- The state's Natural Resources Board (NRB) plays a major role in shaping how Wisconsin interacts with the natural world. LAONA It's done that since its creation in the 1920s. Now, Gov. Scott Walker wants to strip the citizen board of much of its power as part of his state budget proposal. The NRB makes decisions on big issues like deer, wolf, and bear management, buying large pieces of state land, and fighting invasive species.
- An ongoing drug investigation led to the arrest of five people in Rhinelander earlier this week. RHINELANDER Investigators believe 40-year-old Michael Steinmetz, Jr. and 38-year-old Jaime Rickert were making meth in their Rhinelander apartment. According to the criminal complaint, Steinmetz admitted to investigators that he made meth and dumped the waste in the toilet in his apartment.
- A Northcentral Wisconsin school might need to let staff go and increase class sizes next school year. ANTIGO But a lot of the Unified School District of Antigo's budget next year is uncertain. The school could lose a lot of funding if the Governor's proposed budget is passed, and that won't be voted on until this summer. The first year of the budget would also cut $150 of state aid for each student in a district. To the Unified School District of Antigo, that adds up to about $370,000.
- The Badgers won't be the only ones hoping for a championship win. Two girls at Phillips Middle School are on their way to earn a different title. PHILLIPS "I was really surprised when I won it," said Phillips 6th grader Trinity Pesko. "I was just like so happy because I didn't even know it existed until class started." Trinity competed in the National Geographic State Bee in Madison Friday. But she's not the only one headed to Madison competing for a top prize. "We've showed our school that even from small towns, kids like this can go to a state spelling bee," said Phillips 6th grader Preethi Muruganandan. Preethi beat out other students to qualify for the Badger State Spelling Bee held on Saturday.
- he Wisconsin Supreme Court has canceled oral arguments it planned to hold next month on three cases related to the secret investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign. MADISON The court had scheduled arguments for April 17 and April 20. But in an order released Friday, the court said ``it is neither legally nor practically possible to hold oral argument.'' The arguments were expected to be awkward, given that much information remains shielded from public view, including the names of unnamed petitioners trying to halt the investigation. The court said Friday it was "strongly adverse" to closing the courtroom to the public, but it would be impossible to protect the secrecy of the case by holding arguments. Instead, the court will decide the case based on written filings by attorneys.
- Wisconsin's attempt to ban same-sex marriages will cost taxpayers more than $1 million. MADISON The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that an agreement announced Friday calls for the state to pay the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented eight gay and lesbian couples who sued to overturn Wisconsin's 2006 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Since the couples won their lawsuit, the ACLU can recover legal costs. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the appeal after the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals had already struck down Wisconsin's ban.
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker left a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border without addressing questions being raised about his stance on immigration. WESLACO, TEXAS The likely Republican presidential contender remained invisible to reporters on Friday during a visit that could have given him a chance to spotlight illegal immigration and border security.
- Wisconsin private investigators might lose a tool they value within the next few months. MADISON A state Senate committee will likely advance a bill within weeks to ban the use of many GPS tracking devices on cars. The bill is designed to prevent stalking, but private investigators would lose the ability to use the tool in their work, too.