Regional briefs: News roundup from Wisconsin and beyond

WiG and AP reports

Rob Zerban, the Democrat who lost to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in last year’s election, is mounting a new challenge for 2014.

Zerban made his announcement official at a rally in Kenosha a week after Democrat Amar Kaleka, 35, announced his interest in seeking the seat.

The 45-year-old Zerban is a former Kenosha County Board supervisor who used to run two small businesses.

Zerban says he supports green technology, immigration reform and same-sex marriage.

“People in our neighborhoods don’t care first about being a Republican or Democrat,” the candidate said. “We don’t care about which party is up and which party is down. We care that our schools are strong, that we have access to quality, affordable health care, that our communities are safe and our drinking water is clean and our air is breathable. We care that people get treated fairly, no matter who they love, and we care that women and men get treated the same. Most importantly, we want to know that there are jobs out there for our kids when they finish high school or college or technical school — and that if someone in our family loses their job, that they can find another one.”

Milwaukee Common Council asks to limit money in politics

The Milwaukee Common Council on Nov. 5 unanimously approved a resolution to place on the Nov. 19 ballot a citizens’ advisory referendum limiting money in politics. The referendum asks the public whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended to establish that money is not speech and therefore legislation may limit political contribution amounts and require the identification of contributors. Sixteen states have passed resolutions asking for such an amendment. A total of 34 are needed.

In other regional news …

• A Janesville, Wis., man was arrested early Oct. 26 for allegedly assaulting two men speaking Hebrew in the 200 block of North Henry Street in Madison. A Madison Police Department report said 23-year-old Dylan T. Grall punched the men after cursing at them and demanding they speak English. Grall thought the men were speaking Spanish. He faces two charges of battery with a hate-crime enhancer. One victim, age 22, is from Skokie, Ill., and the other victim, age 23, is from Milwaukee.

• More than $1.9 billion in grants were funded through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program for fiscal 2013. About $1.16 billion was awarded under Part B to be used for home and community-based services, AIDS Drug Assistance Program assistance and other direct services. Wisconsin received $8,662,447 for Part B. Another $178 million was awarded nationwide to provide core medical and support services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS under Part C of the program. In Wisconsin, awards included: $469,713 to Milwaukee Health Services; $531,980 to University of Wisconsin System; $485,624 to AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin; $392,884 to 16th Street Community Health Center.

• Two men recently filed a complaint with the state of Illinois against a Chicago taxicab company. Steven White of West Hollywood, Calif., and Matthew McCrea of Chicago say they kissed during a ride in May. They claim the driver for Sun Taxi turned the interior lights on and off, telling them, “This is public transportation.” The driver then ordered them out, they claimed.

— WiG and AP reports