A water pollution task force created by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has released its recommendations to clean up Wisconsin’s water supply.

The 13 bills released Wednesday include the creation of a new water policy office, increased funding for county conservation positions, and grants for farmers who put projects into place to reduce nitrate pollution. Vos estimates the total cost of implementing those bills at about 10 million dollars. The task force has been working on the recommendations for about a year.



Longtime Democratic lawmaker Hansen to retire

Two decades in the Wisconsin Legislature is going to be enough for Democratic State Sen. Dave Hansen.

He announced Thursday his plans to retire when his current term ends in January. The decision gives the Republican Party – already in control with a 19-14 edge – a chance to pick up a seat in the Wisconsin Senate. Hansen, of Green Bay, has represented the heavily Republican district for years. The 72-year-old politician says he is certain he would have won a re-election bid.



UW-Eau Claire marching band still making Australia trip

The marching band at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is still making its scheduled trip to Australia.

School officials say the Marching Blugolds won’t be anywhere near the wildfires devastating thousands of acres in the country. Band members are set to leave Saturday. Band director Randal Dickerson says the group will be miles from the fires, though band members will be limited to staying in Sydney. A two-week cruise to New Zealand is part of the trip, with the band not returning to Eau Claire until the end of the month.



Attorney general asks for hold on voter purge ruling

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is asking the state Supreme Court to freeze an Ozaukee County judge’s ruling on a voter purge.

More than 230,000 registered voters could be required to re-register before casting ballots. Attorney General Josh Kaul’s office submitted the request Wednesday, asking the court to put the ruling on hold until after the April election. The Attorney General says forcing those voters to re-register could do “irreparable harm.” The initial ruling by the county judge was issued last month.



Prison inmate charged with attempted homicide in guard attack

A 47-year-old inmate at the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility in Boscobel is facing a charge of attempted homicide after a Monday attack.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office was called to the maximum-security prison shortly before 9 a.m. Authorities say inmate Dexter Ewing used a shank to attack a correctional officer, trying to stab him in the neck. Ewing was disarmed before he could seriously injure the victim. The 42-year-old guard was treated and released at Gunderson Hospital for wounds to his neck and face.