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School district fights order to change mascotSubmitted: 07/24/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - A southeastern Wisconsin school district has formally refused to change its American Indian mascot despite a state appeals court finding that district parents can't sue to save it.

The Mukwonago Area School District has used the Indians nickname for decades.

State lawmakers in 2010 passed a bill allowing the state Department of Public Instruction to force schools to drop race-based nicknames, logos and mascots if someone complains about them.

A Mukwonago area resident complained about the Indians nickname two months after the law passed and DPI ordered the district to drop it.

Parents sued and a circuit court judge blocked the order. A state appeals court in January, though, ruled the parents lack standing to sue.

Nevertheless, the Mukwonago School Board voted 8-1 on Monday to retain the nickname.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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WHITE LAKE - After this week it may seem that spring is a long way off, butsome people in northern Wisconsin are still hopeful. 

People are especially hopeful in White Lake.  Village leaders put Iron Mike out on the lake on Wednesday. 

That means you can officially start guessing when the ice will melt—and when the metal-man will fall through it. 

"Norman Mike Berg is the one who came up with the idea," said Chris Oatman, a White Lake Village Board Trustee. "And Iron Mike is named after Mike Berg. And Mike was a native of White Lake and just so active in the community, for veterans and the school and so many things." 

After a 50-year hiatus, this is the second annual contest the village is hosting. Last year Iron Mike fell through on April 2. The winner got a $500 prize. Money raised from ticket sales also helps support the local VFW. 

"It's really exciting, the people really get into it," Oatman said. "The tickets are 5 dollars and basically the format for this year is you have to guess the day, and then you have to put down a time. So the closest one to the day without going over wins the prize." 

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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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