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NEWS STORIES

Lawmakers Say Hands Off Transportation BudgetSubmitted: 02/20/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - The Wisconsin Senate is scheduled to vote on a constitutional amendment that prevents lawmakers from diverting money from the state transportation fund to pay for other items.

The Assembly passed the measure last week with an overwhelming 82-13 vote.

If it clears the Senate today, it would then get on the ballot for voter consideration in the November 2014 election.

Republicans authoring the amendment say any money the state collects through the gas tax, or fees on driver's licenses must go to the transportation fund and not be used for any other program.


Former Gov. Jim Doyle diverted $1.3 billion from the fund to pay for schools and other expenses.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

PORT WASHINGTON - A Wisconsin jury has convicted TV actor Dustin Diamond of two misdemeanors stemming from a barroom fight, but cleared the former "Saved by the Bell" actor of the most serious felony charge.

The jury's verdict Friday came just hours after the 38-year-old actor testified that he never intended to stab anyone in the fight last Christmas Day.

Diamond said he was trying to scare bar patrons in Port Washington after his girlfriend was punched in the face.

He had pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of recklessly endangering public safety, plus two misdemeanors carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct
.
Conviction on all three counts carried a potential sentence of up to 11 years in prison.

Diamond played the character Screech on the popular 1990s show.

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MADISON - Wisconsin lawmakers have rejected Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to block the state Department of Natural Resources from purchasing any land through its stewardship program for at least the next 13 years.

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VILAS COUNTY - A warming climate could have significant impacts on Northwoods streams. Warming streams, in turn, could put pressure on trout populations in those waterways.

"If we think about streams, it is changing, and that's going to potentially change what can live here and the habitats that are available," said Dr. Noah Lottig, an assistant scientist at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction. "We've seen that across a whole range of things and a wide variety of studies."

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MADISON - The Legislature's budget-writing committee plans to reduce Gov. Scott Walker's proposed $300 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System by $50 million.

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Merrill police donate carSubmitted: 05/29/2015

MERRILL - A Merrill public safety center can now use a new patrol car for training. The Merrill Police Department donated one of their retired police cars to the Northcentral Technical College's Public Safety Center of Excellence. The donation marks the end of Crown Victoria police cars for the city.

"We've just retired our last Ford Crown Victoria," said Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff. "A couple of years ago, Ford stopped manufacturing the Crown Victoria as a fleet vehicle. For years we've had Crown Vics, but now we've gone to the Ford Taurus and the Ford Explorer."

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ARMSTRONG CREEK - Liz Wywialowski gets a certain feeling when she comes back to her old family farm near Armstrong Creek.

"You would see me breathing deeply," she says, drawing in a lungful of oxygen. "Even now, there's nothing like clean, fresh air."

Liz grew up on this farm, and now owns the place, though she lives in southern Wisconsin. Her father built the majestic cedar-sided barn with her brothers, finishing it in 1944.

"He built this barn as if it would be the last barn he would need to build," Liz says.

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MINOCQUA - One Northwoods business gives people a bird's eye view. One year into the business venture, Northwoods Zip Line in Minocqua is happy with the business they are doing.

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