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Wisconsin patients waiting for seizure drugSubmitted: 06/16/2014
MADISON - Wisconsin epileptic patients are still waiting for doctors to give them a marijuana-based anti-seizure drug two months after Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill allow the medication's use.

Walker signed a bill in April allowing doctors to dispense cannabidiol, a marijuana derivative used to treat epileptics' seizures. About half-a-dozen other states have authorized its use.

Federal officials haven't approved the drug, however.

The Wisconsin bill allows doctors to dispense it only if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves handing it out through a clinical trial.

The Wisconsin Medical Society says it hasn't heard of any doctors dispensing the medication and state Department of Safety and Public Standards officials say no one has approached the agency for help in starting a trial.

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MADISON - A former high school basketball coach in central Wisconsin loses an appeal over his conviction for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-2 on Tuesday against Rory McKellips.

He's the former coach for girls' basketball at high schools in Athens and Mosinee.

He had been convicted in 2013 of using a computer to facilitate a sex crime.

That's because of cellphone contact he had with a player on the Athens High School team he coached.

The state Supreme Court said state prosecutors proved that McKellips used his cellphone as a computer to send messages to the victim.

He is serving a 10-year prison sentence.

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TOMAH -
The psychiatric unit at the troubled Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center should open next week, about nine months after it closed.

The VA was forced to close the unit in September because it didn't have enough health providers to staff it.

That meant 125 veterans had to be transferred to other facilities around the state.

Clinic administrators have spent the last few months recruiting staff and have hired a psychiatrist and two nurses.

That's enough to reopen the unit on a limited basis.

Seven beds will be available to veterans beginning July 5.

Inspectors for the VA in 2014 found that doctors were over-prescribing opioid painkillers, leading to the Tomah facility being nicknamed "Candy Land" by some veterans.

The deaths of three people who were cared for at Tomah remain under investigation.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says an 82-year-old man died after slipping into the water near a Tomahawk-area dam Sunday.

The sheriff's office says Cecil Vogts fell into the water by Bradley Dam in the Township of Bradly.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker is calling on his state Department of Transportation secretary to deliver a full two-year spending request earlier than usual.

Walker told Secretary Mark Gottlieb in a letter Monday that his budget request should not include any tax or fee increases and that bonding should be held to a "reasonable level." Walker also says that proposed spending on megaprojects in southeast Wisconsin should be minimized.

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MERRILL - Merrill's current skate park doesn't feature many of the tools modern skaters need. That's why some people want to build a new one.

The current skate park has old equipment and skaters complain it's not big enough.

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WAUSAU - Roy Thorson tries to be as self-reliant as possible.  But when you live with spinal muscular atrophy, as the 14-year-old does, you can use a boost every once in a while.

Monday morning, Thorson joined up with Wasuau firefighters to announce the start of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's annual "Fill the Boot" campaign.

"Not many people in today's society take the time to help others, so it's great to see them," Thorson said of the firefighters. "They take a night of their time and they go out and raise money for people like me. That just means all the world to me."

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