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  4/17/2014
Construction Firm Agrees to Pay Four-Million Dollars to Settle Billing Practice Investigation
One of Wisconsin's largest construction firms has agreed to pay four-million dollars to settle an F-B-I investigation into some of its billing practices. The U-S Attorney's office in Milwaukee said yesterday that Miron Construction of Neenah signed a non-prosecution agreement in February. Miron was alleged to have billed its labor costs improperly in cost-plus-fee arrangements for building projects in five Wisconsin school districts -- Abbotsford, Marathon, D-C Everest, De Pere, and Waunakee. As part of the settlement, Miron agreed to change some of its accounting practices. It also agreed to allow an independent monitor oversee its operations. U-S Attorney James Santelle said his office accepted the three-year agreement so Miron's employees can be protected. The firm employs around 12-hundred people. The agreement allows Miron Construction and its two top officials to neither admit nor deny the allegations.


4/17/2014
Two State Govt. Agencies are Teaming up to get Unused Medicines out of People's Homes
Two state government agencies are teaming up to get unused medicines out of people's homes -- so those who abuse prescription drugs cannot get to those pills. The Justice Department and the D-N-R are taking part in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday April 26th. People can drop off their old and unused medicines that day at a number of collection sites throughout Wisconsin. State Attorney General J-B Van Hollen says prescription drug addictions often lead to heroin abuse -- and the take-back day gives everybody a chance to fight back against heroin. D-N-R Secretary Cathy Stepp says the collections will allow fewer drugs to be flushed into water systems or thrown into landfills -- thus reducing environmental harm.


4/17/2014
WI has 58 New Laws
Wisconsin has 58 new laws today, after Governor Scott Walker signed them yesterday. The Republican Walker held a ceremony in Milwaukee to highlight expansions of three current laws to protect victims of domestic violence. One of the bills tightens up the legal process to make sure those under temporary restraining orders surrender their weapons. The governor quietly signed the other 55 measures in his office -- including one which makes it against the law to transfer children to non-relatives without going through the government's adoption process. That was after Reuters reported on couples using Internet forums to find new parents for their kids. The stories included a Manitowoc County couple who adopted a girl from Liberia, and later gave her away to an Illinois couple without knowing that the mother had her biological children taken away a number of years earlier. Also yesterday, Walker signed bills to allow the use of a marijuana oil extract to help children with repeated seizures -- allowing more jail inmates to be strip-searched -- letting the U-W perform classified research for the first time in four decades -- and legalizing rubber-duck races as raffles for charity fund-raisers.


4/17/2014
Merrill Man Could Spend the Rest of his Life in Prison
A Merrill man could spend the rest of his life in prison, after he was convicted of killing his estranged wife and dumping her body in a swamp. Lincoln County jurors deliberated for 10 hours the past two days before finding 50-year-old Mark Bucki guilty of all three charges against him. The jury didn't buy his claim that he had nothing to do with the stabbing and strangling of his 48-year-old estranged wife Anita last April. The defense said there was no physical evidence -- but prosecutors said there was plenty of circumstantial evidence that pointed to Bucki's finances and his wife's 150-thousand dollar life insurance policy. Prosecutors also said there were no defensive wounds on her body, apparently showing that she knew her killer. A sentencing date has not been set. Bucki faces a life prison term, but the judge can order a date to consider a release with extended supervision after he serves at least 20 years.


4/17/2014
Boaters on the St. Croix River are Being Ordered to Slow Down
Boaters on the Saint Croix River are being ordered to slow down, due to high waters. A no-wake rule has been imposed on the Saint Croix between Prescott in western Wisconsin and Taylors Falls Minnesota. The purpose is to reduce the risk for shoreline erosion. The requirement will stay in effect until the river drops below 683-feet -- and that could happen in about a week.


4/17/2014
Bucks Sold for $550 Million
The proposed new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks say the fans deserve a winning team -- and they plan to quote, "build a great team and beautiful arena." Long-time owner Herb Kohl announced yesterday that he'll sell the Bucks to New York hedge fund owners Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens for 550-million dollars. Kohl said he would donate 100-million for the long-proposed arena to replace the B-M-O Harris Bradley Center. Edens and Lasry said they'll put up another 100-million for the new building. Bradley Center board chairman Marc Marotta said the donations provide "new momentum" for the arena project, and it will help the community for decades to come. National pundits were surprised by the Bucks' sale price, considering Milwaukee's small-market status. It's almost 150-million dollars more than what Forbes magazine estimated the team to be worth in January. That estimate was 405-million, the lowest in the N-B-A. The league's Board of Governors must approve the sale, but Kohl does not think it will happen this week. He plans to introduce Edens and Lasry to other team owners today in New York. In December, Kohl said he was looking for investors for partial ownership of the team he's held since 1985. Asked why he's giving up total control, Kohl said he won't live forever -- and he's comfortable with the new owners' commitment to Milwaukee. Kohl made it a condition that the Bucks stay where they are.


4/17/2014
Brewers Begin Four-Game Series in Pittsburgh
The Milwaukee Brewers are in Pittsburgh to open a four-game series with the Pirates tonight. That's after the Crew beat Saint Louis 5-to-1 yesterday at Miller Park, to salvage a victory in their three-game series with the Redbirds. The Brewers scored three times in the fifth to win it, on a two-run single by Jonathan Lucroy and an R-B-I single from Aramis Ramirez -- one of his three hits on the afternoon. Wily Peralta improved to 2-and-0, giving up one run on six hits in six-and-a-third innings. That run was a homer by Allen Craig. Peralta's E-R-A is a stingy one-point-nine-six, after an outing in which he struck out three and walked one. Cardinals' starter Joe Kelly took the loss. He's 1-and-1. Kelly left the game in the fifth after he hurt a hamstring while running to first on a bunt. The Brewers' victory was the only the sixth in their last 22 games against the Cardinals. Milwaukee ended a two-game losing streak and improved to 11-and-4. They're two games ahead of the second-place Cardinals in the National League Central, and will face a Pirates' team that's third in the division at 7-and-8. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start for the Crew against Pittsburgh right-hander Edinson Volquez.


4/17/2014
UW-LSU on E-S-P-N on Aug. 30th
The Wisconsin football team will open its season in prime time. E-S-P-N says it will televise the Badgers' game against L-S-U starting at 8 p-m on August 30th in Houston. It's expected to be an attractive match-up for a national audience. L-S-U went 10-and-3 last fall, and was 14th in both major polls. Wisconsin went 9-and-4, with a Number-22 final ranking by the A-P. The Badgers have not played a regular season game against a Southeastern Conference school since 1972 -- when L-S-U beat the Badgers 27-7 in Baton Rouge.


4/17/2014
N-B-A Playoff Schedule Set
In the Eastern Conference, reigning MVP LeBron James and the second-seeded Miami Heat will begin their quest for a three-peat Sunday when they host the Charlotte Bobcats in Game 1 at 2:30 p.m. The top-seeded Indiana Pacers, who lost six of their last 10 games, will host the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday at 6:00 p.m., while the fourth-seeded Bulls will host the Washington Wizards on Sunday at 6 p.m. In the 3-6 matchup, the Toronto Raptors will host the Brooklyn Nets, with the series beginning Saturday at 11:30 a.m. In the Western Conference, the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, who had the NBA's best record at 62-20, will host the Dallas Mavericks to open up their playoff slate on Sunday at noon. The second-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder will face the Memphis Grizzlies, with that series set to start Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The third-seeded Los Angeles Clippers will host the Golden State Warriors on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., while the 4-5 matchup will see the Houston Rockets host the Portland Trail Blazers beginning on Sunday at 8:30 p.m.


4/17/2014
Beach Boys, Ingrid Michaelson Coming to Arcadia Music Festival
A two-day festival in Arcadia this summer will feature 1960s hit-makers The Beach Boys and current indie-pop star, Ingrid Michaelson. The Ashley for the Arts festival will be held Aug. 8-9 in Memorial Park in Arcadia. Event coordinator Jason Lockington released the lineup for the festival Wednesday, featuring The Beach Boys on Friday and Michaelson on Saturday. The Beach Boys, led by founding members Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, are known for summertime-flavored hits like “Surfin’,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “I Get Around,” “California Girls,” and “Good Vibrations.” The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. The 34 year old Michaelson is a singer-songwriter known for her radio hits “The Way I Am” and “Maybe.” Her current single, “Girls Chase Boys,” has moved into regular rotation on pop radio stations in the Chippewa Valley. Her fifth studio album, “Lights Out,” was released Tuesday. Her show in the Twin Cities later this month is already sold out. Ashley for the Arts will also feature musical performances by Cloud Cult, country newcomer American Young, Midwest festival favorite Johnny Holm Band, six-time Grammy Nominee John McCutcheon, Latin Grammy Nominee Alacranes Musical, The Memories, The Riverbenders, Big River Radio Wave, Anna Johnson Band, Roamin’ California, Russell Lachney Band, The Mondays, Chicos Kumbia and Herederos de Oaxaca. Ashley for the Arts, sponsored by Ashley Furniture, began in 2009. An estimated 10,000 people attended the two-day event the past two years. Last year, singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson was the main headliner. In 2012, the festival brought in headliner rock band Trapt. The two-day event includes music, art exhibits and a fireworks display Saturday night. Tickets are $5, with money going to a variety of charities. To learn more about Ashley for the Arts and see a schedule of events, visit Ashleyforthearts.com.


4/17/2014
Same-sex Couple Asks Supreme Ct. to Strike Down Gay Marriage Ban
A same-sex couple has gone directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, asking the justices to strike down the state's ban on gay marriage. Katherine and Linda Halopka-Ivery were married in California last December -- and for doing so, they face criminal prosecution under Wisconsin law. Their lawsuit cites the U-S Supreme Court decision from last year which struck down the national Defense of Marriage Act, which granted marriage benefits to same-sex couples in states that recognize gay marriage. Because Wisconsin does not recognize same-sex marriage, the Halopka-Iverys claim they're being treated unequally under the law. The state Justice Department plans to defend the suit, which was filed against state and county officials. They said the Supreme Court needs to take the case now because of its statewide implications. Normally,took effect. The justices essentially told the group to get in line. Their case made it to the high court years plaintiffs must have their cases adjudicated by the circuit and appellate courts before they can seek help from the Supreme Court. In 2009, a pro-family group wanted the Supreme Court to strike down the state's same-sex benefit registry just before it later, and a ruling is still pending.


4/17/2014
GM Recall Shows How the Civil Justice System Works
Tim Morrissey MADISON, Wis. - General Motors recently recalled 2.6 million vehicles to repair a faulty ignition switch that's blamed for 13 deaths. Christopher Stombaugh, an attorney and president of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, says the only reason the public became aware of the problem was because of the civil justice system and some very hard work by the attorney for the family of a young woman who was killed in a wreck caused by the problem. Stombaugh says in this case and many like it, underfunded government regulatory agencies were not capable of doing the job. "They need the help from the private side and even from attorneys who are working to make Wisconsin - and actually the entire country - a safer place for kids and families," he says. "They need that assistance to do it. They can't do it on their own." According to Stombaugh, because of the way the civil justice system works, the parents of the young woman who was killed were able to hold accountable one of the largest corporations in the world. GM knew about the problem for years and did nothing about it. "The jury system is the one area that we have left where people are making decisions who are not paid by any party, by any lobbyist, by any interest group, Stombaugh stresses. "They are making decisions based on the law as the court gives it to them and their own common sense." The case showed that GM decided years ago that a 90-cent fix was too expensive for the company to issue a voluntary recall, until the litigation led to the massive recall. Stombaugh says the way the civil justice system works - through discovery of information and the judge and jury - is a check on corporations. "However, if something breaks along that chain," he says. "If people aren't allowed to bring their claims or if judges are disinclined to allow this sort of discovery of information, or in fact if the rules, the federal rules of civil procedure are changed so that we can't obtain them, we've got a problem and this system will break down."


 


 

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