Groups oppose bill to limit absentee voting
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A coalition of groups is speaking out against elections-related bills up for a vote in the state Senate, including one that would limit in-person absentee voting hours and another that would allow lobbyists to give donations to politicians sooner than they can now.
Members of the Coalition to Protect Wisconsin Elections held a news conference Monday to urge the Senate to reject the bills that are up for votes Tuesday. The bills are sponsored by Republicans, who control the Senate, and expected to pass.
One proposal would limit in-person absentee voting to between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays in the two weeks before an election.
Mike Wilder, co-chairman of the African American Roundtable in Milwaukee, calls that and others up for a vote "anti-democracy bills."
Homicide defendant's competency at issue
WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - Attorneys are meeting to determine whether a Wisconsin man is mentally competent to stand trial on charges of fatally shooting and dismembering a Minnesota man.
Kou Thao has been examined three times by doctors from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services at the request of defense attorneys. Marathon County Circuit Judge Mike Moran says there likely won't be a fourth exam because state law limits the amount of time the court can spend assessing a defendant's competency.
The Daily Herald Media says attorneys have not indicated why doctors have been unable to come to a conclusion about Thao's competency. Lawyers are meeting Monday to discuss the issue.
The 26-year-old Thao is accused of shooting and dismembering 58-year-old Tong Pao Hang and taking the body parts to Milwaukee last spring.
No arrest in dance gunshot at UW-Oshkosh
OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) - Police say there have been no arrests in a shooting at a dance at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Officers evacuated the Reeve Memorial Union late Saturday night when someone fired a gunshot into the air at the dance. No one was hurt. Residence hall staff were quickly notified and dormitory doors were locked.
WBAY-TV says some students expressed concern that they were not notified sooner about the shooting via an alert system. The university says it waited two hours before sending a notification because there was no broad threat to the campus.
There were about 200 to 300 people at the dance, which included non-students as well.
Rural school districts in central Wisconsin grow
MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) - Some central Wisconsin school districts are seeing a growth in enrollment, which is a sharp contrast to the trend in other rural schools.
News-Herald Media reports that the Abbotsford, Stratford and Tomorrow Rivers districts in the Marshfield area have grown between 15 and 20 percent in recent years.
Most Wisconsin school districts have been posting enrollment declines.
School leaders in the growing districts credit the area's Hispanic population, which has been increasing since 2000.
Increasing enrollment has meant more funding but also greater costs. School leaders are concerned state revenue limits will eventually leave them unable to cover expenses, and they're scrambling to fit students into existing classrooms to avoid costly construction.
Wisconsinites face tighter deadline for health law
The more than 70,000 Wisconsinites who have state health insurance have only a handful of days left to sign up for Presidents Barack Obama's health care law to avoid a coverage gap.
Nationwide, uninsured people have until March 31 to sign up under President Barack Obama health care law or they will have to go without coverage for the rest of the year and incur a fine from the federal government.
The Daily Herald Media reports Wisconsin residents who are on BadgerCare Plus or Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan have until March 15 in order to have coverage effective March 31. Enrollment between March 16 and 31 is effective May 1.
Marty Anderson, director of marketing and consumer products for Security Health Plan, says he anticipates a surge of applications.
Brewers push for beer commission
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - State brewers are behind legislation that would create a Wisconsin Beer Commission to market and promote their product.
Rep. Gary Tauchen has offered a bill that would set up a commission with four members representing small brewers or brewpubs, one member for large brewers, one for wholesalers and a chairperson.
WISC-TV reports Tauchen says he wants to make Wisconsin the "Napa Valley of craft brewing."
The Brewers Association says Wisconsin ranks 11th in the nation for the number of breweries per capita.
GREAT LAKES-GRASS CARP
Study: Grass carp pose dangers for Great Lakes
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A newly released scientific paper raises fresh concerns about the potential for grass carp to invade the Great Lakes and do significant damage.
The fight to prevent Asian carp from reaching the lakes has focused mostly on bighead and silver carp, which could unravel food chains because they gobble huge amounts of plankton.
Grass carp also come from Asia. They're used in many states to control aquatic weeds. But scientists say they wouldn't be good for the Great Lakes because they would eat plants needed for fish habitat.
The paper by researchers at the University of Notre Dame and other institutions says evidence shows grass carp could survive in all five Great Lakes. They say it appears some of the prolific fish are evading efforts to keep them from reproducing.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WAOW. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Chief Engineer Russ Crass at 715-842-2251. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.