MADISON - Newly released bills show that Wisconsin's legal battle over redrawing voting boundaries to favor Republicans has cost taxpayers $2.1 million. That's $200,000 more than previously reported.
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report (http://bit.ly/HBiT72 ) says the state paid a legal firm $1 million to help defend the maps in court. Other expenses included $443,000 to plaintiffs who successfully challenged changes to a Milwaukee Latino district, and $431,000 to a different law firm for its work drawing the maps.
Peter Earle is one of the attorneys who sued the state over the maps. He says the $2.1 million figure is ``absolutely ridiculous.''
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos blames the cost on the groups who sued over the maps. He also says every round of redistricting brings sizable costs.
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
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