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Supreme Court hears challenge to partner registrySubmitted: 10/24/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Conservative attorneys are trying to persuade the Wisconsin Supreme Court to wipe out the state's domestic partner registry.

Members of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit in 2010 alleging the registry violates a 2006 state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage or anything substantially similar.

The registry grants same-sex couples a host of legal rights.

Austin Nimocks is an attorney for the group.

He told the justices during oral arguments Wednesday the qualifications to get married and get on the registry are substantially similar and the registry mimics a married relationship.

Christopher Clark, an attorney for Fair Wisconsin, the state's largest gay rights group, counters the registry doesn't come close to marriage.

He says marriage is a civil contract that comes with obligations that the registry doesn't require.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/25/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you to the Oneida County Courthouse for day 2 of the trial of Mark Spietz who is accused of breaking into and stealing items from a home where a double murder occurred in March of 2015.

Snowmobiling will start in just a few months. We'll show you how snowmobile clubs and groomer builders in Vilas County are getting prepared for the season before the snow falls.

And we'll give you a look at one of the oldest resorts Vilas County has to offer.

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

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EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office says no one was hurt after a 48-year-old Mark Mayo of Eagle River threatened to hurt himself with a firearm near Eagle River Wednesday night.

Crews responded Wednesday evening near to the area near Deerskin Road north of Eagle River and south of Phelps to reports that a man wanted to hurt himself and was armed with a 9 mm handgun and two magazines. That report came in around 3:55 p.m.

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VILAS COUNTY - Soon snow will be falling. In fact, preparation for snowmobile season starts as soon as next month.
Cross Country Cruisers Snowmobile Club President David Assmann and his crew are just about ready to hit the trails, starting in September.

"We cut all the brush and everything that's low to the ground," said Assmann.

His crew spends a lot of volunteered time making sure 93 miles of trails near Arbor Vitae are ready and safe to use in the winter.

"We have at least five guys going out, sometimes twice a day. We do trails in the morning and then trails late at night," said Assmann.

Many people who live here use the Northwoods trails, but so do a lot of tourists during the winter months.
"We are able to go out, get these trails groomed so that the tourists that come up can go on our trails, can get to the different businesses in the area, and that helps the economy up here," said Assmann.

With so many miles of trails in Vilas County, one of the best parts is that there is equipment made to maintain those trails, right in St. Germain.

Arrowhead Groomers has been in Vilas County since 1976. The company builds equipment that levels out the trails.

"We manufacture the snow groomer drags primarily for snowmobile trails. Some of them end up getting used on cross country ski trails as well," said Walker Equipment owner Dave Walker.

Another local snowmobile club, Bo-Boen, uses the Arrowhead Groomers on their trails as well.

"I have 17 drivers on my staff that maintain 100 miles of trails here in St. Germain. We're very cognizant of the fact that we have to do a good job to bring those people here so they can spend their money and keep our economy going," said the trail boss for Bo-Boen snowmobile club Jim Wendt.

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MADISON - More than a million unregistered voters in Wisconsin may be getting a postcard in the mail soon telling them what to do so they can cast a ballot in the upcoming presidential election.

The state's Elections Commission is working on the mailing that is expected to be sent in about a month. It comes as part of the requirement of Wisconsin joining an inter-state consortium dedicated to assisting with voter registration.

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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 office in his previous position as Milwaukee County executive.

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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ONEIDA COUNTY - A jury could decide this week if a man stole items from the home where Thomas and Jennifer Ayers were killed, or if he was just doing his job.

Mark Spietz, 39, faces several burglary charges. His trial started in Oneida County court on Wednesday.

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

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