Thursday, February 21st

State

Judge Lisa Neubauer(Photo11: Associated Press)

MADISON - A decade before she launched her bid for state Supreme Court, Judge Lisa Neubauer stopped making public a list of customers for her husband’s cleaning supply business.

Her opponent's campaign adviser argued that practice makes it more difficult to determine whether Neubauer has a conflict in handling cases. Neubauer's campaign manager said she is following the state's disclosure laws. 

In 2008 and 2009, Neubauer included on her state ethics form the names of hundreds of businesses and government entities that bought supplies from Kranz Inc., a firm owned by her husband Jeff.

She stopped the practice in 2010, stating on an ethics form that her husband was no longer providing her with the information.

Neubauer faces Judge Brian Hagedorn in the April 2 election for Supreme Court. Both sit on the District 2 Court of Appeals in Waukesha.

Neubauer has won backing from liberals and Hagedorn from conservatives.

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Attorney General Josh Kaul listens to a speaker at the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee 22nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration breakfast at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.(Photo11: Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

MADISON - Attorney General Josh Kaul on Tuesday threatened to "take appropriate action" if funding bound for Wisconsin instead goes to pay for a wall along the southern U.S. border as a result of President Donald Trump's emergency declaration.

But Kaul did not say he would join a multistate federal lawsuit filed this week challenging Trump's declaration to free up billions to pay for a U.S-Mexico border wall.

In a statement, Kaul said Trump's declaration "is a blatant attempt to circumvent the system of checks and balances prescribed by the United States Constitution" and said he expects the action to be blocked by the courts.

"If it becomes clear that federal funds that should be distributed to Wisconsin will instead be diverted as a result of this manufactured emergency, the Wisconsin Department of Justice will take appropriate action," he said.

The DNR will vote Feb. 27 on a plan to buy an easement involving more than 14,000 acres in Iron County.(Photo11: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources/Wisconsin Snapshot)

The Department of Natural Resources is proposing a major new land deal in northern Wisconsin that will ensure public access to 14,352 acres of forest land.

The agency will ask the state Natural Resources Board on Feb. 27 to approve the purchase of a conservation easement for $4.8 million in Iron County for land that includes forest, streams and lakes.

The funds would come from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program.  

The state would purchase the easement from Keweenaw Land Association Ltd. of Ironwood, Mich. A conservation easement keeps the land in private hands but ensures access for hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and other uses in perpetuity. 

The property would continue to be logged by the owners. 

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A body recovered after a tractor-trailer was found submerged in Mirror Lake was identified Monday as Timothy Green, 39, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, the Wisconsin State Patrol said in a news release.

A second body, that of a female, was recovered in the Sauk County lake Monday and an autopsy was planned Tuesday to identify her, the State Patrol said.

On Sunday morning, a damaged guardrail was discovered on I-90/94 eastbound just north of the Mirror Lake bridge. Upon further investigation, a tractor-trailer was found submerged in the lake.

All eastbound lanes of I-90/94 in the area were closed Sunday morning and afternoon while emergency response crews worked through the day to recover the semi.

Green's body was found Sunday evening, but recovery operations had to be suspended until Monday because of poor visibility and weather conditions.

Green was the driver of the vehicle, the State Patrol said.

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Gov. Tony Evers speaks to reporters Monday in the Wisconsin State Capitol about his proposal to legalize marijuana use for medical reasons.(Photo11: Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

MADISON – Allowing Wisconsin residents to smoke and sell small amounts of marijuana would reduce the disproportionate rate at which the state's black residents are arrested, Gov. Tony Evers said Monday.

"People shouldn't be treated like criminals for accessing medicine that could change or maybe even save their lives," Evers said Monday at a news conference announcing his plan to legalize marijuana for medical reasons and decriminalize recreational use of small amounts of the plant. 

"But I also want to make this clear: This is not just about accessing health care," he said. "This is about connecting the dots between racial disparities and economic inequity."

Evers cited the state's distinction of having the nation's highest incarceration rate among black men, time in prison that can result from marijuana use.