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NEWS STORIES

Judge to hear case over collective bargaining restrictionsSubmitted: 10/21/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - A Madison judge is scheduled to hear arguments over whether Wisconsin labor relations officials are in contempt of court for continuing to enforce portions of Governor Scott Walker's collective bargaining restrictions.

Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled last year that the restrictions were unconstitutional as applied to two unions representing Madison teachers and Milwaukee public workers.

It's unclear whether the ruling applies to local government unions across the state.

The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission is still preparing to hold annual certification elections for more than 400 unions next month.

Attorneys for six unions have asked Colas to hold WERC in contempt. He's expected to hear oral arguments Monday afternoon.

It's unclear whether he'll rule at the end of the hearing or hand down a written decision later.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/04/2015

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

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RHINELANDER - Families who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as WIC, should soon have more flexibility when shopping.

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MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources plans to unveil a new endangered species license plate.

The plate features a photograph of an eagle. DNR officials say the design was chosen from more than 2,000 entries from photographers.

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GREEN LAKE - A 19-year-old Wisconsin man who authorities say took part in the "thrill killing" of 15 deer last year has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Oshkosh Northwestern Media (http://oshko.sh/1g3vOQu ) reports Grant Boese, of Ripon, pleaded no contest in Green Lake County court Monday to six counts of failing to obtain a deer hunting license.

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MARATHON COUNTY - Warren Rydell doesn't mind the buzz or stingers.

"You don't need to be afraid of bees, you just have to love them for what they are," said Rydell.

Rydell has raised bees since the 1980s. Now with 35 colonies and thousands of bees in Marathon County, he's produced hundreds of pounds of honey just this year.

"We're having success with it," said Rydell, who's with the Marathon County Beekeepers Association. "A little at a time. You make mistakes, but it's getting better."

But here and across the country, bee populations have been on the decline for years. Bees are important pollinators for the environment, which is why the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will meet next week to devise a pollinator protection plan.

"Whether people know it or not, for every three tablespoons of food you eat, two of those table spoons are produced by bees, and without them, we're not going to be able to feed people," said Rydell.

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WOODRUFF - More than 9,000 firefighters spent the day Monday in California battling wildfires.

20 more from Northern Wisconsin will join that group this week.

Firefighters, along with students from Blackwell Job Corps left for Oregon Monday.

Students at Blackwell Job Corps near Laona have been learning how to fight wildfires.

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HURLEY - Iron County officials say other developers with better qualifications than Gogebic Taconite are interested in mining ore in the Penokee Hills.

County Board members met last week with representatives from La Pointe Iron Co., which owns much of the land in northern Wisconsin that Gogebic Taconite tried to develop before pulling out in February.

One county board member says Gogebic Taconite's performance may make it harder for another developer to gain the public's trust.

He says county residents will likely remain divided on the mine because of environmental concerns.

But if state and federal regulators can guarantee the environment won't suffer, he says the mine might be worth pursuing because it could bring jobs to an area that desperately needs them.

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