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REDISTRICTING-WISCONSIN

Wisconsin GOP asks court to stay redistricting decision

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin’s Republican legislators have asked the state Supreme Court to stay its decision adopted new district maps because they plan to appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court. The state Supreme Court on Thursday adopted Gov. Tony Evers’ new boundaries for the state’s congressional and legislative districts. The maps very similar to the boundaries that have been in place for the last 10 years and Republicans almost certainly will retain their majorities. Nevertheless, GOP legislators filed a motion for stay of the legislative portion of the new maps with the justices late Friday afternoon saying they plan to ask the US Supreme Court on Monday to review the maps.

WOLF HUNT

Johnson, Baldwin move to end wolf protections

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Wisconsin’s two US senators are moving to end protections for gray wolves across most of the United States. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday that Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Tammy Baldwin introduced a bill earlier this week to remove protections for the wolf. Wyoming’s two Republican US senators, Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso, have joined them. The bill comes after a federal judge in California last month ordered protections be restored for wolves across most of the US after the Trump administration removed them from the endangered species list. Re-listing wolves on the list effectively banned any wolf hunting or trapping seasons and prohibited farmers and ranchers from killing wolves preying on livestock.

DEPUTY CHARGED

Wisconsin deputy charged with multiple sex assault counts

MILWAUKEE (AP) – A former Wisconsin sheriff’s deputy has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Walworth County Sheriff’s Deputy Gerardo Baca was charged Wednesday with 19 felonies, including multiple counts of second- and third-degree sexual assault involving an intoxicated victim and capturing intimate images of people. Other charges include stalking, child enticement and threats to communicate derogatory information. The criminal complaint detailing allegations has been sealed at the request of prosecutors. Baca resigned his position on Friday.

ELECTION 2020-AUDITS-WISCONSIN

Wisconsin election officials push back against 2020 probe

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin election officials are pushing back against a Republican-hired investigator’s review of the 2020 election. Former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman issued a report Tuesday recommending that legislators decertify the election results. The Wisconsin Election Commission issued a seven-page rebuttal on Friday saying most of Gableman’s key findings are inaccurate. For example, the commission says courts have ruled that private grants worth $ 8.8 million received by Wisconsin cities to help administer their elections don’t amount to bribery as Gableman alleged in his report. The commission also insists that Administrator Meagan Wolfe was truthful when she told lawmakers last year that she knew nothing about the grants. Gableman accused her of lying.

LOCKER ROOM VIDEOS

Man accused of video taping in athletic clubs’ locker rooms

MILWAUKEE (AP) – A Milwaukee man is accused of secretly video taping hundreds of people inside locker rooms at Wisconsin Athletic Club locations. An arrest warrant has been issued for 33-year-old Peng Dong who is charged in Milwaukee County with 15 felonies which involve clubs in Wauwatosa and Glendale. He also faces a felony charge in Waukesha County involving the Wisconsin Athletic Club in Brookfield. Prosecutors say some of the recordings date back to 2019. Police say more than 500 people were videotaped. Dong failed to show up for his February court date in Waukesha County. The charges in Milwaukee County were filed Wednesday.

REDISTRICTING-WISCONSIN

Wisconsin Supreme Court adopts governor’s redistricting maps

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court has adopted “least change” legislative and congressional redistricting maps submitted by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, a plan likely to keep Republican majorities in place by making few deviations to current districts. The conservative-controlled court had previously said it would not make significant changes to the boundary lines that were already in place and created by Republicans in 2011. The Evers plan preserves maps favorable to Republicans, but it was slightly less favorable than the plans submitted by the GOP legislative majorities.

SALES TAX-RULING

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds Brown County sales tax

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has rejected arguments that a half-percent sales tax implemented in Brown County in 2018 is illegal. The county board imposed the tax to help cover $ 147 million in capital projects. The tax is set to expire in 2024. The Brown County Taxpayers Association filed a lawsuit alleging the tax was illegal because it doesn’t directly reduce the county’s property tax levy as required by state law. The Supreme Court ruled 5-2 on Friday that the sales tax is valid because it prevents an increase in the property tax levy to cover the projects. Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote in dissent that the majority’s logic makes no sense.

WORLD CHEESE COMPETITION

Familiar formula from Switzerland named world’s best cheese

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Gruyere from Switzerland has been named the world’s best cheese for the second consecutive time in the World Championship Cheese Contest in Wisconsin. The cheese from Bern, Switzerland, made its maker, Michael Spycher of Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus, a three-time winner. Spycher also won in 2020 and 2008. The cheese is called Gourmino Le Gruyère AOP. It earned a score of 98.423 out of 100. Wisconsin cheesemakers fared well, with seven of the 20 finalists and winning 45 best-of-class categories. In addition, cheese curds debuted in this year’s contest. The state swept both the regular and flavored categories. The contest is the largest technical cheese, butter and yogurt competition in the world. It started Tuesday with 2,978 entries from 29 countries and 33 states.

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