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Four freshman Democrats in the state Senate have introduced a watered-down bill to end a controversial retirement perk for lawmakers. In March, the GOP-controlled Assembly voted to end the practice of awarding free health insurance for unused sick leave. That's because legislators, constitutional officer, and others built up thousands in benefits by never calling in sick, even when a couple lawmakers were in the hospital. The new bill from Sens.
More Wisconsin gas stations are shutting off their pumps because they cannot afford the high prices. Jeff Curro of Brookfield closed his Shell station last Friday after 20 years in business. He said he was paying $3.44 wholesale for a product his competitors were charging $3.47 for. He couldn't pay his bills with only a three-cent profit, so he had to charge 12 cents more than other stations nearby. Curro said he complained to his suppliers for a year but it didn't get him anywhere. Casey O'Gorman of West Allis also shut down his gas pumps six months ago.
The state would fully fund a child care subsidy for needy families under a compromise that cleared the Legislature's budget panel Tuesday. However, to get there lawmakers had to cut several new welfare programs that Gov.
Students across Dairyland and the region are holding steady or showing some improvement in math and reading, according to a report released Tuesday by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. DPI released scores from the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts exams which were taken by students in the fall of 2006. "We are on the right track," said Elizabeth Burnmaster, state superintendent She said that despite increased poverty in the state DPI saw gains at nearly every grade level in mathematics and rising or stable scores for reading.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, wants no part of the immigration reform compromise hammered out by Senate leaders and the White House. The lawmaker angered millions of Hispanics nationwide, when he proposed last year that it be a felony just for illegal immigrants to step foot on U.S. soil.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Ruben Patterson, 31, has turned himself into authorities in Ohio where he was wanted for not registering as a sex offender. He's charged with a misdemeanor that could land him in jail for six months. His first court appearance has not been set. Patterson played his college basketball at Cincinnati, and he moved into a new house in that area last year. Authorities were alerted to his non-registration status after a police complaint about a party at his house on May 5 and he has since registered.
Two 15-year-old boys could be charged with adult felonies for leading Marshfield police on a high-speed chase in a stolen car with two loaded weapons left inside. The car was stolen from a dealership in Unity, about 15 miles north of Marshfield. Joe Stroik, police chief, says it's not known if a revolver and an uncased rifle were in the vehicle before it was stolen. An officer tried to stop the car for speeding and erratic driving early Thursday. A chase ensued at speeds up to 110 mph.
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is in 7th place and Carthage is 14th going into Friday's final round of the NCAA Division men's golf tournament in Carmel Ind. The Blugolds moved into the top-10 Thursday by shooting a combined 17-over-par. They're at plus-71 after 54 holes, 34 strokes behind the leader St. John's of Minnesota. Carthage is at 79-over, 42 strokes off the pace. Robert Norris of UW-Eau Claire is the state's top individual after three rounds. He moved into 17th place Thursday with a two-over-par 74.
Despite what outside experts say, Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines insists its battle to stay independent is not over. AirTran of Florida announced major progress Thursday in its long-running takeover bid. It said 57 percent of Midwest stock has been pledged to that company. Brian Nelson of Chicago's Morning Star Corp. says a takeover by AirTran is inevitable. But Carol Skornicka, Midwest vice-president, said the pledges amount to nothing more than a straw poll. Midwest could still use a poison pill to increase its shares, thus reducing the percentage of stock pledged to AirTran.
If you want to have a say on Wisconsin's proposed smoking ban, you'll have a chance May 31. That's when a state Senate committee will hold a public hearing on the bill that bans smoking in all public places including bars and restaurants. Thursday, Gov. Jim Doyle went to the Great Dane Brew Pub in Madison to promote the ban. And he reiterated that he would not approve an exemption to allow smoking in bars. The state's Tavern League is pushing for that exception, but Doyle says it would make any smoking ban virtually meaningless.