Milwaukee OKs partial plastic straw ban
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Common Council has approved a ban on single-use plastic straws, but customers can still get them by request.
The ordinance passed Tuesday on a 13-2 vote and now goes to Mayor Tom Barrett for his signature. His office did not immediately say whether he plans to sign it.
The ordinance says that beginning April 14, restaurants and bars will be prohibited from providing plastic straws if a customer doesn’t ask for one.
Milwaukee would be joining a growing list of cities that are passing similar ordinances, including Seattle, Fort Myers, Florida, and Washington, D.C.. California and Oregon have passed statewide bans.
Hemp growing law made permanent
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers has signed into law a bipartisan bill that makes Wisconsin’s hemp-growing program permanent, while bringing it into line with new federal regulations.
Evers signed the bill Tuesday. It is designed to help the state’s popular hemp program continue to grow as it enters its second year.
The new law aligns Wisconsin’s program with new requirements under the 2018 federal Farm Bill, while also allowing Wisconsin to retain control.
Hemp and marijuana are both forms of cannabis, but hemp lacks enough of active ingredient THC to get people high.
While the hemp program has bipartisan support, Evers and Democrats have not been successful in their push to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize small amounts of pot. A bill to fully legalize recreational marijuana has also gone nowhere.
Human remains found in woods
FRIENDSHIP — State and local authorities are investigating the discovery of some human remains in rural Adams County.
A hunter found the remains in some woods near Friendship on Saturday. Law enforcement officers responded and the remains were confirmed to be human.
WSAW-TV reports that the Adams and Dane County Sheriff’s Offices and the state Division of Criminal Investigation are among agencies investigating.
More diaper-changing stations sought
MADISON — Democratic lawmakers want more diaper-changing stations in Wisconsin.
State Reps. Jonathan Brostoff and David Crowley along with State Sen. Chris Larson have introduced a bill that would require public and commercial buildings built or renovated after the bill becomes law to have diaper-changing stations in every restroom. Owners of commercial buildings with public restrooms would have to post signs identifying bathrooms with changing stations.
Brostoff says he’s a new father and he’s constantly struck by how few businesses have changing stations and how many place them only in women’s restrooms.
Aides for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald didn’t immediately respond to emails inquiring about Republican support for the proposal.
UW-Stout chancellor named
MADISON — The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents has selected UW-Stout’s next chancellor.
The regents said Tuesday they have hired Katherine Frank, the vice president of academic innovation and an English professor at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. She will replace former UW-Stout Chancellor Bob Meyer, who retired in August.
Frank will become Stout’s first female chancellor when she assumes the post on March 1. She will make $260,000 annually.
Frank beat out three other finalists for the position, including Valparaiso University Provost Mark Biermann; Pacific Northwest College of Art Interim President Christopher Grant Maples; and Potomac State College of West Virginia University Interim President Jennifer Orlikoff.
Mom sentenced for abusing children
APPLETON — A Fox Valley mother will spend decades behind bars for sexually assaulting her two young children and making explicit videos.
The 34-year-old Grand Chute woman was sentenced Monday in Outagamie County Circuit Court to 40 years in prison to be followed by 25 years of extended supervision.
WLUK-TV reported that Judge Gregory Gill told the mother her children’s “pain and suffering will go on in perpetuity” and tragically it was caused by the one who was empowered to be their caretaker.
A criminal complaint says the woman sexually assaulted her 7-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter during the course of several months and posted sexually explicit images and videos online.
The Associated Press is not naming the woman to protect the identity of the victims.
DOT land offered dismissed
MADISON — An appeals court has tossed out the state Department of Transportation’s $403,200 offer to buy land from an Appleton-area church.
The DOT began discussions with Christus Lutheran Church of Appleton in Greenville in 2016 to acquire about 6 acres of church property to expand State Highway 15. The land was appraised at about $133,000.
The congregation refused to sell. The DOT in 2017 offered $403,200. The church didn’t respond and the property transferred to the department.
The church sued, arguing the offer wasn’t based on fair market value. An Outagamie County judge sided with DOT, saying the appraisal is a supporting part of the offer and the church chose not to negotiate.
The 3rd District Court of Appeals invalidated the offer Tuesday, finding it wasn’t sufficiently based on the appraisal.