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Assembly passes bill to block transfering food stamp benefits for cash, alcohol or cigarettesSubmitted: 04/16/2013
Story By The Associated Press

MADISON - The state Assembly has approved a bill that would penalize the trafficking of the food stamp benefits in Wisconsin.

The Republican-sponsored measure would make it illegal to buy, sell or transfer food stamp benefits for cash and other unlawful purposes such as trading stamps for alcohol or cigarettes.

Republicans say the bill would give district attorneys the necessary tools to prosecute food stamp traffickers. They say the proposal also would ensure benefits are available to those who really need them. But Democrats called the plan misguided and mean-spirited.

The Assembly passed the measure 73-24 on Tuesday, sending the bill on to the state Senate.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - The head of the state prison system is assuring lawmakers that Wisconsin's troubled youth prison is safe.

Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher told the Assembly Corrections Committee during an informational hearing on Tuesday that the prison outside Irma is safe and secure and is focused on educating inmates.

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PARK FALLS - Two weeks ago, St. Anthony's Catholic School in Park Falls said it needed a "miracle."

Without that financial miracle, the elementary and middle school couldn't make ends meet. It would have to close before next school year.

St. Anthony's didn't get that miracle. Last week, the Parish Pastoral Council recommended the school close for next year.

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WESTON - A Langlade County man died from a gunshot wound outside a Weston bar last week.

Everest Metro Police say Nicholas Houdek was found face down in a parking lot outside Wiggly Field early Friday morning.

Houdek was from Bryant, which is just outside Antigo.

Police didn't say if someone shot Houdek or if he shot himself.

He was a 2007 Antigo High School graduate.

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ASHLAND - Hearing your medical provider gasp usually doesn't mean anything good.  But Laura Christianson admits the first time she saw one of her hospital's newest piece of machinery it left her stunned.

"It literally took my breath away when I saw it move," Christianson said.

For five years, the radiologic technologist at Ashland Memorial Medical Center captured images of broken bones or torn muscles on machines -- some 16 years old -- often in separate rooms. That changed at MMC last fall.

"You set up an exam and all you have to do it pretty much just push a button and it moves to where you want it to move to," Christianson said.

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NORTHWOODS - Many people used the warm weekend weather to enjoy some outdoor activities. The loggers from Enterprise Forest Products spent all weekend outside as well. But they were working to bring wood out of the forest before the ground thaws. 

The soft ground is not good for loggers. Once the ground thaws, trucks and machinery will no longer be supported. They have to go out before the ground thaws to avoid damaging the land.

"We don't want to make a mess, we don't want to harm the land and so when that ground is soft, our machines rut the land. We can't do that," said owner of Enterprise Forest Products Dennis Schoeneck. 

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MINOCQUA - You can keep your pajamas on and stay barefoot to shop at one grocery store in the Northwoods.

The "Rosie" app on smartphones and online is changing how you shop.

You can order any food item at Save More Marketplace in Minocqua with a couple taps on your screen.

"I print the list you guys have chosen for the items you want," said in-store shopping expert Steph Coy.

She will load up the cart, checkout, then bag your items for delivery to your house or pick-up in store.

Save More Marketplace started using the shopping option in October.

"It's a convenience for customers who don't have the time. It is a convenience for customers who can't leave their home," said Save More Marketplace president Jim Gauden.

It costs a little extra; up to $5 if food is delivered to you.

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HAYWARD - Warm weather is forcing organizers to change the route of Saturday's American Birkebeiner ski race in northwestern Wisconsin.

As a result, the race will not finish in downtown Hayward this year.

The Birkie race course normally crosses Lake Hayward to get to downtown Hayward. But the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation said Monday the lake is no longer an option.

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