Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and California gay marriage banSubmitted: 06/26/2013
Story By Associated Press

Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and California gay marriage ban
U.S. SUPREME COURT - Two major Supreme Court Rulings announced Wednesday.

The Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California's gay marriage ban did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban.

The court's 5-4 vote today leaves in place the initial trial court declaration that the ban is unconstitutional.

California officials probably will rely on that ruling to allow the resumption of same-sex unions in about a month's time.

The Supreme Court also says legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

They struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law blocking federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act today that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people.

The vote was 5-4.

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RHINELANDER - An Oneida County judge set a trial date for a Rhinelander woman charged in the death of her toddler stepson.
Ellen Tran's trial is expected to start with jury selection on October 19.

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MERRILL - Police say a Stevens Point man tried to pay to have sex 15-year-old girl. 
Police arrested Leo Pelot, 67, on Tuesday. 

According to a criminal complaint, an undercover agent with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office posed as the 15-year-old's aunt. 

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CRANDON - Planners in Tomahawk dreamed about a bike loop around the city starting in the early 2000s.

Two decades later, it's finally about to happen.

After more than 15 years of negotiation, the city bought a critical piece of land from the Canadian National railroad.

It will allow the city to start building a 4.6 mile bike loop around the city.

"It's a win-win for everybody. There was a little frustration from by position, but you just...kept your foot on the gas through the whole process," said Tomahawk Public Works Director John Cole.

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MADISON - The Conservation Congress plans to ask attendees at its spring hearings whether lawmakers should charge people to use state land and eliminate group hunting.

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CRANDON - UPDATE (3/23/18): The Forest County Medical Examiner released the name of the inmate who died in the Forest County Jail earlier this week. 

The Forest County Sheriff's Officer said a man committed suicide Wednesday morning. 

An autopsy showed 44-year-old William Zastawniak died by hanging. 

He was facing three child sexual assault charges. 

The medical examiner is still waiting on toxicology results. 

The death is still under investigation.

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Gregory Loomis, 43, sexually assaulted two children in 1988 and 1992.

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The Crandon School Board voted unanimously Friday evening to change the wording of superintendent Dr. Doug Kryder's absence from the district.

Kryder is now on "paid administrative leave." Originally, he had been "suspended with pay."

The board said it made the change based on advice of its lawyer. The board met for two and a half hours in closed session on Friday.

Kryder is under investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

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