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NEWS STORIES

Gov. Walker Closes Defense FundSubmitted: 03/30/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has closed a legal defense fund he created while prosecutors were secretly investigating illegal campaign activity by his aides and associates during his stint as Milwaukee County executive.

Walker's campaign released an IRS filing Friday showing he moved $247,602 from his campaign into the fund over the last three months. He has moved $447,602 from his campaign to the fund since he created it a little more than a year ago.

He paid Chicago law firm Sidley Austin and Madison law firm Lind Weininger a combined $252,114 Thursday, depleting the account.

Six people were charged in the probe. Walker maintained he did nothing wrong and said he was cooperating with investigators. He was never charged with any wrongdoing.

Prosecutors announced the investigation had ended earlier this month.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

WASHINGTON - A Supreme Court decision may open the door to night deer hunting by Chippewa tribes.

The court rejected an appeal from Wisconsin officials who want to keep a ban on night hunting in place.

The justices today let stand an appeals court ruling. That ruling orders a federal judge to reconsider the ban.

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GOODMAN - Many Northwoods communities keep pushing for better broadband internet. Last year, a $90,000 grant from the state Public Service Commission helped the Lakeland area improve broadband. Now, the state pot of money for similar grants could grow.

The legislature's budget committee voted to approve a plan last week. It would make an extra $1.5 million available for grants over the next four years.

"(Broadband) has a huge importance," said Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst), who sits on the Joint Finance Committee. "We need to roll more out. If we could, I would have liked to have put more money toward broadband grants."

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GOODMAN - Without its veneer mill, the community of Goodman would likely decline and lose its school. The mill employs a large proportion of people in town. That reliance on the forest products industry makes education about sustainable forestry a must for students in Goodman.

"Well, I would describe it as loud, of course," said Goodman-Armstrong Creek sixth grader Mia Schaller after seeing a harvester fell tall trees, then take off their branches and cut them into even-length logs.

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PIEHL - The home of Ashlee Martinson and Thomas and Jennifer Ayers remains an active crime scene. But sheriff's deputies think an 18-year-old broke into it last week.

Martinson is charged with killing the Ayers couple at the home last month.

Last Thursday, Oneida County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Dan Mohr for burglary and theft at the home. He said he was a friend of Martinson.

According to the criminal complaint, Oneida County dispatch received a complaint that a car was between the storage shed and garage at the victim's house in Piehl.

Mohr was in the driveway when police arrived. Mohr said he got in through an unlocked front door. He said he didn't take anything, but after police searched him, they found three pocket knives, seven small pieces of paper with sketches, a pair of latex gloves, and black cloth gloves. He said he found the sketches in Martinson's room.

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WISCONSIN - Wisconsin Public Service users could see an increase in their gas and electric bills next year.

WPS asked state regulators Friday for an increase in 2016. The proposal asked for a 9.4% electric rate increase and 2.5% for gas.

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MARATHON COUNTY - A Marathon County community asks for your support after a fatal car accident Friday morning left a family of eight without a father.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Budget Project argues state lawmakers can avoid budget cuts without raising taxes. Wisconsin Budget Project Director Jon Peacock says some cuts, like the ones to the UW System, can easily be avoided.

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