- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Family of slain girl seeks help finding suspect

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The family of a 5-year-old girl shot to death in Milwaukee is appealing to the public for help finding the suspect.

A spokesman for the family of Laylah Petersen on Tuesday again called for anyone with information about the fatal shooting to come forward.

Laylah was killed Thursday evening when gunfire tore through her grandparents’ home. Police say two people approached the house and fired numerous times.

A Milwaukee police spokesman tells the Journal Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1zKb7Athttps://bit.ly/1zKb7At ) the investigation continues.



Laylah’s funeral will be held Wednesday at Our Lady of Good Hope Church, and is open to the public. Viewing will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. followed by a Mass and burial at Holy Cross Cemetery.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

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Shilling set to lead Senate Democrats

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Democrats reshuffled their Senate leadership on Tuesday, with a state senator from La Crosse poised to take over as minority leader after Republicans increased their majority in last week’s election.

Sen. Chris Larson, Democratic Senate minority leader the past two years, decided to bow out of the race after Sen. Jennifer Shilling, of La Crosse, announced she was challenging him. Larson declined to say whether he had enough support to win in the vote scheduled for Wednesday, saying his decision was based on wanting to spend more time with his family.

“This was honestly a personal decision,” Larson said in a telephone interview. “It just became evident when I was doing the phone calls courting votes, setting up an agenda and lining up the next two years, my wife was looking at me and hoping I wouldn’t succeed. That’s not a recipe for long-term success.”

Republicans used the Nov. 4 elections to build a 19-14 majority in the Senate, up from 18-15 last year. They won a 61-36 advantage in the Assembly, the party’s biggest edge in the chamber since 1957, on election night and gained another seat on Tuesday after state Rep. Mandy Wright, D-Wausau, conceded that Republican Dave Heaton had beaten her. One last race was still too close to call.

Assembly Democrats held their first postelection meeting hours after Wright conceded. Rep. Evan Goyke, a Milwaukee Democrat, tried to convince his colleagues to oust Minority Leader Peter Barca of Kenosha and insert him in the leadership post, complaining the party isn’t gaining any ground and needs a fresh approach.

Barca, who has served as minority leader since 2011, argued Democratic candidates had to contend with a national GOP wave, spending by outside groups and district boundaries that Republicans redrew to consolidate support for their candidates. He said he was up to the challenge of developing new tactics and asked Democrats to bring any ideas forward.

“We’ve got to find a way to dial it up,” Barca said. “We can’t keep doing what we’re doing nor would I suggest it.”

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Ex-officer convicted in Wisconsin child sex case

HUDSON, Wis. (AP) - A former police officer turned businessman has been found guilty of sexually assaulting boys in northwest Wisconsin.

Daniel Barber of North Hudson pleaded no contest Monday in St. Croix County court to charges of first-degree sexual assault of a child, child enticement and possession of child pornography. Six counts of child sexual assault and five counts of possessing child pornography were dropped in a deal with prosecutors. A sentencing date hasn’t been set.

The 46-year-old former Somerset officer was accused of sexually assaulting several boys between 2004 and 2014, including two toddlers and five others under age 9. Prosecutors say Barber offered to baby-sit for many of the victims and sometimes used Craigslist and Facebook to connect with parents.

First-degree sexual assault of a child carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

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UW to OK in-state tuition for non-resident vets

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The University of Wisconsin System’s regents are planning to approve in-state tuition rates for non-resident veterans and their families.

Under a federal law passed in August, public colleges must charge out-of-state veterans who enroll within three years of being discharged as well as their spouses and children in-state tuition or lose federal funding. The law takes effect in the fall of 2015.

UW System officials issued a statement Tuesday saying the regents will formally approve an in-state tuition rate for veterans at an upcoming meeting. The statement did not say when the meeting would be held. A system spokeswoman said the meeting could happen this spring.

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