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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Woman rescued from Fox River in Green Bay

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GREEN BAY - An 18-year-old woman is recovering at a Green Bay hospital after being rescued from the Fox River early this morning.

Green Bay police and rescue crews were called to the river near Cherry Street downtown shortly before 3 a.m. after screams were heard in the area. It’s not known how the woman got into the river. The woman was in good condition, according to broadcast reports. 

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Green Bay homeowners were among the hardest hit in the state, after FEMA recently raised insurance rates for those living in flooplains. Some residents saw premiums climb as much as 300-percent. Realtors Association of Northeast Wisconsin President Mari Reichel is hopeful legislation signed by President Obama last week will limit future increases. The bill limits annual increases to between 18 and 25 percent, which she says should provide more certainty for property owners. Without the limits, Reichel says it would have been nearly impossible to sell homes located in a floodplain.

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A 57-year-old Oconto man faces sexual assault charges on allegations that he inappropriately touched an eight-year-old girl. Jer Lovaj was a teacher at a Green Bay elementary school, when prosecutors say he assaulted an eight-year-old girl in a classroom on multiple occasions between last December and February. A Brown County judge has set bond for Lovaj at $50,000 on two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child. Lovaj was fired after the charges were filed. He's due back in court next week for a preliminary hearing.

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With more and more people are crossing borders or even oceans for medical treatments, a UW Law School Professor wants to raise awareness about "stem cell tourism." Alto Charo says unscrupulous operators are taking advantage of some with on-line claims for cures and treatments derived from embryonic stem cells. While stem cells have much greater potential than adult stem cells, they remain in the research development stage. Charo says evidence for therapeutic use of stem cells is very limited, except for bone marrow stem cells. Nevertheless, patients all over the world are convinced stem cells will cure their disease. Charo recommends that prospective patients seek information from reputable sources. Consumers can also raise concerns with the Federal Trade Commission, although the agency has not yet received many such complaints.

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The State Supreme Court today revoked the licenses of attorneys Charles Labanowsky and Randy Wynn. According to the court's decisions, Labanowsky was convicted of his fifth-offense for driving while intoxicated last year and sentenced to three years in prison. The state Office of Lawyer Regulation also has been investigating allegations he mishandled clients' trust accounts. Wynn faces felony embezzlement charges in Milwaukee for allegedly stealing $784,734 from numerous clients.

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Gov. Scott Walker is scheduled to appear as a guest speaker at the Republican Jewish Coalition spring meeting this weekend in Las Vegas. A number of 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls will be speaking at the gathering. Walker will speak Saturday along with with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is also expected to attend the meeting. The meeting is being held at the Venetian resort, which is owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson.  Adelson donated $250,000 to Walker in March 2012 when Walker was facing a recall election.

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Corrections records show six wardens at Wisconsin prisons got raises of between 8 percent and 13 percent beginning this week, while the officers who work for them received a one percent pay hike. In addition, a deputy warden promoted to warden got a 26 percent pay raise. The Wisconsin State Journal reports the seven, along with an eighth warden, are part of a leadership shuffle at Wisconsin's correctional institutions. All eight wardens are paid nearly $100,000 a year. Wisconsin Association for Correctional Law Enforcement union president Brian Cunningham says that even with a one percent raise, take-home pay has decreased for officers because of rising premiums for health insurance and pension.____________________

A bill aimed at combatting heroin use is the subject of a public hearing today  by a state Senate committee. It would require the Department of Corrections to set up a formal system of penalties short of prison for offenders who violate their parole or probation. The measure's author, Assemblyman John Nygren (R-Marinette), says faster sanctions would help heroin addicts get treatment quicker. The Assembly passed the bill on a voice vote in February. Approval would clear the way for a vote in the full state Senate on April 1, the last day the chamber is scheduled to convene before the two-year legislative session ends.____________________

A cheese processor is making a $20-million dollar investment in an existing plant it purchased in the central part of the state. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. says Ohio-based Biery Cheese Co. will upgrade a facility in Plover in Portage County. The company currently operates a plant in Wood County. The company will move to the former Basic American Foods plant in Plover late this year._____________________ Former Utah governor and 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman Jr. is scheduled to deliver the University of Wisconsin-Madison commencement speech on May 17. The university announced Wednesday that Huntsman will give the address at a joint ceremony for both undergraduates and those receiving master's degrees. The university says class leaders chose Huntsman because of his long and successful career in public service. Huntsman got his start in politics as an aide to President Ronald Reagan._____________________ 

Police are searching for clues that would lead to the person or persons  that damaged a number of headstones in Racine’s historic Mound Cemetery. Police reports indicate that almost two dozen markers were damaged outright or pushed over sometime between last Friday and Monday of this week. Some of the damaged markers date back to the 1880s. Racine Police are hoping attention to the case, and perhaps social media, will provide clues on who did it. Police say felony charges of criminal damage to property and criminal damage to religious property could await the offenders.

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Fire investigators suspect a discarded cigarette was the cause of the blaze that destroyed a Goosetown apartment building Monday. 16 people were displaced by the fire. La Crosse Fire Department personnel had the fire under control within about 45 minutes, but not before it had engulfed one half of the structure and caved in part of the roof. Building owner Kay Schroeder said Wednesday that the building, which was damaged by fire in 2002, would have to be razed. She said she will meet with an architect to determine if it can be rebuilt.

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