- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Court to hear gay marriage arguments Aug. 13

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A federal appeals court in Chicago will hear arguments in challenges of gay marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana’s on Aug. 13.

Federal judges in both states have struck down the bans as unconstitutional. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals consolidated the Wisconsin and Indiana cases on Friday and put them on the fast track.

The court separately rejected a request by Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to have five extra days to submit arguments.

Both states have asked that all 10 judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals hear the cases, but it has not yet ruled on those requests.

Usually the 7th Circuit uses three-judge panels to decide cases.

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Tesla, Wisconsin doctor settle lemon lawsuit

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Tesla Motors has settled a lawsuit alleging the company sold a defective electric car to a Wisconsin doctor.

The deal calls for the California-based company to pay Franklin physician Robert Montgomery nearly $127,000 to cover the car’s cost, his taxes and his attorney fees.

Montgomery filed the lawsuit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court in April alleging his 2013 SP Sedan was in the shop for more than 30 days with various problems. Attorney Vince Megna, who touts himself as the lemon law king, handled the case for Montgomery.

Court records show the case moved to federal court in May and the two sides reached the settlement deal in June. A judge dismissed the case last week.

Tesla attorney J. Donald Best didn’t immediately return telephone and email messages Monday.

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Historic tax credit program partially restored

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker’s administration on Monday partially lifted a moratorium in place only three weeks on a wildly popular tax credit program for historic buildings.

While the program will restart for buildings that meet criteria for being designated as historic, the moratorium will remain in effect for those that don’t have that certification, said Mark Maley, spokesman for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state’s lead job-creation agency.

“We want to focus on things that are truly historic,” Maley said.

The Legislature, with broad bipartisan support, doubled the size of the credit last year to 20 percent of rehabilitation costs and expanded the program to include non-historic buildings built before 1936. The Legislature did not place a cap on how many credits could be handed out.

The moratorium was put in place on June 23 because $35 million in tax breaks for qualified projects had already been approved, even though only $4 million were expected to be handed out in the first year.

Of that $35 million, $15 million went to non-historic buildings while $20 million went to those certified as historic, Maley said.

The tax credits for historic buildings far exceeded estimates, and “it’s going to continue to exceed it” now that the moratorium is being lifted, Maley said. Originally, WEDC said the moratorium would last through the end of the year.

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Appeal tossed in Wisconsin fire that killed 3 boys

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin appeals court has dismissed the appeal of a former Argyle man convicted of murdering his three nephews in a house fire in 2012.

Nineteen-year-old Jeremy Wand was sentenced last August to life in prison for starting fires that killed 7-year-old Allen Wand, 5-year-old Jeffery Wand and 3-year-old Joseph Wand.

The boys’ mother, Sharon Wand, was badly burned in the fire and lost the fetus she was carrying. Her 2-year-old daughter, Jessica, survived.

According to court documents, Jeremy Wand set most of the fires in the rented home after his brother - Armin Wand III, the children’s father - offered him $300 to help him.

The Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/1mPQDPthttps://bit.ly/1mPQDPt ) reports Jeremy Wand will be eligible for parole after 35 years.

Armin Wand is serving a life term without parole.

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