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Walker says open records restrictions will be dropped Submitted: 07/04/2015
MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he and GOP legislative leaders have agreed to completely remove a part of the proposed state budget that would severely roll back the state's open records laws.

Walker announced the decision in a joint statement Saturday with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and the co-chairs of the joint budget committee.

The statement says the records proposal "will be removed from the budget in its entirety." They say the plan "was never intended to inhibit transparent government in any way."

The restrictions, which Republicans slipped into the proposed budget late Thursday, would exempt nearly everything created by government officials from Wisconsin's open records law.

The statement says the Legislature will form a committee to study the issue and allow for public discussion.




Story By: Associated Press

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 LOCAL NEWS

BOULDER JUNCTION - Approximately 15,000 people came out to support the Boulder Junction Volunteer Fire Department Saturday as it held its 25th annual chicken barbecue fundraiser.

All the money raised during the barbecue will help the department pay for equipment upgrades and training.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Parades and marching bands go hand in hand, but Boulder Junction has gone without a band in their Fourth of July parade for more than 20 years. One marching band, though, is changing that tradition.

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RHINELANDER - Many people came up to the Northwoods to celebrate the holiday Saturday. The marked the occasion with cookouts, boating and other activities. In Rhinelander, the day started off with the traditional Fourth of July parade.



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WAUSAU - A crash in Wausau left one man injured after a van collided with his motorcycle Friday night.

The Wausau Police Department got a call about a southbound crash around 9:00 p.m. on Grand Avenue near Ruder Street.

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 REGIONAL NEWS

MIAMI BEACH, FLA - Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless has been arrested for allegedly firing two shots into the air during an argument outside a Miami Beach parking garage.

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MADISON - State lawmakers will get to keep many records secret under a proposal voted into the state budget Thursday night by Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee.

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MINOCQUA - The Wisconsin DNR kicked off its 7th annual 4th of July Landing Blitz. This is to help out at the boat landings in the Northwoods that will see lots of activity this 4th of July weekend.

The DNR teams up with Clean Boats Clean Waters volunteers from different counties. They monitor boat landings and boats entering and leaving the water.

The goal is to protect the lakes from invasive species and to keep people informed.

"I'm looking for boaters, as they are coming in the lake, before they launch," said Stephanie Boismenue, Lead Aquatic Invasive Species Project Assistant for Oneida County. "I'm helping them to inspect their boats."

Invasive species can hide in many places on boats. Volunteers help clean plants, animals, sand and mud off of boats.
Invasive species and certain types of vegetation can cause harm to lakes.

"Everything from the fisheries to the aquatic plants and vegetation can be harmed," says Boismenue. "And the cost that we have to use to put into containing, removing and managing that invasive species can be quite expensive."

Boaters should check their boats when entering and leaving the water.

Clean Boats Clean Waters hopes everyone can do these things to keep our lakes safe.

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MADISON - After a five-week delay, the Legislature's budget-writing committee has given final approval to a new two-year spending plan.

The Joint Finance Committee early Friday voted 12-4 with all Republicans in support and all Democrats against the $70 billion budget.

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