- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Wisconsin’s Walker exits ‘16 race with harsh words for Trump

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Warning that the Republican presidential race has become too nasty, Scott Walker exited the 2016 campaign on Monday and urged others to quit, too, and “clear the field” so someone can emerge to take down front-runner Donald Trump.

The announcement marked a dramatic fall for Walker, who was struggling to generate money and enthusiasm after surging into the race’s top tier earlier in the year. He will return to his job as governor of Wisconsin, where his term runs through 2018.

“Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top,” Walker said in a news conference. “I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner.”

Walker said that is “fundamentally important to the future of the party and more importantly to the future of our country.”

One of the last Republicans to enter the race, Walker joined former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as one of the first to leave it. He found himself unable to adjust to Trump’s popularity or break out in either of the first two GOP debates. Both candidates warned of the billionaire businessman’s influence on the GOP as they stepped aside, although neither called him out by name.

“Sadly, the debate taking place in the Republican party today is not focused on that optimistic view of America,” Walker said. “Instead, it has drifted into personal attacks.” Walker’s sons, Matt and Alex, attended his speech. They each had taken a semester off from college to campaign with him.

Anthony Scaramucci , one of Walker’s top fundraisers, expressed hope that other struggling candidates will heed Walker’s call to distill the field.

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Supreme Court Justice Crooks, 77, dies in chambers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patrick Crooks, a stoic and neutral presence on a bitterly divided high court, died Monday in the state Capitol. He was 77.

Crooks died in his chambers, Chief Justice Patience Roggensack said in a statement. She didn’t offer any further details and court spokesman Tom Sheehan didn’t immediately return email and voicemail messages. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Crooks came into work for an administrative hearing but excused himself before it was over and was later found dead in his chambers.

“Justice Crooks was an outstanding jurist, a thoughtful decision-maker and a colleague with a wonderful Irish sense of humor,” Roggensack said in her statement. “He was a good friend and colleague, and he will be greatly missed by all.”

Justice Annette Ziegler issued a statement saying Crooks had a keen legal mind as well as a sense of humor.

“While we will all remember him for his legal prowess, I will miss his quick wit,” she said.

Gov. Scott Walker offered condolences to Crooks’ family ahead of a news conference to announce his departure from the presidential race.

Crooks announced last week that he wouldn’t run for a third 10-year term and instead planned to retire when his current term ended in July 2016.

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Judge delays Slender Man case pending appeals court decision

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin judge on Monday suspended the case of two 13-year-old girls accused of trying to kill a classmate near Milwaukee while an appeals court decides whether to review a decision to keep the case in adult court.

Judge Michael Bohren removed the girls’ October trial date from his calendar and delayed hearing pre-trial motions, the Journal Sentinel reported (https://bit.ly/1WdDsImhttps://bit.ly/1WdDsIm ).

The two girls are charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the May 2014 attack on Payton Leutner. Investigators say the girls lured Payton to a park in Waukesha where they stabbed her 19 times in an effort to appease the online fictional character Slender Man. They left her for dead, but Payton was able to crawl from a wooded area where she was discovered by a bicyclist. After several surgeries, she has returned to school.

Defense attorneys are appealing Bohren’s August decision to keep the girls’ case in adult court, where convictions could send them to prison for up to 45 years. As juveniles, they could be incarcerated for up to three years and then supervised until age 18.

The Court of Appeals has not indicated whether it will review Bohren’s decision.

All three girls were 12 years old at the time of the attack. Anyone 10 years or older who is charged with first-degree attempted homicide is automatically considered an adult under Wisconsin law. The Associated Press hasn’t identified the girls because the case could return to juvenile court, where proceedings are closed.

Waukesha is about 20 miles west of Milwaukee.

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Racine police ask for public’s help in shooting death

RACINE, Wis. (AP) - Racine police are asking for the public’s help in solving a fatal shooting.

Police were called about 8:45 p.m. Sunday on a report of an unresponsive person in an apartment on Racine’s south side. Officers arrived to find the 34-year-old man dead of a gunshot wound.

Authorities identify the victim as Vaughan Chattman.

Racine Police Lt. Al Days tells The Journal Times (https://bit.ly/1Kr3suihttps://bit.ly/1Kr3sui ) police are investigating the death as a homicide.

Days says police continue to investigate when the shooting happened and what took place in the apartment.

No one has been arrested.

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