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Emotions are sure to run high Thursday when a state committee holds a hearing on a bill to end the state's 24-year-old construction ban on nuclear power plants. Rep. Frank Boyle, D-Superior, says he would have been crazy to end the ban 10 years ago. But with global warming, things are different now. Boyle says the time has come to build nuclear plants as an alternative to the greenhouse gases being spewed out by coal and oil-fired plants. But a co-director of Nuke Watch, John LaForge of Luck, says those arguments are bogus.
The Milwaukee Brewers have a season-high five-game winning streak after beating the Washington Nationals 6-to-4 Tuesday night at Miller Park. Prince Fielder broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer in the sixth inning. The Nationals scored two in the seventh to get to within a run, but the Brewers pulled away in the eighth with solo shots by Johnny Estrada and J.J. Hardy - who extended his hitting streak to 19 games. That's the fourth-longest in Brewer history. Estrada went 3-4 and fell a triple short of the cycle as Milwaukee out-hit Washington 9-8.
For 36 days, State Senate President Fred Risser has delayed a measure to limit the governor's partial veto authority. And for 36 days the Wisconsin State Journal of Madison has taken him to task. Every day the paper's editorials urge the Madison Democrat to hold a hearing on the proposed constitutional amendment. It would end the practice of vetoing individual words from spending bills to create whole new meanings.
Wisconsin is one step closer to having a new state government agency to help children. The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted 11-5 Tuesday in favor of Gov. Jim Doyle's budget proposal to create the Department of Children and Families. The new department would take over the W-2 welfare to work program, child support and child welfare services. Those duties are now split between two agencies, health and workforce development. The governor's people say it won't cost any more. In fact, they think it will save money by being more efficient. Sen.
Wisconsinites might not have to pay more to get copies of a birth, death, marriage or divorce record. The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted 13-3 Tuesday to drop Gov. Jim Doyle's proposed fee increase for vital records from the new state budget. It would have helped pay for a federal mandate to computerize four million Wisconsin birth records, and three million death records. That mandate is part of the Real ID law, the same law that requires driver license applicants to prove they're legal U.S. residents.
A state Senate committee has voted to make hospital staff tell rape victims about emergency contraception and provide the morning after pill to those who want it. The health panel voted 6-1 Tuesday to send the measure to the full Senate. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin cast the only no vote. Two other Republicans joined four Democrats in voting yes. Panel chairman Jon Erpenbach says it's only right that sexual assault victims have full access to all safe health care options. Republicans fought the bill in the last session.
Annette Ziegler is weighing her options now that her new State Supreme Court colleagues have refused to throw out an ethics complaint against her. On a 7-1 vote Tuesday, justices rejected Ziegler's claim that the State Ethics Board had no business accusing her of a conflict of interest in her past role as a circuit judge. Pat Roggensack was the only dissenter. Dan Hildebrand, Ziegler's lawyer, was disappointed with the ruling.
WELCH, Minn. - A tip from a psychic, nine high-priority leads and a water search on Wednesday haven't brought authorities any closer to determining who dumped a baby girl's body into Sturgeon Lake this winter. "It's fair to say we're still where we were before," said Capt. Pat Thompson, an investigator with the Goodhue County (Minn.) Sheriff's Department. "We'll still work the leads, the information, the DNA. That's all we can do." A two-man crew spent more than three hours Wednesday combing four miles of shoreline along Sturgeon and North lakes.
A funeral service will be held Saturday afternoon at Shiocton High School for Army Pvt. Nicholas Riehl. He was killed in Iraq six days ago, when a roadside bomb exploded during a mission in Fallujah. Riehl, 21, graduated from Shiocton High in 2004. The town only has about 1,000 people, but at least eight from that community are serving in the military. Judy Shafel, village president, said Riehl is the first from Shiocton to die in the war, and hopefully the last. He was the 73rd Wisconsinite to die in Iraq.
Governor Jim Doyle has responded to the Virginia Tech massacre by creating a task force of ensure safety on Wisconsin's campuses. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay chancellor Bruce Shepard will co-chair the panel along with River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque. Students, parents, mental health experts, and others will also serve. Doyle says they'll look at a host of questions like whether campus security officers should carry guns. He also wants the panel to find a way to distinguish students with mental issues from those who are just plain dangerous.