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5 in California contract omicron linked to Wisconsin wedding

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Public health officials say at least five people in Northern California have contracted the omicron variant of COVID-19, and the outbreak is linked to a wedding in Wisconsin last month. The outbreak was announced Friday — just two days after the first U.S. case of the omicron variant was identified in California. Much remains unknown about the new variant, including whether it is more contagious than previous strains, whether it makes people more seriously ill, and whether it can thwart the vaccine. The five people are among a group of 12 who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are linked to a Nov. 27 wedding in Wisconsin.


Wisconsin’s Democratic governor vetoes GOP abortion bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed five Republican-authored anti-abortion bills, a move that came two days after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could curtail if not end a woman’s right to abortion. Evers is making his support for abortion rights a key plank of his 2022 reelection campaign. He was widely expected to veto the measures the GOP-controlled Legislature passed in October. Republicans do not have enough votes in the Legislature to override the vetoes. Republican legislative leaders have not returned messages seeking comment on the vetoes and whether they would seek an override vote.


Group asks judge to find Wisconsin GOP leader in contempt

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A liberal group has asked a judge to find Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in contempt of court for not following a November court order to turn over records about a secretive review of the 2020 election that Republicans have been conducting for months. American Oversight, which sued to get the records, filed the motion for contempt in Dane County circuit court on Friday. Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn on Nov. 5 gave Vos until Nov. 19 to turn over the records that were created between May and late August. Vos has argued the group sued the wrong person.


Wisconsin condo building evacuated due to structural issues

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A six-story condominium building that was the subject of structural complaints dating back to June 2020 has been evacuated in a Milwaukee suburb after engineers found the structure was in imminent danger of collapsing. Police and firefighters cleared the 48-unit Horizon West condominium building in Waukesha on Thursday night after an engineering report said its structural columns were compromised. A total of 65 people were evacuated. Waukesha Police Lt. Kevin Rice said the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, that killed nearly 100 people in June was on his mind. City officials said 23 rooms were provided by the Salvation Army of Waukesha. Two properties near the building were also evacuated because they are in a possible collapse zone.


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.”


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.


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.


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.

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