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Wisconsin roundup: River Falls lawmaker’s mother killed in crash; more state news stories

A weekend crash involving a milk hauler truck has left two people, including the mother of a River Falls Assembly member, dead in La Crosse County.

The Wisconsin State Patrol reports 61-year-old Brian Lee of La Crosse was driving the milk truck on Highway 53 when a car pulled out of a side road. Those two vehicles collided, then the milk hauler crossed over the center line and hit a second vehicle driven by 70-year-old Julie Macomber of Augusta head-on. Macomber, the mother of Rep. Shannon Zimmerman, R-River Falls, died in the crash

The driver of the first vehicle, 72-year-old Guo Song Lu, also died in the crash.

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Democratic groups continue criticizing Walker for taxpayer-funded flights

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker continues to receive criticism for taxpayer-funded air travel.

Records show the Republican governor has taken more than 950 flights paid for with state funding since 2015, and 322 in 2017. Walker took 65 percent more flights last year than New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is taking heat for his 195 trips on the taxpayer's dime. The cost to taxpayers for Walker's flights is estimated at $934,000. Progressive group One Wisconsin Now accuses Walker of using state resources for political purposes. A Walker spokeswoman says it shows he is "the hardest working governor in the country."

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Aftermath of Wis. flooding: Mosquitoes by the million

An entomologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison says the nuisance factor from millions of mosquitoes is a bigger consideration than worries about diseases like West Nile.

After days of rain and flooding, standing water is providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Susan Paskewitz says this is going to be an unusual year for the pests because their activity is normally slowing down in September. Many people are looking forward to the first cold snap.

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Schimel: Sex assault kits all analyzed

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel says a two-year effort to analyze about 4,000 sexual assault kits is finally complete.

Democrats have been attacking the Republican Schimel for taking so long to complete the testing. They say delays have let dangerous criminals go undetected. Schimel says it took time to inventory the kits which had been sitting on Wisconsin police department and hospital shelves. He had promised the testing would be finished by the end of this year.

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Man admits shooting stepkids with needle-tipped Nerf darts

A 33-year-old Town of Lewiston man is in the Columbia County Jail, accused of shooting his stepchildren with nerf darts which had needles attached.

Brian Alexander had his bail set during a Monday court appearance. Three children told authorities Alexander shot them with the needle-tipped nerf darts, with one of them showing investigators small red marks. Alexander will return to court in December to face the child abuse charges.

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Alleged meth-makers awaiting trial arrested — for making meth

Two people arrested for making meth last week made their first Green County Circuit Court appearance Monday.

Shortly after that, 29-year-old Kristie J. Sweeney and 23-year-old Jordan E. Douglas were arrested again — for the same crime. A source had told authorities after the first arrest that Sweeney had bought pseudoephedrine at a Walgreens store in Monroe. When a search warrant was executed Monday, members of the Stateline Area Narcotics Team found enough evidence to add an additional charge.

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Driver in double-fatal drunken driving crash to be sentenced

A 47-year-old driver who admits he was drunk when he was involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash last year is scheduled for sentencing Tuesday.

David Meyer reached a plea agreement with Brown County prosecutors, but the judge will hear from family members and friends of the victims. Forty-four-year-old Rebecca Pennenberg and her 18-year-old daughter, Raelia, were killed when they were hit while walking in Lawrence in mid-August 2017. The maximum sentence Meyer can receive is 50 years in prison.

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