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NEWS STORIES

E-cig regulations stalled in the state senateSubmitted: 05/13/2014
Story By Associated Press

ST. PAUL, MN - An attempt to treat electronic cigarettes like regular smokes has stalled in the Minnesota Legislature.

A House-Senate conference committee on Tuesday decided against adding e-cigarette use to the indoor air laws that would have prohibited their use in most public spaces. The Senate had passed the toughest measure, but House members say they lacked sufficient votes to move ahead.

Lawmakers are tackling the emerging devices that deliver nicotine and emit a vapor. They are primed to restrict sales so minors can't access them and they can't be used on school grounds. The liquids would also have to be sold in tamper-proof bottles that make it hard for young children to open.

But public health advocates wanted to outlaw their use in bars, restaurants and other venues.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
Some child pornography tips see slow Justice Department responseSubmitted: 08/29/2014

MADISON - Most people would expect quick action if they provided a tip about possible child pornography.

Newly released records show state Justice Department field offices across Wisconsin have delayed investigating some child pornography tips for months.

For example, the agency's Madison office took about three years to assign two tips for follow-up.

The Department of Justice earlier had fired the Milwaukee Special Agent-In-Charge for allowing nearly four dozen tips to languish.

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Export markets sought for Wisconsin cranberriesSubmitted: 08/29/2014

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - China might be a good place to send some of Wisconsin's extra cranberries.

The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection hosted a group of potential buyers from China this past week.

They talked to growers and toured cranberry facilities.

Industry leaders are hoping to expand demand for cranberries as an oversupply causes prices to drop.

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Free school meals for all Lac du Flambeau Public School students this yearSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - All students at the Lac du Flambeau Public School will get breakfast and lunch for free this year. A federal program will reimburse the school for all free meals given to students.

The program is called the Community Eligibility Provision. It's part of the 2010 Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act. Schools can participate in the Community Eligibility Provision if they have a high poverty rate.

90% of Lac du Flambeau Public School students already got free meals last year. 23 students needed to pay a reduced price and 25 needed to pay full price.

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Tomahawk Public Library to close for a monthSubmitted: 08/28/2014

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TOMAHAWK - People living in the Tomahawk area will need to find another library for a while.

The Tomahawk Public Library will be closed for the month of September. No library materials will be due during the month of September.

The library will get a more than $80,000 facelift.

All carpeting will be replaced, and all walls will be repainted.

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Sheriff's office warns of IRS phone scamSubmitted: 08/28/2014

VILAS COUNTY - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office wants to warn people of a phone scam.

People in the area have reported getting calls from people saying they're officers or special agents with the IRS.

The scammer asks for a named person living at the home.

The caller then says the person owes money to the IRS and must pay immediately.

The scammer may also threaten to arrest or prosecute the victim.

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State warns Potawatomi it could lose gamesSubmitted: 08/28/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration has warned the Forest County Potawatomi tribe that it could lose about 2,000 slot machines if it succeeds in withholding its $25 million annual payment to the state.

The Potawatomi say they're withholding the money because the state may end up owing the tribe money if Walker approves the Menominee tribe's proposed Kenosha casino. The Potawatomi fear a Kenosha casino would significantly cut into their Milwaukee casino profits.

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Wisconsin faces $281 million budget shortfallSubmitted: 08/28/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin tax collections are more than $281 million short of estimates, a drop that could require the Legislature to take action to keep the budget in balance.

The state Department of Revenue on Thursday released the figures for the fiscal year that ended in June. Those figures show the state collected $281.2 million less than was anticipated by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January.

That is nearly 2 percent less than anticipated.

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