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NEWS STORIES

WI Not Likely to Go the Way of Other States on Gay MarriageSubmitted: 05/18/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Wisconsin's neighbor Minnesota may have become the 12th state in the country to legalize same-sex unions on Tuesday.

But gay marriage is not on the legislative agenda in Wisconsin, and that's not expected to change in the near future.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse political scientist Joe Heim tells Post-Crescent Media national public opinion seems to lean toward gay marriage but he doesn't see Wisconsin joining that group soon.

Wisconsin's constitution, unlike Minnesota's, bans same-sex marriage.

In November 2006, nearly 60 percent of Wisconsin voters supported an amendment banning gay marriage.

Before Wisconsin lawmakers could consider a bill to allow gay marriage, voters would have to pass an amendment undoing the 2006 amendment language. But before that the Legislature would have to pass the amendment in two consecutive sessions.



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TOMAHAWK - Some school board members in the Northwoods run unopposed, but that could change in Tomahawk.

Ken Schulz is one of the more than 100 community members who want change.

The change could mean there's only seven people on the Tomahawk School Board instead of nine. 
 
Schulz is the former school board president.

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LANGLADE COUNTY - Lake property owners in the Northwoods often care deeply about the health and well-being of their lakes. The people who live around Rolling Stone Lake in northern Langlade County are just one example.

The lake has a weed cutter machine, a large storage and maintenance building, and public land. Members around the lake pay a little extra tax for those things. But the lake district will also raise thousands of dollars this weekend. They're hosting a picnic, rummage sale, raffles, and bake sale for their lake.

"It's really the best-kept secret in the Northwoods, I think," said Char Waite, a member of the Rolling Stone Lake Protecting and Rehabilitation District. "It's quiet. It's a great lake to fish. It's a great lake to boat. We just love it here."

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RHINELANDER - People don't like to pay for things they don't use and don't own, which makes Rhinelander's discovery all the more tricky.  The city has been plowing a private alley for more than three decades.

The rocky and narrow alley runs between Pearl and Rose Streets near Hodag Park.

The city public works director realized the mistake about two months ago.  The 12 homeowners there own the land, which means every time a Rhinelander plow goes through, it's trespassing.

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CRANDON - Many people may go out of town for Labor Day Weekend, but not in Crandon.

In fact, people from all over the country are coming in town for the 46th annual World Championship Off-Road Races.

The races started Friday night and continue throughout the weekend, with championship races occuring on Saturday and Sunday.

The event's parade attracted hundreds of people in downtown Crandon on Friday afternoon.

Event organizers say there are about 145 racers. They are hoping for thousands of spectators.

"Labor Day Weekend is a happening in Crandon," said Crandon International Off-Road Raceway Cliff Flannery said. "

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UNITED STATES - Put every kid in a park.

That's the new initiative from President Barack Obama to encourage children and their family's to visit America's national parks.

2016 is the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service.

It's trying to get more people in the park.

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WAUSAU - The owner of the Wausau Center Mall has requested a $4.1 million loan from the city of Wausau, according to information released Friday.

The request from CBL Associates is for a 20-year loan with a two percent interest rate.

The mall hasn't done well since the anchor store JC Penney left in 2014.

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WISCONSIN - Gogebic Taconite will no longer pursue mining in northern Wisconsin. The company scrapped its plans for a huge iron ore mine in Iron and Ashland Counties this spring.

But state Democrats aren't forgetting about the mining issue. They're proposing a bill which they say would close a loophole in the state's 2013 mining law. That law relaxed the permitting process for iron mines.

The Democrats' bill would make it illegal to fill or destroy the bed of a lake, stream, reservoir, or flowage to mine the materials underneath. Bill author Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) said right now, mining could be done legally under flowages and reservoirs.

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