics, resulting in an explosion that leveled half a city block in Sun Prairie and killed firefighter Corey Barr. The U-S Labor Department announced Thursday that OSHA cited VC Tech and the contractor that hired the firm, Kansas-based Bear Communications, 12-thousand-934 dollars each on Jan. 4. The citations assert that neither contractor contacted We Energies, the utility that owns the line, or Digger's Hotline to ascertain the gas main's location.

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Middleton Man Accused Of Breaking Into Family Member's Home, Setting Fire

A 20-year-old Middleton man has been taken into custody after a relative told authorities he broke into her apartment and set a fire on the kitchen stove.

The incident happened Wednesday night. While the 911 call was being made, a concerned neighbor went to the apartment and found a burning pile of clothes inside. Rukeem M. Harrison had been arguing with the victim before she kicked him out. He faces tentative charges including arson.

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Plea Deal For Man Who Killed His Former Girlfriend's Mother Set For Next Month

A plea hearing for a man serving time for a killing will be held next month in Wood County Circuit Court.

A judge ruled Miguel Oertel's defense attorney was deficient in the way he represented the client during the insanity phase of his first trial. A jury found Oertel was guilty of shooting his former girlfriend's mother to death at her home in Wisconsin Rapids in August 2015. He's serving a 15-year term, but the plea deal will supersede that sentencing.

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Wisconsin Congressman Has Hip Replacement Surgery

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner's office confirms he has had hip replacement surgery at a Virginia hospital.

The 75-year-old Wisconsin Republican has served in Congress for almost 40 years. The Thursday procedure is being called a success, but Sensenbrenner still faces several weeks of recuperation and rehab. He fell at a community fair in Butler six years ago and had surgery for a temporary fix. His condition got worse recently and the full replacement was done.

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Backpack Bomb Found In Manitowoc County Ditch

The Brown-Outagamie County Bomb Squad was called to the scene when a backpack bomb was found in a ditch Tuesday.

The person who found it took it to his home in the Town of Gibson in Manitowoc County and called the sheriff's department the next day. At first, it was suspected the contents of the backpack had been used to make drugs, then an explosive material was discovered. Investigators say they recovered forensic evidence which may lead them to the person who made the bomb.