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Latest from AP news




No contest plea in assault on unconscious girl

(Information in the following story is from: La Crosse Tribune,

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- A La Crosse man who pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting an unconscious girl could avoid jail time.

A charge of second-degree sexual assault will be dismissed in two years if 21-year-old Nathan Ackerson doesn't violate terms of a diversion agreement. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Ackerson made a brief appearance in La Crosse County Circuit Court Thursday. He and co-defendant Brady Adams are accused of assaulting a 16-year-old unconscious girl last April after a college drinking party.

The La Crosse Tribune says Adams is scheduled in court Dec. 22.


Appleton principal charged in student abuse case

(Information in the following story is from: The Post-Crescent,

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -- An Appleton elementary school principal has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly interfering with the investigation of child abuse involving a teacher.

Former special education teacher Mary Berglund was charged in March with 10 felonies for allegedly physically abusing students at Janet Berry Elementary School.

Police say 48-year-old principal Richard Waters interfered with the investigation by falsely recounting a conversation and altering a document he provided to officers.

The Post-Crescent reports he was charged with obstructing an officer Wednesday in Calumet County. The district placed Waters on administrative leave with pay.

Waters' attorney acknowledged "administrative mistakes along the way" but said Waters didn't commit a crime.

Berglund is expected to resolve her case by plea agreement Dec. 21.


Walker lights Christmas tree among protesters

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Even the annual lighting of Wisconsin's Christmas tree couldn't escape politics.

Protesters turned their backs as Gov. Scott Walker lighted the tree on Friday and one Democratic state senator complained that about the timing of the ceremony.

Sen. Bob Jauch of Poplar says Walker purposefully held the lighting in the morning because he was afraid protesters would disrupt the noontime event. A couple dozen protesters at the morning ceremony did not interrupt Walker or cause any disruptions.

About 200 people were at the lighting ceremony, but Jauch says there should be more than 1,000. He says Walker ruined a normally joyous occasion.

Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie says the lighting was done in the morning because the governor had other commitments and could not attend over the noon hour.


Wis. girls use CPR seen on TV to save mom's life

(Information in the following story is from: The Sheboygan Press,

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) -- Two girls saved a Sheboygan mother's life by using CPR the one girl learned from watching the medical drama "Grey's Anatomy."

Kandace Seyferth had a severe asthma attack and collapsed at the bottom of the stairs and was unable to breathe Nov. 25.

Her 10-year-old daughter Madisyn Kestell called 911 and then performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, while her 12-year-old friend, Katelynn Vreeke, pounded on her chest.

The Sheboygan Press reports about four minutes later fire department personnel arrived to take her to a local hospital.

Seyferth says she's very proud of her daughter. The two watch the ABC show together every week.

Fire Chief Jeff Hermann says the girls did what they were supposed to do and should be commended for their actions.


State snow-sculpting competition to be in Racine

(Information in the following story is from: The Journal Times,

RACINE, Wis. (AP) -- Some of the state's best snow sculptors will be coming to downtown Racine next month for The Big Chill, a state snow-sculpting competition.

The event will be held from Jan. 13-15 in Monument Square.

An event coordinator says 16 two-person sculpting teams will be competing for cash prizes and the state title. The winners will advance to the national competition in Lake Geneva in February 2013.

The entrants submitted design ideas last month. When the competition gets under way they'll be carving those designs from large blocks of snow, 6 feet by 6 feet by 8 feet.

A Journal Times of Racine report says visitors can vote on their favorites, and their votes will help determine the new state champion.


Wisconsin team gets $465K to help with solar power

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The federal government is giving more than $465,000 to a Wisconsin group to help people become solar power customers.

It's part of $12 million given to 22 teams across the country for the Rooftop Solar Challenge through the Department of Energy. It's to help spur solar power installation on homes and businesses in their communities.

Department of Energy spokesman, Bill Gibbons, says the team led by Wisconsin's Midwest Renewable Energy Association will try to reduce the administrative barriers that customers face when trying to navigate the solar permitting process.

According to the DOE, non-hardware costs like permitting, installation, design and maintenance account for up to 40 percent of the cost of installed rooftop systems. Many jurisdictions have their own permitting requirements, land use codes and zoning ordinances.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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