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Arizona advances to play Badgers

Second-seeded Arizona defeated sixth-seeded Xavier, 68-60, in an NCAA Tournament West Regional semifinal Thursday night and will play Wisconsin in the regional final at 5:09 p.m. Saturday.



Board dismisses ethics complaint against Twin Lakes chief

The Twin Lakes Ethics Board tonight dismissed a complaint against Police Chief Dale Racer.

Kevin Mathewson, a former Kenosha alderman, filed the complaint, regarding actions Racer allegedly took during Mathewson's bid for hire as a part-time police dispatcher. The board found the alleged conduct did not violate the village code of ethics.

For more on this story, check kenoshanews.com and see Friday's Kenosha News.


Bucks beat Pacers

The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Indiana Pacers 111-107 on Thursday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. For more, pick up Friday's edition of the Kenosha News or visit kenoshanews.com.



Badgers outlast Tar Heels

The top-seeded Wisconsin men's basketball team survived a scare from fourth-seeded North Carolina to prevail, 79-72, in a West Region semifinal on Thursday night in Los Angeles. The Badgers advance to Saturday's regional final.



Charges dismissed in horse abuse case

Prosecutors on Thursday dismissed charges against David and Paula White, due to their deaths last week before a verdict was reached.

The couple was on trial for fatally starving horses and providing inadequate shelter to other animals at their Pleasant Prairie farm. Their bodies were found inside their burned-out farmhouse as jurors deliberated in their criminal trial.

Read more later today at www.kenoshanews.com or in Friday's Kenosha News.


Bowls and Books reports fundraising totals, winners

Wednesday's Bowls and Books event raised about $7,500 to support renovation efforts at the Rhode Center for the Arts, an organizer said today.

The Daily Dose and TG's were the respective first-place finishers lunchtime and dinnertime votes for best soup.

For more on this story, check later at kenoshanews.com and see Friday's Kenosha News.


NCAA concerned with Indiana religious objections bill

NCAA President Mark Emmert says the association is concerned about an Indiana law that could allow businesses to discriminate against gay people.

Emmert says the NCAA is watching to see if it could affect student-athletes and employees.

The NCAA is located in Indianapolis and the men's basketball tournament's Final Four will be held there next week.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday signed into law a bill that would prohibit state and local laws that "substantially burden" the ability of people - including businesses and associations - to follow their religious beliefs.

Emmert released a statement saying the NCAA "will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending the Final Four are not impacted negatively by this bill."




VA seeks to cut narcotics use

Department of Veterans Affairs officials are trying to put solutions in place to limit narcotic overprescribing practices in VA hospitals, they said Thursday, but lapses still happen.

At a U.S. Senate hearing in Washington, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., called the VA system of prescribing narcotics "abysmally inaccurate" and prodded VA officials on how they would fix programs used to monitor such prescriptions.

Interim VA Undersecretary for Health Carolyn Clancy said the agency is launching computer programs aimed at tracking opioid prescriptions across the VA system, but that software in 29 states doesn't work with similar state-run programs.



LOCAL BASEBALL: UWP series moved to Simmons Field

The UW-Parkside baseball team's weekend series against Bellarmine University has been relocated from Oberbruner Field to Simmons Field due to field conditions.

The teams will play Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheaders at noon Saturday and Sunday.



Soda consumption declines in '14

Americans bought less soda for the tenth straight year in 2014, with diet sodas shrinking more than their sugary counterparts, according to a report released Thursday.

An annual report by the industry tracker Beverage Digest found that overall soda volume slipped 0.9 percent last year, moderating from the decline of 3 percent the previous year. And the poor performance of diet sodas in particular led to a shake-up in the top 10 U.S. soda rankings; even though people bought less Pepsi, it managed to regain the No. 2 spot from Diet Coke, which suffered an even steeper decline. Diet Coke had knocked Pepsi off the No. 2 spot in 2010.

Coke remained by far the most popular soda in the U.S., selling nearly twice as much as No. 2 Pepsi.


Test: Madison officer sober at time of shooting

A white Madison Police officer who killed an unarmed biracial man earlier this month was sober after the shooting, according blood test results that the police union released Thursday.

The test shows that Officer Matt Kenny had no alcohol or drugs in his system when his blood was drawn about two hours after the March 6 shooting, according to results released by the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. The testing was conducted by Indiana-based AIT Laboratories.

Kenny shot 19-year-old Tony Robinson in an apartment house near the state Capitol on March 6. The officer was responding to calls that Robinson had attacked two people and was running in and out of traffic. Police said Kenny entered the apartment house after hearing a disturbance inside and that Robinson attacked him.



Sixth season of 'Downton Abbey' will be its last

NEW YORK (AP) - The producers of "Downton Abbey" say the upcoming sixth season of this popular drama will be its last.

Executive producer Gareth Neame said its creators "wanted to close the door of ‘Downton Abbey' when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together," and promised "a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue."

The Emmy Award-winning show follows the fates of the aristocratic Crawley clan and their servants amid the social upheavals of the 1910s and 1920s.



Jesse Jackson Jr. released from prison

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was released from an Alabama federal prison early Thursday, two years after pleading guilty to spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal items, his father said.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson described his son's release from the minimum security federal prison camp at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., as a "joyous reunion" and said the younger Jackson was doing "very well."



Panel co-chair: Walker proposal on SeniorCare is dead

The Republican co-chair of the Legislature's budget committee says Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to require enrollees in the popular SeniorCare prescription drug program to first sign up for Medicare Part D coverage is dead.

Rep. John Nygren tells The Associated Press on Thursday that there is not support for the idea among Republicans in the Legislature. Nygren says the issue has also been a top priority for many who have spoken out against it at public hearings on the budget being held across the state. The Legislature, under bipartisan opposition, killed a similar proposal from Walker in 2011. SeniorCare serves about 85,000 people.



Tomah VA at center of Senate hearing

A VA medical center in Tomah accused of rampantly overprescribing painkillers is the focus of a U.S. Senate hearing at which several Department of Veterans Affairs officials are testifying.

At Thursday's hearing in Washington, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said the current VA system of prescribing narcotics is "abysmally inaccurate" and is not limited to the Tomah facility.

Interim VA Undersecretary for Health Carolyn Clancy says she is deeply concerned about allegations of overprescribing practices and retaliatory behavior at the center in Wisconsin, where investigations are ongoing. She said if employee misconduct is found, those responsible will be held accountable.



Watch the morning Kenosha News Minute

WWatch this morning's Kenosha News Minute video roundup sponsored by Festival Foods. Our top story is a proposed state budget provision that would require localities to foot more of the bill for curbs and gutters on highway projects.


KN MINUTE


35 Wis. counties losing population

New census figures show the population dropping in nearly half of Wisconsin's 72 counties.

The population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau show 35 counties lost people from 2013 to 2014. Manitowoc County lost 463 people during that time, the largest decline among counties. Next was Wood County with a decline of 336 people and then Adams which lost 289.

Overall, the population in 37 counties grew slightly. Dane County had the widest margin of growth, gaining about 6,200 people.



Fewer seek U.S. unemployment benefits

Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that strong hiring should continue despite signs of slower economic growth at the start of 2015.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for jobless aid fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000. The decrease suggests that a recent slowdown in manufacturing, housing starts and retail sales have not trickled into the job market, a possible indication that economic growth will rebound after a harsh winter.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, tumbled 7,750 to 297,000. Over the past 12 months, the average has dipped roughly 7 percent.


Prosecutor: Co-pilot 'intentionally' crashed plane

The co-pilot of a Germanwings flight that slammed into an Alpine mountainside "intentionally" sent the plane into its doomed descent, a French prosecutor said Thursday.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said the commander left the cockpit, presumably to go to the lavatory, and then was unable to regain access. In the meantime, he said, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz manually and "intentionally" set the plane on the descent that drove it into the mountainside in the southern French Alps.

It was the co-pilot's "intention to destroy this plane," Robin said.


Milwaukee man killed in hit and run

Authorities are seeking the public's help in identifying the driver of a blue minivan involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash in Milwaukee.

Police say a 61-year-old Milwaukee man was walking along a street on the city's northwest side about 5:40 a.m. Wednesday when he was struck by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say the vehicle, an older model blue minivan, stopped for a brief time after striking the pedestrian, and then fled the scene. Anyone with information regarding the fatal crash is asked to call the Milwaukee Police Department.


Breezy with rain, snow showers

Weather today: Breezy with rain and snow showers; high 42; low 18. See today's Kenosha News for more details.

Visit this website regularly for up-to-the-minute weather data. You can also sign up for News Now weather alerts.



Minor quake northwest of Chicago

The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting a minor earthquake occurred northwest of Chicago

The federal agency reports the tremor, which occurred shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday, was centered near Lake in the Hills and measured 2.9 on the Richter scale.

The USGS reports residents in Crystal Lake, Huntley, Woodstock and Elgin felt the quake. Authorities are saying so far, no injuries or damage has been reported.


2 boys in stolen car killed in Milwaukee crash

Milwaukee police say two boys in a speeding stolen car were killed when the driver ran a stop sign and collided with another car.

The crash happened about 3:30 p.m. on Milwaukee's west wide.

Police Chief Ed Flynn says two other teens in the stolen car suffered non-life-threatening injuries. A 47-year-old man driving the other car was treated at a hospital and released.


Budget proposal would force local payment for state highway projects

A proposed change to the state Department of Transportation budget would require local governments to foot more of the bill for things like curbs and gutters when a state highway project comes through town.

For more, check www.kenoshanews.com or see Thursday's newspaper.



A day for the Knights

Lincoln Middle School on Wednesday became the epicenter of goodwill in the face of bullying once again.

Desiree Andrews, her cheerleading squad and the Lincoln Knights basketball team now known for stepping in to stop bullies from the stands were celebrated at the school, fresh off national media appearances.

For more, check www.kenoshanews.com or see Thursday's newspaper.


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