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NEWS STORIES

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

MADISON - A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging Republican Gov. Scott Walker to reconsider his decision to reject a Menominee Tribe casino in Kenosha.

Ten lawmakers, including Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, sent Walker the letter Wednesday.

Walker said Friday he was not going to approve the $800 million casino, citing concerns over potential losses to the state due to terms of a compact with the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe.

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EAGLE RIVER - In school, kids learn not only how to read and write but also how to be good neighbors. A Northwoods school joined a national effort this week to show kindness to each other and the community.

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HURLEY - Cars in line wrap around block after block on the snowy streets of Hurley.

"Well, I got here at 11:15, and now I'm through the line, and it's 1:30," says Cindy Brannigan. "But it's worth it."

She calls this time of each month, the last week, "the hard time" for many families in the area. The next paycheck or Social Security check is a week away.

Sometimes, the food supply at home is almost gone.

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LAONA - The Laona Fire Department got a new fire truck this month with many updated features. The department thinks it will be able to protect its community more effectively after the major upgrade.

The department has a few trucks that are getting old, but they hope to slowly get rid of the aging fire trucks and replace them with newer equipment. Laona Fire Chief David Rosio said the department had some help getting the new truck.

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CRANDON - Prosecutors think a Forest County woman protected her boyfriend after he threw her young son across a room in 2013.

Jennifer Shepard is charged with three felonies in the wake of the incident, including abuse, neglect, and helping a felon. Her boyfriend, Brandon Brunette, was sentenced to fifteen years in prison in October for throwing the boy.

Shepard was in court today to face another felony charge.

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MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee man is charged with fatally stabbing his infant daughter and another man during a domestic violence attack last week.

Twenty-year-old Ruben Garcia was charged Tuesday with first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of his daughter, 5-month-old Kairii Dailey, and 39-year-old Paul Kucharczyk, a family friend.

Garcia also is charged with attempted homicide in the stabbings of 19-year-old Alexia Dailey _ the baby's mother and Garcia's ex-girlfriend _ and Dailey's current boyfriend, 22-year-old Christopher Hamilton.

Prosecutors say Garcia flew into a rage when his ex-girlfriend would not take him back.

Prosecutors say Garcia kissed his baby daughter, apologized and then slit her throat. Police found the girl dead in her crib.

Online court records do not list a defense attorney. Garcia remains in jail.

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RHINELANDER - Many hunters know the animals they hunt live off of a certain type of tree.

If those trees aren't around, the animal species could struggle to stay alive.

A part of the U.S. Farm Bill called the Regional Conservation Partnership Program will pay forest landowners for clearing younger types of forest.

"It's important in this area because normally what we are doing is setting back the successional stages of the forest," Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership Habitat Coordinator Callie Bertsch said. "This would have normally happened by a natural disturbance, like wind and fire. Obviously we still have wind disturbances, but we suppress fires a lot."

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