- Associated Press - Saturday, January 31, 2015
Zocco sentenced to 19 years on child porn and drug charges

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A Milwaukee man who police consider a person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend was sentenced Friday to 19 years in prison for child pornography and keeping a drug house.

A jury convicted Kris Zocco, 40, of the child porn charges in November, and he pleaded guilty to the drug charges in December.

While both sets of charges resulted from the investigation into the 2013 disappearance of Kelly Dwyer, Zocco has not been charged with any crime for her disappearance. She remains missing.

Dwyer’s family and friends attended the hearing, wearing white ribbons that read “Bring KELLY Home,” but said little afterward, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported (https://bit.ly/1JWelndhttps://bit.ly/1JWelnd ).

Prosecutors sought a sentence of nearly 50 years. The mandatory minimum was three years in prison.

Judge Daniel Konkol said the state seemed to be recommending a life sentence

“He’s not even charged with homicide, and this court is not sentencing him for homicide,” the judge said.


Report: Walker would borrow to fund transportation projects

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker plans to rely on borrowing rather than a gasoline tax increase to fund transportation projects over the next two years.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday (https://bit.ly/1uKe0Lqhttps://bit.ly/1uKe0Lq ) that the governor’s plan calls for $1.3 billion in borrowing for transportation, but the state’s overall borrowing would drop because Walker wants to delay construction of buildings that don’t already have initial approval, including projects in the University of Wisconsin system.

The newspaper reported that the plan will let Walker tout his opposition to raising taxes as he considers a possible run for president, but that the increased reliance on borrowing to fund highways may not go over well with his fellow Republicans who control the Legislature.

Walker plans to formally introduce the proposal Tuesday. Lawmakers will spend the next few months reshaping it.

“Walker’s goal, as stated multiple times, is to lower the burden on the hardworking taxpayers of the state every year he is in office while continuing to invest in his priorities,” Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said in a written statement.

Two years ago, Walker and GOP lawmakers approved $2 billion in borrowing. About half was for buildings and maintenance and about half was for transportation. Walker’s new plan contains no new borrowing for buildings because the state has $858 million in unused bonding authority it can still use.

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, co-chairwoman of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, said wants to see Walker’s overall plan before deciding how much borrowing she could support. She also said she wants to see a sustainable system for funding roads.


Senate leader says he will have votes to pass right to work

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Friday there will be enough votes to pass a right-to-work bill in Wisconsin this session after the GOP majority grows to 19 following the April election to fill a vacant seat.

Right-to-work laws, in place in 24 other states, prohibit private-sector employers from requiring workers to pay union dues or join a union as a condition of employment. In an interview with WTMJ radio in Milwaukee, Fitzgerald said lawmakers “were coming around,” on the issue.

“They’re starting to understand the ins and outs,” he said.

Supporters of such laws say it’s about worker freedom and employees should not be forced to join a union, particularly if they don’t agree with its politics or feel the cost isn’t worth the benefit. Opponents say requiring union membership ensure workers are paid well and have job protections negotiated by unions.

The issue pits Republicans against unions, contractors and Democrats in a debate that would likely resemble the fight four years ago over public worker collective-bargaining rights that led to Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election. Walker, who is mulling a 2016 presidential bid, has said he supports a right-to-work law but that debating it now - while he’s pushing his own legislative priorities - would be a distraction.

But earlier this week Walker said his support for right-to-work has not wavered, noting that he co-sponsored a bill to do that when he was in the state Assembly.

Fitzgerald had been calling for swift action, but backed off last week after saying support in the Senate was unclear.


Wisconsin man pleads guilty to human trafficking

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Madison man has pleaded guilty to three human trafficking charges.

Online court records show 40-year-old Lindy Gill pleaded to two counts of human trafficking and one count of receiving compensation for human trafficking in Dane County Circuit Court on Thursday. He also pleaded guilty to recklessly endangering safety in a separate case the same day.

He faces a total of 72½ years in prison. Court records didn’t indicate a sentencing date.

Prosecutors accused Gill in the human trafficking case of forcing a group of women into prostitution and taking all their profits. They accused him in the endangerment case of providing heroin to a 17-year-old boy resulting in his hospitalization.

Gill’s attorney didn’t immediately return an email message Friday afternoon.

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