April 20, 2014

Nickles ponders run for Petri seat

Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickles is considering a run for the Sixth District Congressional seat being vacated by Representative Tom Petri. “I don’t think it’s a surprise to anybody in the city that government and politics is what I love most in life, and everyone knows that ever since I was a young boy I wanted to be president of the United States,” said Nickles, who was became on of the nation’s youngest-ever mayor when he was elected at age 22 in 2009. “It’s not surprising that when an opportunity makes itself available, that I would look at the options that I have in front of me.”

Nickles, a Democrat, said he was ” a bit shocked” when Petri announced he wouldn’t seek another term. He reiterated that running the city is his top priority but admits a door has opened to explore what he calls “an amazing opportunity.” Nickles said he’ll make a decision “very soon.”

Also on Friday, state Senator Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) confirmed that he’ll make an announcement regarding entering the race. If he does, he’d join fellow state Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) and state Representative Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville).



New London school employee arrested

A New London School District employee is free on a signature bond, following her arrest Thursday in a case of missing funds from Bulldog athletic events.

Wendy Swinton was booked into the Waupaca County jail Thursday on theft charges. New London Police Chief Jeff Schlueter says their investigation indicates the theft of thousands of dollars, occurring over several years.

Swinton is listed as a payroll and accounting specialist at the New London district.

No criminal complaint has been filed yet by the district attorney’s office, but Swinton did appear before a judge Friday morning for a magistrate’s hearing. She was released on a $10,000 signature bond.


Appeals court rejects Act 10 challenge

A federal appeals court has upheld Governor Scott Walker’s signature collective bargaining law.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday that the law limiting collective bargaining for most public employee unions does not infringe on the constitutional rights of workers, rejecting a court challenge brought by two unions in Dane County. Those groups claimed the law, commonly known as Act 10, violated their rights to free association and equal protection under the law.

In a decision released Friday, a three judge panel sided with Federal Judge William Conley, who ruled last September that the union law still allows public employees to organize…it just does not require the government to listen to their demands.

In a statement, Attorney General J.B Van Hollen called the ruling “a victory for the law and for Wisconsin taxpayers.  This ruling, once again, supports the rule of law and recognizes the diligence and hard work of our lawyers in defending Act 10.  I appreciate the court’s work.  I look forward to a successful resolution of the few remaining challenges to this important law.”

The decision is one of several rulings that have upheld Act 10, although the controversial law continues to face unresolved legal challenges. The state Supreme Court is currently reviewing another case, which deals with how the law applies to unions for local government and school employees.

Burke calls for more tuition tax deductions

The main Democrat running for governor says paying for higher education is one of the main hurdles that keep people from getting a degree.

Mary Burke says getting more technical college and university graduates is also a key factor, in filling more job openings in the state, and improving the economy.

She wants to increase the tuition tax deduction in Wisconsin, and make student loan payments tax deductible. Burke says she also supports a proposal that would let people refinance student loans. A student loan refinancing bill failed to pass in the Legislature this year.

Burke spoke with students Thursday at Fox Valley Technical College.

Rick Schuh, WHBY

Oak Creek man charged with killing blind wife

Prosecutors say an Oak Creek man killed his blind wife of 56 years earlier this week because he couldn’t take her nagging anymore.

Seventy-six-year-old Jack Lang was charged Thursday in Milwaukee County with first-degree intentional homicide. According to the criminal complaint, Lang and his wife June were driving to lunch on Wednesday when she called him a baby, because he didn’t feel well and he wanted to go home.

When they got back to their house, authorities say Lang took a .22 caliber gun from his closet, and told his wife he was pointing it at her head and would fire if she didn’t stop nagging him. He then shot her when she didn’t.

Officials says Lang also tried killing himself, but two bullets missed and the other only grazed his head. He then called 911 to report the shooting.