Sunday, July 23rd

State

Wisconsin's U.S. senators Tammy Baldwin (left), a Democrat, and Ron Johnson (right), a Republican, agreed to establish a U.S. Marshals Service nominating commission.(Photo: Getty, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Wisconsin's two U.S. Senators, Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Tammy Baldwin, announced Monday an agreement to establish a U.S. Marshals Service nominating commission.

The commission will be used to fill U.S. marshal positions in the state's eastern and western districts.

Four people will be on the commission. They are: Christopher Domagalski, president of the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association and chief of police for the City of Sheboygan; Nancy Hove, president of the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association and sheriff of Pierce County; Mark Podoll, first vice president of the Badger State Sheriffs’ Association and sheriff of Green Lake County; and Gerald Staniszewski,chairman of the Wisconsin Police Executive Group and chief of police for the City of Eau Claire.

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Aug.

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Tom Donohue, Director of the Great Lakes Bio-energy Research Center at UW Madison's Wisconsin Energy Institute building, shows visitors the lab where they are studying alternative clean fuels such as corn and switchgrass as sources for clean energy during a tour in 2014.(Photo: Rick Wood, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

The U.S. Department of Energy announced on Monday the University of Wisconsin-Madison will receive a new, five-year round of funding for its energy research center that has produced 160 patents and spawned five start-up companies in its 10-year history.

But the exact level of federal funding remains unclear and the announcement comes at a time of deep budget cuts at the Energy Department under President Donald Trump's administration. 

In a statement, the Energy Department said that it was funding four research centers, including the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center at UW-Madison, for a total of $40 million in the federal government's 2018 fiscal year.

In past funding rounds, the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center has received about $25 million annually.

Andy Gronik is a Milwaukee businessman who has announced he will run as a Democrat against Republican Gov. Scott Walker.(Photo: Stage W)

The state Ethics Commission has dismissed a complaint by the state Republican Party against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Gronik over campaign issues. 

"After reviewing the materials presented, the commission made a finding of no reasonable suspicion that a violation of the law occurred," Brian Bell, commission administrator, wrote to Mark Morgan, executive director of the state GOP, last month.

Morgan filed the complaint in April alleging that Gronik, a Milwaukee businessman, had violated state election laws by setting up a politically focused nonprofit called Stage W and commissioning a political poll without registering a campaign committee.

The complaint asserted Stage W, which says it is committed to "bridging the political divide," appears to operate "as a campaign committee in waiting for Mr. Gronik." Gronik, who announced his bid for governor this month, is president of the nonprofit.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet.(Photo: Scott Bauer, Associated Press)

MADISON – Milwaukee Judge Rebecca Dallet put $200,000 of her own money into her campaign for state Supreme Court, while attorney Tim Burns raised $120,000 for his run, campaign finance filings show. 

A third candidate, Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock, has not yet raised any money, according to his campaign. 

The three are running to replace Justice Michael Gableman, who is not seeking a second term. Dallet and Burns have made appeals to Democrats, while Schrenock has positioned himself as a conservative. 

A Feb. 20 primary will narrow the field to two candidates. The general election is April 3. 

Dallet, a Milwaukee County circuit judge since 2008, filed a report showing she gave her campaign a $200,000 loan on June 29. She raised about $71,000 from others since she launched her campaign at the beginning of June. 

Burns raised $120,000 since announcing his run in May, according to his campaign.

Gov. Scott Walker.(Photo: Scott Bauer, Associated Press)

MADISON – Gov. Scott Walker on Monday signed four bills to combat the spread of opiates and was set to approve eight other pieces of legislation on related issues.

The measures, which enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the Legislature, would funnel more money into fighting opiates, tighten the ability to get some drugs from pharmacies and give doctors more guidance on treating addiction. They were passed in a special session the Republican governor called in January.

Walker signed four bills at the Medical College of Wisconsin in De Pere and was scheduled later in the day to sign three more in Schofield and four others in Onalaska.

The bills signed in De Pere attempt to address the opiate epidemic in a few ways:  

Codeine. Prescriptions will be required in all cases to get codeine, opium and similar drugs under Special Session Assembly Bill 4. Now, those drugs can be acquired in limited instances without a prescription.