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NEWS STORIES

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


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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 IN OTHER NEWS

WISCONSIN - With the Fourth of July right around the corner, many people will enjoy the holiday out in the warm weather. If you do, it's important to remember food safety to avoid getting any food illness this weekend.

Bacteria spreads much faster in the heat. Any food left out for more than an hour could go bad. 

Health Department workers say to keep your food out of what they call the "food danger zone".

"It's 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and ways that they can do this is to put cold food items on top of ice and water baths and hot items, you're going to want to keep them covered with foil or kept on the cooler side of the grill," said Forest County Health Department Nutritionist Karly Johnson.

Food kept inside at room temperature should be put away after two hours. Make sure to wash any utensils or plates used for raw meat before reusing. That's the best way to avoid common food illnesses.

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MADISON - Update: 6/30  5:40pm

Republican Sen. Luther Olsen says the budget-writing committee hopes to meet on Thursday to complete its work so the Legislature can vote on passing the state budget next week.

Olsen commented Tuesday after leaving a five-hour closed meeting with Republican senators.

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VILAS COUNTY - Earlier this month, legislators put a proposal into the state budget that would take away a county's ability to make its own shoreline zoning regulations. Here in the Northwoods, two counties have come out against that proposal.

If the state budget went through as it's written right now, individual counties and lake associations could lose their power to set zoning regulations. That's a big issue for many in the Northwoods. Vilas County alone has 1,300 lakes. The proposal has caused great concerns.

"The concern was that the proposal had the potential for doing great damage to the environment, had the potential for causing a severe problem as far as assessment procedures, and generally was opposed by the citizens-the residents-of this county," said Chuck Hayes, a Vilas County supervisor.

Vilas and Oneida counties both held board meetings last week. Both counties voted to ask for removal of zoning changes from the budget. They argue the issue of shoreline zoning was never given any time to be discussed.

"At the very least, I think the public should have had a chance to weigh in on this issue that affects the environment," said Hayes. "The counties, the municipalities and individual residents, their opinion wasn't sought on this. It was simply put in."

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/30/2015

- Find out how a local group is trying to help the endangered Monarch Butterfly population.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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ANTIGO - A new grant program could bring new businesses to downtown Antigo. The area has had trouble filling empty buildings for the past few years, but county and city leaders say Downtown Antigo is making a comeback.

Now, business owners who open a store downtown can get some money back.

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MADISON - Leaders of the Senate and Assembly plan to hold a news conference on Wednesday morning to announce terms of the agreement. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos's spokeswoman Kit Beyer said Tuesday the deal had been reached and details would come out Wednesday.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker will greet President Barack Obama when he comes to La Crosse on Thursday to talk about the economy.

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