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CHRISTMAS PARADE-SUV

DA: Overworked assistant set bail too low for parade suspect

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Milwaukee County’s top prosecutor says a young assistant in his office sought $1,000 bail for a man later accused of driving through a Christmas parade because she was overworked and never saw his risk assessment. Darrell Brooks Jr. posted bail in a domestic violence case on Nov. 19. Two days later he allegedly drove his SUV through the parade in suburban Waukesha, killing six people. District Attorney John Chisholm told the county’s judicial committee Thursday that there’s no excuse for asking for such a low amount of bail. But he said the assistant was dealing with a heavy caseload and “made a mistake.”

ELECTION 2020-AUDITS-WISCONSIN

Head of GOP-led election probe says mayors could be jailed

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A retired state Supreme Court justice hired by Republicans to investigate Wisconsin’s 2020 election says the mayors of Madison and Green Bay should face punishment and possibly jail time if they don’t meet with him. Michael Gableman filed lawsuits Monday seeking to force Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway to submit to depositions because they have “simply failed without reason or excuse to appear.” Gableman said he tried to arrange the meeting on Nov. 15. Although online court records do not list the lawsuits, copies of them were obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio and posted online on Thursday. Gableman’s petition asks for a subpoena that if ignored would constitute contempt of the legislature and be subject to punishment, including imprisonment.

DOUBLE HOMICIDE-ARREST

Man suspected in Illinois homicides arrested in Wisconsin

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man in southeastern Wisconsin wanted in connection with a double homicide in Illinois. The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department says the 36-year-old Algonquin, Illinois resident was taken into custody at a Salem Lakes, Wisconsin residence. is facing two felony counts of concealing a homicide death. A department spokesman says the suspect is in custody in the Kenosha County Jail awaiting extradition to Illinois. The Kenosha News reports he has not been formally booked. Police say the bodies of a male and female were discovered Wednesday in Algonquin, northwest of Chicago. Deputy Police Chief Ryan Markham says the incident hasn’t officially been termed a homicide, but it’s being investigated as such. The investigation is ongoing.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-WISCONSIN

Wisconsin COVID patients packing hospitals, no omicron yet

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Patients with COVID-19, most of them unvaccinated, are packing Wisconsin hospitals at levels not seen for a year, a worrying development even before the new omicron variant has been detected in the state. Amid concerns about the new and little-understood omicron variant, Wisconsin health officials on Thursday urged people to get vaccinated and take other steps to slow the spread. The latest date from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows people who are not vaccinated are nearly 11 times more likely to be hospitalized and 15 times more likely to die than those who are vaccinated.

WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT-HOSPITAL

Family of man who got Legionnaires at UW Hospital is suing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The family of a leukemia patient who contracted Legionnaires’ disease at UW Hospital in 2018 has filed a lawsuit seeking damages in his death. Siblings of 66-year-old Dennis Frye filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court alleging the hospital was negligent because its water supply was contaminated. Hospital officials announced the outbreak in November 2018 and have since taken steps to prevent it from reoccurring. According to the lawsuit, Frye developed signs of pneumonia after he spent about a month in the hospital for a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia. He was found to have contracted Legionnaires’ disease and was twice re-admitted to the hospital before he died in January 2019.

CHRISTMAS PARADE-SUV

Suspect in Waukesha parade carnage says he feels ‘demonized’

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The man accused of driving his SUV through a suburban Milwaukee parade, killing six people and injuring dozens, says he feels like he’s being “demonized.” Darrell Brooks didn’t discuss a motive during his interview from jail with Fox News. But he told the outlet Wednesday that he feels like he’s being portrayed as a monster. Brooks’ mother, Dawn Woods, released a letter Wednesday offering the family’s condolences to the victims and saying that Brooks suffers from mental health issues. She said after he became an adult he lacked the insurance or financial means to continue his medication.

AP-US-ELECTION-2020-AUDITS-WISCONSIN

Wisconsin mayors targeted amid GOP-ordered election probe

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-hired attorney investigating the 2020 election has told Wisconsin lawmakers during a sometimes testy hearing he has filed a lawsuit to force officials in Green Bay and Madison to submit to a deposition. Also on Wednesday, Wisconsin’s embattled elections commission debated whether to follow key recommendations made in a recent nonpartisan audit. The simultaneous meetings come as Republicans in Wisconsin are increasing the pressure on election officials. Lawmakers have called for the resignation of the state’s nonpartisan top election administrator and a sheriff who supports Donald Trump called for prosecuting five of the commission’s six members.

ELECTION 2022-WISCONSIN-SECRETARY OF STATE

Republican wants to empower Wisconsin secretary of state

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker says she’s running to be Wisconsin’s next secretary of state, saying she wants to turn the mostly powerless office into a check on the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission. State Rep. Amy Loudenbeck’s announcement Wednesday is the Republicans’ latest effort to weaken the agency that oversees the state’s elections. The 81-year-old Democratic incumbent, Doug La Follette, has held the office since 1978 but said Wednesday that he was “still thinking about” whether to run again. The secretary of state has not been in charge of running elections in Wisconsin since 1974. 

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