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Fatal Wisconsin fast designed to win God’s blessing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Reedsburg family embarked on a fatal fast hoping to earn God’s blessing to leave the southern Wisconsin city.

Prosecutors charged Kehinde and Titilayo Omosebi on Tuesday with child neglect causing death and child neglect causing great bodily harm.

According to the criminal complaint, Kehinde Omosebi walked to the Reedsburg police station Monday to report his 15-year-old son had died in their apartment during the fast.

Officers searched the apartment and found the dead boy as well as the couple’s 11-year-old son, alive but severely emaciated.

Kehinde Omosebi told police the last time the family had eaten was July 17. Titilayo Omosebi told officers the family planned to fast until they received God’s blessing to leave Reedsburg.

Kehinde Omosebi said God told him to move to Atlanta.


Autopsy: Hypothermia apparent cause of kayakers’ deaths

Information from: Ashland Daily Press, Hypothermia apparent cause of kayakers’ deaths

ASHLAND, Wis. (AP) — Autopsies indicate that hypothermia or possibly drowning caused the deaths of four Wisconsin family members kayaking on Lake Superior.

Ashland County Sheriff Mick Brennan tells the Ashland Daily Press that preliminary autopsy results indicate that 39-year-old Eric Fryman died of hypothermia while his three children, ages 3 to 9, died of hypothermia or possibly drowning.

The family from Loyal, Wisconsin, set out from Madeline Island in an open-top tandem kayak last Thursday for a 4-mile (6-kilometer) paddle across open water to Michigan Island. But their 13½-foot (4-meter) kayak capsized after the wind picked up.

Eric Fryman and his three children — 9-year-old Kyra, 5-year-old Annaliese and 3-year-old Jansen — were found dead in the frigid water. The children’s mother, 29-year-old Cari Mews-Fryman, survived.

All of them were wearing life jackets.



Mail-hauling truck driver dies in Eau Claire train collision

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — The driver of a truck carrying mail for the U.S. Postal Service has died in a collision with a freight train in Eau Claire.

Police say the crash happened just before 6 a.m. Wednesday at a railroad crossing on Eau Claire’s north side.

A spokesman for Union Pacific tells the Leader-Telegram the truck driver was killed after colliding with the lead locomotive.

Several crossings were closed once the train stopped but have since reopened.

The Postal Service says the truck was operated by a highway contract route driver. Some mail delays are expected on area routes served by the truck.

The name of the victim was not released. The crash remains under investigation.


Wisconsin student sues college over valentine distribution

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin student is suing her college, saying her free speech rights were violated when she was forced to stop handing out Valentine’s Day cards with Bible references.

The conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Milwaukee on behalf of Polly Olsen, a student at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

The lawsuit alleges Olsen was handing out the cards in the Green Bay college’s student center in February when security workers forced her to stop, saying she might offend people. The lawsuit challenges the college’s policy of restricting public forums to a small section of campus.

In a response posted on its website, the college says it is committed to free speech and the space restriction has been under review since October.


This story has been corrected to show that it’s Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, not Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College.


Semi driver pleads not guilty in Wisconsin bus crash

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) — A semi-truck driver from Indianapolis has pleaded not guilty to felony charges for crashing into a Wisconsin school bus filled with students on a field trip last May.

Forty-two-year-old Wayne Murphy entered his plea Wednesday to five counts of injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle and five counts of second-degree reckless injury.

Murphy was driving a semi that struck a bus on the side of the interstate near DeForest on May 23. The bus had pulled over because of mechanical problems.

According to the complaint, Murphy was under the influence of prescription medication at the time of the crash.

The bus was carrying people from Hope Christian School in Milwaukee. Twenty people were hurt.

Murphy remains in jail. WISC-TV reports he is due back in court in November.


Lawsuit: Oil refinery owners negligent in blast, fire

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) — A lawsuit alleges that negligence by the owners of Wisconsin’s only oil refinery caused an explosion and fire that injured 36 people and caused a mandatory evacuation in the city of Superior.

The class action lawsuit against Husky Energy says the evacuation after the April 26 refinery explosion forced the three plaintiffs to spend extra money on food, supplies, transportation and childcare. The Star Tribune says one woman’s mother, who was in home hospice, was so stressed by the evacuation that she died soon after.

The explosion sprayed shrapnel and pierced a tank of asphalt which ignited a massive fire . Federal investigators suspect a worn valve allowed air to mix with hydrocarbons, triggering the blast.

Husky Energy said Wednesday that the Canadian-based company has successfully closed about 98 percent of claims since the explosion and is cooperating fully with investigating agencies, but declined further comment on the ongoing litigation.


The Latest: GOP lawmakers say Evers didn’t lead on issue

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican legislative leaders say there’s no evidence that state Superintendent Tony Evers led the charge to change a state law making it easier to revoke licenses of problem teachers.

Evers has said he worked with the Legislature to fix a loophole in the law that he says prevented him from revoking the license of a teacher who viewed pornographic images on his school computer.

Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke says Evers never visited lawmakers to ask for their support. The bill had no Democratic co-sponsors but the Legislature passed it unanimously.

Evers did not testify at the public hearing, but a representative of the agency he leads did.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says Evers was “hiding in the shadows” because the teachers’ union didn’t want the bill.


Biden endorses Kohl in 6th District race against Grothman

GRAFTON, Wis. (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden is endorsing Democrat Dan Kohl in his bid to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman.

Kohl’s campaign announced the endorsement Wednesday. Biden says in a statement that Kohl is an “independent voice” who can “create an economy that works for every Wisconsin family.”

Kohl, the nephew of former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, is challenging Grothman in Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District. It covers all or portions of 10 east-central Wisconsin counties.

Grothman is seeking a third term. He previously served in the Wisconsin state Senate, where he was assistant majority leader. He served in the state Assembly before that.

The 6th District contest is expected to be one of the more competitive races in the state in November.



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Weather Outlook: Significant rain totals possible by the end of the week

Weather Outlook: Significant rain totals possible by the end of the week

A big surface low will move through the region on Wednesday and Thursday.

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