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Republicans hope congressional races drive turnout in 2020

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party says competitive races for a pair of open congressional seats in conservative districts will benefit President Donald Trump.

State party chairman Andrew Hitt said at an event Thursday that competitive races in the district will drive Republican turnout to help Trump’s re-election bid.

The vacancies are in northern Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District and the 5th district in the heart of Republican country in the Milwaukee suburbs.

A special election will be called to fill the vacancy created in the 7th district by the resignation of Republican Rep. Sean Duffy. Gov. Tony Evers has not said when that will be.

Democratic Party leader Ben Wikler said at the event he thinks there will be a “real fight” for that district.


Father pleads guilty in death of infant son

(Information from: La Crosse Tribune,

SPARTA, Wis. (AP) — A Tomah man has pleaded guilty to neglecting his infant son which caused the baby’s death.

Thirty-year-old Troy Tralmer agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors, which could result in a maximum 12½ years in prison. Tralmer was originally charged with first-degree reckless homicide and child abuse causing great bodily harm in the death of three-month-old Chad Tralmer. A conviction could have meant up to 60 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Tralmer was under the influence of marijuana when the baby hit his head, started choking and was dropped on the floor. The infant died at the hospital two days later.

The La Crosse Tribune says Tralmer entered the plea in Monroe County yesterday. Sentencing is set for Dec. 18.



Appeals court reduces award in legal battle over bedbugs

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin appeals court has reduced compensation for a Minnesota man who got into a legal battle over bedbugs.

According to court documents, Steven Stack of Lake City rented a bedbug-infested room in La Crosse from Donald Lecheler. Lecheler planned to solve the problem by moving the kitchen oven around the house, hoping to increase the temperature and kill the bedbugs. Stack said that would create a fire hazard and moved out.

Stack filed a lawsuit in 2018 alleging Lecheler didn’t return his security deposit, he had to replace his mattress and clothes and he suffered emotional distress. A judge awarded him $2,000.

The 4th District Court of Appeals reduced Stack’s award Thursday to $1,000, saying Stack failed to show he suffered extreme emotional stress.


Sons of former GOP rivals Walker, Neumann eyeing Congress

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The sons of two former Republican rivals are considering running for the same Wisconsin congressional seat.

Matt Neumann and Matt Walker are among those eyeing a potential run for the 5th Congressional District, which covers the conservative northern and western Milwaukee suburbs. Matt Neumann’s father Mark was a congressman who ran and lost against Matt Walker’s father Scott Walker for governor in 2010.

On Thursday, former U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir (VOOK-meer) announced she was not running for the seat.

Vukmir was one of the highest profile Republicans considering running to replace the retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner .

Others considering a run include Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, state Sen. Chris Kapenga, state Reps. Adam Neylon and Scott Allen, former Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson and Ben Voelkel, an aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.


Owner of dog that died in hot car given probation

(Information from: WLUK-TV,

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The owner of a dog that died after being left in a hot car outside Lambeau Field has been ordered to volunteer at an animal shelter.

Fifty-five-year-old Debbie Rohloff pleaded no contest to mistreating an animal causing death in Brown County Circuit Court Wednesday. Rohloff’s golden retriever Kaley died last July after the dog was left in her vehicle while she attended a meeting at Lambeau.

WLUK-TV reports a judge sentenced Rohloff to one year of probation and ordered her to work 50 hours at an animal shelter organization. The judge rejected prosecutor’s request that Rohloff not own a pet in the future.

Rohloff said she had no excuse for leaving her dog in the vehicle.



Flooding closes roads, causes evacuations in Green Bay

(Information from: WLUK-TV,

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Heavy rain closed roads in parts of northeastern Wisconsin and forced evacuations in Green Bay. And forecasters say more downpours and damaging winds are expected through Thursday.

Brown County emergency managers told resident in one section of the city they should evacuate Wednesday if they didn’t want to get trapped in their homes.

WLUK-TV reports the emergency management center advised people not to stay in their home if water has compromised the house or touched the furnace or any part of the electrical system.

City inspectors planned to canvass flooded neighborhoods after the water has receded to insure structures are safe to be occupied.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Grant County Thursday and a flood watch for south central and southeastern Wisconsin.



Wisconsin test scores drop in English, math, ACT exam

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin students’ standardized test scores dropped in English and math last school year, and the average ACT score for 11th graders declined for the second year in a row.

That is based on results released Thursday by the state Department of Public Instruction.

Scores on tests measuring English, reading and writing skills have dropped 3.4 percentage points over the past three years. Math scores declined for the first time after two years of gradual increases. Only about 4 out of 10 students were proficient or advanced.

The state’s Forward Exams were given to 589,000 students during the second semester of the 2018-2019 school year.

The results show a narrowing of the achievement gap, but only because white students’ performances declined not because scores by black students increased.


Potency of Wisconsin THC cartridges may be higher than claim

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin authorities say an operation that manufactured thousands of vaping cartridges may have been packing them with far more THC oil than the packaging claimed.

The revelation Wednesday from the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office underscores warnings that people who buy vaping products on the street don’t know what they’re getting. Officials are investigating 450 possible cases in 33 states in which vaping has been linked to a severe lung disease.

Authorities haven’t established a link between the Wisconsin operation and any illnesses.

Police say the operation in Wisconsin, where marijuana is not legal, was filling cartridges from jars labeled as containing THC oil. They say the operation was injecting 1,000 milligrams — or 1 gram — from the jars into cartridges labeled as containing just 5 milligrams of THC oil.

Wisconsin authorities are currently testing the contents of the jars.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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