- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Beloit puts police chief, deputy on leave

BELOIT, Wis. (AP) - The police chief and deputy chief in Beloit have been put on administrative leave.

The reason for the action hasn’t been given. City Manager Lori Curtis Luther announced the move in a news release Tuesday that said a consultant’s review this spring raised questions about leadership and management by Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin.

The Janesville Gazette and Beloit Daily News reported that the department has been under pressure over an increase in homicides and violent crime last year, as well as morale issues.

Luther’s release said the city was launching an internal investigation.

Robert Mihelich, an attorney for Jacobs, says the management of the department didn’t cause homicides to increase. He says Jacobs and his staff put a plan in place to attack the problem.

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Vos says changes coming to alternative minimum tax cut

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the original idea for eliminating the state’s alternative minimum tax that would primarily benefit those earning more than $200,000 a year won’t be done as originally discussed.

The Republican Vos said Tuesday that how to structure changes to the tax are still being discussed.

Republican Rep. Dale Kooyenga said last week he wanted to eliminate the alternative minimum tax and replace the $63 million over two years with other tax increases and changes. He did not say what all of those would be.

But one idea he floated, to increase sales taxes collected on paying for hotel rooms online, an idea that drew opposition from the travel industry.

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Baldwin aims to reduce VA narcotic prescriptions, deaths

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has introduced a bill that would reduce the prescription of narcotics in Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals.

Baldwin said Tuesday that the measure could prevent possible deaths from narcotic over-prescribing practices like those reported at a VA medical center in Tomah. Baldwin named the bill after 39-year-old Marine Jason Simcakoski who died of mixed-drug toxicity in the hospital’s in-patient intensive care unit in August. Multiple probes into the facility are ongoing.

The bill would also broaden the use of complementary pain-relief services like yoga and massage. It would further require increased training and education for doctors who prescribe narcotics.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson says he hasn’t seen the bill, but has worked with Wisconsin legislators to push for change in the VA system.

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Johnson waiting to respond to Feingold’s pledge request

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republican Ron Johnson says he won’t decide whether to take a pledge to keep third-party money out of his U.S. Senate race against Democrat Russ Feingold until more details emerge about Feingold’s political action committee.

Johnson told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he wants to get to the bottom of reports that the Progressives United political action committee founded by Feingold spent only 5 percent of its income on federal candidates and political parties.

Feingold’s campaign manager said Tuesday that it shouldn’t take Johnson so long to decide if he’d take the pledge.

Johnson defeated Feingold in 2010. They’re set to face each other in a 2016 rematch at the polls. The race is being closely watched nationally as Democrats try to regain control of the Senate.

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