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NEWS STORIES

Gov. Walker signs voting billSubmitted: 03/28/2014
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has quietly signed into law a bill that limits in-person absentee voting to no later than 7 p.m. during the week and no weekend hours.

Walker vetoed a portion of the bill Thursday that limited the hours of early voting to no more than 45 in each of the two weeks prior to an election. He kept the prohibition on weekend voting.

Democrats strongly opposed the measure, saying it was targeted at tamping down turnout in heavily Democratic cities of Milwaukee and Madison which held extended hours during the 2012 presidential election.

Scot Ross, director of liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, says the law is unconstitutional and likely will be challenged in court.

Walker's spokeswoman Laurel Patrick says the bill is about ensuring uniform voting hours.





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 IN OTHER NEWS

MINOCQUA - People in Minocqua brought back a Northwoods tradition this year when they rebuilt the city's giant snowman.

For a few years, the giant snowman didn't get built, because of poor weather conditions.

"Who doesn't love to build a snowman?" asked Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Krystal Westfahl. "And to have the opportunity to build a 30-foot snowman brings out every kid in us."

Volunteers in Minocqua helped build the enormous snowman, named Snowmy Kromer, just outside of the Chamber of Commerce. He used to be built near the Island City Ice Cream store. But this year, they wanted to try a new spot.

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ST. GERMAIN - A wide open, snow- and ice-covered lake can mean a fun and fast time on a snowmobile.

You will get a chance to find out just how fast your snowmobile can go when the 13th Annual St. Germain Snowmobile Radar Run starts in St. Germain.

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BERLIN - Berlin Area School District officials have decided the high school mascot will remain the same amid criticism that it's racially insensitive.

The school board voted Monday night to retain the Indian mascot at Berlin High School after survey results were announced.

About 92 percent of more than 1,300 community members surveyed voted in favor of keeping the mascot.

One resident says the name honors a Native American tribe that no longer exists.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hopes a new set of bald eagle license plates will take flight across the state.

The agency is accepting bald eagle photo submissions for a contest.

The winning photo could be featured on the new endangered resources license plate.

Erin Crain is director for the department's Natural Heritage Bureau.

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Ford recalls 220,000 vehiclesSubmitted: 01/28/2015

NATIONWIDE - Ford announced on Wednesday it's recalling 220,000 cars for safety reasons.

But one local dealer Newswatch 12 spoke with says car owners likely won't be able to get their cars fixed until March.

That's because Ford needs to make the part to fix one of the issues and then send it to the dealers. Ford told the dealer Newswatch 12 spoke with that the parts won't be delivered until March.

The company is recalling certain 2010 to 2013 Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and Ford Police Interceptor sedans.

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WASHINGTON, DC - The director of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tomah says he had already taken steps to address reports of overmedication of patients before federal officials announced a review of prescription practices at the Wisconsin facility.

Tomah VA director Mario DeSanctis says his staff began looking into the unusually high rate of opiate prescriptions in 2012. In an interview with the La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/1BxJtoY ) this week, DeSanctis says steps to institute solutions to the problem have already been taken.

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RACINE - Gov. Scott Walker says he's planning trips soon to the important 2016 presidential primary states of South Carolina, Nevada and Florida.

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