- Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2014
US Navy marks upcoming debut of 6th USS Detroit

DETROIT (AP) - The U.S. Navy is holding a ceremony to mark the upcoming launch of the sixth warship named for the city of Detroit.

The USS Detroit is under construction at the Lockheed Martin Marinette Shipyard in Marinette, Wis., and will be launched and christened this summer. The Littoral Combat Ship is set to join the fleet in 2016.

Authorities are holding a ceremony Friday afternoon at Port Detroit to unveil the ship’s crest. Participants include Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority chief John Jamian, County Executive Robert Ficano, Deputy Mayor Ike McKinnon and Barbara Levin, wife of U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin.

The British built the first USS Detroit at Malden, Canada, in 1813. The U.S. Navy captured the 12-gunner in the Battle of Lake Erie that year.

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Wis. man convicted of abusing starved stepsister

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin man was convicted early Friday of sexually and physically abusing his stepsister, who weighed just 68 pounds and was barefoot when she fled their family’s home two winters ago.

Jurors deliberated late into the night before finding the 20-year-old man guilty of first-degree sexual assault of a child, second-degree sexual assault of a child, and child abuse, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The charges stemmed from incidents that occurred between 2006 and 2011 in the home where the then-children lived with the girl’s father and his mother.

The Associated Press is not naming the young man to avoid identifying his stepsister.

After the girl ran away from home in February 2012, she was taken to a hospital where she told investigators her father and stepmother had forced her into their basement, with boarded up windows and an alarm on the door, and refused to feed her. They were convicted on child abuse charges at separate trials.

She also said her stepbrother had sexually assaulted her. Prosecutors said during the trial that the girl was 9 and her stepbrother was 13 when the first of two assaults occurred. They said the man attacked his stepsister because he didn’t think he would be caught.

The man pleaded no contest to sexual assault charges in a separate case in November 2011. He also faces sexual assault charges in a case involving a third girl.

The man’s defense attorney argued that the girl’s story had inconsistences that should prevent jurors from believing the accusations. There was also a lack of physical evidence for the sexual assault charges, as doctors who examined the girl in 2012 said there was no evidence of sexual assault.

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Storm brings mix of snow, rain to Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A powerful winter storm packing a mix of rain, sleet and snow barreled into Wisconsin Thursday, knocking out power and making roads slippery.

The Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center said the storm could dump 15 to 18 inches of snow in parts of northwestern Wisconsin by Friday morning.

As of Thursday evening, Webb Lake had received 3.6 inches of snow. But National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Huyck said snow rates could reach an inch an hour later Thursday and overnight.

Strong wind gusts of 35 to 45 mph were expected to create whiteout conditions into Friday morning in northwestern Wisconsin.

Snow-covered roads were making travel hazardous in northwestern Wisconsin, the state Department of Transportation reported. Roads are ice-covered in central Wisconsin.

Southern Wisconsin is expected to see lower snow totals of 1 to 4 inches by Friday morning, but strong winds gusting up to 60 mph may make driving hazardous. Some areas were reporting heavy rain and hail Thursday night, and minor street flooding is possible, the Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center said.

As of 7 p.m. about 440 homes and businesses were without power across Wisconsin.

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Wis. Assembly OKs 2 more heroin bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Assembly has approved two more bills designed to curb heroin abuse.

The first bill would require the Department of Corrections to set up a formal system of quick sanctions short of prison for offenders who violate their parole or probation. The bill’s author, Republican Rep. John Nygren, says faster sanctions would help heroin addicts get treatment center.

The other measure would require state health officials to create regional opiate treatment centers in underserved areas. Nygren wrote that bill, too.

The Assembly passed the sanctions bill on a voice vote and the treatment centers proposal 95-1 on Thursday. Both bills now go to the state Senate.

The Legislature has passed four other Nygren-authored heroin bills over the last two months.

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