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TOP STORY

Budget cuts proposed for UW systemSubmitted: 01/27/2015
MADISON - Governor Scott Walker wants to cut state funding for the University of Wisconsin System by 13 percent.

At the same time he thinks campuses should have more freedom.

Walker told The Associated Press he will be proposing that future funding to the UW system be a block grant funded by sales tax revenue.

It would be adjusted annually for inflation.

The Madison campus will remain a part of the system, but all 26 campuses will have more autonomy from the state.

Walker wants to include the plan as part of his two-year state budget proposal next week.

Walker is also calling for a two-year tuition freeze, while also cutting state funding by $300 million.

That would help solve a projected $2-billion budget shortfall.

(Copyright 2015 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


Story By: Associated Press

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 LOCAL NEWS

PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.

The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.

"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."

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WAUSAU - The Wausau Police Department will use a "Hero Dog" to help bolster its K9 unit.

The dog's name is Rex, and he isn't Wausau Police Officer Mark Jaeger's first K9 partner.

"My last dog, Pluto, is 12-and-a-half and he just retired," Jaeger said. "When [Pluto] saw me in the uniform getting in the squad and he didn't get to come along, he was not happy."

Rex just recently joined the Wausau Police Department, but his service to his community and his country, goes further back.

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OWEN - A plane crash in central Wisconsin has killed one person and injured two others.

Clark County Sheriff Greg Herrick says the victim was a passenger in a Cessna 182 that was trying to make an emergency landing on a road in the town of Hoard at about 9:15 a.m. Monday.

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WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.

Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald says he will investigate a Tomah VA medical center that has come under scrutiny for overprescribing opiates.

McDonald's says in a Monday press release that the probe will look into allegations of overuse of opiates and retaliation against employees.

McDonald says the month-long investigation will begin this week. A 35-year-old former Marine died of an overdose in the hospital's inpatient unit in August.

McDonald says inquiries from Rep. Ron Kind and Sen. Tammy Baldwin brought the issue to his attention. The Wisconsin Democrats wrote to McDonald last week.

Baldwin says in a column published Sunday in newspapers across the state that she took responsibility for not acting sooner in the matter. Baldwin says she should have listened and communicated better with a constituent.

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MADISON - The punk rock band Dropkick Murphys is asking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to stop playing one of their songs, saying in a message on Twitter that ``We literally hate you.''

The band sent the message Saturday night after Walker took the stage at the Iowa Freedom Summit to their song ``I'm Shipping Up to Boston.''

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OSHKOSH - An accident on Lake Winnebago has taken another life.

The Winnebago County Coroner's Office says an 8-year-old boy has died after he was pulled from the icy lake water Sunday.

The child's father died shortly after their Jeep broke through the ice about 7:00 a.m.

The victims were from Sussex.

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CABLE - Supporters of North America's largest cross country ski race want to raise $2.3 million to renovate the trails where it's held in northern Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1EnzFlb ) reports the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has raised more than half of the $650,000 needed for the first of three phrases.

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