Local News Stories 1 to 7 of 7  
4/18/2014
Federal Appeals Court Upholds Wis. Act 10
Governor Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers scored another legal victory today in their approval of the Act-10 public union bargaining limits.  A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Chicago affirmed that most public workers did not have their rights infringed upon, when they lost nearly all of their collective bargaining privileges in 2011.  Two Dane County unions filed the federal lawsuit, claiming that Act-10 violated their rights to free association and equal protections under the law.  The appellate panel agreed with Federal Judge William Conley of Madison, who ruled Act-10 still allows public employees to assemble and speak -- but it does not require their government employers to listen.  Previously, the Chicago appeals court ruled that all of Act-10 was constitutional.  That was after parts of the package had been struck down.  Also, the State Supreme Court is in the process of deciding whether the law applies to local government and school unions, in addition to state government employees.  The law allows all public employees except police-and-fire unions to bargain only for pay raises at-or-below inflation.  Also, unions cannot be recognized unless 51-percent of all members agree to it -- which means that members who don't vote are ...
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4/18/2014
Eau Claire County Highway F to Close Monday
From News Release:   Beginning Monday, April 21, County F under I-94 in Eau Claire will be closed while contractors work on the I-94 bridge. The work is part of the I-94 reconstruction project. Motorists will need to find an alternate route during the closure which is expected to last 28 days. The closure is needed for contractors to widen and pour a new deck on the I-94 bridge. Motorists are encouraged to dial 511 or visit www.511wi.gov for up-to-the-minute information on highway and travel conditions in Wisconsin.
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4/18/2014
Wisconsin Teens Report Less Drinking, Smoking, and Sex
Today's Wisconsin high school students smoke less, drink less, and have less sex than teens did 20 years ago.  That's according to the new Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the state Department of Public Instruction.  One of every three high school youngsters surveyed in 2013 said they recently had a drink -- down from half in 1993.  Thirty-three percent said they tried cigarettes, way down from 64-percent in the early '90's.  Thirty-five percent of last year's students admitted having sex, down from 47-percent two decades earlier -- and two-thirds used condoms.  Officials attribute that to better health education -- and they said high cigarette taxes keep more kids from smoking.  However, the survey shows that lots of teens engage in more modern risks.  Over half of Wisconsin juniors-and-seniors have texted while driving, and 15-percent admitted driving after having alcohol.  The percentage of teens playing on computers or video games for at least three hours a day jumped from 20-percent to 34.  Over half of girls believe that bullying and student harassment are problems at their schools -- and a third of the boys feel the same way.  The state has given 88 mini-grants to schools to try and fight these ...
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4/18/2014
Michaels' Stores Affected by Data Breach
Seventeen Michaels' arts-and-crafts stores in Wisconsin, including one in Eau Claire, were affected by a recent data breach.  That's what the company confirmed yesterday, when it offered a free year of identity theft protection and credit monitoring to the affected customers.  An estimated two-point-six million debit-and-credit cards had data stolen from Michaels' stores nationally from last May through January 19th.  Hackers used malicious software to steal the cards' payment numbers and expiration dates.  Michaels said no personal information was taken -- and customers names-and-addresses remain safe along with their PIN numbers.  The Wisconsin stores affected by the breach are in Brookfield, Brown Deer, Eau Claire, Germantown, Grafton, Grand Chute near Appleton, Green Bay, Janesville, Madison, Middleton, Milwaukee, Mount Pleasant, New Berlin, Onalaska, Plover, Wausau, and West Allis.  More information is available online at www.michaels.com.
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4/17/2014
WI Unemployment at 5.9%, Lowest Since Nov. '08
Wisconsin's preliminary unemployment rate for March is the lowest since the Great Recession began, in Nov. 2008.  State officials reported a seasonally-adjusted rate of 5.9 percent.  That's down 0.2 percent from Feb., and it's the first time that the state's unemployment rate was below 6 percent,  since the recession reared its head.  Officials also say an estimated 64-hundred private sector jobs were created in March -- but that figure is subject to heavy revisions later on, because of the relatively small sample of employers that federal workers survey for the monthly data.  One thing we do know: Wisconsin continues to have lower unemployment than the nation as a whole.  The state's new rate was 0.8 percent less than the national jobless figure of 6.7 percent.  Wis. has been almost consistently better than the U.S. rate since 1985.
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4/17/2014
Authorities: Slow Down on St. Croix River
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 St. Croix River, 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.
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4/17/2014
Gov. Walker Renews Propane Emergency
Gov. Scott Walker has declared another 10-day energy emergency in Wis., to help propane suppliers deliver heating fuel to those who need it.  The republican governor, Walker, says lingering cold is still keeping the demand for propane high.  Walker's declaration allows propane delivery trucks to exceed spring weight limits.  The governor says a number of folks are still in need of propane.  The state Energy Office reported an average of $2.09-a-gallon for propane as of Mar. 24--officials stopped posting weekly statewide average prices in late Mar.--that's about three dollars less than the peak in mid-Jan.  
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