Wisconsin Assembly GOP override vote on nurse bill fails

MADISON, Wis. — Republicans failed to override Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of a bill that would make it easier to become a nurse’s aide in Wisconsin after Democrats who previously voted for the proposal did not support the Wednesday override attempt.

The bill at issue would reduce the number of training hours needed to become a certified nursing assistant from 120 to 75, which is the minimum required by federal regulations. Supporters said lowering the state’s standards by 45 hours would help address a shortage of caregivers in the state. They also said the higher training requirement in Wisconsin makes the state less competitive with others that have a lower threshold.

Evers and fellow Democrats who opposed the bill said they objected to lowering training requirements and argued that there are better ways to address staffing shortages.

Trump’s support in Wisconsin shows little change in new poll

MADISON, Wis. — President Donald Trump’s support in Wisconsin shows little sign of change in the latest Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday, with more respondents against removing him from office than those who want to see him ousted after the House voted to impeach.

Voters are nearly evenly divided over whether Trump is doing a good job or not, the first poll of the 2020 election year showed. Trump continued to get high marks from voters in his handling of the economy, while he had lower ratings on his approach to foreign policy. The poll was conducted Jan. 8 through Sunday, just after Trump ordered an attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The poll was conducted after the Democratic-controlled House voted to impeach Trump alleging abuse of power over his pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, using military aid to the country as leverage. Trump was also charged with obstructing Congress’ ensuing probe.

When asked if the Senate should vote to convict Trump and remove him from office, 44% said he should be removed while 49% said he should be acquitted.

Voters were even more evenly divided when asked whether they approved with the Democratic-controlled House voting to impeach Trump. Approval for the impeachment vote was at 47%, while 49% disapproved.

Ex-priest gets 9-year prison sentence for child porn, meth

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — A former southern Illinois priest who pleaded guilty last year to distributing child pornography and processing methamphetamine was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison.

Gerald Hechenberger formerly pastored Holy Childhood Catholic Church in Mascoutah. He was arrested at the church in January 2018 after police received a tip from the organization Internet Crimes Against Children. Investigators seized electronic devices and found drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine and several images and videos of child pornography in the priest’s possession.

Prosecutors say none of the children depicted in the pornography were southern Illinois residents.

During his sentencing hearing, Hechenberger said he was sorry for his conduct, saying he has “never been abusive or inappropriate to anyone of any age.” He said his behavior was a result of a “perfect storm” of mental health issues, drug use, hyper-sexual thoughts and grief after the 2014 death of his father.

Judge Zina Cruse said she believed Hechenberger was sorry, but added he “exhibited a desire to see others abuse prepubescent children.”

In a statement Tuesday, Holy Childhood School reassured the public all children at the school “have been and are safe and protected.”

Gunmen rob 5 Chicago city workers setting up work zone

CHICAGO — Five employees with the Chicago Department of Transportation were robbed at gunpoint Wednesday morning while they were setting up a construction zone in the Austin neighborhood on the city’s West Side, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Two gunmen approached the workers in an alley about 8:15 a.m. and demanded their personal property, police said. After grabbing property from each of the workers, the gunmen fled on foot, police said. No one was injured.

No arrests have been made.

The Associated Press

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