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Wisconsin will need to pick a new Attorney General in 2014Submitted: 10/07/2013
Story By Newswatch 12 Newsteam

Wisconsin will need to pick a new Attorney General in 2014
MADISON - Wisconsin will need to pick a new Attorney General.

Republican J.B. Van Hollen announced this morning that he would not seek another term in office.

Van Hollen is serving his second term as attorney general, and was first elected in 2006.

Van Hollen said when he was elected, he had a vision of an Attorney General who would fight crime and restore integrity.

He says his administration has put public safety first.

Van Hollen believes not running will allow him to focus on his remaining tasks without the distraction of a campaign.

He also felt no person should be Attorney General for life.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to lift overseas ballot restrictions to avoid a legal battle.

The U.S. Department of Justice warned earlier this month that it's preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't let temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to submit downloadable back-up ballots in case they don't have time to return an official ballot.

Federal law allows all overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically and submit back-up ballots. Assembly Republicans passed a bill that would have aligned Wisconsin's statutes with the federal law but the measure died in April after Senate Republicans added language limiting special legislative elections.

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MADISON - Wisconsin Elections Commission staff plan to hire a half-dozen new employees and upgrade software to bolster election security.

The commission received a $7 million federal grant in March to upgrade security after Russian actors tried to access a state Department of Workforce Development system before the 2016 election.

Staff told the commission Thursday that the Department of Administration has approved hiring six new four-year security positions, including an information technology project manager, an elections security trainer and a voting systems specialist.

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MILWAUKEE - Petroleum is being shipped out of the Port of Milwaukee this spring for the first time in at least a decade, raising environmental concerns.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the liquid cargo pier recently received a $3.6 million upgrade that allows it to move ethanol and petroleum products.

U.S. Oil loaded its first shipment of 100,000 barrels of ethanol last month. The distributor is a subsidiary of U.S. Venture, which distributes oil, ethanol, lubricants, tires and auto parts.

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MERRILL - People on the west side of Merrill will need to put up with the sound of construction this summer. What was once an empty lot will now be the site of the Stonebridge Apartments. The apartments are a new source of affordable housing in Merrill and should be complete by the late summer. 

When you're looking at Park Place apartments in Merrill, you might confuse the building with something else. 

"I think Park Place looks like a 1970s dormitory at UW Madison," said Merrill Area Housing Authority Executive Director Paul Russell.

But a new apartment complex being built just across the street is going to offer a different look.

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MERRILL - In the upper-right corner of a concrete slab, LeRoy Fischer looks with pride and awe at his name etched in stone next to family and friends.

"I never thought it would get this big," Fischer said.

Nearly 1,000 paver stones with names of veterans from all across Lincoln County form the basis of a memorial in St. Francis' section of Merrill's Memorial Cemetery dedicated to anyone who served.

"We're all one and united," Fischer said of all veterans, whether they served in wartime or not.

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FOX CROSSING - State justice officials say a police officer in the Fox Valley has fatally shot a suspect.

The Department of Justice says Fox Crossing police responded to a report of a man threatening people at Fritze Park Wednesday afternoon. Police say numerous people called about a man who they said was acting erratically and was armed with a knife.

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MERRILL - Working on a berry farm takes a lot of patience.

"I've been doing it for over 30 years and seems like there's never a year that is the same," said Engleberry Farm owner Michael Matushak.

Driving down highway 107 in Merrill you'll come across six acres of strawberries fields.

But walking through the strawberry fields, you won't find one berry in sight.

"The year is late to start. We are about ten days late," said Matushak.

This year's long, late season snow pushed back the strawberry season.

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