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Beto O'Rourke makes first stops in Wisconsin as presidential candidateSubmitted: 03/17/2019
Beto O'Rourke makes first stops in Wisconsin as presidential candidate
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Democrat Beto O'Rourke is making his first stops in Wisconsin as a presidential candidate, but he says 20 years ago he toured the state with his punk rock band.

O'Rourke told hundreds of supporters at a Madison coffee shop on Sunday that he's modeling his campaign off the "punk rock adventure." O'Rourke says to him that means showing up everywhere and meeting people.

O'Rourke says as a punk rocker, he traveled through Wisconsin in a Plymouth Satellite station wagon. He's been campaigning for president in a minivan.

O'Rourke was also in Wisconsin a month ago, as he explored a presidential bid. Democrats have roundly criticized Hillary Clinton for not campaigning in the state in 2016 after she lost the primary to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

President Donald Trump carried Wisconsin by less than 23,000 votes.

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MADISON - A new report puts Wisconsin among the states with the largest decline in higher education spending per student between 2013 and 2018.

The analysis by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association shows that Wisconsin's higher education funding per student fell by more than 8% during that period. Only Mississippi, West Virginia and Oklahoma saw larger declines.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that Wisconsin is bucking the national trend. The United States overall saw a more than 15% increase in state spending per student between 2013 and 2018.

The group's senior policy analyst, Sophia Laderman, says Wisconsin spent about $1,500 less per student last year than the national average of $7,853.

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MADISON -  The Wisconsin Supreme Court will take over the appeal in a second lawsuit challenging Republican-backed laws passed in a lame-duck session to restrict the powers of the newly elected Democratic governor and attorney general.

The decision Friday bypasses the state Appeals Court in the case involving the Service Employees International Union Local 1 and other unions. They're arguing the laws passed last year to limit some of the powers of Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul violate constitutional separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.

The State Journal reports the conservative-led court said Friday the state's interests "would be best served by the appeal bypassing the court of appeals."

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RHINELANDER - Guitar strings lose their rich sound whether they're being played or just sitting in an attic. The Northland Music Center gave their customers a fresh set Saturday for free to celebrate Earth Day a little early. 

Co-owner Will Roffers had a busy Saturday morning.

"I would say we're probably in the twenties at this point an hour and a half in," said Roffers working on a guitar inside Northland Music Center in Rhinelander.

He and his co-workers have been re-stringing guitars and recycling the old strings.

It's part of string company D'Addario's international effort to keep highly-recyclable metal guitar strings out of the landfill. 

"The amount of strings that go in the garbage is phenomenal so this is really taking a dent out of that," said Roffers.

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PINE LAKE - One person went to the St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander with non-life threatening injuries Saturday morning after a one vehicle accident on County Road W near Bozile Road.

The driver was reported to be outside of the vehicle which was on fire before firefighters arrived.

Emergency crews remained on the scene for about one hour.

The Pink Lake Fire Department responded after being dispatched at 3:30 a.m.

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NEWBOLD - If it's Saturday, it's training day for the Newbold Fire Department in Oneida County. 

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MADISON - Wisconsin's youngest lawmaker is much like your typical 19-year-old who binge-watches Netflix, goes out to movies, and eats out with friends.

But Democratic Rep. Kalan Haywood doesn't have a lot of free time these days. The Milwaukee teenager's days in the Legislature tend to be jam-packed. He dashes from committee hearings to office meetings with lobbyists and at the end of the day still has homework to worry about.

Haywood is a sophomore at Cardinal Stritch University, where he's pursuing a degree in business administration.

Haywood is one of three lawmakers nationally who were 19 when they were elected to legislatures in November. The others are in West Virginia and New Hampshire.

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MADISON - An investigation has found that as many as 10 students and staff reported that they were sexually harassed by the husband of former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper.

Kopper resigned in December after her husband, Alan "Pete" Hill, was banned from campus. The university released its 18-page investigative report and about 850 pages of attachments on Friday in response to an Associated Press open records request.

UW spokesman Mark Pitsch said in a statement that President Ray Cross advised Kopper to resign after he was briefed on findings of the report in mid-December. Pitsch says: "The report speaks for itself."

The investigation found no evidence that Kopper knew about or facilitated the actions of her husband, even though his behavior was "pervasive and well-known."

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