Wisconsin reports 14 more COVID-19 deaths; cases nearing 24K
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin health officials say the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state is approaching 25,000. A total of 24,539 people in Wisconsin have tested positive as of Saturday, an increase of 385 new cases from the previous day. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that’s the second highest increase in cases in the last two weeks. Wisconsin’s largest increase in cases in the last two weeks was Thursday, when 422 new positive tests were reported. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports 14 more deaths related to COVID-19, the most since June 9 when officials reported 15 people had died. Wisconsin’s total number of deaths rose to 744 Saturday.
Trump plans visit to shipyard in Marinette next week
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — President Donald Trump plans to tour the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard next week, marking his first visit to Wisconsin since January on a trip that comes two days after Vice President Mike Pence will be in the state. The White House announced Trump’s trip on Friday. He plans to tour the Marinette Marine shipyard on Thursday and deliver remarks. On Tuesday, Pence plans to hold the first “Faith in America” event in the Milwaukee suburb of Pewaukee. Trump was last in Wisconsin in January for a rally in Milwaukee.
Evers calls for changes as Wisconsin marks Juneteenth
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers is calling on the Wisconsin Legislature to pass a package of criminal justice reforms as the state celebrates Juneteenth. However, the Democratic governor hasn’t ordered a special session for the Republican-controlled Legislature to take up the proposals. Assembly Democrats and the Black Legislative Caucus have requested a special session. Evers has the power to call one, as do Republican lawmakers. The call for reforms come Friday as Wisconsin observes the Juneteenth holiday with marches, calls for action, the raising of flags and virtual discussions moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump: Mail-in voting presents ‘biggest risk’ to reelection
ATLANTA (AP) — President Donald Trump says that mail-in voting presents the greatest threat to his reelection hopes, and he suggested that legal efforts in several states launched by his allies might decide November’s election. Trump has asserted without evidence that expanded mail-in voting will lead to the “greatest Rigged Election in history.” In an interview with Politico published Friday, the president underscored that ongoing battles in courts will be pivotal. His statements come as some swing states have taken dramatic steps to expand mail balloting while Republicans in others try to pull back from the practice.
Authorities ID 2 killed in Jefferson County double homicide
JEFFERSON, Wis. (AP) — Authorities have released the name of two people killed in a double homicide and arson in southeastern Wisconsin. The Jefferson County Medical Examiner determined that 57-year-old Nedra Lemke and 59-year-old James Lemke died of gunshot wounds. The Wisconsin State Journal reports authorities believe the incident was a targeted act. A sheriff’s deputy responding to a report of a possible burglary Tuesday night found two bodies in the driveway of a Town of Sumner home. The deputy was then fired upon from inside the house, and he shot back. Black smoke started rising from the house. The deputy was not injured, but the house was a total loss. Authorities are searching for a 68-year-old Fort Atkinson man but have not said whether he is a suspect.
Man dies after being pulled from Fond du Lac River
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — Authorities say a 37-year-old man has died after being pulled from the Fond du Lac River. Crews were called to the river just before 6 p.m. Thursday. Authorities said the man was trying to swim across when he was swept under. A bystander jumped in to try and help the man but turned around due to the current. WLUK-TV reports dive teams were in the water seven minutes after the call, searching for the man. Just before 7 p.m., the man was recovered in critical condition and taken to a hospital. But he was later pronounced dead at the hospital. The name of the victim was not immediately released. Police are investigating.
Unrest and virus make Juneteenth activist and reflective
Christopher Johnson says he once saw Juneteenth as a celebration, a symbol that African Americans had moved past the “stain” of racism and slavery. The co-pastor of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Houston says the deaths this year of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks, at the hands of law enforcement and self-styled neighborhood vigilantes are turning the holiday into a time of reflection and a reminder every generation has to fight for its freedom and that freedom is never really won. In many ways, he says, the U.S. of 1865 is the U.S. of 2020.
Regent leader selects Tommy Thompson as interim UW president
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin System regents’ leader has selected former Gov. Tommy Thompson to serve as the system’s interim president. The system announced Friday that Regent President Andrew Peterson has appointed Thompson to the post. Thompson will take over on July 1. He will replace outgoing President Ray Cross, who announced in October he would step down when a successor was found. The regents had planned to hire University of Alaska System President Jim Johnsen but Johnsen withdrew from consideration last week amid criticism from faculty, staff and students. Thompson, a Republican, is Wisconsin’s only four-term governor. He stepped down during his fourth term to serve as then-President George W. Bush’s health secretary.
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