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State News Roundup: Gas prices are down; question is for how long

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Gasoline in Wisconsin is about six-cents cheaper than last Monday. The state's Triple-"A" said the average price of regular unleaded is 3.62-a-gallon this morning, almost one-and-a-half cents less than yesterday. The statewide Triple-"A" average is 31-cents cheaper than on this date a year ago. And Milwaukee Gas Prices-Dot-Com says regular is as low as 3.30 this morning in the state's largest metro. But Greg Laskoski of Gas Buddy-Dot-Com says the Great Lakes Region could see the highest price increases this summer, once more folks head out for vacations. But for now, motorists are getting relative bargains. Laskoski said numerous refinery problems drove prices up a year ago - but there were fewer such problems this spring. He says Americans are saving three-and-a-half million dollars a day compared to last year. Of course, that's still a far cry from the early 1970's - when U-W Whitewater students could drive home on a weekend for as low as 19-cents a gallon during a so-called "price war."

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At least nine ice fishermen are okay, after they had to be rescued on the Bay of Green Bay during the weekend. Authorities said there was still plenty of ice to support the anglers, and even their pickup trucks - but winds of up to 40-miles-an-hour caused the ice to crack and shift away from the shore. Door County fire departments and the U-S Coast Guard conducted the rescues on Saturday. Southern Door Fire Chief Randy Massart said the use of ice-cutters since the shipping season began made it easier for the rest of the ice to shift in high winds. At least two ice-fishers told the Door County Advocate that they didn't realize they had to be rescued. A Milwaukee angler said they saw a helicopter overhead for two hours, and then an airboat came out to get them. Massart said that after the cutter goes through, the ice is no longer solid on Green Bay between Southern Door County and Marinette.

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Wisconsin cheese factories kept increasing their output in February, even with one less day on the calendar. The U-S-D-A said the Badger State made almost 220-million pounds of cheese, three-point-seven percent more than February of 2012 which had an extra day because it was a Leap Year. Once again, Wisconsin bucked the national trend of a lower cheese output. Total U-S cheese production was 857-million pounds in February, down slightly from the same month last year. Wisconsin is the nation's top cheese-maker. Second-place California had a five-percent drop, to 175-million pounds.

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