Wis. superintendent comments on standards released
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Responses from nearly 100 school superintendents across Wisconsin with their feelings about the Common Core academic standards have been released by a legislative committee.
The special panel created by Republicans to study the standards released results of the four-question survey on Tuesday. The committee is expected to release its recommendations related to the Common Core curriculum on Wednesday and vote on it Thursday.
The survey was sent to all 426 public school districts in Wisconsin and 94 superintendents responded.
Many superintendents expressed their support for the standards, which they said are more rigorous than what was in place previously. Tea party conservatives pushed for the review of the standards amid concerns that they were too weak and amount to a nationwide curriculum.
Wisconsin Democrats push minimum wage hike
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature are calling on Republicans to hold a public hearing on a bill to increase the minimum wage.
Twenty six Democrats, including possible gubernatorial candidate Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, sent a letter Tuesday requesting the hearing.
The bill was introduced in January. It would increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $7.60 an hour and then have it go up automatically based on inflation.
The request for a hearing comes as President Barack Obama and Democrats nationally have been calling for an increase in the minimum wage.
Republican Sen. Glenn Grothman says he doesn't support the bill, saying a higher minimum wage won't help his goal of finding more entry level jobs for teenagers. Grothman chairs the Judiciary and Labor Committee.
ANIMAL ABUSE-DAIRY FARM
DiGiorno, supplier drop dairy farm over abuse
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Top-selling frozen pizza brand DiGiorno and its cheese supplier are cutting ties with a Wisconsin dairy farm after an animal rights group released video showing workers beating, kicking, stabbing and whipping sick and injured cows.
Wiese Brothers Farm owner Mark Wiese says he fired two employees and assigned another to duties that don't involve handling animals.
Video shot in October and November by an activist with Mercy For Animals show cows that can't stand being dragged with ropes and heavy equipment or lifted with hooks. Workers whip, kick and stab other cows to get them moving.
The group is calling on DiGiorno and its parent company Nestle USA to adopt a tougher animal welfare policy.
Nestle says it will no longer accept cheese made from Wiese Brothers' milk.
Walker signs technical college bills
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a pair of bills designed to help students who are pursuing a technical college education.
One bill Walker signed provides incentive grants to school districts that promote career and technical education programs. The grants of up to $1,000 per school district will be available starting next school year.
The other bill Walker signed provides scholarships to full time students at technical colleges. Between one and six scholarships worth $2,250 will be available at each school.
Both measures passed the Legislature unanimously earlier this year. Walker signed the bills in Eau Claire.
State Superintendent Tony Evers had proposed the incentives last year and thanked Walker for signing the bills into law.
Wis. DNR to board: Cold weather dampened hunt
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials are telling their board that cold weather and a struggling northern herd contributed to a down gun deer season last month.
Preliminary totals show hunters killed 226,582 deer, down 7 percent from last year. The buck kill was down 15 percent. The northern area of the state saw a 15 percent decline in total harvest, the sharpest drop in any region.
Agency officials gave the Natural Resources Board a report on the hunt on Tuesday.
Wildlife Program Director Tom Hauge told the board cold temperatures on opening weekend forced hunters out of the woods, setting the tone for the rest of the hunt. He also noted the long 2012-13 winter led to high mortality in the northern deer herd.
DEER HUNT-FEMALE HUNTERS
Wis. DNR: Female deer hunters grew by 5 percent
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the number of resident female deer hunters was up slightly during the state's nine-day gun season.
Keith Warnke is the DNR's hunting and shooting sports coordinator. He told the agency's board Tuesday during a review of the season that about 65,000 resident female hunters purchased licenses. That's up 5 percent from 2012 and marks the highest number of resident female hunters since 2007.
Warnke says the number may have risen because the DNR offered first-time hunters licenses for $5. He also says it's becoming more socially acceptable for women to take to the woods.
Wis. DNR headquarters evacuated after pipes burst
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' headquarters in Madison has been evacuated after pipes burst overnight, flooding eight floors of the building.
The building was ordered evacuated at 1 p.m. Tuesday after employees had tried to work in the flooded space all morning.
The state Department of Administration said in a statement that liquid from the heating and cooling system that flooded could create irritation to skin, eyes and the respiratory system.
The building is expected to re-open on Wednesday.
The DNR is blaming the pipe-burst on sub-zero temperatures overnight. There is no cost estimate yet on damage caused.
Tuesday afternoon's Natural Resources Board meeting was moved to the Department of Public Instruction building next door due to the flood.
Man sentenced for role in Texas-to-Wis. drug ring
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A Sheboygan man convicted of helping run a drug ring that trafficked cocaine and marijuana from Texas to Wisconsin has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.
Federal prosecutors announced on Tuesday the recent sentencing of 30-year-old Randy Martinez.
Prosecutors say Martinez was part of the so-called Balderas Organization. The group is accused of conspiring to transport at least 10 pounds of cocaine and several thousand pounds of marijuana to Wisconsin.
Authorities say the group transported drugs by using cars filled with hidden narcotics and driven by couriers often recruited by Martinez. They say Martinez ran Wisconsin's operations, helping to distribute drugs and launder money.
Martinez's defense attorney, Chris Donovan, says he's happy the judge handed down the sentence that Donovan and prosecutors agreed to recommend.
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