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TOP STORY

Foundation sues state over contraception recordsSubmitted: 12/17/2014
MADISON - The Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing the state to obtain records related to a decision not to enforce Wisconsin's contraceptive coverage law.

Gov. Scott Walker's administration announced in July it would no longer enforce the law against employers with religious objections in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruled companies with religious objections such as Hobby Lobby can avoid the contraceptive coverage requirement in the federal health care overhaul law.

According to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Madison, the foundation filed two open record requests with the state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance for records related to the non-enforcement decision. The lawsuit alleges the office didn't produce all the records in its possession and asks a judge to force the release.

OCI officials declined comment.

Story By: Associated Press

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 REGIONAL NEWS
Walker looking at 6 to 7 agencies for changesSubmitted: 12/17/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he's looking at consolidating or making ``major changes'' at six or seven state agencies.

Walker talked in general about his ideas for merging state government operations on Wednesday after speaking to Senate Republicans.

Walker says he doesn't think a special session will be necessary to do that, but he does hope the Legislature will act quickly on the ideas early on. He says he learned from the creation of public-private economic development agency that it's better to have more time to transition into something new than not.

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Medical College of Wisconsin to do concussion studySubmitted: 12/17/2014

MADISON - The Medical College of Wisconsin will help study concussions for the Defense Department.

The school got a four-year federal grant of more than 5-million dollars.

Concussions have become common injuries on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in professional and youth sports.

The study will initially include about 900 athletes from 10 local high schools and two local colleges.

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Flood warning extended in Menominee CountySubmitted: 12/17/2014

KESHENA - A flood warning in the Menominee County community of Keshena will now be extended until Friday.

Yesterday, the water got high enough to close a highway.

The Department of Transportation closed down parts of Highway 47 and 55 due to the flooding yesterday.

The Menominee tribe says the water had risen two inches above the centerline - creating a safety hazard.

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Expansion plan announced by Granite Peak leaders Submitted: 12/16/2014

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WAUSAU - Leaders at a central Wisconsin ski hill want to double the amount of visitors they get.

They think expanding its hill is the way to go.

Granite Peak will be asking the Department of Natural Resources to expand its ski area.

They announced the plans in a press conference earlier today.

Granite Peak leases more than 1600 acres in Rib Mountain State Park.

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Walker says he wants schools to have Common Core choiceSubmitted: 12/16/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker is backing off his call for the Legislature to repeal Common Core academic standards, saying he simply wants to insure there is no mandate they be used.

Walker in July during his re-election campaign called on the Legislature to repeal the standards covering what students should know in the subjects of math and English. Walker said then he wanted them replaced with something Wisconsin-specific.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court to take up some Governor Walker related John Doe casesSubmitted: 12/16/2014

MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear three cases stemming from a John Doe investigation of fundraising and spending by Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and conservative groups backing him.

The court on Tuesday accepted a legal challenge from two targets of the probe; a separate lawsuit from those two targets and another; and an action by special prosecutor Francis Schmitz to try to reinstate subpoenas that were quashed by the judge overseeing the investigation.

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Wisconsin ranked as 12th highest taxedSubmitted: 12/16/2014

MADISON - A new analysis finds that Wisconsin is the 12th highest taxed state in the country and third highest in the upper Midwest.

The nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance said that was based on Census data on tax collections Tuesday. It analyzed the tax data as a percentage of personal income.

The data shows that Wisconsin moved from 13th worst in 2011 up one spot to 12th in 2012, the most recent year available.

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