Federal appeals court upholds Walker's union law
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld Republican Governor Scott Walker's public union restrictions.
The restrictions stripped most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. Two unions representing city of Madison and Dane County public workers filed a lawsuit in 2011 alleging the law violated their right to freely assembly and equal protection.
U.S. District Judge William Conley found the restrictions constitutional in September. A three-judge appeals panel affirmed Conley's ruling Friday, saying the U.S. Constitution doesn't require the state to maintain policies that allow certain associations to thrive.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen calls the ruling "a victory for the law and for Wisconsin taxpayers."
An attorney for the unions tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he needs to talk to his clients before deciding whether to appeal.
CHILD PORN-PROSECUTION DELAYS
Another Justice Department worker disciplined
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Department of Justice says another employee has been disciplined for a delay in investigating a child pornography case.
The disciplined employee is in addition to two department investigators who lost their jobs for allowing other child pornography cases to languish.
Department spokeswoman Dana Brueck tells WKOW-TV that a member of the Division of Criminal Investigation's support staff didn't promptly address a tip. In February, Christopher Kosakoski of Milwaukee was charged with 13 child pornography counts. But DOJ officials have conceded a tip from a national hotline about Kosakoski's potential downloading of child porn came to DOJ three years ago.
Brueck says the employee was disciplined. She would not identify the employee, the employee's job title or how long the employee has worked for DOJ.
SUPREME COURT-DRUNK DRIVING
Wisconsin court to decide on testing drunk drivers
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to decide whether police can legally draw suspected drunken drivers' blood without a warrant or driver consent.
The court said it would hear three drunken driving cases, two of which involved a homicide. That announcement came nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a Missouri case that could call into question Wisconsin's law.
Wisconsin since 1993 has granted police authority to draw drunken driving suspects' blood without a warrant or consent.
About 5,000 people refused to comply with police tests in 2011 and 2012.
The eventual rulings in the three cases are expected to clarify how law enforcement can gather evidence in some Wisconsin drunken driving cases.
Judge throws out ex-bishop's sobriety tests
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Dane County judge has thrown out sobriety tests given to a former bishop charged in a hit-and-run crash that killed a jogger last year.
But Judge Nicholas McNamara ruled prosecutors can still use blood drawn from Bruce Burnside after the crash.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports McNamara found the officer who gave the sobriety tests to Burnside did not have a reasonable suspicion that Burnside had been drinking.
Defense attorney John Hyland says he might appeal the decision. But because Burnside's trial is scheduled to begin May 12th, Hyland didn't know whether the court would accept an appeal.
Burnside is charged in the April 7th, 2013 death of Maureen Mengelt.
Burnside is no longer employed by the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
MILWAUKEE ZOO-BABY GORILLA
Milwaukee zoo's baby gorilla had no trauma
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A baby gorilla who died before she reached a month old at the Milwaukee County Zoo didn't have any signs of trauma.
In a statement Friday, zoo officials said the necropsy, or animal autopsy, showed no bruising, hemorrhage or obvious birth defects in Kassiu (CASH'-yoo).
Zookeepers reported Kassiu and her mother appeared normal Wednesday morning. But by the afternoon, Kassiu appeared weak and stopped holding onto her mother. The zoo's medical staff examined the baby and gave her fluids, glucose and antibiotics. A neonatologist and pediatrician were also called in, but Kassiu died Wednesday evening.
Zoo officials are waiting on blood and other tests, which could take a few months.
The western lowland gorilla was born March 19th to 13-year-old mother Naku and 27-year-old father Cassius.
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