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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - Wisconsin Republicans sparred with leaders in Democratic Gov. Tony Evers administration during a sometimes heated legislative hearing Wednesday, faulting them for not doing enough to quickly process surging unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic.

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WASHINGTON - An estimated 2.1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, bringing the running total since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March to about 41 million, the government said Thursday.

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HAYWARD - A dam break outside Hayward, Wi  led to a dangerous flash flood situation.

According to the national weather service, the dam failed Wednesday afternoon along the Mosquito Brook Flowage,  just north of Hayward.

When the dam broke, water was sent rushing into a neighborhood, causing road closures and stranding homeowners on a dead-end street.

Some of the roads were damaged and some homes were cut off by the rushing water.

No word on any injuries or damaged homes.

The flash flood warning that was in effect Wednesday night is now simply a flood warning.

The Hayward area received nearly three inches of rain on Tuesday.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission voted Wednesday to mail absentee ballot applications to most voters in the battleground state ahead of November's presidential election.

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WEST ALLIS - The Wisconsin State Fair was canceled Thursday due to the coronavirus pandemic, marking the first time since 1945 that the 169-year-old annual tradition will not take place.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission voted Wednesday to mail absentee ballot applications to most voters in the battleground state ahead of November's presidential election.

The vote came just a week after the panel split 3-3 along partisan lines on whether to mail the forms to nearly all registered voters, even if they hadn't requested one. Democrats favored the broad mailing, while Republicans were opposed.

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RHINELANDER - "At this point in time, it's not recommended to have any mass gatherings," said Linda Conlon of the Oneida County Public Health Department during a Zoom interview Wednesday.

Conlon made this same plea over Zoom to the Oneida County Public Safety Committee Tuesday, citing CDC guidance and recent coronavirus data.

Eventually Oneida County Board member Mitchell Ives put forth a motion to allow the Hodag Country Fest, saying it came down to personal choice.

"If they don't want to go to the Country Fest, they don't have to," said Ives during Tuesday's meeting.

Conlon said the problem with that argument, is that coronavirus doesn't affect just the person taking a risk. COVID-19 can easily spread to others.

It takes two weeks to develop symptoms, and some people are entirely asymptomatic. So a Hodag Fest attendee could spread COVID-19 without even knowing they have it.

"If they become ill, and then they go home, and then they go to work the next day, and they're going to the store, and they're going to restaurants and they're with family members - then they have put all those other individuals at risk," said Conlon.

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