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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Gov. Walker still believes state can meet the goal of "Dairy 30-by-20 program"

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Despite a recent drop in milk production, Governor Scott Walker still believes Wisconsin can achieve his goal of making 30-billion pounds a year by 2020.  The Republican Walker was asked yesterday about the possibility of not meeting the goals of the "Dairy 30-by-20 program" -- which gives grant money to farmers who expand their operations or make them more efficient.  Walker said the industry will most likely get back on its feet eventually -- but farmers would have to be aggressive in making it happen.  Wisconsin dairy farms have reduced their milk production on a year-to-year basis for six straight months through April.  The Wisconsin Ag Connection says poor feed quality and higher cull rates are mostly to blame.  Last year's drought and the extremely cold winter also made things worse.  Walker says Wisconsin is importing about 15-percent of the milk it needs at its cheese factories.  That's up from 10-percent a year ago.  But he believes Wisconsin can close the gap by growing its operations, and becoming more efficient and productive.

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The Common Core education standards are being attacked from a different front -- this time from Catholic school parents.  Petitions with a-thousand signatures were submitted yesterday to the Milwaukee Archdiocese.  They demand that schools in the ten-county archdiocese drop the Common Core math and English standards that the religious schools began to adopt last fall.  A group called the "Milwaukee Catholic Parents Against Common Core" say the standards threaten the values and independence of Catholic schools.  Kenosha parent Heather Schweitzer said a Catholic school's top priority is to "get children into Heaven, not Harvard."  Wisconsin public schools adopted the Common Core standards three years ago -- much to the chagrin of tea party conservatives who fear it will result in a single national educational system.  Back in December, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki said church schools often exceed the tougher Common Core standards -- and using them as a new measurement would not change the curriculum, reading materials, and content of Catholic schools.  Leaders of Wisconsin's four other Catholic dioceses have rejected Common Core -- although the bishop in Superior has said they would be evaluated in the coming years.

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Twenty-six state D-N-R employees were fired, suspended, or reprimanded last year.  The Associated Press received 25 disciplinary letters in March, with the people's names and job titles blacked out.  The A-P just received a 26th letter, after that person went to court to try and keep his disciplinary letter a secret.  He lost, and the letter came out this week.  It said he was let go for singing a sexually-tainted rap song to a female co-worker, forcibly hugging her against her wishes, and giving her graphic details about an ex-girlfriend.  The A-P said one of the fired employees turned out to be David Horzewski of Reedsburg, a former conservation warden in Sauk County.  He was criminally charged this month for allegedly seizing guns illegally from people he confronted for hunting violations.  He's the first warden in the 135-year history of the state conservation service to be charged with felonies.  Horzewski is due in court June 11th on six charges of theft and two of misconduct in public office.  

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Wisconsin's only contestant in the National Spelling Bee was eliminated at the start of last night's semi-finals.  Thirteen-year-old Karelyn Malliet of Shawano made it through two rounds on stage.  But last evening, she failed to make it through a written spelling and vocabulary test.  Forty-six contestants remain.  They'll square off in the semi-finals and finals today and tonight on E-S-P-N.  Karelyn, a seventh-grader, correctly spelled "graupel," a granular snow pellet -- and "rhabdomancy," which means divination by rods or wands.  Karelyn qualified for the national contest by winning the Wisconsin spelling bee earlier this year.  

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Deer hunters will only be able to shoot bucks this fall in much of northern Wisconsin.  The state Natural Resources Board voted yesterday to make antlerless deer off-limits to hunters in 19 counties and four Indian reservations.  D-N-R staffers said the ban is needed so deer populations can recover in the north after a pair of harsh winters.  Ralph Fritsch of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation said hunters have long expressed concerns about the numbers of antlerless deer permits in the region.  He said his group strongly supports this fall's ban.  For the counties which still have antlerless hunting, the board approved a new system which issues bonus tags for either public or private land.  Also, the board agreed to let anglers do motor-boat trolling on lakes throughout 17 counties where trolling is either fully or partially banned.  It's limited to one line per angler, and no more than two lines per boat.  In the other 55 counties, three lines per angler are allowed.  The changes take effect next year, pending legislative review.  They would have to be renewed after three years in order to stay in effect.

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Seven Milwaukee area counties promise to make good use of a federal economic designation they received yesterday.  The Milwaukee-Seven group will be among the first to benefit from a new program that uses federal resources to boost local efforts for creating factory jobs.  It's called the "Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership."  The Obama White House chose 12 areas as the first participants -- and the Milwaukee-Seven was among them.  It will make the region eligible for up to one-point-three billion dollars in federal grant money.  Some of it could fund a proposed advanced manufacturing training center in a key Milwaukee industrial corridor. It could also expand an energy innovation center in the former Eaton Corporation tech facility.  That center seeks to attract start-up companies in the energy and power sectors -- and it already has a client.  Pat O'Brien, the executive director of the Milwaukee-Seven group, calls the federal designation a "big deal" -- and it shows that the region's manufacturing economy can compete and make gains at the national level.

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A northern Wisconsin paper mill has been cited by the federal government for not protecting its employees from sulfur dioxide vapors.  Flambeau River Papers of Park Falls has been given eight citations by the U-S Occupational Safety-and-Health Administration, with a recommended fine of just over 42-thousand dollars.  This comes after an agency inspection in late January.  Sulfur dioxide is used to treat wood pulp, and officials say it can cause respiratory problems in employees.  Flambeau River Papers has 15 days to pay the fine, challenge it, or seek a settlement conference with OSHA (oh-shuh).  The firm has not said what it will do.

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Nobody won the Powerball jackpot last night, so it goes up to 173-million dollars for Saturday.  Nobody from Wisconsin won any of the top three prizes.  Seven players won 300-dollars by having the Power Play multiplier of three, and matching either four regular numbers or three-plus-the-Powerball.  Just over 96-hundred Wisconsin players won smaller prizes.  Last night's numbers were 2, 24, 28, 32, and 59.  The Powerball was 25.  The current jackpot has been building since April 23rd.  It has rolled over ten times.  Saturday night's cash option is 102-million dollars.  In Mega Millions, the top prize is 26-million for tomorrow night.

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The Medical College of Wisconsin has taken another step toward opening its new doctor training facility in Wausau.  Lisa Grill Dodson was named yesterday as the first dean of the new school, which will open in the fall of 2016.  She's been the head of the Oregon Area Health Education Center for the last eight years.  The Medical College plans to partner with area medical centers to help train M-D's.  For those who attend medical schools and residencies in the same area, Dodson says there's a 70-percent chance they'll stay there -- as opposed a 50-percent chance for either one alone.  The Milwaukee-based Medical College agreed to open new training facilities in both the Wausau and Green Bay areas, to help alleviate an expected shortage of doctors as the baby boom generation becomes senior citizens.  The Green Bay school was recently given two accreditations.  It expects to have 20-to-25 students when it opens in just over a year.  

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