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Afternoon State News Briefs: American Red Cross blood supply at emergency levels

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The American Red Cross has issued a notice asking for blood donations. The organization's blood supply is at emergency level. Blood types O positive and O negative, and B negative and A negative are in highest demand. Red Cross officials say only 8 percent of the eligible population donates.

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If you want to celebrate June Dairy Month by trying an artesian cheese, an expert suggests making a trip to a specialty shop for a sample. "The worst thing you want to do and buy a half pound of cheese, get it home and you don't like it," says Jeanne Carpenter, director of Wisconsin Cheese Originals. With the ups and downs in milk prices, Carpenter says artesian producers can have more control by making cheese depending on what is milk available. Carpenter admits these handmade cheeses may be a little more expensive but says it's worth it for the taste and to help out small businesses.

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A former worker at a living assistance facility convicted of sex crimes gets his sentencing withheld and will spend six years on probation including a one year stint in jail. An Oconto County judge Monday also barred David Lonzo from having contact with the victim or minors. State justice officials say Lonzo was working in a Medicaid assisted home where the developmentally delayed victim lived. The criminal complaint says in 2011, the sexual assault occurred at the victim's apartment, a part of the facility.

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A group of law enforcement agencies in and around Wasau have met to discuss fire dangers that could come with a dry Fourth of July. The agencies say there will be a zero tolerance policy in place for fireworks violations. Information about state fireworks laws can be found by searching online for Wisconsin Department of Justice and searching fireworks.

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The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is among groups criticizing the US Supreme Court's decision to strike down Montana's 100 year old ban on corporate election spending. The high court's ruling reaffirmed its own Citizens United decision. The Democracy Campaign was among citizen groups that filed a legal brief last month supporting Montana's position. They assert undisclosed corporate money leads to corruption in politics and makes it more difficult for elected officials to be held accountable. The two year old Citizens United ruling found that corporations, like individuals, are entitled to free speech rights.

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Officials in Sauk county are warning residents to prepare for the heat wave that is forecast for the rest of the week. Temperatures are expected to reach the 90's and heat indices to get into triple digits. Cooling centers will be open in six locations including the Sauk Conty courthouse and community centers.

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