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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Over 550 same-sex marriages took place last week

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

A hold on a federal judge’s ruling of the state’s gay marriage ban didn’t stop over 550 marriages from being conducted over a week period. Those are the numbers, according to state officials.

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U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb issued the ruling last week, but granted a hold to that ruling on Friday. State officials with the Vital Records Office say 60 of 72 county clerks issued marriage licenses. Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who requested the hold, says the couples are not legally married, leaving them in legal limbo.

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An Eau Claire man will spend time in prison for sexually assaulting a teen. 48-year-old Larry Johnson Jr. was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Friday, including 20 years of extended supervision upon his release. The Eau Claire man is accused of sexual contact with 16-year-old teen since she was 11. Police learned of the assault in August, when the teen gave birth and the child died of asphyxiation.

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A Milwaukee man is in critical condition after his shirt caught on fire. The incident happened last night. Police say the 62-year-old victim was cutting metal with an electric grinder, when a spark lit his shirt on fire. The fire remains under investigation, but authorities say the man suffered severe burns to his chest and neck areas.

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The swarm of biting flies in northern Wisconsin is looking more like a biblical plague. Researchers with the Department of Natural Resources say the swarms are the worst they have ever seen, forcing a record number of loons to abandon their nests. DNR says the black flies are a nuisance to the birds. Experts say several counties report around 70-80 percent of nesting loons have abandoned their nest.

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