Road trip? Quarantines mess with Americans’ travel plans
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Families trying to get in a last-minute vacation before school starts better do some homework on COVID-19 restrictions before loading up the minivan. The web of state and local quarantines is growing more tangled by the day: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut ordered visitors from a whopping 34 states to quarantine for 14 days. Chicago mandates quarantines for travelers from 22 states. Others states have their own quarantine lists. Some have an option for travelers to be tested. And that’s just a sampling. The U.S. Travel Association estimates that domestic trips will drop by around a third for 2020.
Wisconsin Republicans ‘stand ready’ to kill mask requirement
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The GOP Senate leader says Wisconsin Senate Republicans “stand ready” to strike down the statewide mask mandate that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers announced on Thursday. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald stopped short Friday of promising that the Senate would vote to kill the order, which is slated to take effect on Saturday. He also did not indicate when the Senate might convene. State law gives the Legislature authority to revoke a governor’s emergency order. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Thursday he expected the order to face a legal challenge, but didn’t raise the possibility of the Legislature taking action.
BLACK TRUMP SUPPORTER-DEATH
Conservatives take up death of Black man who supported Trump
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The shooting death in broad daylight of a Black man affectionately known in his Milwaukee neighborhood as “The Ras” so far has mystified police and spurred prominent conservatives in Wisconsin to speculate he was killed because of his support for President Donald Trump. Bernell Trammell was killed outside his office on July 23. Trammell supported reelecting Trump, but also the Black Lives Matter movement, a Black Democratic candidate for mayor and other liberals. The chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party has called for a federal investigation to determine whether the killing was politically motivated.
1 dead, another wounded in Madison stabbing
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — One person has died, another has been wounded and a suspect has been arrested in a stabbing in Madison. Police say all three people are known to each other. Authorities say the stabbing happened at a home on the southwest side about 9 p.m. Thursday. Officers found the two victims in the home as well as the suspect. One of the victims died at the scene. The other was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The suspect was also taken to the hospital to be evaluated and was then arrested. The death is the third homicide in Madison this month. And, it’s the eighth this year, which is double the number of homicides in 2019.
Milwaukee woman charged in fatal shooting in Monroe County
SPARTA, Wis. (AP) — A Milwaukee woman is charged with felony murder in connection with a fatal shooting in Sparta that authorities say was drug related. Sparta Police Deputy Police Chief Booker Ferguson says 28-year-old Damara Skenandore-Medina is in custody for the June 11 death of 61-year-old Anthony Koopman. He was found with a gunshot wound early that morning in Sparta. He later died from his injuries. Investigators worked with Milwaukee police and the state Department of Justice to gather evidence and make the arrest. Ferguson said the shooting was an isolated incident related to the sale of illegal drugs. He said additional arrests are expected.
Budget hawks hatch plan to force constitutional convention
WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP activists are advancing a new legal strategy to trigger a constitutional convention aimed at enacting a federal balanced budget amendment, potentially requiring massive cuts to government spending. Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker led a workshop on the issue earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-backed group that facilitates conservative and pro-business legislation. It’s been 233 years since the last constitutional convention. Critics warned a convention could decide to take on topics beyond a balanced budget and propose other big constitutional changes, though 38 states still would have to ratify any proposed amendments.
Wisconsin governor orders masks statewide amid virus surge
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has issued a statewide mask order amid a spike in coronavirus cases in the state, setting up a conflict with Republican legislative leaders who oppose such a requirement and successfully sued earlier to kill his “safer at home” order. The Democratic governor on Thursday ordered the wearing of masks starting Saturday. The Wisconsin Supreme Court in May tossed out an order from Evers’ health secretary closing most nonessential businesses. Republicans brought that lawsuit. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he is gauging the interest of his caucus in reconvening the Legislature and voting down the order.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS-POST OFFICE
Wisconsin official outlines absentee ballot system upgrades
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin election officials and the U.S. Postal Service are working on streamlining absentee ballot delivery after a crush of complaints from voters who never received their ballots in this past spring’s election. Wisconsin Elections Commission staff said in a report to commissioners ahead of a Thursday evening meeting that they’ve added so-called intelligent bar codes to ballot envelopes that can be scanned at postal centers, verifying the ballots were mailed. The report also said that staff have upgraded the state’s election database to record online applications, saving clerks from having to enter requests manually.
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