Local Things You Need To Know

State home sales flat in September

1:45 p.m.

WAUKESHA — Wisconsin home sales in September were nearly identical to that of the same month a year ago, but prices were higher, according to a report released Monday by the Wisconsin Realtors Association. Existing single-family home sales were 0.2 percent behind September 2013 and median prices were ahead 3.1 percent.

Read more in Tuesday's Freeman.


Happ refutes claim she was soft on bomb builder

12:05 p.m.


MADISON (AP) — Republicans are accusing Democratic attorney general hopeful Susan Happ of letting a pipe bomb builder get off scot-free even though she stepped aside to let federal prosecutors handle the case.

Happ currently serves as the Jefferson County district attorney. On Friday the state GOP questioned why Happ's office charged Christopher Hamlin with possessing a pipe bomb in 2009 only to drop the case less than a month later. The GOP issued a statement accusing Happ of not caring about public safety.

Happ has countered she dropped the case because a federal grand jury had indicted Hamlin with possessing a destructive device. Online federal court records indicate Hamlin was indicted 16 days after Happ's office filed its charges. He was ultimately sentenced to seven years in prison.


1-time foreclosure king, son arrested in Pewaukee
12:03 p.m.

PEWAUKEE (AP) — Heavily-armed federal agents broke down the door of a Pewaukee home and arrested a man described as a one-time king of foreclosures and his adult son.

The U.S. marshals, assisted by the FBI, Waukesha County Sheriff's deputies and Pewaukee police took Todd Brunner and his 24-year-old son, Shawn, into custody at the home early Monday morning.

The two have been indicted on bankruptcy and fraud charges. Prosecutors say they hid assets from bankruptcy court and that the elder Brunner tied to hide more than $7 million in assets from lenders. A warrant was issued Friday after they failed to appear in court.



Burke, Walker pushing early voting in Wisconsin 
12:01 p.m.


MADISON (AP) — Supporters of Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke tried to capitalize on a two-week early voting period that began Monday, holding rallies and other events to get voters to the polls.

In-person absentee voting continues through Oct. 31, the Friday before the Nov. 4 election. With the race a dead heat, both sides see turnout as crucial.

Burke was in Appleton on Monday for an early voting rally, and President Barack Obama was scheduled to campaign for her next week in Milwaukee.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin was holding its own early vote rallies Monday in Green Bay, Sheboygan and Waukesha with Republican National Committee co-chair Sharon Day and a host of local office holders, including Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy.



US agency warns car owners to get air bags fixed
11:59 a.m.


DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are warning owners of more than 4.7 million vehicles that have been recalled for air bag problems to get them repaired immediately.

The warning issued Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers vehicles from multiple manufacturers that date to 2002.

Inflators can rupture in air bags made by Takata Corp., causing metal fragments to fly out when the bags are inflated in crashes. So far, automakers have recalled about 12 million vehicles worldwide because of the problem.

Safety advocates estimate that more than 20 million cars have the faulty inflators in the U.S. alone. They say at least four people have died from the problem.

The inflators have led to multiple recalls from Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, BMW and Mitsubishi.



Officials say 120 people remain on Ebola monitoring list
11:57 a.m.


DALLAS (MCT) — Officials in Texas celebrated the end of Ebola monitoring for 43 people Monday, but said 120 others in North Texas are still being watched for signs of the deadly virus.

Monitoring will continue until the “magic date” of Nov. 7, Mayor Mike Rawlings said during a morning press conference.

“Today is a milestone day — a hurdle we needed to clear,” Rawlings said. But “there are other hurdles we need to jump.”

The people being released from monitoring are mostly contacts of Dallas’ first patient, Thomas Eric Duncan. The people who remain are health care workers who treated Duncan or treated the two nurses who contracted the virus from him.


San Francisco radio stations ban hit song 'Royals'
11:55 a.m.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The popular song "Royals" by New Zealand artist Lorde is getting caught up in the fervor over the upcoming World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals.

Two San Francisco radio stations say they won't play the song during the duration of the World Series.

KFOG and KOIT announced the bans last week as the Giants clinched the pennant and headed to the series. KOIT program director Brian Figula said in a statement that listeners called for the ban.

Jim Richards, KFOG's program director, said they didn't want to play a song that repeatedly says "Royals" while rooting for the hometown team.

Lorde has told VH1 that a photo of Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer George Brett signing autographs in his uniform helped inspire her song when she saw the word "Royals."


New Schoenknecht installment coming up in The Freeman
4:59 p.m.

WAUKESHA — Marvin Edwin "Bob" Nevins and associates forged a foundry in Whitewater after World War II, and moved it to Waukesha in 1947, where the new home led to a new name: Wisconsin Centrifugal. Within a few years, the company was working with Boeing, building components that ended up in planes carrying atomic bombs and in the nation’s space shuttles. You want heavy metal? Historian John Schoenknecht pours it on hot and heavy, starting in Tuesday’s Freeman.