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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 - Around 15,000 people came out to support the Boulder Junction Volunteer Fire Department Saturday.

The volunteer fire department held their 25th annual chicken barbeque fundraiser.

All money raised during the barbeque goes to the fire department to help with equipment upgrades and training.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Parades and marching bands go hand in hand.

Boulder Junction has gone without one in their 4th of July parade for more than 20 years, but one marching band that is changing that tradition.

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RHINELANDER - Many people came up to the Northwoods to celebrate the holiday Saturday, from cook-outs to boating and festivals. In Rhinelander, the day started off with the traditional 4th of July parade. 

The parade kicked off at 11:00 Saturday morning with hundreds lining the streets. The theme for this year was "America: Home Sweet Home."

Kids shared their favorite part of this Northwoods parade.

"The candy!" said Connor from Kenosha. "The trucks," said Evan from Fennimore, Wisconsin.

"The motorcycles," said Noah from Fennimore. "I just think all the entertainment and being able to just have all this fun," said Olivia from Auburn, Illinois. 

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

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

A motorcycle was in the left lane and a van in the right. The 48-year-old Schofield woman driving the van said she didn't see the motorcycle in her blind spot. She hit the 43-year-old Schofield man on the motorcycle, who landed on the sidewalk. 

The man was not wearing a helmet. He was taken to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau.

The woman got two citations, one for not having insurance on the van and another for unsafe lane deviation.

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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.

A witness told Miami Beach police that Quarless and three others pulled up to a car full of women early Saturday. An arrest affidavit says the football player and another man approached the car. The conversation eventually escalated and the witness told authorities he heard the women yelling for Quarless and his friend to leave them alone.

That's when authorities say Quarless pulled out a handgun and fired two shots in the air.

He was charged with discharging a firearm in public.

A call and emails to the Packers were not immediately returned Saturday.

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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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