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Wisconsin roundup: Silenced machine gun, 10 pounds of pot products seized in Polk County bust; more state news stories

A silenced machine gun, nearly 10 pounds of marijuana-derived products and more than $3,000 in cash were seized last week after a western Wisconsin drug bust.

Polk County authorities said 47-year-old Turtle Lake resident Benjamin C. Chouinard was arrested April 30 in a sting where officers arrested him after he allegedly picked up more than four pounds of pot. Deputies later searched his house and found five pounds of THC edibles and two firearms, including a Mac-10 machine gun equipped with a silencer, according to a police report. Authorities also seized $3,340 in cash.

Chouinard, a convicted felon, was later charged in Polk County Circuit Court with nine felonies, including possession of a machine gun and maintaining a drug trafficking place.


Foxconn project spreads the wealth

Twenty-seven subcontractors and suppliers have won contracts worth $100 million to work on Phase 1 of the Foxconn Technology Group project.

The flat-screen manufacturing plant is being built in southeastern Wisconsin — with the first dirt moved Monday. Gov. Scott Walker joined business leaders at news conferences in three cities to announce the new deals. The Wisconsin subcontractors are part of the work being done to prepare the site in Mount Pleasant for construction. It is estimated more than 1 million cubic yards of dirt will be moved each month.


Lawmaker: Woman’s 6th OWI indicates growing problem

A 37-year-old Milwaukee woman is being held in the Dane County Jail after she was arrested for her sixth-offense operating while intoxicated charge.

Julaine Hardt was arrested by the Wisconsin State Patrol early Sunday. Republican state Rep. Jim Ott says Wisconsin laws on drunk driving are too lenient. He points out that this state is the only one that doesn't criminalize first offenses. Ott says the first step should be increasing the penalty for fifth and sixth offensive OWI convictions from six months to 18.


Stanley-Boyd students say food is trashed when bill isn’t paid

Officials at Stanley-Boyd Area Schools and students who don't pay for their lunches have differing accounts of what happens to their meals.

Students say their principal has thrown their lunch in the trash when their lunch account contains no money. Superintendent Jim Jones says that doesn't happen. Jones says students are offered an "alternative" lunch when they have no money.

A parent says she was told it happened, but only once. Parents and community members want to talk to district officials about the controversy at the next school board meeting May 28.


False report results in 6-month sentence for Wisconsin woman

A Wisconsin Rapids woman will spend six months in jail for calling in a false report of a gunman at a school Feb. 20.

Autumn Trepish was trying to divert police attention away from her friends who were shoplifting at a Walmart at the same time. Trepish entered no contest pleas to misdemeanor charges of obstructing an officer, disorderly conduct, and bail jumping. She will be on probation for two years after she gets out of jail. No students were present when the school involved was put on lockdown for 40 minutes. Classes had been canceled due to bad weather.


La Crosse man killed by train in Minn.

Minnesota authorities report a 35-year-old La Crosse man was killed when he was hit by a Canadian Pacific train early Sunday morning.

Witnesses say Sherod Maurice Frazier was about to cross the tracks when the train operator sounded his horn. They say Frazier sped up and tried to beat the train, but didn't make it. The emergency brakes were engaged, but the train wasn't able to stop in time. Frazier's companion, 39-year-old Melanie Lynn Sampson of Chaseburg, said she didn't see the impact in Winona. She was arrested for giving a false name and having an outstanding warrant in Wisconsin.


Investigators tell court about ‘worst case of child abuse’ they’ve seen

Investigators with the Green Bay Police Department told the court the death of a 15-month-old child last year is possibly "the worst case of child abuse" they've ever seen.

One police lieutenant testified the trauma leading to the girl's death was "very disturbing." The medical examiner says the child had been beaten multiple times and the injuries included fractured ribs and bite marks. Thirty-one-year-old Juan Maravilla and 30-year-old Sarah Kairys changed their stories several times while police interviewed them. They had taken the dead girl to the hospital last year in Green Bay.


Wis. teachers told ‘you just got funded’

Former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl will cover all Wisconsin project requests on the education crowd-funding site  

Nearly 580 teachers had made requests totaling $425,000. They were informed their projects were funded by a message Monday morning. This is the third straight year the wealthy philanthropist has paid for the requests from teachers which appear on that site. The 83-year-old Democrat served 24 years in the U.S. Senate.