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Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 5:46 am, Thu Jan 10, 2013.

Golden Guernsey files for bankruptcy protection

WAUKESHA -- Golden Guernsey, the 83-year-old dairy processor that closed abruptly in southeastern Wisconsin and left area schools scrambling for milk, has filed for bankruptcy.

The Los Angeles private equity firm that bought Golden Guernsey in 2011, OpenGate Capital, said it sought Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in Delaware bankruptcy court.

OpenGate CEO Andrew Nikou said in a statement late Tuesday that pressure to lower prices, as well as nonnegotiable operating expenses, led to the decision to close the plant in Waukesha.

"This was a very difficult decision, given the loss of jobs and disruption to milk delivery service, yet it had to be made. The closure of the plant is not a reflection of the hard work contributed by the Golden Guernsey family of employees," Nikou said. "Unfortunately, when expenses overwhelm revenue for too long, and we are unable to achieve cooperation from the people with whom we do business, the business cannot be sustained."

The sudden closure Saturday left more than 100 people without jobs and had schools scrambling to line up new milk suppliers.

State officials said that OpenGate had not provided the 60-day notice for a plant closing as required by Wisconsin law.

A Golden Guernsey employee who lost his job, Robert J. Storm, Jr., filed a complaint with the Department of Workforce Development over the plant closure, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Storm said he thought the "wheels were in motion" a month ago to close the plant, yet it failed to notify the state.

Madison police officer cleared in shooting death

MADISON -- Madison's police chief said one of his officers acted reasonably when he shot and killed a musician who tried to grab his gun in a scuffle.

Chief Noble Wray told reporters Wednesday that Officer Stephen Heimsness will return to patrol duty after an internal investigation exonerated him.

Investigators said 30-year-old Paul Heenan was drunk when he entered the home of a neighbor couple early on Nov. 9. The officer arrived to find Heenan and one of the residents in a scuffle, pulled his gun and ordered them down.

Wray said Heenan disobeyed and grabbed at the officer's gun. He said the officer believed he was in imminent danger of being disarmed, so he opened fire.

Heimsness shot Heenan three times.

The Heenan family has said the shooting was unjustified.

No injuries in hospital lab chemical spill

WAUWATOSA -- Officials at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin said no one was hurt when a chemical spilled in a third-floor lab.

The lab was evacuated when a quart of acetic acid spilled Wednesday morning. The chemical can cause respiratory problems. Wauwatosa firefighters responded to the hospital.

GOP to release Assembly rule changes today

MADISON -- Republican and Democratic leaders are still trying to reach a deal on how best to avoid late-night votes in the state Assembly.

Republican Speaker Robin Vos and Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca met for a second day Wednesday to negotiate possible changes to Assembly rules.

Following their meeting Tuesday, Barca said they were "worlds apart" on agreement.

Those private talks resumed Wednesday. Vos' spokeswoman, Kit Beyer, said the rules proposal will be released today before the Assembly meets to debate the changes.

Republicans have a majority and can pass any rules they wish, but Vos reached out to Democrats to discuss the changes before the Assembly takes them up.

It has become increasingly common for the Assembly to work late into the night, sometimes not voting until early morning.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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