WISCONSIN

Appeals court delays ruling on Walker

A federal appeals court on Wednesday put on hold a judge's ruling halting a secret investigation into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign and the conservative groups that supported him.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago ruled that U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa in Milwaukee was wrong to have entered a preliminary injunction Tuesday stopping the probe, a major victory for Walker.

The appeals court said the injunction was in error because the judge had yet to determine whether an appeal by prosecutors of an earlier decision that they were not immune from being sued was frivolous or not. If the judge determines it is frivolous, the stay could be lifted.

The civil lawsuit challenging the investigation was brought by Wisconsin Club for Growth. - AP

FLORIDA

Fatal fire 'unusual'

The fire at a Tampa Bay-area mansion belonging to former tennis star James Blake was intentionally set and a family of four was discovered in the charred remains, police said.

The victims were described as two adults and two teenage children, but they have not been positively identified. Police described the fire as "unusual" and said there were "various fireworks" in the home, which Blake had been renting out to for about two years.       - AP

TEXAS

Ex-mortician freed

Former mortician Bernie Tiede, whose relationship with and killing of a rich widow inspired a 2012 movie, was released on bond after a judge reduced his life sentence. Tiede's release was agreed to by the district attorney who prosecuted him for the death of his longtime companion, Marjorie Nugent, 81, who disappeared in 1996 and was later found dead in a freezer in Carthage, Texas. - AP