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Sequester cuts will close eight ATC towers, including CWA'sSubmitted: 03/22/2013
Story By The Associated Press

STATEWIDE - The Federal Aviation Administration says it will close eight air traffic towers at small airports around Wisconsin because of federal budget cuts.

The agency announced the decision Friday, a month after it released a preliminary list of facilities that could be closed. The Wisconsin airports are in Eau Claire, Janesville, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee's Lawrence J. Timmerman, Mosinee, Oshkosh and Waukesha.

Pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers, which they've been trained to do.

Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport was on a previous list of airports whose control towers could go dark during overnight hours. But that list hasn't been released yet and airport spokesman Harold Mester said Friday he hasn't heard any updates.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

PHILLIPS - An 82-year-old man from the Phillips area died after his kayak overturned in Price County.

An emergency call came into the Price County Sheriff's Department just before 4 p.m. Wednesday.

A kayaker reported that another kayak had overturned on the Elk River about 4 miles east of Phillips.

The report was that the man was out of the kayak but still in the water.

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MADISON - Lawyers are set to make closing arguments Thursday in a federal suit over Wisconsin election laws.

Liberal groups have challenged laws passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Scott Walker.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson planned to listen to closing arguments Thursday.

Peterson has promised to make a ruling by the end of July.

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PLUM LAKE - St. Germain ATV riders will need to find a new route that avoids Plum Lake after the Plum Lake Town Board voted against opening up parts of two roads: Kurtzweil Road and Birch Spring Road. 

Both roads are on the border of Sayner and St. Germain and are shared between the two towns.

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MADISON - A Sun Prairie man accused of decapitating his mother with a sword last year has been committed to a state mental hospital.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed with a psychiatrist's report Wednesday that 41-year-old Matthew Skalitzky was mentally ill at the time of the killing.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - The Oneida County Senior Center gives seniors the chance to try new things.

Wednesday, thanks to the help of two ATV groups, the seniors were able to go on rides through the forest.

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WAUSAU - Police officers in Wausau will now wear body cameras, according to a department release Wednesday.

The department also released video on its Facebook page from one of the department's first traffic stops using the body camera.

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MERRILL - When she needs to feed three children on a limited budget, Stanges Park becomes something of a summer oasis for Claire Barker.

"Two to three times a week, we're here," Barker said.

The Merrill mother brought her kids to the daily free lunch program at the park Wednesday morning. For Barker, the healthy meals make a big difference in her life.

"The generosity, the park, we go to the library, so it's all in a convenient area," Barker said. "And it's all healthy food."

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