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Wis. Ranks Low in Background Check ComplianceSubmitted: 04/14/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Wisconsin lags behind the top-performing states in the number of mental health records it submits to a national database used for background checks on gun purchases.

The state has made gains since 2011 in the number of records it submits to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The push to prevent mentally ill people from buying handguns followed the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech.

According to the state Department of Justice, Wisconsin submitted nearly 11,000 mental health records through December 2012.

According to a study by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Wisconsin only submitted about 6,000 in 2011.

That study determined Wisconsin would have to submit more than three times as many records to be on par with the best-performing states.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working On Submitted: 08/24/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

39-year-old Mark Spietz is accused of breaking into and stealing items from the home where Ashlee Martinson is believed to have killed her mother and stepfather in early March of 2017. We'll bring you details from Oneida County court where Spietz's trial is taking place.

We'll bring you local reaction to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission's vote in favor of allowing members to make political donations.

And the Northwoods United Way hopes to encourage natural working leaders to bring working skills into their community. We'll take you to Leaderfest in Harshaw where the goal was to help people grow professionally and personally.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - Unemployment fell in most of Wisconsin's largest cities and counties last month.

New data the state Department of Workforce Development released Wednesday shows unemployment dropped in 30 of the state's 32 largest cities from June to July. Mount Pleasant and Racine were the only two cities that showed an increase. Racine had the highest unemployment of any city at 7.2 percent, up from 6.9 percent in June.

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PELICAN LAKE - Many college students are heading back to campus soon. But for two Northwoods natives who just graduated, they wanted to come back home and start their own business.

Mike Fowler and Weston Lowe brought their diplomas back to the Pelican Lake this summer with a mission to start a new business.

"This year we both finished school and decided it was time to continue this and expand," said owner and operator Weston Lowe.

The 22 and 23-year old friends have been working together since high school. To make a living they have now started their own business, Pelican Piers. It's a dock and lift removal system.

"I took it upon myself and the help of my business partner, Mike to create something that would make it possible to live in the Northwoods and make a living," said Lowe.

Removing docks and lifts can damage the shorelines. Both Fowler and Lowe wanted to avoid destroying the beauty of the Northwoods.

"With the shoreline deteriorating every year, this will help. We can set the lift on the shore and we don't have to drag it and knock rocks off into the water after people have paid to get that fixed," said owner and operator Mike Fowler.

The easiest way for them to maintain the shorelines was to buy a 7,000 pound tri-toon. This machine simply lifts, moves and then sets down the equipment safely on the shoreline.

"In the bed, you can see the black part of the boat, that's the forks. They extend out and we can pick up any boat lift, any dock and set it on your shore without destroying your riff raff," said Fowler.

Getting their business started at such a young age has had its challenges, like with funding for their barge. But staying in the Northwoods has made it worth it.

"The freedom of owning my own business and being able to be out on the lake everyday working," said Lowe.

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HARSHAW - A lot of people like to separate their work life and personal life.

The Northwoods United Way hopes to encourage natural working leaders to bring those skills into their community. 

It held Leaderfest in Harshaw Wednesday.

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WASHINGTON - Donald Trump's new Wisconsin women coalition includes some of the most powerful politicians in the state, and two who were caught up in a highly publicized investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's county office.

The unveiling of the statewide group Wednesday comes as polls show Trump trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton overall in Wisconsin and among women.

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MADISON - Recently the Wisconsin Ethics Commission made a decision that some don't find to be to ethical.

Rhinelander's Tim Vocke, former judge and former member of Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, does not agree with the state's decision to allow board members to make donations to political campaigns.

Vocke said, "there's no benefit except to the power structure," and he continued by saying, "and when you're dealing with ethics in the government arena, I don't think you have any business belonging to any party and certainly not supporting political candidates."

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MADISON - Wisconsin's average score on the ACT college entrance exam dropped below the national average in the first year that all graduating seniors took the test.

Wisconsin's average 20.5 score is below the national average of 20.8. The state score is down 1.7 points from last year when 73 percent of seniors took the exam.

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