Morning Headlines - Friday, Jan. 20, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Friday, Jan. 20, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Biden On Classified Documents Probe: ‘There’s No There There’

President Biden on Thursday downplayed a classified documents probe after materials were found in his home and a former office, telling reporters there’s “nothing there” when asked if the investigation is complete.

“I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets, I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do. That’s exactly what we’re doing, there’s no there there,” Biden said.

Biden reiterated much of what the White House has said consistently this week, which was that the documents were immediately turned over to the National Archives and the Justice Department and that the president and his team are fully cooperating with the investigation.

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Five Takeaways From Supreme Court Leak Investigation

More than eight months after POLITICO published a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, the court on Thursday announced the inconclusive results of its investigation into the unprecedented disclosure.

The 20-page report prepared by Marshal Gail Curley was accompanied by a court statement sternly denouncing the leak and by a letter from former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, attesting to the thoroughness of the court’s inquiry.

The upshot of Curley’s report: While investigators homed in on several suspects, she could not determine by a preponderance of the evidence who shared the landmark opinion with POLITICO seven weeks before its official release.

Here are five takeaways on other key findings of the much-anticipated report.

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Indiana Police Kill Shooter In Walmart, 1 Person Wounded

A gunman shot at police as he weaved through the aisles of an Indiana Walmart before officers shot and killed him late Thursday, authorities said.

The gunman, who was not immediately identified, wounded at least one other person in the store, Evansville Police Department Sgt. Anna Gray told WFIE-TV. The victim was transported to an area hospital and the severity of their injuries was not immediately known. No officers were wounded, she said.

Evansville police and Vanderburgh County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of an active shooter in the store at around 10 p.m.

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Rep. George Santos Denies Ever Having Been A Drag Queen

Embattled Republican Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., said claims that he performed as a drag queen are “categorically false.” His denial comes shortly after a Brazilian drag performer shared on social media an image of herself and another person in drag, whom she identified as the newly elected congressman.

“The most recent obsession from the media claiming that I am a drag Queen or ‘performed’ as a drag Queen is categorically false,” Santos, who has been the subject of international headlines for weeks for fabricating parts of his résumé, tweeted Thursday morning. “The media continues to make outrageous claims about my life while I am working to deliver results.”

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Alec Baldwin 'Rust' Shooting Involuntary Manslaughter Charges: His 4 Biggest Missteps

Alec Baldwin made a handful of mistakes following the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins Oct. 21, 2021, according to legal and brand experts.

Baldwin will be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter by the end of January. The actor was holding the gun that fired on the set of "Rust," killing the cinematographer and injuring director Joel Souza.

Here's a look at the missteps experts say Alec Baldwin made following the fatal shooting:

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Wisconsin Headlines

Making Sense Of What A State Flat Tax On Income Means For Wisconsinites

The Republican majority in the Wisconsin Legislature is calling for a flat tax in response to an historic state budget surplus — a public affairs professor at UW-Madison explains how this approach to taxing income is implemented as policy and has worked in practice.

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River Falls Man Indicted For Forced Labor

An indictment was unsealed today in the Western District of Wisconsin charging a Wisconsin man with one count of labor trafficking.

According to the indictment, between August 2020 and Aug. 5, 2022, Austin Koeckeritz, 29, River Falls, Wisconsin, used force, threats of force and coercion, to cause an adult woman to engage in forced labor for nearly two years.

The charge of forced labor carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, up to five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin Timothy M. O’Shea and Special Agent in Charge Michael E. Hensle of the FBI Milwaukee Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI Milwaukee Field Office and the River Falls Police Department conducted the investigation. The Pierce County District Attorney’s Office provided assistance.

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Eau Claire Woman Sentenced To 5 Years For Possessing Methamphetamine For Distribution

Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Golia Xiong, 40, Eau Claire, Wisconsin was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 60 months in federal prison for possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. Xiong will receive credit for time she has served in custody since her arrest on March 30, 2022. This prison term will be followed by a 4-year term of supervised release.

On March 30, 2022, the Barron County Sheriff’s Department stopped Xiong as she arrived at a gas station near Highway 53 in New Auburn, Wisconsin to make a delivery of suspected methamphetamine. Upon searching Xiong and her vehicle, police found approximately one-quarter pound of methamphetamine in the vehicle along with drug related paraphernalia.

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Voters To Officially Decide If Wisconsin Bail Laws Change

Lawmakers on Thursday passed the final resolution needed to put voters in charge of determining whether Wisconsin changes its bail laws this spring.

In a 74-23 vote, the Assembly passed a proposed amendment to the state constitution. It would allow court commissioners to consider a defendant's past violent criminal history, as well as the seriousness of the alleged charges.

Currently, courts can only consider how likely a defendant is to flee if allowed to go free between court appearances.

Violent crime, and specifically bail, has been in the spotlight in recent years. Milwaukee has recorded a record-high number of homicides in each of the past three years.

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Dane County Man Convicted Of Sexual Assault

Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced that Kevin J. McDowell, age 39, of Madison, Wisconsin, was convicted on Friday, January 13 by a Dane County jury of Second Degree Sexual Assault by Use of Force for an assault which occurred in 2017. A sentencing hearing will be held on a future date.

This sexual assault took place in 2017. The victim went to the hospital where a sexual assault nurse examination was conducted. The defendant’s DNA from the sexual assault kit in this case hit to another sexual assault kit, which was tested as part of Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI). The jury was presented with evidence pertaining to the SAKI case as an Other Act applicable to the defendant’s motive, intent, and plan.

“This conviction was possible because of the brave survivor and dedicated investigators and prosecutors who fought for justice,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Thank you to everyone who helped bring the defendant to justice in this case.”

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Last Update: Jan 20, 2023 5:19 am CST

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