Steve Dzubay has been publisher at the River Falls Journal and Hudson Star Observer from 1995-2016. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. He previously worked as a reporter-photographer at small daily newspapers in Minnesota and is past editor of the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal.
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MADISON -- Wisconsin's local government and public school unions can start negotiating again for higher wages and working conditions -- but maybe not for long. The state promises to appeal a ruling Monday from Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas, who ruled that the Act 10 bargaining limits from 2011 are unconstitutional for local and school unions statewide. Colas held state employment relations commissioners in contempt for proceeding with annual recertification elections for 400 local unions.
Warden Brad Peterson says he's been getting calls from Pierce County sportsmen daily, wanting to verify whether they can swap their shotguns for rifles this year. It is true, said Peterson. During one of its sessions this past summer, the Wisconsin legislature approved a provision expanding use of rifles to all 72 Wisconsin counties after Nov.
At an unannounced event, apparently aimed at wooing Minnesota firms without causing a border war, Gov. Scott Walker and several cabinet members swooped into Osceola early Monday and extolled the benefits of doing business in Wisconsin. The by-invitation-only breakfast hosted by Custom Fire Apparatus owner Jim Kirvida inside his aircraft hangar, drew about 175 people, according to a press release issued by Bill Rubin, executive director of the St. Croix Economic Development Corp.
The people who brought taxpayers the U.S. government shutdown will continue to get paid while most federal employees will not. Members of Congress are still drawing their $174,000 annual salaries -- but at least three Wisconsin lawmakers say they won't take the money. U.S. Senate Republican Ron Johnson and House Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse both say they won't take paychecks during the shutdown.
About 900 civilian employees are being furloughed at Wisconsin's Fort McCoy due to the federal government shutdown. Spokeswoman Linda Fournier said the workers reported Tuesday to the Army base between Sparta and Tomah to do some housekeeping tasks. They'll be gone by Tuesday afternoon, unless somebody in Congress flinches and adopts a federal spending resolution to keep the government going as the new fiscal year begins. Majority House Republicans refuse to approve a spending package without a one-year delay in key parts of the Obama health law.
ST. PAUL -- Tax credits appear to be the sticking point, as Wisconsin and Minnesota reach a deadline of Tuesday to bring back their long-time income tax reciprocity. Negotiators said last week they probably wouldn't make the deadline. That means people who live in Wisconsin and work in Minnesota -- and vice-versa -- will have to file tax returns in both states for another year. Minnesota Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans says the sticking point is tax credits for his residents. Frans says Wisconsin has a higher effective tax rate for many middle-income people.
MILWAUKEE -- Andy Pantzlaff has resigned from the Wisconsin Sporting Heritage Council. He's the head of the United Sportsmen, a group that won a controversial $500,000 state grant which Gov. Scott Walker later canceled. Pantzlaff was appointed in February to the state council that was created to advise Walker on hunting and fishing concerns.
MADISON -- All hunters could take part in a special crossbow season each fall, under a bill passed by the Wisconsin Senate Tuesday. It would run at the same time as the traditional bow and arrow season from mid-September through November or early December. Monona Democrat Mark Miller, who's a bow hunter, cast the only no vote. He said crossbows have the potential to taint the archery season, and he wanted part of the season to be for traditional bow and arrow hunting only. Miller said crossbows are more like shotguns, in which triggers are used to release the arrows.
A northeast Wisconsin woman was just steps away from the Washington Navy Yard, when former reservist Aaron Alexis opened fire and killed a dozen people before he was shot dead. Valynn Kuhns, a native of Oconto County, was heading to work Monday morning when she missed a bus and got to the office late -- after the shooting began.
An 18-year-old UW-River Falls student from Kewaskum was found dead early Saturday in a Somerset home where she had spent the night as a guest, along with several other people. Sarah M. Boettcher wasn't breathing when she was discovered by another woman in a bathroom around 7:30 a.m., Saturday, at 461 Marlon's Ct., west of Highway 35 on the north side of the village. St. Croix County dispatch records indicate Somerset Rescue responded, along with an ambulance from Lakeview Medical Center, Somerset police and St. Croix County deputies. Resuscitation efforts were attempted.