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BARNES GRADUATION

Evers: Lt. gov has been ‘truthful’ about college career

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers says he believes Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has been “truthful” about whether he graduated from college.

Barnes volunteered in an interview with Isthmus newspaper this month that he didn’t graduate from Alabama A&M University because he hadn’t finished a course.

Barnes’ campaign gave the Wisconsin State Journal last year a questionnaire saying Barnes earned a bachelor’s degree from the school. Barnes also told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last year that he “finished” college in 2008, leading the newspaper to write that he had graduated.

Barnes has since argued that a campaign staffer mistakenly filled out the questionnaire. He hasn’t addressed why told the Journal Sentinel he finished school.

Evers told reporters Friday that he felt Barnes’ “responses are responsible responses” and he believes Barnes has been “truthful.”

ENERGY GOAL-ORDER

Evers creates new office to reach carbon-free goal

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers is creating a new office to help achieve his goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

Evers included the goal in his state budget in March. Republicans on the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee erased the proposal from the final spending plan.

The governor issued an executive order Friday to create the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy within the state Department of Administration.

The order requires the office to achieve his 100% carbon-free goal. Evers clarified to reporters Friday that the order is not a mandate on utilities.

The order also calls for the state to follow carbon reduction goals in the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

Evers announced in February that Wisconsin was joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of mostly Democratic governors committed to implementing the accord.

STORM CLEANUP DEATH

Teen helping with storm cleanup killed by falling tree

CHETEK, Wis. (AP) — Authorities in northwestern Wisconsin are investigating the death of a teenager who was hit by a falling tree while helping with storm cleanup.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says it happened Friday at a residence outside of Chetek. He says the preliminary investigation shows the teen was assisting in storm cleanup with a large group of people, when he did not see a tree coming down and it stuck him.

Lifesaving measures were attempted but he died at the scene.

The sheriff’s department says the teen was from out of the area. While relatives have been notified, the teen’s name was not immediately released.

GRISLY HOMICIDE

Fond du Lac man pleads guilty to grisly shooting death

JUNEAU, Wis. (AP) — A Fond du Lac man has pleaded guilty in a grisly homicide, and prosecutors are seeking life without parole.

Twenty-one-year-old Nigel Schultz pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree intentional homicide. Authorities say Schultz shot 36-year-old Bradlee Gerke of Beaver Dam 16 times in the back of the head and torso and buried him in a shallow grave, which was found last Halloween.

Prosecutors say Schultz killed Gerke because he believed Gerke was going to snitch on him shortly after he got out of prison for a burglary conviction. A warrant was out for Schultz’s arrest after he failed to meet with parole officers.

Schultz told acquaintances on a recorded phone call he killed someone, and that shooting someone 16 times “cannot be an accident.”

Sentencing is set for Jan. 7.

INFANT DEATH-KENOSHA

Kenosha police arrest 2 adults in death of 2-month-old baby

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Kenosha police have arrested two adults in the death of an infant who had been missing since late July.

Police say the 2-month-old baby’s body apparently was dumped in an open field. A search on Thursday yielded potential evidence of the disposal.

Two adults — a 21-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man — were being held Friday on suspicion of hiding a corpse and harboring or aiding felons. The case will be referred to the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office for charges.

Police are asking anyone with information about the baby’s death to call the Kenosha police detective bureau or Crime Stoppers.

BELTLINE SHOOTING

Officers investigate shooting on Beltline

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A shooting on the Beltline in Madison is delaying the morning commute.

Dane County dispatchers received a report of a driver shooting at another vehicle about 8 a.m. Friday. Law enforcement officers are in the area near Rimrock Rd. looking for shell casings. There are no reports of injuries.

SCHOOL BUS CRASH

Semi driver convicted in bus crash that injured 33

(Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj)

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) — A semi driver accused of taking too many prescription pills before his rig slammed into a disabled school bus and injured 33 people in Columbia County has been found guilty of felony charges.

A jury convicted 43-year-old Wayne Murphy Thursday night on 30 charges, including reckless injury. Many of the injured in last year’s crash were children. They were from Hope Christian School in Milwaukee.

The bus driver had pulled over on the interstate near DeForest because of mechanical problems.

The State Journal says the jury deliberated for about 1½ hours before reaching the guilty verdict.

Murphy faces up to a maximum 126 years in prison and $260,000 in fines. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later date.

___

WISCONSIN-GUNS-THE LATEST

The Latest: Evers, Democrats offer gun background check bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Democratic lawmakers are proposing an expansion of background checks for gun sales in the state.

Republicans who control the Legislature have said they are opposed to such efforts. But Evers and Democrats are pushing it in the wake of two mass shootings earlier this month, saying the public is behind the idea.

The bill unveiled Thursday would require background checks for handgun purchases with some exceptions. Sales to a firearm dealer, a law enforcement officer or member of the armed services, firearms classified as antiques or a gift or inheritance to a family member would be exempt.

Violators would be guilty of a misdemeanor subject to a $10,000 fine and no more than nine months in prison.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos earlier Thursday said the Legislature was “very unlikely” to take up a universal background check proposal.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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