- Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014
Ill. man goes to trial in Wis. woman’s death

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - Jury selection has started in the trial of a Rockford man accused of killing a Wisconsin woman in 2012.

The Rockford Register Star reports (https://bit.ly/1hrqEJn) that proceedings started Monday in 24-year-old Kody Walsh’s trial. He faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. He is accused of shooting 36-year-old Lori A. Daniels of Afton, Wis., while they were passengers in a vehicle near South Beloit.

Walsh also is accused of trying to kill the driver of the vehicle. Walsh fled and was captured a week later in Memphis, Tenn., after a high-speed chase with police.

Walsh has pleaded not guilty to all charges.


Information from: Rockford Register Star, https://www.rrstar.comhttps://www.rrstar.com


Planned cuts would hit littoral ship program

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday he is seeking cuts to a Navy combat ship program that is linked with thousands of jobs in Wisconsin.

Hagel said at a press conference that he plans to limit an order of littoral combat ships to 32 total vessels - 20 fewer than had been planned. The ships are built in Marinette, Wis., and Mobile, Ala.

“I am concerned that the Navy is relying too heavily on the (littoral combat ship) to achieve its long-term goals for ship numbers,” Hagel said. “Therefore, no new contract negotiations beyond 32 ships will go forward.”

Hagel said the Navy needed to examine whether littoral ships had the “independent protection and firepower to operate and survive against a more advanced military adversary and emerging new technologies.”

He said that was particularly important in the Asia-Pacific region.

Trimming the number of ships on order by nearly 40 percent would have a disproportionate impact on Wisconsin. Marinette is one of two locations where the ships are built. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin builds a version of the ship through the Marinette Marine Corp. based in the northern Wisconsin city of Marinette. Roughly 2,000 jobs are linked directly with the program.

Hagel said littoral ships were designed “to perform certain missions, such as minesweeping and anti-submarine warfare, in a relatively permissive environment.”


Wisconsin encourages residents to seek heating aid

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Some low-income residents have been coping with frigid temperatures by heating their homes with stoves and candles, but an accident over the weekend that led to 13 people being sickened by carbon monoxide prompted the state Monday to remind residents it can help pay their heating bills.

Wisconsin is enduring one of its coldest winters in decades, and forecasts call for temperatures to dip again this week - with highs in the single digits and wind chills plunging as low as minus 35 Wednesday in northwestern Wisconsin.

When temperatures get cold, some poorer residents are tempted to save money by taking hazardous short cuts, officials said. For example, fire crews in Madison, Fond du Lac and elsewhere have responded to fires caused by unattended candles, which investigators suspect were being used as a heat source.

And in Trempealeau County on Sunday, one household used a charcoal grill indoors for heat. The grill released carbon monoxide that sickened five children and eight adults, including a responding police officer. The conditions of the 13 weren’t immediately released Monday.

State officials say poorer residents shouldn’t have to resort to unsafe methods. Wisconsin’s Home Energy Assistance Program is designed to provide free assistance to households that are at 60 percent of state median-income guidelines. That works out to an annual income of $47,485 for a family of four.

So far about 165,000 Wisconsin households have received assistance this year, said Stephanie Marquis, spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration. That’s about 5,000 more households than at this time last year, and the average benefit of $301 is significantly higher than last year’s average payment of $219.

“Heating assistance is based on people’s eligibility and heating bills,” she said. “It could be that people have higher heating costs because of the colder weather.”


Burke comments on Walker investigation records

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Democrat Mary Burke says Republican Gov. Scott Walker has set a “low bar for campaign ethics and as governor.”

Burke commented Monday for the first time following the release of 28,000 pages of emails collected during an investigation into Walker’s former aides and associates during his time as Milwaukee County executive.

Walker was not charged in the investigation and he has repeatedly said he did not know about the illegal activity that led to six people being convicted on a variety of charges.

Burke commented following a campaign stop in Green Bay. Burke says she would bring back trust and honesty if elected this fall.

Burke is a former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive and past state Commerce Department secretary.

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