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NEWS STORIES

Burke headlining Democratic Party conventionSubmitted: 06/06/2014
Story By Associated Press

WISCONSIN DELLS - Wisconsin Democrats gathering for their annual state convention will hear from the candidate they hope can knock of Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Mary Burke is scheduled to give the keynote speech at Friday night's convention at a resort in Wisconsin Dells. Burke's attempt to defeat Walker comes in her first statewide race. She is a member of the Madison school board, served two years as Commerce secretary under Gov. Jim Doyle, and is a former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive.


Burke told The Associated Press on Thursday she hopes to use the speech before about 1,000 Democrats to unify the party as it works to defeat Walker.

Longshot Democratic challenger state Rep. Brett Hulsey was not given a speaking slot, but he still planned to be at the convention.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Parents of students in two Northwoods schools will take part in a statewide parenting project this year. UW-Extension offices across the state are organizing the eParenting Program.

This is the first year that James Williams Middle School in Rhinelander is taking part in the program. Elcho School is also participating.

Parents in the project get emails every week with different parenting resources.

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JANESVILLE - Mitt Romney is scheduled to return to Wisconsin this spring, but he won't come back as a Republican candidate for president.

Romney said Friday he will not run for president in 2016.

The business group Forward Janesville says Romney will keynote its annual dinner on April 7 in Janesville, hometown of his former running mate U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.

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MADISON - The flu gets the blame for the deaths of three more children in Wisconsin.

That brings the total number of pediatric deaths to five.

The latest report from the state Department of Health Services shows this flu season is second only to 2009, when the swine flu caused the deaths of six children.

In the U.S. this season, Wisconsin is behind only Texas with seven pediatric deaths.

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RHINELANDER - Northwoods supermarkets want to be prepared for the Superbowl this Sunday. Some local stores have ordered a lot more food for this week to make sure they don't run out of Superbowl staples.

The assistant store director of Trig's in Rhinelander has ordered extra shipments of soda, pizza, and snack food. The store wants to be prepared but it doesn't expect food to sell as quickly as it does during other times of the year.

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MADISON - The Republican leader of the Wisconsin state Senate is renewing his call for passage of a right-to-work bill.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald issued a statement Thursday saying debate of right-to-work needs to occur along with consideration of the state budget. Walker will release his budget plan on Tuesday.

Walker has repeatedly said he doesn't want the Legislature to act early in the session on right-to-work, but he also is a longtime supporter of the idea. Walker has also never said he would veto such a bill should it pass.

Right-to-work laws prevent private-sector employers from forcing workers to join a union or pay dues as a condition of employment.

Supporters say it's about worker freedom while opponents argue it will drive down wages and it's bad for the economy.

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MADISON - Members of the Menominee Tribe, southeastern Wisconsin union workers and a bipartisan group of state lawmakers are urging Gov. Scott Walker to reconsider his rejection of a new casino in Kenosha.

Walker rejected the tribe's proposal last week and reiterated on Wednesday that he would not change his mind.

But advocates for the project gathered at the Capitol Thursday to say Walker can still change his mind by the Feb. 19 deadline.

Walker says he can't reverse his decision even if he wanted to.

But Kenosha casino backers say the Bureau of Indian Affairs would be willing to let Walker change his mind. A spokeswoman for BIA did not immediately return a message asking if Walker could reverse course.


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MADISON - A Wisconsin appeals court says a requirement that singers in the state Capitol obtain a permit was unconstitutional.

The case involves Michael Crute was cited for joining in a daily sing-along protest in the Capitol rotunda in July 2013. State rules then prohibited anyone from participating in an unpermitted event in state buildings.

Crute argued the regulations violated his free speech rights. A Madison judge tossed out his ticket in February. The 4th District Court of Appeals upheld that decision on Thursday, ruling the regulations didn't further a significant state interest.

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