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TOP STORY

Romney scheduled to return to Janesville; won't run for PresidentSubmitted: 01/30/2015
JANESVILLE - Mitt Romney is scheduled to return to Wisconsin this spring, but he won't come back as a Republican candidate for president.

Romney said Friday he will not run for president in 2016.

The business group Forward Janesville says Romney will keynote its annual dinner on April 7 in Janesville, hometown of his former running mate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.

The last time Romney was in Janesville was June of 2012. Two months later he named Ryan as his running mate.

Romney also ran unsuccessfully in 2008.

Story By: Associated Press

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 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON - The flu gets the blame for the deaths of three more children in Wisconsin.

That brings the total number of pediatric deaths to five.

The latest report from the state Department of Health Services shows this flu season is second only to 2009, when the swine flu caused the deaths of six children.

In the U.S. this season, Wisconsin is behind only Texas with seven pediatric deaths.

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MADISON - A Wisconsin appeals court says a requirement that singers in the state Capitol obtain a permit was unconstitutional.

The case involves Michael Crute was cited for joining in a daily sing-along protest in the Capitol rotunda in July 2013. State rules then prohibited anyone from participating in an unpermitted event in state buildings.

Crute argued the regulations violated his free speech rights. A Madison judge tossed out his ticket in February. The 4th District Court of Appeals upheld that decision on Thursday, ruling the regulations didn't further a significant state interest.

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MADISON - Members of the Menominee Tribe, southeastern Wisconsin union workers and a bipartisan group of state lawmakers are urging Gov. Scott Walker to reconsider his rejection of a new casino in Kenosha.

Walker rejected the tribe's proposal last week and reiterated on Wednesday that he would not change his mind.

But advocates for the project gathered at the Capitol Thursday to say Walker can still change his mind by the Feb. 19 deadline.

Walker says he can't reverse his decision even if he wanted to.

But Kenosha casino backers say the Bureau of Indian Affairs would be willing to let Walker change his mind. A spokeswoman for BIA did not immediately return a message asking if Walker could reverse course.


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MADISON - The Republican leader of the Wisconsin state Senate is renewing his call for passage of a right-to-work bill.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald issued a statement Thursday saying debate of right-to-work needs to occur along with consideration of the state budget. Walker will release his budget plan on Tuesday.

Walker has repeatedly said he doesn't want the Legislature to act early in the session on right-to-work, but he also is a longtime supporter of the idea. Walker has also never said he would veto such a bill should it pass.

Right-to-work laws prevent private-sector employers from forcing workers to join a union or pay dues as a condition of employment.

Supporters say it's about worker freedom while opponents argue it will drive down wages and it's bad for the economy.

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MADISON - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is asking that the lead investigator probing allegations of opiate over prescription and retaliatory practices at a VA hospital in Tomah take into account the testimony of whistleblowers.

In a letter Thursday, Baldwin asked that VA Under Secretary Carolyn Clancy consider concerns not addressed in an earlier report. Baldwin says an investigation published in March was not thorough in its reporting of opiate-prescribing practices.

Baldwin had recieved the report in 2014, but did not start advocating for the issue until an investigative journalism piece showed a 35-year-old Marine died of an overdose in the inpatient care unit.

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BERLIN - Berlin Area School District officials have decided the high school mascot will remain the same amid criticism that it's racially insensitive.

The school board voted Monday night to retain the Indian mascot at Berlin High School after survey results were announced.

About 92 percent of more than 1,300 community members surveyed voted in favor of keeping the mascot.

One resident says the name honors a Native American tribe that no longer exists.

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TURTLE LAKE - Authorities in western Wisconsin are trying to find the vehicle that struck and killed a pedestrian on a highway.

The crash was reported just before 7:30 a.m. Thursday on Highway 8 near Upper Turtle Lake, between Almena and Turtle Lake. The pedestrian, identified as 26-year-old Logan Paulson, died at the scene.

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