- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Mellencamp unhappy with Wisconsin Gov. Walker

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Liberal rocker John Mellencamp wants conservative Republican Gov. Scott Walker to know he supports union rights and says Walker should think about that before using his songs on the campaign trail.

Politicians for years have been using rock songs at campaign events, and Mellencamp has found himself crossways with Walker and other candidates before.

Two years ago, Mellencamp chided Walker, who effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers in Wisconsin, for playing his song “Small Town” at campaign rallies.

Walker was targeted for recall in 2012 by those angered over the union law, which passed despite massive protests that elicited support from other liberal musicians, including Pete Seeger, Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Peter Yarrow and Billy Bragg.

When Mellencamp caught wind of Walker playing “Small Town” during the recall campaign, his publicist sent Walker an email letting him know that Mellencamp supports collective bargaining and union rights.

Mellencamp took the same approach in 2008 when Republican presidential hopeful John McCain played “Our Country” on the campaign trail. Mellencamp’s publicist wrote McCain’s camp a letter explaining Mellencamp’s liberal leanings and said he was supporting Democrat John Edwards.

In 2010, when the National Organization for Marriage played “Pink Houses” at events opposing same-sex marriage, Mellencamp also had his publicist notify the group saying he was opposed to its agenda and suggested it pick a different song to play that is more in tune with its views.


Deputy shot and paralyzed in 1991 has died

ST. CROIX FALLS, Wis. (AP) - A western Wisconsin sheriff’s deputy who was paralyzed after being shot by a suspect in 1991 has died, and he will be buried with full law enforcement honors during a funeral expected to draw officers from several states, according to the Polk County sheriff.

Polk County Deputy Michael Seversen was shot and Burnett County Deputy Allen Albee was killed when they confronted a shooting suspect on the run from Minnesota’s Chisago County. The suspect, Robert Reineccius, was killed by officers.

Seversen had recently been suffering from severe medical issues, and he died Monday at his home in St. Croix Falls, said Polk County Sheriff Peter Johnson. Seversen was 50 years old.

Despite requiring a mechanically operated “sip and puff” wheelchair for the rest of his life, Seversen lived independently and remained active in the sheriff’s office, Johnson said. He used a voice-activated computer to open doors, and run the lights, TV and stereo in his home.

“We just couldn’t believe he accepted what happened,” said Seversen’s brother, Mark. “Obviously, it was horrible, but he embraced what it meant to live paralyzed and kept caring for people and enjoying life.”

Although many years have passed since the shooting, Severson’s death was classified as in the line of duty, the Star Tribune reported (https://strib.mn/1l2jhOIhttps://strib.mn/1l2jhOI ).

Johnson said he is expecting “hundreds of squads” from around Wisconsin and other states at the funeral Saturday, the the 23rd anniversary of the shooting.


Kohl to make announcement on Bucks’ ownership

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Former Sen. Herb Kohl has called a news conference to discuss the ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks and the team’s future.

Kohl has owned the Bucks since 1985.

He said in December that he was looking for new investors in the Bucks in hopes of building a new arena. He said then that any partners would have to be committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee.

The 79-year-old Kohl retired from the U.S. Senate in January 2013. He has said he’s in good health but wants a long-term plan for the Bucks’ future.

The team says in a statement that there will be a “major announcement” Wednesday afternoon.


Lincoln County man found guilty of killing wife

MERRILL, Wis. (AP) - A Lincoln County man was convicted Wednesday of killing his wife and disposing of her body in a swamp.

Jurors deliberated for more than 10 hours over two days before finding Mark Buck, 50, guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, strangulation-suffocation and hiding a body.

The defense tried to convince jurors that there was no physical evidence linking Bucki to the murder of his 48-year-old wife, Anita. The couple’s adult son, Clint, testified that his father was innocent.

The prosecution told jurors Mark Bucki impeded the investigation by not helping search for his wife after she disappeared last April. Prosecutors pointed to circumstantial evidence including Bucki’s finances, his wife’s insurance policy and a lack of defensive wounds on her body, alleging she knew her killer.

Some people cried and others embraced after the verdict was read, Daily Herald Media (https://wdhne.ws/1kA7wMEhttps://wdhne.ws/1kA7wME ) reported.

Cliff Brown of Rapid City, S.D., the brother of Anita Bucki, said both families have been devastated by the death of his sister and by the trial.

“It’s hard on everybody,” Brown said. “There aren’t any winners, no matter what the verdict is, in a case like this. Everyone is hurting.”

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