- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Underground fire evacuates public market

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Authorities say there is no public safety risk after the Milwaukee Public Market downtown was evacuated after road construction crews reported hearing an underground explosion.

Police at the scene say there was no explosion, but a small fire apparently was burning deep underground. The Milwaukee Fire Department says the fire is now out and no gas is being released.

Road crews working on a reconstruction of nearby Interstate 794 have been pounding pilings into the road. It wasn’t yet clear whether workers hit a gas line.

The fire department says no one was hurt. The market remained closed Tuesday and will reopen Wednesday.

Milwaukee police had the area in the city’s Third Ward cordoned off.

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Gunman arrested after taking worker hostage

WITTENBERG, Wis. (AP) - Police have arrested a gunman who held a McDonald’s restaurant worker hostage and caused a standoff in Wittenberg.

Shawano County Sheriff Randall Wright says the 28-year-old suspect from Gillett held the worker captive for about an hour Tuesday before letting him go unharmed. The suspect surrendered about an hour later without incident.

Authorities were called around 2 p.m. to a Shell convenience store that includes a McDonald’s. The sheriff says the suspect let everyone in the store leave expect for one worker.

Authorities don’t know what caused the incident. They say the suspect did not demand money and is not related to the hostage.

WAOW-TV (http://bit.ly/1i6H5xDhttp://bit.ly/1i6H5xD ) reports nearby schools went into lockdown as a precaution.

U.S. Highway 45 was shut down for about two hours during the standoff. No one was hurt.

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Taylor aide: Walker to sign police bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - An aide to a Wisconsin lawmaker says Gov. Scott Walker intends to sign a bill that would put outside agencies in charge of investigating officer-involved deaths.

Craig Trost, an aide to Rep. Chris Taylor, says in an email that Walker’s office notified Taylor’s office that he plans to sign the bill Wednesday.

Taylor, a Madison Democrat, and Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, developed the legislation in response to three high-profile deaths in the last 10 years. None of those incidents resulted in criminal charges.

Supporters say the new requirements will counter claims that police protect their own from consequences of using deadly force. But police observers say the bill could create conflict and confusion for Wisconsin agencies that have traditionally done the investigations themselves.

The bill passed the Legislature earlier this year.

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Democratic AG hopeful wants public intervenor back

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Democratic attorney general hopeful Jon Richards is promising to re-establish the public intervenor office within the state Department of Justice.

The position was created in 1967 to act as an advocate for the state’s natural resources. Republicans eliminated the office in 1995, believing it had unfairly targeted businesses with expensive lawsuits.

Richards, a state representative from Milwaukee, said Tuesday restoring the office would honor Wisconsin’s tradition of valuing natural resources.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne and Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ also are vying for the Democratic nomination. Ozanne says he would support re-establishing the office. Happ’s campaign didn’t immediately return an email message.

The only Republican running for attorney general is Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel. His campaign also didn’t immediately return an email.

Incumbent Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen isn’t running for re-election.

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