State News

Zepnick criticizes ‘anonymous’ sexual misconduct allegations

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state legislator accused of sexual misconduct says he has the constitutional right to “due process” in defending himself against the allegations made by two women. Rep. Josh Zepnick was stripped of his Assembly committee assignments Tuesday, a move Zepnick says he hopes is only temporary. In a statement, Zepnick criticizes More >

AG: Crime labs struggling with evidence backlog

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Attorney General Brad Schimel says a backlog has developed again at the state crime labs. Schimel told The Associated Press during a year-end interview that an influx of evidence submissions is to blame. He says submissions have increased 80 percent over the last two years. His predecessor, J.B. Van Hollen, eliminated More >

Bald eagle population reaches record high

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s bald eagle population hit a record high this year. The Department of Natural Resources says air and ground surveys counted nearly 1,600 occupied nests statewide. The Journal Sentinel says that’s up nearly 6 percent from last year and is the highest since the survey work began in 1973 when just 108 occupied More >

AG: Deluge of submissions slowing sex assault kit testing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Attorney General Brad Schimel says a glut of submissions nationwide is slowing progress on analyzing thousands of untested sexual assault kits on Wisconsin police department shelves. The Joyful Heart Foundation has been pushing states to analyze untested kits in hopes of developing DNA profiles for serial offenders. According to the Department More >

Gov. Walker asks Congress to renew children’s insurance program

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker is calling on Congress to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program which sends $115 million in federal payments to Wisconsin. Walker on Tuesday sent House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a letter urging renewal of the program that faces an uncertain future in Congress. More >

AG defends holding off suing drug makers over opioids

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel is defending his decision to hold off on suing drug companies over the country’s opioid overdose epidemic. Nearly 50 Wisconsin counties have filed a federal lawsuit alleging pharmaceutical companies precipitated the opioid problem by using deceptive marketing campaigns to sell prescription painkillers. Schimel has promised opioids More >

State Medicaid director Michael Heifetz resigning

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Michael Heifetz is resigning as Wisconsin Medicaid director after 14 months on the job to work in the private sector. The state Department of Health Services announced Heifetz’s resignation on Tuesday. His last day will be Dec. 13. Heifetz previously worked as state budget director for three years under Gov. Scott More >

Documents Give Details on Harassment Complaint Against Coggs

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin taxpayers spent $75,000 to resolve a sexual harassment and racial discrimination complaint against Milwaukee Treasurer Spencer Coggs that was lodged by a woman who worked for Coggs when he was a state senator, settlement documents show. According to the documents, which were obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , More >

Milwaukee alderman: Armed sewer subcontractors won’t be tolerated

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee alderman says a sewer subcontracting company doing business with the city has been asked to explain why three of its workers were apparently armed with handguns while working on the north side. A photo of the three American Sewer Services employees got some traction on social media causing it to More >

Trial set to begin for West Salem man charged in wife’s death

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — A trial has begun in western Wisconsin for a man accused of fatally beating his wife and trying to conceal her death by staging a car accident. Todd Kendhammer is charged with intentional homicide in the September 2016 death of his wife, Barbara, the La Crosse Tribune reported . The couple had More >