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News 02.09.18

9 February 2018 News


A man claiming to be an ISIS member who threatened to kill Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney will spend additional time behind bars. Dodge County Judge Brian Pfitzinger sentenced 29 year old James Luke, to two years in prison and an additional two years of extended supervision. Luke is currently incarcerated on an unrelated charge. Wednesday’s sentence was imposed consecutively, which delays Luke’s potential release date into 2038. Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg says Luke wrote Toney from Waupun Correctional Institution in March, 2016, saying in part: “I am going to personally decapitate you and mail your head in a box to the local news.” The threats were in retaliation for Toney’s prosecution of an unrelated homicide case. Luke claimed to be acting on behalf of the terrorist group ISIS. No actual connection to the terrorist group is believed to exist.

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Oshkosh Corp. says it has been awarded an Army contract worth $476 million to build the next generation of medium tactical vehicles. A statement from the company says there’s no cap on the number of vehicles the Army may purchase. Oshkosh says it will build 16 models along with trailers capable of handling up to 10 tons. The vehicles will be used to support combat missions, in relief efforts and logistics and supply operations.

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A proposal to give Wisconsin’s most rural schools nearly $7 million more and allow low-spending districts to raise property taxes without a vote clears a key legislative hurdle. The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to pass the bill that’s backed by Gov. Scott Walker. The measure would increase the maximum that qualifying low-spending districts can spend on a combination of local property taxes and state aid per student from $9,100 to $9,400 for the 2018-2019 school year. The state Department of Public Instruction says 123 districts would qualify next year and 200 would qualify over the next six years. It would also increase by $6.5 million the amount of sparsity aid available to 144 qualifying schools that have 745 or fewer students and membership density of less than 10 students per square mile.

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A University of Wisconsin System regents committee approves increasing nonresident and graduate tuition at three schools next year. The regents’ finance committee approved the increases Thursday, setting up a full board vote Friday. Nonresident undergraduate tuition at UW-Eau Claire would increase by $355 to $15,636. Nonresident undergraduate tuition for the materials science and engineering program would increase $391. Nonresident graduate tuition would increase $430. Nonresident graduate tuition in UW-Milwaukee’s business school would increase $539. Nonresident graduate tuition at UW-Stout would increase $296. Nonresident graduate students who pay Minnesota tuition rates under Wisconsin’s reciprocity agreement would pay $157 more. Nonresident grad students under the Midwest Student Exchange Program, in which schools agree to charge students no more than 150 percent of in-state rates, would pay $166 more.

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