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Wisconsin’s largest teachers unions call for online school

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Teachers unions for Wisconsin’s five largest school districts are asking Gov. Tony Evers and the state’s top health and education officials  to keep schools closed at the start of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The letter sent Monday was signed by union leaders for teachers in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine. It was sent to Evers, Department of Public Instruction Secretary Carolyn Stanford Taylor and Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm. The Milwaukee and Madison districts have already announced that they plan to start the school year with online instruction only and will reassess later. 


Board OKs restoring Capitol statues, launching money drive

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The board that approves repairs at the state Capitol has approved restoring two statues that protesters ripped down by spring. The state Capitol and Executive Residence Board voted unanimously Monday to repair statues of Col. Hans Christian Heg and a woman embodying the state’s Forward motto and reinstall them. State Department of Administration officials said Monday they are still putting together a cost estimate. The board also voted unanimously to approve the Wisconsin Historical Society’s plan to spearhead a fundraising effort for the restoration. Demonstrators tore the statues down June 23 during a protest against police racism. 


Wisconsin governor’s assistant dies in tubing accident

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers says his personal assistant died in a tubing accident on the Sugar River in southern Wisconsin. Twenty-five-year-old Ben Belzer had worked as Evers’ personal assistant since February 2019. Evers says Monday it is “unimaginable that he’s gone.” Evers says that he, his wife, Kathy, and everyone on his team was “stunned” by the death. Evers says Belzer was “incomparable,” “remarkably talented” and “thoughtful and mature beyond his years.” The Green County Sheriff’s Department said it and other nearby fire and police agencies responded to reports at 3:20 p.m. Saturday of a man tubing on the river who went under water and did not resurface. The body was located in the water.


Engine maker Briggs & Stratton files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (AP) — Briggs & Stratton Corp., billed as the world’s largest manufacturer of small gas engines, has filed for bankruptcy protection citing challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Milwaukee-area company says Monday that as part of the Chapter 11 filing it has secured secured debtor-in-possession financing of $677.5 million from KPS Capital Partners LP, the private equity firm purchasing its assets, and its existing lenders. It says that will allow it to continue operating ahead of closing the deal. The company was founded in Milwaukee in 1908 by Stephen Foster Briggs and Harold M. Stratton. Its engines are used in lawnmowers, pressure washers, electrical generators and other products.


5-year-old dies in accident at Calumet County racetrack

TOWN OF CHILTON, Wis. (AP) — A 5-year-old has died in an accident at a racetrack in Calumet County. Sheriff’s officials say the boy died Sunday afternoon when he fell off a youth motorcycle at Gravity Park Speedway in the Town of Chilton and was struck by an 18-year-old man operating an all-terrain vehicle. The death remains under investigation. Names have not been released. 


Weekend tornadoes rip up trees, damage boats, outbuildings

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The National Weather Service says five tornadoes toppled trees and tore up lake docks in Minnesota and Wisconsin during the weekend. In Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, the weather service says a tornado touched down a few miles southwest of Osseo early Sunday. The tornado with peak winds of 105 mph brought down trees and damaged outbuildings and crops. The weather service confirmed a tornado struck about 50 miles north of the Twin Cities early Saturday and mangled docks and damaged boats on West Rush Lake. Another tornado traveled from Woodbury to Afton Saturday, one also hit northwest Isanti County near Ogilvie, and another struck near Hastings and ended near River Falls, Wisconsin. There were no reports of injuries. 

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