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NEWS STORIES

No Parole in Brown County Pulp Vat KillingSubmitted: 10/24/2012
GREEN BAY - One of the five men imprisoned for the 1992 murder of a millworker in Brown County has been denied parole.

It's the second time Michael Hirn has asked for his release from the Green Bay Correctional Institution. The 48-year-old convict won't be eligible again until next September.

Hirn, Dale Basten, Michael Johnson, Rey Moore and Keith Kutska were convicted of conspiring to murder Thomas Monfils at the former James River paper mill. Monfils' body was found in a pulp vat in the mill. Michael Piaskowski was also convicted but was later released when a federal judge ruled there had been insufficient evidence to convict him.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette (http://tinyurl.com/9kw4jo9 ) says Kutska won't be eligible for parole until the spring of 2015.
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Information from: Green Bay Press-Gazette, http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com

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Woman dies in Lincoln County crashSubmitted: 08/26/2014

MERRILL - A woman died in a crash near Merrill Tuesday morning.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's office got a call just after six this morning.

The accident happened in the Town of Pine River on County Road G east of French Ridge Road.

The driver was the only person in the car which left the road and crashed. She died of her injuries at the scene.

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Woman faces felony for illegally keeping a gun and selling itSubmitted: 08/26/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - A 28-year-old Merrill woman faces a felony for illegally keeping a gun. She also sold it to an undercover police officer.

Bonnie Wolff was arrested earlier Tuesday morning for selling a stolen assault rifle officer in Rhinelander. Wolff is a convicted felon. She's not allowed to have a gun under state law.

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Small businesses like new grocery store find success in Boulder JunctionSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - One thousand people live in Boulder Junction. Small businesses may struggle in towns that are a similar size. But that's not necessarily the case for the small Northwoods community.

"We're working hard at it. It's been good," said Coontail Market co-owner Steve Coon.

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Federal appeals court hears arguments over Wisconsin gay marriage banSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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CHICAGO - Gay couples in Wisconsin could find out soon if they can legally marry in the state.

Federal appeals judges heard arguments on Wisconsin's gay marriage ban in Chicago Tuesday.

A federal judge struck down the ban in June, but the state is appealing to a higher court. The case has been combined with a similar case coming from Indiana, which also has a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Camilla Taylor was representing one of the gay couples in the suit. She said the judges were focused on how the ban impacts the children of gay couples.

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Potawatomi withhold payment to WisconsinSubmitted: 08/26/2014

MADISON - The Forest County Potawatomi say they have not made their annual revenue sharing payment to the state of Wisconsin for their casino in Milwaukee because they anticipate the state will owe them money if Gov. Scott Walker approves a casino in Kenosha.

The Potawatomi released a statement Tuesday after Walker's office sent out an update on the casino project that noted the tribe had missed its payment. The tribe says the money has been placed in a segregated account.

The Menominee Tribe wants to open an off-reservation casino in Kenosha to help pull its members out of poverty. A final decision on the project rests with Walker.

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Elections board: Primary turnout was 12.7 percentSubmitted: 08/26/2014

MADISON - Turnout for Wisconsin's primary elections two weeks ago was even lower than state election officials predicated.

The state Government Accountability Board had predicted turnout would be 15 percent of eligible voters. The agency released figures Tuesday showing the official turnout for the Aug. 12 elections was 12.7 percent.

The GAB said 552,342 people cast votes out of a voting-age population of 4,348,307.

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Woman who tried to hire someone to kill fiance will spend about three years in prisonSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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WAUSAU - Jessica Strom will spend about three years in prison for offering a man $1,000 and sex to kill her fiance.

The 33 year old Merrill woman was sentenced Tuesday.

"Out of the billions of people that could potentially be partners in life [the] two of you chose the single worst combination," says Circuit Court Judge Neal Nielsen.

Strom's fiance was former Lincoln County district attorney John Schellpfeffer.

The state argued this wasn't the first time Strom and Schellpfeffer had problems.

"In 2009 there was a criminal damage to property complaint, disorderly conduct," says Prosecuting Attorney Ralph Uttke. "Mr. Schellpfeffer called saying Ms. Strom was smashing the window to his house with a hammer and left, she was arrested a short time later."

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