Morning Headlines - Friday, Apr. 14, 2023

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and the meme of the day.

Morning Headlines - Friday, Apr. 14, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

FBI Arrests 21-Year-Old Air Force Guardsman In Pentagon Leak Case

A member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard was arrested by the FBI on Thursday in connection with the leaking of classified documents that have been posted online, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday.

The arrest of Jack Teixeira, 21, comes following a fast-moving search by the US government for the identity of the leaker who posted classified documents to a social media platform popular with video gamers.

Teixeira was arrested in Massachusetts without incident, Garland said, and will be arraigned in federal court there. “This investigation is ongoing. We will share more information at the appropriate time,” the attorney general said, declining to answer questions.

Teixeira will first appear in court on Friday in Boston, according to the US attorney’s office there.

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DeSantis Signs Florida’s 6-Week Abortion Ban Into Law

Gov. Ron DeSantis late Thursday night signed Florida’s six-week abortion ban into law just hours after the GOP-led Legislature approved it.

The legislation will upend Florida’s status as an abortion haven in the south, cutting off access for thousands who would otherwise travel from neighboring states each year for the procedure.

DeSantis announced the signing on Facebook and Twitter at around 11 p.m. A photo accompanying the Facebook and Twitter posts shows the Republican governor signing the legislation surrounded by more than two dozen people.

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Supreme Court Allows $6 Billion Student Loan Debt Settlement

A settlement that will allow thousands of student loan debts to be canceled will go into effect after the Supreme Court on Thursday declined to block it.

The Supreme Court in a brief order rejected a request made by colleges challenging the settlement.

The case is unrelated to President Joe Biden’s broader effort to forgive student loan debt, which is also before the justices, with a ruling due in the next two months.

The class-action settlement concerns loans that borrowers claim should be canceled because they were taken out based on misrepresentations made by their schools, many of which are for-profit. The settlement could be worth more than $6 billion.

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Dianne Feinstein Faces Down Democratic Firestorm

Pressure is mounting on Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to step down as her prolonged absence from the Senate stymies Democratic business in the chamber with no clear end date.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) — closely followed by Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) — sent shockwaves from California to Washington on Wednesday when he said Feinstein should resign because the five-term senator is unable to carry out her responsibilities in her current condition. Feinstein, 89, has been absent from the Senate since early March when she was diagnosed with shingles.

In doing so, they became the first lawmakers to give voice to several years of whispered questions around the Capitol about Feinstein’s fitness to serve.

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Conservatives Plot Text Warnings On "Woke" Products

A conservative group is offering a new service that texts “Woke Alerts” straight to the phones of grocery shoppers who want to know which brands are accused of taking political positions that are offensive to the right.

The plan marks an escalation by deep-pocketed conservatives to hit corporations where it hurts — their bottom line.

  • The strategy by Consumers' Research — which isn't affiliated with Consumer Reports — also represents an attempt to coordinate potential boycotts, seizing on the outrage some consumers may feel about a brand.
  • Conservative musicians such as Kid Rock and Travis Tritt have lashed out at Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch after the brewer partnered with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender activist and popular TikToker.
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Wisconsin Headlines

US Government Sides With Northern Wisconsin Tribe In Road Access Lawsuit

The U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief supporting the tribe in a lawsuit seeking to ban the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa from barricading town roads that cross tribal land.

In their filing, attorneys for the justice department are supporting the tribe's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and say the U.S. Department of Justice is considering whether to "file a trespass action" against the Town of Lac du Flambeau.

In January, the tribe set up barricades blocking four roads used to access non-tribal properties and homes when they were unable to reach an agreement over easements that had expired more than a decade earlier. The barricades were removed by the tribe last month after the town board agreed to pay up to $60,000 to keep the roads open for 90 days amid ongoing negotiations over right of way easements. The LDF band is seeking $20 million for new road agreements, past attorneys fees and more than 10 years of trespassing violations.

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EMS Agencies Describe A System In Crisis

When you call 9-1-1, you expect an ambulance to show up – and show up soon.

But for some communities around the state – particularly rural ones – there’s growing concern that emergency medical services won’t be there to answer calls.

The problem? A staffing shortage.

“We have a crisis not unlike other industries like retail and otherwise,” said Alan DeYoung, executive director of the Wisconsin EMS Association. “But staffing for EMS means life and death – it means somebody’s not showing up to a call, an ambulance not arriving.”

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Evacuations Ordered: 3,000-Acre Wildfire Burns In Monroe County, 50% Contained

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said agencies are battling a roughly 3,000-acre wildfire in Monroe County. As of Thursday evening, 50% of the fire is contained.

The DNR said previous communications indicated the fire was in Jackson County, but mapping now shows the fire is in Monroe County near the Jackson County border.

The fire began at the north end of Fort McCoy and initially sparked voluntary evacuations Wednesday into Thursday.

As of Thursday morning, no one had been injured in the fire, but three structures were damaged and one shed was destroyed. By the evening, an additional 85 structures were deemed in danger and evacuations were ordered.

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New Drunk Driving Data Shows A National Increase In Incidents

Drunk driving deaths saw a 14% increase nationally from 2020 to 2021. That’s according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They released new 2021 figures for drunk driving deaths last week.

“In Wisconsin, at least in 2021, 199 people were killed in drunk driving crashes and it continues on,” said Frank Harris with Mother’s Against Drunk Driving.

Tina Baeten, the Clinical Director at the Jackie Nitschke Center in Green Bay, says most drunk driving arrests happen within 25 miles of the driver’s house. While there are several contributing factors, she highlights a few specific reasons.

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Man Sentenced To 16 Years In Prison For Bank Robberies, Illegal Firearm Possession

United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on April 13, 2023, United States District Court Judge Lynn Adelman sentenced Antoine L. Jackson (age 30) to 16 years in federal prison after Jackson was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to commit bank robbery, three bank robberies, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and conspiracy to retaliate against an informant.

The evidence presented at trial showed that between September 15, 2021, and December 23, 2021, the defendant was part of a robbery crew that committed multiple bank robberies in Milwaukee. The defendant was directly involved in three bank robberies, all at the Wells Fargo Bank located at 7600 West Hampton Avenue. During the robberies, the defendant and his co-actors passed notes to the bank tellers, threatening that unless they were given money, they would blow up the building or kill everyone inside the bank. Among other evidence, the government presented forensic evidence recovered from two of the crime scenes tying the defendant to the robberies.

The evidence also showed that the defendant possessed a firearm—and left his DNA on three parts of the firearm—when he was not legally allowed to possess a firearm due to having previously been convicted of a felony crime.

Finally, the evidence also showed that after the defendant was arrested on January 26, 2022, he made calls from jail in which he provided instructions to have a suspected informant seriously injured. 

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Last Update: Apr 14, 2023 6:27 am CDT

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