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Morning State News Briefs: Flooding situation improves across state

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Wisconsin's flooding situation has gotten better. Only one river has flood warnings today - the Rock River at both Afton and Newville in Rock County.

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At Newville, the river was two-tenths-of-a-foot above its flood stage around four this morning. At Afton, the Rock River was expected to go above its banks by this evening and then peak tomorrow night a couple inches above its flood stage. Only minor flooding is expected. Melting snow has caused a number of rivers in Wisconsin to rise in recent weeks - but in general, the situation is not nearly as bad as in many recent springs. Much of the Badger State has been dry for several days. But forecasters say there's a chance of rain-and-snow tonight and tomorrow. Highs today will be in the 30's-and-40's statewide. But southern Wisconsin could get close to 60 tomorrow, and then down to 50 on Friday and into the weekend.

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A senior researcher at the Blood Center of Wisconsin is getting a million-dollars toward his studies of possible treatments for diseases like leukemia. Demin Wang was chosen to receive the newly-created John-and-Judith Gardetto Chair for Cancer Research. Wang is studying the functioning pathways of white-"B"-blood cells. The Blood Center says the work could help treat certain blood-related cancers, as well as immune deficiencies and auto-immune disorders. Wang has been at the center's Blood Research Institute in Milwaukee for the last 13 years.

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Home foreclosures continue to drop in heavily-populated southeast Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel counted 636 new court cases last month against those behind on their mortgages. That's down 33-percent from the 955 cases filed in March of 2012 in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth counties. Just over two-thousand-60 new foreclosure cases were filed in those seven counties in the first three months of this year. That's just 13 more than in 2007 - just before the housing boom ended and the Great Recession began.

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Wisconsinites with overdue electric bills are being warned that the state's winter moratorium for cutting off service is about to end. The state Public Service Commission bars utilities from cutting off electric and natural gas service between November first and April 15th so no one gets left in the cold. But utilities can start cutting off those in arrears in 12 days. The PSC urges those customers to contact their utilities and set up payment plans. Those who try and fail to arrange plans can call the PSC's consumer affairs office in Madison.

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