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Minority owners of five former Racine taverns are trying again to win a federal lawsuit which claims that a conspiracy drove them out of business. The tavern owners filed suit in federal court in Milwaukee, alleging that city officials and the local tavern league violated their civil rights. A similar suit was thrown out last month. Federal Judge J-P Stadtmueller said the original claims were too broad and vague -- but he said the allegations might have merit, and he allowed the plaintiffs to enter a clarified complaint. Among other things, the minority bar owners said the city "waged war" on them since 2006 over crime at their establishments -- while ignoring similar conduct at bars owned and patronized by whites. The suit claimed that minority-owned taverns vanished from downtown Racine by the end of last year. It also alleged that officials took bribes and filed false campaign reports. The new lawsuit has fewer defendants. They include Mayor John Dickert, ex-Mayor Gary Becker, a former police chief, City Council members, the Racine Tavern League, various business owners, and the head of the Downtown Racine Corporation.
Wisconsin voters will have to wait awhile to find out if they'll have to show photo I-D's at the polls on November fourth. Yesterday, the federal appeals court in Chicago said it would not act on the state's request to restore the voter I-D law, until after the court hears oral arguments in the case on September 12th. The state is appealing a ruling from Federal Judge Lynn Adelman which found the Wisconsin I-D law unconstitutional. Attorney General J-B Van Hollen asked the court to at least temporarily put the law back into place while the appeal is being considered -- thus requiring voters to show I-D's in the November fourth elections.
A newlywed from Sheboygan is accused of beating his wife twice on their wedding night. Twenty-six year old Jeffrey Schuette pleaded innocent this week to two misdemeanor counts of domestic abuse-battery. A 500-dollar bond was ordered, and a tentative trial date is set for October 8th. Prosecutors said Schuette insisted on driving his 22-year-old bride to a hotel even though he was intoxicated. She reportedly said no and got a ride from somebody else. At the hotel, authorities said Schuette hit his new wife several times in the face after she said he ruined her wedding night. Officials said he punched the bride again later while the two were in bed. Police said one of the bride's eyes was swollen, and her face was numb. She told officers that he was violent toward her several times in the past -- but she never reported it until now.