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Prosecutors say a 16-year-old boy has admitted fatally shooting his newborn daughter and leaving her body inside a fallen tree in the woods in southern Wisconsin

ByThe Associated Press

January 15, 2021, 2:47 PM
• 2 min read

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MONROE, Wis. — A 16-year-old boy has admitted fatally shooting his newborn daughter and leaving her body inside a fallen tree in the woods in southern Wisconsin, according to prosecutors.
Logan Kruckenburg-Anderson, of Albany, is charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. He’s being held on $1 million bail following a hearing this week in Green County Circuit Court in Monroe.

His public defender did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
According to a criminal complaint, the teen took the infant shortly after she was born Jan. 5 to a wooded area in Albany, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southwest of Milwaukee, placed her inside a fallen tree and shot her twice in the head.
The complaint says Kruckenburg-Anderson’s girlfriend gave birth to the child, whom she named Harper, in a bathtub at her home in Albany.
Prosecutors said the couple decided they could not keep the baby and talked about several options, including dropping her off at a local fire station or placing her up for adoption, the State Journal reported.
They agreed that Kruckenberg-Anderson would get rid of the infant simply by dropping her somewhere, according to authorities. Several days later the girlfriend’s father called police to report that Kruckenberg-Anderson had taken the child and the baby had not been seen since.
Kruckenberg-Anderson was arrested Sunday after telling investigators where he left the child. A preliminary hearing will be held on Jan. 20.

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog says it will investigate how the department and its agencies prepared for and responded to last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol

By MICHAEL BALSAMO and ERIC TUCKER Associated Press

January 15, 2021, 2:52 PM
• 1 min read

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WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s internal watchdog said Friday it will investigate how the department and its agencies prepared for and responded to last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The investigation by the inspector general’s office will examine whether information was shared by the Justice Department to other law enforcement agencies about the potential for violence.

The inspector general said it “also will assess whether there are any weaknesses in DOJ protocols, policies, or procedures that adversely affected the ability of DOJ or its components to prepare effectively for and respond to the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.”

GOGEBIC / IRON COUNTY –The Michigan Department of Health is reported 760 cases of COVID19 in Gogebic County an increase of 3 since yesterday.  Ontonagon County with 286 cases this morning an increase of 1 since yesterday. The Wisconsin Department of Health reports 440 cases in Iron County an increase of 3 since yesterday. Health […]

HURLEY – A snowmobile accident is under investigation after a man from Ixonia, Wisconsin died Wednesday evening. Hurley Police Department and the Iron County Sheriffs Department responded to a snowmobile accident on Trail 77 in the city of Hurley and found the body of the 36 year operator, who was pronounced dead at the scene. […]

IRONWOOD – The Gogebic-Iron County Airport Board is investigating reports of passengers not being able to carry on skis on local flights. The question of skis was part of the interview process with Boutique Air and other airline applicants during the Essential Airline Service interviews in 2019. Boutique Air is working with the TSA to […]

BESSEMER – Residents of the city of Bessemer will be asked to complete an in-depth survey in the next couple of months. The survey asks questions as to where and what the city should accomplish in the next five years to help the council formulate the city’s master plan.  City manager Charly Loper says she […]

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The last federal inmate facing execution before President Donald Trump leaves office was sentenced to death for the killings of three women in a Maryland wildlife refuge, a crime that led to a life sentence for the man who fired the fatal shots.Dustin Higgs, 48, who is scheduled to be executed on Friday at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, says nobody alleges he pulled the trigger. His lawyers have argued it is “arbitrary and inequitable” to execute Higgs while Willis Haynes, the man who fatally shot the women in 1996, was spared a death sentence.

The federal judge who presided over Higgs’ trial two decades ago says he “merits little compassion.”
“He received a fair trial and was convicted and sentenced to death by a unanimous jury for a despicable crime,” U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte wrote in a Dec. 29 ruling.
Defense attorneys won temporary stays of execution this week for Higgs and another inmate, Corey Johnson, after arguing that their recent COVID-19 infections put them at greater risk of unnecessary suffering during the lethal injections. But higher courts overruled those decisions, allowing the executions to go forward, and Johnson was executed Thursday night.
Shawn Nolan, one of Higgs’ attorneys, sees a clear political agenda in the unprecedented string of federal executions at the end of Trump’s presidency. Higgs is scheduled to be executed five days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. A spokesman for Biden has said the Democrat is against the death penalty and will work to end its use.
“In the midst of the pandemic and everything that’s going on right now in the country, it seems just insane to move forward with these executions,” Nolan said recently. “And particularly for Dustin, who didn’t shoot anybody. He didn’t kill anybody.”
Higgs’ Dec. 19 petition for clemency says he has been a model prisoner and dedicated father to a son born shortly after his arrest. Higgs had a traumatic childhood and lost his mother to cancer when he was 10, the petition says.

“Mr. Higgs’s difficult upbringing was not meaningfully presented to the jury at trial,” his attorneys wrote.
In October 2000, a federal jury in Maryland convicted Higgs of first-degree murder and kidnapping in the killings of Tamika Black, 19; Mishann Chinn. 23; and Tanji Jackson, 21. His death sentence was the first imposed in the modern era of the federal system in Maryland, which abolished the death penalty in 2013.
Higgs was 23 on the evening of Jan. 26, 1996, when he, Haynes and a third man, Victor Gloria, picked up the three women in Washington, D.C., and drove them to Higgs’ apartment in Laurel, Maryland, to drink alcohol and listen to music. Before dawn the next morning, an argument between Higgs and Jackson prompted her to grab a knife in the kitchen before Haynes persuaded her to drop it.
Gloria said Jackson made threats as she left the apartment with the other women and appeared to write down the license plate number of Higgs’ van, angering him. The three men chased after the women in Higgs’ van. Haynes persuaded them to get into the vehicle.
Instead of taking them home, Higgs drove them to a secluded spot in the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge, federal land in Laurel.
“Aware at that point that something was amiss, one of the women asked if they were going to have to ‘walk from here’ and Higgs responded ‘something like that,’” said an appeals court ruling upholding Higgs’s death sentence.
Higgs handed his pistol to Haynes, who shot all three women outside the van before the men left, Gloria testified.
“Gloria turned to ask Higgs what he was doing, but saw Higgs holding the steering wheel and watching the shootings from the rearview mirror,” said the 2013 ruling by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Investigators found Jackson’s day planner at the scene of the killings. It contained Higgs’s nickname, “Bones,” his telephone number, his address number and the tag number for his van.
The jurors who convicted Haynes failed to reach a unanimous verdict on whether to impose a death sentence. A different jury convicted Higgs and returned a death sentence after a separate trial. Gloria pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to the murders and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Higgs has argued that his death sentence must be thrown out because jurors failed to consider it as a “mitigating factor” that Haynes was convicted of identical charges but sentenced to life in prison. The appeals court concluded that rational jurors could find that Higgs had the dominant role in the murders even though Haynes indisputably was the triggerman.
In their clemency petition, Higgs’ lawyers said Gloria received a “substantial deal” in exchange for his cooperation
“Moreover,” they wrote, “significant questions remain as to whether Mr. Gloria received the additional undisclosed benefit of having an unrelated state murder investigation against him dropped at the urging of federal officers to protect his credibility as the star witness. A federal death verdict should not rest on such a flimsy basis.”
Chinn worked with the children’s choir at a church, Jackson worked in the office at a high school and Black was a teacher’s aide at National Presbyterian School in Washington, according to the Washington Post.
On the day in 2001 when the judge formally sentenced Higgs to death, Black’s mother, Joyce Gaston, said it brought her little solace, the Post reported.
“It’s not going to ever be right in my mind,” Gaston said, “That was my daughter. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it.”

HURLEY — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation issued its first quarterly transportation aid payment of the year earlier this month, with municipalities around Wisconsin receiving a combined $126 million — including more than $470,000 to Iron County and its cities and towns.  The payments represent part of the cooperative work with local governments across the […]

MADISON – This weekend is the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Winter Free Fishing Weekend. All this weekend residents can enjoy winter fishing without a license or trout stamp. Anglers are advised to review trout regulations and 2020-2021 Hook and Line regulations for more information. All other fishing regulations apply.

The U.S. Forest Service is set to release an environmental impact statement that would pave the way to create one of the largest copper mines in the United States

By FELICIA FONSECA and ANITA SNOW Associated Press

January 15, 2021, 1:58 PM
• 4 min read

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The U.S. Forest Service is scheduled to release an environmental review that will pave the way to create one of the largest copper mines in the U.S., against the wishes of a group of Apaches who have been trying for years to stop the project.
The expected Friday publication of the document will start a 60-day clock for a tract of land in the Tonto National Forest east of Phoenix to be turned over to international mining giant Rio Tinto and its subsidiary, Resolution Copper.

A judge late Thursday denied a request from Apache Stronghold, a group led by former San Carlos Apache Chairman Wendsler Nosie Sr., to halt the publication until the larger question over who legally owns the land is settled.
U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan in Phoenix said he recognizes “the anxiety that having one’s sacred land taken from them and used for purposes that run counter to their spiritual beliefs, might cause.”
But Logan said the Forest Service and other defendants also have a right to respond to the allegations, and he saw no proof they had been served. He set a Jan. 27 hearing.
Environmentalists contend the Forest Service is being pressured to push the review over the finish line before Donald Trump leaves office, complicating efforts to stop the project.
The Forest Service said that’s not true, while the mining company contends the publication already is delayed by months.
The mountainous land near Superior, Arizona, is known as Oak Flat or Chi’chil Bildagoteel. It’s where Apaches have harvested medicinal plants, held coming-of-age ceremonies and gathered acorns for generations.

An area where dozens of warriors leapt to their deaths from a ridge adjacent to the proposed copper mine, rather than surrender to U.S. forces during westward expansion, is protected as a special management area.
Nosie’s group alleged violations of religious freedom and constitutional rights in the federal lawsuit filed this week. It also contends the Forest Service legally can’t transfer the land because it belongs to Apaches under an 1852 treaty.
Nosie said he’s hopeful the court or politicians will take action to preserve the area as it is.
“I think with a new Congress, new administration, they will be able to take a new look at it based on the Constitution, our religion and based on the consequences of having this mine that’s looking to devastate and destroy this area forever,” Nosie told The Associated Press this week.
The land swap was approved in December 2014, tucked into a must-pass defense bill. The late Republican Sen. John McCain, a major recipient of Rio Tinto campaign contributions, backed it. Before that, stand-alone bills never gained Congress’ approval.
Resolution Copper is set to receive 3.75 square miles (9.71 square kilometers) of Forest Service land in exchange for eight parcels the company owns elsewhere in Arizona.
U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, both Democrats, tried unsuccessfully to reverse the land swap. Grijalva said this week that it remains one of his top priorities.
Resolution Copper said it has spent about $2 billion so far to gain access to the mine and conduct studies. More time and money will go into securing permits and constructing the mine, which wouldn’t begin operating for at least 15 years.
The company said it has committed to spending $100 million for cultural heritage and recreation projects, among other things, to help ease the impacts of mining. It has tweaked its plans after receiving input from other tribes, some of whom have members who were hired to help inform archaeological surveys.
The Oak Flat Campground would remain open to the public until it’s no longer safe for people to go there. Eventually, the mine would swallow it.
The project proposal calls for the use of block caving, a method Resolution Copper maintains is safe and environmentally sound, to extract the remaining ore from depths as much as 7,000 feet below ground level.
Through this method, ore is selectively mined in a controlled way as the ground underneath it collapses under its own weight.
Resolution Copper has said the mine could have a $61 billion economic impact over the project’s 60 years and create 1,500 jobs — points that supporters repeatedly have stressed.
Environmentalists are concerned about the toxic waste that would be dumped on nearby wildlands, and the potential for groundwater contamination.
Rio Tinto was criticized last year for blasting through 46,000-year-old aboriginal rock shelters in Australia’s Juukan Gorge. The company’s CEO and two other top executives were fired.