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NEWS STORIES

Gov. Walker signs unemployment benefit changesSubmitted: 07/05/2013
Story By Associated Press


MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that would increase the maximum weekly unemployment insurance payout but install new limits on who can collect the benefits.

The bill increases the highest monthly benefit by $7 to $370.

It also makes it easier for the state to recover overpayments made to the unemployed by allowing audits of beneficiaries, repeals a program that allows claimants to receive an additional 26 weeks of benefits if they're enrolled in vocational training and bars inmates in work-release programs from collecting unemployment.


The measure cleared the Republican-controlled Legislature in June. Walker signed it into law on Friday.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Mining company pushes back permit timelineSubmitted: 08/27/2014

MILWAUKEE - Gogebic Taconite will take longer than originally planned to apply for a mining permit in northern Wisconsin.

The company says its application to develop an iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties will be pushed back until at least the fall of next year.

Gogebic had planned to submit an application in the spring of 2015 to develop a 1.5 billion dollar iron ore mine in the Lake Superior region.

A company spokesman says Gogebic won't finish all fieldwork this year and will be forced to conduct additional environmental work next year.

The approaching of fall is prompting Gogebic to wrap up some fieldwork already.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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Vilas County denies another referendum for ATV trails in Phelps, approves access for County Highway A to Forest County ATV trails Submitted: 08/26/2014

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PHELPS - Voters in Vilas County didn't want ATV's or UTV's on County roads or property in 2004. Tuesday, the County Board was considering asking voters about that topic again.

That won't happen. The county board voted 14 to 5 not to put an ATV question on this fall's ballot.

The county held a referendum in February of 2004. More than 60 percent of voters said they didn't want ATV'S or UTV's on county roads or properties.

The Vilas County Board chairman told the crowd he was against having the referendum again Tuesday night, but he still wanted to give the people what they wanted.

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Wisconsin DNR plans waterfowl chatSubmitted: 08/26/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin wildlife officials are planning an online chat for waterfowl hunters.

The Department of Natural Resources has scheduled the chat for noon on Aug. 27. Participants can log on through the DNR's website by searching for the keyword ``chat.''

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Woman faces felony for illegally keeping a gun and selling itSubmitted: 08/26/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - A 28-year-old Merrill woman faces a felony for illegally keeping a gun. She also sold it to an undercover police officer.

Bonnie Wolff was arrested earlier Tuesday morning for selling a stolen assault rifle officer in Rhinelander. Wolff is a convicted felon. She's not allowed to have a gun under state law.

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Northwoods biologists consider options to increase average size of panfishSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Fishermen catch about 60 million panfish per year in Wisconsin.

But the size of those panfish has been getting smaller.

Overharvest seems to be part of the problem on many lakes.

Now, the DNR is proposing a way to increase the size of bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed, and perch on several lakes.

Their regulation plan comes from decades of data collection.

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Woman who tried to hire someone to kill fiance will spend about three years in prisonSubmitted: 08/26/2014

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WAUSAU - Jessica Strom will spend about three years in prison for offering a man $1,000 and sex to kill her fiance.

The 33 year old Merrill woman was sentenced Tuesday.

"Out of the billions of people that could potentially be partners in life [the] two of you chose the single worst combination," says Circuit Court Judge Neal Nielsen.

Strom's fiance was former Lincoln County district attorney John Schellpfeffer.

The state argued this wasn't the first time Strom and Schellpfeffer had problems.

"In 2009 there was a criminal damage to property complaint, disorderly conduct," says Prosecuting Attorney Ralph Uttke. "Mr. Schellpfeffer called saying Ms. Strom was smashing the window to his house with a hammer and left, she was arrested a short time later."

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Potawatomi withhold payment to WisconsinSubmitted: 08/26/2014

MADISON - The Forest County Potawatomi say they have not made their annual revenue sharing payment to the state of Wisconsin for their casino in Milwaukee because they anticipate the state will owe them money if Gov. Scott Walker approves a casino in Kenosha.

The Potawatomi released a statement Tuesday after Walker's office sent out an update on the casino project that noted the tribe had missed its payment. The tribe says the money has been placed in a segregated account.

The Menominee Tribe wants to open an off-reservation casino in Kenosha to help pull its members out of poverty. A final decision on the project rests with Walker.

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