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NEWS STORIES

Proposal to Protect Road Funds From Being Used for Other PurposesSubmitted: 02/12/2013
Story By Associated Press

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MADISON - Money raised to repair roads would be protected from being snatched away for other needs, under a proposal before the Wisconsin Assembly.

A constitutional amendment is designed to prevent lawmakers from raiding money from the state transportation fund.

The measure passed both the Senate and Assembly last session.

If it passes both this session, it would then go before voters in the November 2014 election.

Marathon Senator Jerry Petrowski authored the amendment.

It says any money the state collects through the gas tax, fees imposed on driver's licenses and titling vehicles must be deposited in the transportation fund.

Once in the fund, the money could not be used for any program that isn't run by the state Department of Transportation.

Former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle diverted 1-point-three billion dollars from the fund to pay for schools and other expenses.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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Mining company pushes back permit timelineSubmitted: 08/27/2014

MILWAUKEE - Gogebic Taconite will take longer than originally planned to apply for a mining permit in northern Wisconsin.

The company says its application to develop an iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties will be pushed back until at least the fall of next year.

Gogebic had planned to submit an application in the spring of 2015 to develop a 1.5 billion dollar iron ore mine in the Lake Superior region.

A company spokesman says Gogebic won't finish all fieldwork this year and will be forced to conduct additional environmental work next year.

The approaching of fall is prompting Gogebic to wrap up some fieldwork already.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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Vilas County denies another referendum for ATV trails in Phelps, approves access for County Highway A to Forest County ATV trails Submitted: 08/26/2014

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PHELPS - Voters in Vilas County didn't want ATV's or UTV's on County roads or property in 2004. Tuesday, the County Board was considering asking voters about that topic again.

That won't happen. The county board voted 14 to 5 not to put an ATV question on this fall's ballot.

The county held a referendum in February of 2004. More than 60 percent of voters said they didn't want ATV'S or UTV's on county roads or properties.

The Vilas County Board chairman told the crowd he was against having the referendum again Tuesday night, but he still wanted to give the people what they wanted.

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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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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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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 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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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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