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wisconsin attorney general reveals opioid investigation


madison, wis. — republican attorney general brad schimel has taken the unusual step of revealing the state department of justice is investigating opioid manufacturers to see what role they may have played in creating addicts, a day after senate democrats pushed him to exact compensation from the companies.schimel has been on the forefront of wisconsin republicans' efforts to stem opioid addiction but he has signaled that he's reluctant to go after drug makers in the past. word of the investigation could indicate a more aggressive stance toward the companies as he heads into an election year in 2018.schimel said thursday he and a group of attorneys general from around the country have been investigating whether drug makers have illegally marketed and sold opioids. he said the investigation






the latest: democrat kaul responds to schimel's attacks


wisconsin dells, wis. — the latest on wisconsin republican party convention (all times local):12:30 p.m.democratic attorney general candidate josh kaul says republican attorney general brad schimel should call for a special investigation into russia's role in last year's election.kaul reiterated the call saturday after schimel criticized kaul in comments at the wisconsin republican party convention. schimel attacked kaul for being lead attorney in a federal lawsuit challenging the state's voter identification law. he also noted that kaul had worked for democrat hillary clinton's campaign in wisconsin during a recount of the election results.kaul says wisconsin needs to hear why schimel won't join with other attorneys general in calling for a special prosecutor.kaul is challenging schimel i






state attorneys general probe opioid drug companies


a bipartisan group of state attorneys general announced on thursday that they are jointly investigating the marketing and sales practices of drug companies that manufacture opioid painkillers at the center of a national addiction epidemic.attorneys general from states including massachusetts, texas, illinois and pennsylvania announced the investigation two weeks after ohio attorney general mike dewine sued five drug manufacturers for misrepresenting the risks of opioids.“we are looking into what role, if any, marketing and related practices might have played in the increasing prescription and use of these powerful and addictive drugs,” district of columbia attorney general karl racine, a democrat, said in a statement.it was unclear exactly how many states are involved in the probe, though






the latest: kleefisch highlights fight against drug abuse


wisconsin dells, wis. — the latest on wisconsin republican party convention (all times local):10:40 a.m.wisconsin lt. gov. rebecca kleefisch and attorney general brad schimel are both highlighting efforts to fight opioid addiction and drug abuse.kleefisch and schimel both focused on the issue in their speeches at the state republican party convention saturday. schimel is up for re-election next year and kleefisch is expected to remain as gov. scott walker's running mate in his re-election bid.kleefisch calls for republicans to "protect the most vulnerable and most marginalized." she says the republican party is "the party of the little guy. that's what the republican party has always been about."kleefisch also touted republican opposition to abortion, support for gun rights and called for






wisconsin, minnesota ags team up to take on painkiller abuse


st. paul, minn. — minnesota and wisconsin are teaming up to tackle prescription painkiller abuse.the attorneys general from both states met at the minnesota capitol monday to discuss their "dose of reality" campaign. minnesota attorney general lori swanson says prescription opioid deaths now outpace heroin overdoses nationwide.their campaign includes a startling public service announcement featuring a mother who can't wake her son who has an open pill bottle nearby. both officials are asking movie theaters, tv stations and more to air the video. each state's website has an interactive map so residents can find locations to safely dispose unused medication.the campaign is new to minnesota. wisconsin launched its own program in september 2015.






can legal marijuana solve the opioid crisis?


u.s. attorney general jeff sessions recently said he was “astonished” by claims that legal marijuana could solve the opioid crisis devastating the nation. however, a new study firmly linked legalized weed to decreased opioid abuse and overdoses. after analyzing hospitalization records from 1997 to 2014 in 27 states, nine of which legalized medical marijuana within that…






the latest: lawmaker urges panel to pass opioid bills


madison, wis. — the latest on anti-opioid bills moving through the wisconsin legislature (all times local):10:40 a.m.a wisconsin legislator is trying to convince the assembly's criminal justice committee to sign off on a trio of bills designed to slow opioid addiction.rep. john nygren's bills would allow school employees to administer overdose antidotes, pump another $2.4 million into treatment and diversion programs and lay out $840,000 over the next two years to hire four more drug agents in the state justice department.the assembly's criminal justice committee held a public hearing on the bills thursday. nygren told the panel that the bills will save lives, help rehabilitate addicts and combat drug trafficking. attorney general brad schimel submitted written remarks supporting the measu






state assembly to vote on bills to address opioid crisis


madison, wis. — wisconsin lawmakers are set to vote on measures meant to combat opioid addiction months after gov. scott walker called on the legislature to take action.the state assembly will vote tuesday on all but two of the 11 bills republican rep. john nygren wrote based on recommendations from walker's opioid task force. nygren has pressed for change since his daughter battled opioid addiction.the measures include $4.8 million to expand treatment programs, $50,000 to start a high school for students recovering from addiction, $126,000 to train more doctors in addiction, $420,000 annually for four new drug investigation agents and $200,000 to train school staff to screen students for addiction.if passed, the senate will still have to vote on the bills before they go to walker to becom






minn. joins wis. 'dose of reality' campaign on dangers of opiods


minnesota attorney general lori swanson joined her counterpart in wisconsin monday in promoting the “dose of reality” media campaign to warn people of the dangers of misusing or overusing opioid painkillers.swanson said opioid abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, with “common household names” such as oxycontin turning deadly if overused and causing addictions that can lead people to use heroin as well.“our aim is to raise awareness about how to safely use, store, and dispose of opioid prescription painkillers,” swanson said.swanson seized on the opioid issue last year amid reports of rising overdose fatalities, including the death of pop star prince. minnesota reported 336 deaths in 2015 linked to excessive or abusive use of prescription opioids or illicit versions of the dr






lautenschlager's son announces attorney general bid


madison, wis. — former attorney general peg lautenschlager's son says he's going to run for his mother's old job.josh kaul announced monday that he'll challenge incumbent republican attorney general brad schimel in next year's elections. kaul is a stanford law school graduate and has worked as a federal prosecutor in baltimore and as an attorney in washington, d.c. he currently works for the perkins cole law firm. he's the first democrat to declare a run for attorney general.lautenschlager, a democrat, served as attorney general from 2003 until 2007. her tenure was marred by a drunken driving arrest in a state vehicle.wisconsin republican party spokesman alec zimmerman didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.






jeff sessions won’t use weed to fight opioid epidemic


attorney general jeff sessions has a prescription for opioid and heroin addicts—and it’s not marijuana. sessions said in a statement that he was “astonished” by suggestions that medical marijuana could be a cure for the epidemic that’s ravaging the u.s,, telling reporters in richmond that medical use of the drug has “been hyped, maybe too much.”…






bills targeting opioid abuse in wisconsin up for final vote


madison, wis. — nine bills designed to fight opioid abuse are up for final approval in the state senate on tuesday. once approved, they will head to gov. scott walker, who is expected to sign them all into law.the bills would:— make $2 million a year available to counties to use for treating people with drug and alcohol offenses rather than sending them to jail.— hire four new special agents at the department of justice, at a cost of $420,000 annually, to investigate drug trafficking and other related crimes.— spend $400,000 to train school staff to screen students for addiction.— require the university of wisconsin to create a charter high school, on a four-year pilot basis, for up to 15 high school students recovering from addiction.— protect school employees and volunteers, and residenc






report: opioid deaths doubled in wisconsin over decade


madison, wis. — a new report says the rate of heroin overdose deaths grew more than 800 percent in wisconsin over the last decade.findings the department of health services released friday show the rate of overdose deaths involving heroin grew 880 percent between 2006 and 2015, from 0.5 deaths per 100,000 residents to 4.9 deaths per 100,000.the rate of opioid overdose deaths, meanwhile, nearly doubled over the decade, from 5.9 deaths per 100,000 residents to 10.7 deaths. the rate of overdose deaths involving prescription opioids increased 26 percent over the decade, from 5.3 per 100,000 residents to 6.7 per 100,000.gov. scott walker has called a special legislative session to p a host of bills designed to combat heroin and opioid abuse. it's unclear when the legislature may vote, however.






ohio sues five drug companies over opioid crisis


ohio attorney general mike dewine said on wednesday his office sued five major drug manufacturers, accusing them of misrepresenting the risks of prescription opioid painkillers and so helping fuel a sky-rocketing drug addiction epidemic.a growing number of state and local governments are suing drugmakers and distributors, seeking to hold them accountable for the opioid crisis.the five companies ohio sued were purdue pharma lp, johnson & johnson’s janssen pharmaceuticals inc unit, a unit of endo international plc, teva pharmaceutical industries ltd’s cephalon unit and allergan plc, dewine said during a press conference in columbus livestreamed online.he argued the drug companies spent millions of dollars to promote the drugs for profit while denying or trivializing their potential addictive






attorney generals launch opioid awareness campaign


minnesota attorney general lori swanson joined her counterpart in wisconsin monday in promoting a "dose of reality" media campaign to warn people of the dangers of misusing or overusing opioid painkillers.swanson said opioid abuse is the nation's fastest-growing drug problem, with "common household names" such as oxycontin turning deadly if overused or causing addictions that can lead people to use heroin as well."our aim is to raise awareness about how to safely use, store, and dispose of opioid prescription painkillers," swanson said.swanson seized on the opioid issue last year amid growing reports of overdose deaths, including the death of pop star prince. minnesota reported 336 deaths in 2015 linked to excessive or abusive use of prescription opioids or illicit versions such as heroin.






new michigan unit focuses on prosecuting opioid crimes


mackinac island, mich. — a new michigan unit is prosecuting crimes involving heroin and other opioid-based drugs as the state confronts an overdose epidemic that claimed almost 2,000 lives in 2015, attorney general bill schuette said wednesday.the four-person opioid trafficking and interdiction unit in schuette's office is designed to help local authorities target the supply of prescription drugs from dealers and doctors who are overprescribing. it was quietly launched in the fall and has netted six convictions. fifteen other people are facing charges."it crosses the entire spectrum of our society. it really spares no one," schuette said of opioid abuse during the detroit regional chamber's mackinac policy conference, where he was flanked by genesee county prosecutor david leyton — his opp






trumpcare may worsen the opioid crisis


it’s well established that the u.s. is facing a crisis of opioid addiction. since 1999, the number of opioid-related drug overdose deaths has quadrupled, and half a million people have died from overdoses in the last 15 years, according to the u.s. centers for disease control and prevention. people with opioid addiction face a long course…






meet the u.s. attorney who will oversee the russia probe now that sessions is re


when former attorney general eric holder jr. came under fire for leaks of classified information about the obama administration's role in authorizing cyberattacks against iran, he turned to a veteran federal prosecutor - a republican - to help head his investigation into who was leaking.that same federal prosecutor, rod rosenstein, is being tapped again, this time by president donald trump's attorney general, to oversee another high-profile case, the fbi's investigation into russian meddling and any links between russian officials and trump's associates.attorney general jeff sessions recused himself thursday from the investigation and designated his acting deputy attorney general, the second-highest-ranking official in the justice department, to oversee the probe. but the responsibility is






bills targeting opioid abuse up for wisconsin senate vote


madison, wis. — the wisconsin state senate is scheduled to approve a pair of bills designed to help fight drug abuse and addiction.one bill up for a vote wednesday would allow emergency and involuntary commitment for drug addicts. supporters say that would be a tool to help put someone on the road to recovery.the other would ensure that someone who overdoses would be immune from probation or parole revocation if he or she enters a treatment program. backers say the change would encourage people to call for help in an emergency.both bills are sponsored by rep. john nygren, who has been a leader in tackling the growing problem of heroin and opioid abuse.once approved by the senate, the bills head to gov. scott walker for his consideration.






nearly 500 people died on li from opioid overdoses in 2016


advertisement | advertise on newsdaynassau county district attorney madeline singas with acting police commissioner thomas krumpter and suffolk police commissioner timothy sini announcing a major narcotics takedown on april 4, 2017, in mineola. (credit: howard schnapp) almost 500 people died from opioid overdoses on long island in 2016, the most ever, with the powerful drug fentanyl leading the way, newly released records show.the data, provided by the medical examiner’s offices in suffolk and nassau counties, reveals a chilling trend: 493 deaths counted so far, with more cases pending — the highest numbers of fatalities seen in both nassau and suffolk...






wisconsin county launches program to fight overdose deaths


kenosha, wis. — a southeast wisconsin county is making the drug used to reduce opioid overdoses more widely available in an attempt to fight opioid overdose deaths.the kenosha news (http://bit.ly/2qpqski ) reports that kenosha county's narcan distribution initiative will train law enforcement officials and others to use the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.trained individuals will then be able to distribute naloxone kits to addicts and instruct them on proper usage.overdose deaths from prescription drugs and heroin are the leading cause of accidental death in wisconsin. in kenosha county, there were 54 toxicity deaths — which includes suicides and accidental overdoses — in 2016, the highest total in at least five years.kenosha county division of health director cynthia johnson says the pro






minn. joins wis. 'dose of reality' campaign on dangers of opiods


minnesota attorney general lori swanson joined her counterpart in wisconsin monday in promoting a “dose of reality” media campaign to warn people of the dangers of misusing or overusing opioid painkillers.swanson said opioid abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, with “common household names” such as oxycontin turning deadly if overused or causing addictions that can lead people to use heroin as well.“our aim is to raise awareness about how to safely use, store, and dispose of opioid prescription painkillers,” swanson said.swanson seized on the opioid issue last year amid growing reports of overdose deaths, including the death of pop star prince. minnesota reported 336 deaths in 2015 linked to excessive or abusive use of prescription opioids or illicit versions such as heroin.






wisconsin ag: undercover campaign videos reveal no crime


madison, wis. — the wisconsin department of justice has concluded that secretly recorded videos of a democratic activist bragging about deploying troublemakers at donald trump campaign rallies show no evidence any laws were broken.conservative activist james o'keefe released secretly recorded and selectively edited video footage in october of wisconsin-based liberal operative scott foval boasting about connections to the democratic party. he appears to say he had arranged for people to incite violence at trump rallies.wisconsin's republican attorney general, brad schimel, said he was concerned the videos suggest election fraud. the milwaukee journal sentinel obtained a jan. 31 memo from assistant attorney general roy korte in which korte concludes the statements in the videos are vague and






california atty. gen. xavier becerra announces probe of drugmakers over epidemic


citing an epidemic of opioid overdose deaths across the country, state atty. gen. xavier becerra said friday that california is joining with more than 26 other states to investigate whether drugmakers have used illegal marketing and sales practices.becerra said the probe would focus on whether drug manufacturers have played a role in creating or extending the opioid problem.makers of opioids have been under heat in recent years as the addiction crisis has intensified. a 2016 times investigation revealed that purdue pharma, which manufactures oxycontin, knew its drug's painkilling effects might not last as long as long as marketed, which could potentially promote addiction. the investigation also found purdue pharma collected extensive evidence of criminal trafficking of its drug but in man






eye opener: attorney general recuses himself from russia investigation - videos


march 3, 2017, 7:00 am|attorney general jeff sessions agrees to stay out of the investigation of russian meddling in the 2016 election. also, newly-released video is raising questions about a high-speed police chase in georgia that ended with the death of 18-year-old. all that and all that matters in today's eye opener. your world in 90 seconds. get the eye opener delivered straight to your inbox.






attorney general, group announce ault kit tracking


madison, wis. — wisconsin attorney general brad schimel and a ual ault prevention group launched an initiative monday to help victims track evidence in their cases.more than 6,000 ual ault evidence kits were sitting untested on wisconsin shelves in 2014. the kits are sitting for a variety of reasons, including prosecutors deciding cases were too weak to warrant testing, cases were resolved without the need for testing or victims refused to cooperate with investigators. a usa today network investigation in 2015 found at least 70,000 untested kits nationwide.victim advocates have pushed for testing all the kits to establish dna profiles that could help identify serial offenders.the wisconsin department of justice received $4 million in federal grants in september 2015 to accelerate testing.






attorney general jeff sessions holds press conference after russia reports


attorney general jeff sessions will hold a news conference at the department of justice thursday at 4 p.m et. (update: attorney general jeff sessions recuses himself from russia investigation)watch live below:






san diego house dems want sessions to resign; issa pushes independent inquiry


san diego’s democrats in congress said thursday attorney general jeff sessions should resign after revelations that the top cabinet member did not disclose contacts with the russian ambassador last year.two of them, reps. scott peters and juan vargas, went as far as to accuse sessions of lying under oath during his senate confirmation hearing testimony.“a nominee for attorney general perjured himself under oath —  twice —  in the course of his job interview with the senate about contacts with a foreign government that is known to have interfered in our election,” peters said in a statement. “i ask my republican colleagues: if that is not cause for an independent investigation and a special prosecutor, what is?”likewise, in a statement released before sessions announced on thursday afternoo






san diego house dems want sessions to resign; issa pushes independent inquiry


san diego’s democrats in congress said thursday attorney general jeff sessions should resign after revelations that the top cabinet member did not disclose contacts with the russian ambassador last year.two of them, reps. scott peters and juan vargas, went as far as to accuse sessions of lying under oath during his senate confirmation hearing testimony.“a nominee for attorney general perjured himself under oath —  twice —  in the course of his job interview with the senate about contacts with a foreign government that is known to have interfered in our election,” peters said in a statement. “i ask my republican colleagues: if that is not cause for an independent investigation and a special prosecutor, what is?”likewise, in a statement released before sessions announced on thursday afternoo






san diego house dems want sessions to resign; issa pushes independent inquiry


san diego’s democrats in congress said thursday attorney general jeff sessions should resign after revelations that the top cabinet member did not disclose contacts with the russian ambassador last year.two of them, reps. scott peters and juan vargas, went as far as to accuse sessions of lying under oath during his senate confirmation hearing testimony.“a nominee for attorney general perjured himself under oath —  twice —  in the course of his job interview with the senate about contacts with a foreign government that is known to have interfered in our election,” peters said in a statement. “i ask my republican colleagues: if that is not cause for an independent investigation and a special prosecutor, what is?”likewise, in a statement released before sessions announced on thursday afternoo






the latest: ag rosenstein sees no reason to fire mueller


washington — the latest on the special counsel's probe into russian interference in the u.s. election and possible collusion with the trump campaign (all times local):10:40 a.m.deputy attorney general rod rosenstein says he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the russia investigation.the comment came in response to questions from democratic sen. jeanne shaheen. she asked about news reports suggesting that president donald trump was already thinking about "terminating" robert mueller from his position as special counsel. she asked whether he has seen "any evidence of good cause" to fire mueller. rosenstein responded: "no i have not."rosenstein says the attorney general would be the only one who could fire mueller. and since attorney general jeff sess






eye opener: former acting attorney general testifies on flynn - videos


may 9, 2017, 7:01 am|former acting attorney general sally yates reveals the warning she gave the white house on gen. michael flynn and russia. also, spirit airlines passengers erupt in anger at a florida airport when numerous flights are canceled. all that and all that matters in today's eye opener. your world in 90 seconds. get the eye opener delivered straight to your inbox.






attorney general jeff sessions steps aside from russia probe


attorney general jeff sessions delivers remarks at the justice department's 2017 african american history month observation on feb. 28, 2017.(photo: zach gibson, getty images)connectlinkedinemailmorewashington — attorney general jeff sessions, facing withering criticism for failing to disclose meetings with russia’s envoy to the united states during the former alabama senator’s confirmation hearing, recused himself thursday from overseeing the continuing fbi investigation into russia’s interference in last year’s election.his role in the investigation will now be handled by dana boente, the acting deputy attorney general.sessions said thursday that he did not meet with russian operatives during the campaign and that his recusal should not be seen as an admission that there is any investiga






chris wallace shreds trump lawyer for both confirming and denying investigation


jay sekulow, a conservative activist and attorney for president donald trump, insisted on sunday that the president was not under investigation for obstruction of justice even though trump has said otherwise on twitter. during an interview with fox news host chris wallace, sekulow defended trump’s decision to fire fbi director james comey.“he takes the action that [the attorney general’s office] recommended and now he’s being investigated by the department of justice,” sekulow complained. “he’s being investigated for taking the action that the attorney general and deputy attorney general recommended him to take by the agency who recommended the terminations!” “you’ve now said he is being investigated after saying [he isn’t],” wallace observed. “no, he’s not being investigated!” sekulow sho






church hands out opioid reversal drug at family festival


cincinnati — some people have questioned an ohio church's decision to hand out the opioid reversal drug naloxone at a family festival.wlwt-tv reports (http://bit.ly/2rwbiue ) holy family catholic church in cincinnati's east price hill neighborhood partnered with the ohio attorney general's office to distribute nearly 70 overdose kits last weekend.parish operations manager jeremy bouer said providing the kits was the right thing to do because people need to be equipped to save lives when someone overdoses.not everyone agrees. one woman at the festival said it was an inappropriate setting and sends the wrong message to drug users. another woman said the church should help those in need.naloxone has become widely available in recent years as the opioid epidemic has taken root in ohio, killing






medical examiner: probable opioid overdose killed 4-year-old


milwaukee — another young child has died of a suspected opioid overdose in milwaukee county.the milwaukee county medical examiner says the death of 4-year-old tyranne beckless last week is being investigated as a probable opioid overdose, the seventh child under five to die in a similar way in the last 19 months in milwaukee county.additional toxicology testing is being done. the case is still under investigation and details of how the boy may have gotten the drug have not been released.






federal prosecutor in wisconsin resigns


madison, wis. — the u.s. attorney for the western district of wisconsin has submitted his resignation days after attorney general jeff sessions ordered dozens of the country's federal prosecutors to resign.spokeswoman myra longfield confirmed u.s. attorney john vaudreuil resigned monday. while it is customary for new presidential administrations to clear out u.s. attorneys and replace them with their own nominees, sessions' request friday came earlier than some expected.vaudreuil was first appointed by former president barack obama in 2010. his district spans the western two-thirds of the state, including dane, la crosse and eau claire counties, among many others.first assistant jeffrey anderson will replace vaudreuil until a new attorney is confirmed. longfield says open investigations wi






protest shooting suspect takes stand, with more expected on monday


allen scarsella took the witness stand in his own defense late friday to explain why he went to a black lives matter protest in november 2015 and, after a scuffle broke out, ultimately s five people.his testimony was cut short, however, by the end of a day that saw his friend and co-defendant nathan gustavsson testify for several hours, arguing that scarsella s in self-defense. but his testimony also opened him up to what was often blistering questioning from the prosecution. it also revealed a text gustavsson wrote referring to the protest shooting and saying, "we're all guilty in this."gustavsson said in an interview afterward that his decision to testify e after his attorney, family and friends all told him not to. but he said he asked himself if he could live with himself if scarsella