MILWAUKEE - The state's largest police union has dropped its challenge to Gov. Scott Walker's public union restrictions, ending the last legal fight over the contentious prohibitions.
The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association filed a lawsuit in 2012 alleging the restrictions violated its right to free speech, association and equal protection. A Dane County judge dismissed the case last year, saying the law doesn't take anything away from workers to which they're constitutionally entitled.
The WLEA appealed but the odds were stacked against a reversal. The prohibitions have survived three other court challenges and last week the state Supreme Court upheld them in a fourth case that raised similar issues as WLEA's lawsuit.
Court records show the WLEA dropped its appeal on Friday.
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Police Department identified the man who died after a house fire on Friday night as 35-year-old Jeffery J. Becker.
Rhinelander Fire Chief Terry Williams told Newswatch 12 on Monday afternoon that an autopsy indicates Becker died from smoke inhalation, but the autopsy results and further investigation is now in the hands of the state Department of Criminal Investigations.
Crews responded to the house at 320 Rose Street, near Hodag Park, around 7:30 p.m. Friday. Firefighters went inside the house soon after they arrived and found Becker unresponsive on the floor. Firefighters and paramedics tried to revive Becker, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
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