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Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barnes tests positive for COVID-19

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes says he has tested positive for COVID-19 but not experiencing any symptoms. Barnes tweeted Wednesday that he is vaccinated and will be quarantining for five days, for guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Barnes is also running for US Senate as a Democrat. Others running include state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Milwaukee Bucks executive-on-leave Alex Lasry and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson. They are running to take on Republican US Sen. Ron Johnson. He tested positive for COVID-19 in October 2020 and has been one of the loudest voices for seeking alternatives to vaccines to deal with the pandemic.


Wisconsin GOP leader rejects election decertification call

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin’s Republican speaker of the Assembly has again rejected calls to decertify President Joe Biden’s win in the battleground state after meeting privately with advocates for making that move. Attorneys across the political spectrum have said decertification can’t be done. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said following Wednesday’s meeting that he believed there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election but that the focus should not be on relitigating that but instead on electing Republicans as governor and attorney general this fall. Decertification advocates had hoped to convince Vos to change his stance di lui and pursue the move that Vos on Wednesday said again was illegal.


DNR extends comment period on Enbridge line reroute

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin regulators have extended the comment period on a draft analysis of the environmental impact of rerouting an oil and gas pipeline around an American Indian reservation. The Enbridge Line 5 pipeline carries oil and natural gas liquids from Superior to Sarnia. Ontario. The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa sued the company in 2019 demanding it remove the pipeline from its reservation. Enbridge has proposed a 40-mile reroute around the reservation. The Department of Natural Resources’ draft analysis of the environmental impact has drawn thousands of comments. The comment period was slated to end on Friday but the agency announced Wednesday the period will run until April 15.


Judge: Man who killed parents can’t skip court sentencing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Dane County judge has denied Chandler Halderson’s request not to be present in the courtroom when his sentence for killing and dismembering his parents di lui is handed down Thursday. Circuit Judge John Hyland said in his order of him that Halderson could not voluntarily waive his legal right to appear at sentencing. Hyland cited a 1997 Wisconsin Supreme Court case that found a fugitive who missed her sentencing had to be re-sentenced when she was again taken into custody. Halderson was convicted on two counts each of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse, hiding a corpse and falsifying information about a missing person. A first-degree intentional homicide conviction carries a mandatory life sentence.


La Follette to make election announcement in state Capitol

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette says he’s set to make an announcement about his campaign plans by him. La Follette said he will make an announcement Thursday morning in the state Capitol rotunda. The 81-year-old Democrat has held the office since 1983. Republicans have stripped the position of almost all its duties di lui over the years. Now Republicans upset with how the Wisconsin Elections Commission handled the 2020 presidential election have called for putting the secretary of state in charge of elections. Republican state Rep. Amy Loudenbeck announced a run for the office in December, saying she wants to serve as a check on the elections commission. La Follette said then that he saw no reason not to run again.


Minnesota parents: Son taken by Russian military in Ukraine

WINONA, Minn. (AP) – Some Minnesota parents fear for the safety of their adult son in Ukraine who they say was taken by the Russian military. Tina Hauser, of Winona, tells KAAL-TV the last time she spoke with her son di lei, Tyler Jacob, was Saturday when he told her he was being forced by the Russian military to board a bus out of Kherson and leave his Ukrainian wife and daughter behind. Hauser says she has called the US Embassy but she has not heard back. She has also reached out to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office for help. Klobuchar’s press secretary Jane Meyer said Wednesday that there is no update on the case.


Evers signs anti-opioid legislation in La Crosse

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Tony Evers has signed three bills designed to curb opioid use. The governor signed the legislation Wednesday morning at an addiction rehabilitation facility in La Crosse. The first bill creates three tiers of felonies for manufacturing, dealing and possessing fentanyl based on the amount and increases the maximum prison sentence for the crimes by five years if the crimes occur in a public housing project or near a park, swimming pool, youth center or school. The second bill decriminalizes the use fentanyl testing strips used to confirm a substance as fentanyl. Such strips are classified as drug paraphernalia under current state law. The third bill calls for the creation of a state database tracking methamphetamine and opioid use.


Jarchow raises $ 200,000 for AG race since January

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republican attorney general general hopeful Adam Jarchow says he’s raised $ 200,000 since he officially entered the race in January. Jarchow is gearing up to face Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney in the Aug. 9 GOP primary. The winner will go on to face incumbent Democrat Josh Kaul in the Nov. 8 general election. Jarchow issued a statement Wednesday saying he has raised the money. Toney entered the race in April. He reported raising about $ 85,000 over the last nine months of the year. Toney’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Jarchow’s new numbers. The next round of official campaign finance reports aren’t due with the state until July. Those reports will cover the first six months of the year.

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