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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

BLAINE, MINNESOTA - Firefighters from Upper Michigan put themselves at risk to battle fires in Utah.

On the way home, two were killed when the bus they were riding in crashed over the weekend in Minnesota.

Now the firefighter who was driving the bus is facing charges.

According to a criminal complaint, 28-year-old Michael Johnson told authorities he'd slept just 45 minutes the previous 28 hours as he drove a bus with 8 other wildland firefighters returning from a fire in Utah to their home base near Baraga in Michigan's Upper Penninsula.

Officers say Johnson was combative and showed signs of impairment at the crash scene, and later admitted to using marijuana the morning of the crash - and cocaine two days earlier.


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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander City Administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner walked into what she thought would be a routine performance review Monday night.

She left without a job.

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UPPER MICHIGAN - Firefighters in Upper Michigan believe an electrical issue started a logging truck fire Monday in Iron County.

The fire was reported around 2 p.m. on Co Rd 643. The truck was parked on the north side of the Paint River Bridge.

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's Highway 8 is finally getting its long-awaited renovation.

Beginning this week, construction will begin along two busy intersections on Rhinelander's busy bypass.

Michael Wendt, the Department of Transportation project development supervisor said, "This is probably something we should have done a little while ago, but it takes some time to get these projects going.

Construction at Highway G and 17 South started this week, and crews will lay new surface and install new stoplight sensors. 

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MINOCQUA - Three local cyclists planned to bike in the Ride Across Wisconsin event just for fun this year, but a few days before the ride, a good friend of theirs became unexplainably sick. In that moment, the purpose of their ride changed.

"This is nothing. This is a day. This is an hour, a minute that I can keep going," said cyclist Connie Trapp.

For Trapp, riding 178 miles was a small hurdle compared to the struggle of a close friend.

"Just having somebody to ride it for and be encouraged that you're doing it for someone else besides yourself really helped," said Trapp.

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MADISON - The state Elections Commission has approved mailing postcards to more than a million unregistered voters urging them to get on the rolls.

Legislators passed a law earlier this year requiring Wisconsin to join a multi-state consortium called the Electronic Registration Information Center, which works to identify eligible voters who haven't registered. ERIC requires member states to reach out before Oct. 1 every two years to eligible voters who may not be registered.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/30/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on the Rhinelander City Council's decision to remove Kristina Aschenbrenner from the City Administrator position.

We'll tell you about a group of people from Minocqua who took a bike ride across Wisconsin and dedicated it to a friend with serious health problems.

And people driving down Highway 8 in Rhinelander may have to watch out for construction for a while. We'll tell you what crews are doing on two intersections of the bypass.

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

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