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ATF Under Investigation for Botched BustSubmitted: 02/02/2013
Story By Associated Press

MILWAUKEE - The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it plans to investigate a flawed sting operation in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel exposed a ten month ATF storefront operation intended to bust felons for drug and gun offenses.

The paper reports the operation was marred by missteps. The ATF operation was robbed of $35,000 in merchandise, an agent's machine gun was stolen and a document listing undercover agents was left behind.

Several key members of Congress are demanding answers.

An ATF spokesperson says the agency is reviewing the operation.

Senator Tammy Baldwin joined other congressional members from both parties and demanded accountability.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz sent a campaign-focused email detailing his support among Republicans using his Whitnall Public School email address during a school day.

The email sent in May appears to be in violation of the state law prohibiting the use of government resources for campaign work.

The email was provided to The Associated Press by the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now which received it through an open records request.

Holtz did not respond to a request for comment.

Former chief state elections administrator Kevin Kennedy says the email does break the law, but it's not likely to rise to the level of something warranting prosecution. Kennedy says it shows more of a lack of judgment than criminal act.

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OCONOMOWOC - A Wisconsin couple is charged with child neglect and suffocation after police say they gagged and "hog-tied" a 12-year-old boy with duct tape while they went out to dinner in December.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the victim's mother and stepfather, of Oconomowoc, each face misdemeanor counts of child neglect and felony counts of suffocation as parties to the crime. The woman faces an additional charge.

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RHINELANDER - The Oneida County woman accused of mistreating animals in her rescue won't go to court next week.

The Oneida County District Attorney's Office confirmed Friday morning that Stephanie Schneider's court appearance Monday has been pushed back.

Police seized 39 dogs from her "It Matters to One" animal rescue in Sugar Camp earlier this month.

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HAYWARD - Organizers of the American Birkebeiner ski race have canceled this year's event in northern Wisconsin.

A snow storm that's dumped more than 10 inches of snow in parts of Wisconsin since Thursday missed the Hayward and Cable area where the annual cross-country race is held. Officials say record high temperatures and rain recently have left the Birkie course unsafe for a race on Saturday.

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MERRILL - A school bus crashed after hitting a plow truck Friday morning.  It happened on U.S. Highway 51 near the County Highway K exit near Merrill around 11 a.m.

The State Patrol says the bus tried to pass a plow truck when it hit the plow. A Lincoln County Deputy on scene said the bus hit the plow's wing .  There were children on the bus at the time.  One child was treated for a minor injury, but troopers say everyone will be OK.

The children boarded a second bus to continue on their way.  The wrecked bus needed to be towed from the scene. The bus was labeled as a Lamers school bus. Newswatch 12 reached out to the Green Bay-based company for comment and further info, but the message was not returned.

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MERCER - Kids across northcentral Wisconsin woke up to the two best words they could hear on Friday: snow day.

Districts all over the area cancelled school because of the winter storm.

As far as we can tell, Mercer was the only school in the area to have class today.

Believe it or not, that was good news for most kids in the area.

View the attached video to see more.

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WAUSAU - Earlier this week the Trump administration withdrew protection of federal transgender bathroom rules.

Those rules protect transgender students' right to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, even if that is different than their gender assigned at birth.

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