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State bar wants to limit terms for supreme court justicesSubmitted: 06/29/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

MADISON - A special task force of attorneys recommends limiting Wisconsin Supreme Court justices to a single 16-year term.

The state Bar of Wisconsin panel says the limit could help restore public confidence in the court. They say angry campaign ads have shaken public perception of our justices.

Currently there's no limit to the number of 10-year terms a justice can seek. The panel wants a constitutional amendment to change the system.

Former circuit judge Joe Troy spent 18 months studying the state supreme court. He says campaigns have become brutal with so many attack ads that voters think all justices are mediocre.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - Fire safety rules might prevent the use of real Christmas trees in some spots.

A bill now approved by the Assembly would ensure live trees are still allowed in churches and the state Capitol rotunda.

National Fire Protection Association guidelines call for banning live Christmas trees in places where 50 people or more gather.

The guidelines also allow limited quantities of combustible vegetation....if local fire officials decide adequate safeguards are in place.

Under the bill, the state and local governments would not be allowed to prevent placement of Christmas trees in the Capitol rotunda or in a church.

Trees in the rotunda and churches would be presumed to be safe during fire inspections.

The Assembly approved the bill Tuesday evening.

Now it goes to the state Senate.

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MADISON - Big changes for Wisconsin's managed forest program cleared the state Senate.

The Program gives participants property tax breaks if they keep their land open to the public....and follow timber management plans.

Land owners can close their property, but get a smaller tax break and must pay a fee.

The bill would cap closed land at 320 acres.

Fees would be reduced for withdrawing from the program early.

Property owners would be able to lease their land.

The changes would eliminate local taxes on timber harvested from program land, but allow local governments to keep 80 percent of closed acreage fees.

Right now 100 percent of those fees go to the state forestry account.

The changes now go to the state Assembly.

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EAGLE RIVER - Vilas County's courthouse expansion could look a little different and sit in a different spot than previously agreed upon, but those changes could save close to a million dollars and speed up construction.  Tuesday, a county committee agreed that's a good path to take.

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WISCONSIN - Coyotes become more active and territorial this time of year.

That's because it's breeding season for the animals.

The DNR hopes people will take steps to avoid interactions with coyotes.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/09/2016

- Chronic Wasting Disease just made it to the Northwoods. What is the Upper Peninsula doing to try and stop its spread there? Find out tonight.

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

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MADISON - The state Assembly has passed a bill ensuring that sexual assault victims and others who report such crimes can't be cited or disciplined for underage drinking.

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IRMA - Each year, mushers and their dogs make their way to Duluth for the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.

Maratha Schouweiler from Lincoln County has run the mid-distance race for the last nine years. 

This year, she made history as she became the first woman to win back-to-back Beargrease mid-distance races.

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