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News from around Wisconsin (8:08 p.m. 11/15/09)

Jennings scores 55, leads Bucks past Warriors

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brandon Jennings was shut out in the first quarter. Then he went to work and wiped out a record held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Jennings scored 55 points, breaking Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise rookie record, to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a come-from-behind 129-125 victory Saturday over the Golden State Warriors.

Jennings poured in 29 points in the third quarter, then 16 in the fourth to hold off the Warriors and become only the third Bucks player to score more than 50. The last to do it was Michael Redd, who set the franchise record with 57 points against Utah on Nov. 11, 2006.

“It was a very, very impressive performance for anyone, let alone a rookie in his seventh game,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said. “We just gave the ball to Brandon and let him go to work.”

The No. 10 pick in the draft topped the 51 points scored by Abdul-Jabbar, then Lew Alcindor, on Feb. 21, 1970. The NBA rookie record was set by Wilt Chamberlain with 58 points for Philadelphia against Detroit in a January 1960 game in Bethlehem, Pa.

It was also the most points scored by a rookie since Earl Monroe had 56 on Feb. 13, 1968, and the second-most by a player under the age of 21, only topped by the 56 points scored by LeBron James on March 20, 2005.

“I was scoreless after the first quarter and really struggling,” said Jennings, who hit 21 of 34 shots after hitting just one of his first seven shots. “I just started getting in the groove and felt really good in the third quarter.”

Authorities investigate Iowa prison inmate death

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a 37-year-old inmate at the Dubuque County Jail who was found hanged in his cell.

The Dubuque County sheriff’s office identified the man on Sunday as Chad Joseph Koelker.

He had been at the jail since late October and was being held on charges including a probation violation in Wisconsin and larceny in Illinois.

Authorities say a deputy found Koelker in his cell about 2 p.m. Saturday. Emergency lifesaving efforts were not successful.

Authorities say he was the only occupant of the cell.

The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office plans to conduct an investigation. A cause of death has not been determined.

Mass. immigrant tuition bill to get new push

CHELSEA, Mass. (AP) — It seemed like a given that Mario Rodas would go to college.

The Guatemalan-born student certainly had the academic credentials, going from English as a second language classes to taking advanced placement exams for college credit his senior year at Chelsea High School.

But paying for it was another matter. As an undocumented immigrant in 2005, Rodas would have had to pay out-of-state tuition fees to go to a public college in Massachusetts, and he couldn’t afford that. If he had lived in Texas or Utah, states that allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates, Rodas, now 22, might have graduated already.

“Every year we have more and more students in limbo here,” Rodas said. “And every year we have more and more students taking advantage (of in-state tuition) elsewhere. I don’t understand.”

Nearly three years after Massachusetts House lawmakers soundly rejected a bill that would have allowed illegal immigrants to attend college at in-state tuition rates, lawmakers are preparing to revisit the issue.

Activists say 10 other states, some dominated by conservative lawmakers, have passed legislation with bipartisan support, and advocates see no reason why Massachusetts, a state controlled by Democrats, can’t do the same.

That has been a frustration for advocates in this left-leaning state, which was the first to legalize gay marriage and the only so far to require health insurance for all its residents.

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