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Wisconsin roundup: State has record-low unemployment, but stagnant poverty rate; more state news stories

Even though the state of Wisconsin has experienced record-setting low unemployment rates recently, there has been little-to-no impact on families living in poverty. 

University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Timothy Smeeding is the co-author of a report that finds the state's poverty rate has been stagnant at 10-11 percent for a decade, showing no improvement. Smeeding says Wisconsin should raise its minimum wage and provide more help for those families. He says having a job by itself won't lift them out of poverty.

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Assembly speaker speaker might consider medical marijuana legislation

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he wants to consider legalizing medical marijuana in Wisconsin. 

Vos would not support a provision in Gov. Tony Evers' budget decriminalizing small amounts of recreational marijuana, but said this fall lawmakers could look at allowing medical cannabis in the state. Vos said, "the goal would be to try to show people that there’s a path, to be able to talk about this, to discuss it." Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has not expressed support for medical marijuana.

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Suspect in cop murder had been released from prison 4 days earlier

The man accused of killing Racine Police Officer John Hetland had just been released from federal prison four days earlier. 

Twenty-six-year-old Dalquavis Ward had served a sentence for armed robbery and that's what he was allegedly doing in Teezers Bar and Grill June 17. Hetland climbed over the bar and fought with Ward before Ward pushed him back and shot the off-duty officer. The Federal Bureau of Prison reports Ward had been released June 13.

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Sewer problems could cost Eau Claire residents their homes

Some of the people who live in the Maples Mobile Home Park say they don't know what they will do if they have to move out. 

Crumbling sewer lines have led to spills and backflows. Eau Claire city officials were on the site last week using a smoke test to find broken pipes or leaks. Health officials are going to return to the park Tuesday and, if changes haven't been made, the people living there will be forced to leave.

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Legislative leaders send $82M state budget to Evers

The $82 million state budget is on its way to Gov. Tony Evers' desk and he has six days to decide whether to sign or veto portions of it. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos signed it Friday and said he sees it as a compromise with the Democratic governor. Vos said, "I think we did try to not just stick to what we believe in, but actually stick to what Governor Evers wanted, and tried to say where does it not conflict with our principles, and we could find that middle ground." Vos says he's optimistic and there's no good reason for the governor not to sign it. Not one Democrat voted for the Republican-crafted budget in the Senate or Assembly.

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Son shoots man to protect mother attacked in domestic dispute

Milwaukee police are investigating the death of a 45-year-old man on the city's south side in what was apparently a domestic dispute. 

A man and a woman were arguing Sunday morning when the woman's son intervened by shooting the man. Unconfirmed reports indicate the shooter is 12 years old. The man was taken to a hospital where he died later. The names of the three people involved have not been released.

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Osseo father sentenced to 5 years in prison after hurting his child

A father from Osseo has been sentenced to five years in prison after admitting he severely injured his 7-month-old child. 

The incident happened last December when the victim was taken to the Mayo Clinic in Osseo. Doctors diagnosed a possible brain hemorrhage among several injuries and the child was airlifted to Rochester. Mitchel Feyen will be on extended supervision for four years after he gets out of prison. He pleaded no contest to a charge of child abuse in April.

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Door County visitors find beaches shrinking

Visitors to Door County are finding the beaches shrinking. 

Record-setting high water levels on the Great Lakes are causing the problem. Local authorities are limiting access to the swimming area at Whitefish Dunes State Park and people are finding they have to hike through the woods just to get to the small strip of sand which is remaining. The Department of Natural Resources shut down an access point due to the strong surf and some erosion. Lake Michigan levels are expected to go even higher, meaning some of the beaches will be gone for more than a year.

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