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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Whitefish Bay the most expensive place to buy a house in Wisconsin

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

Whitefish Bay is the most expensive place to buy a house in Wisconsin, and Ashland is the most economical. That's according to an affordability survey by the real estate firm of Coldwell Banker. It compared average prices in 19-hundred U-S markets for a standard four-bedroom house with two baths. The Milwaukee suburb of Whitefish Bay had Wisconsin's highest average cost for such a house, at just over 464-thousand dollars. Ashland had the most affordable price for the same type of home, at almost 105-thousand. The Milwaukee suburb of Mequon had the state's second most-expensive price of 380-thousand. Hudson, near Minnesota's Twin Cities, was next at 379-thousand. Hayward and Eagle River rounded out the Top-Five. Richland Center had the second most economical price behind Ashland at 134-thousand. Wisconsin Rapids had the third-lowest average, followed by Rhinelander and Merrill. The national average is just over 301-thousand for the typical four-bedroom, two-bath house. Malibu, near Los Angeles, had the most expensive average in Coldwell Banker's survey, at almost two-point-two million dollars. Cleveland Ohio had the cheapest average, almost 64-thousand. 

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The Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese has taken a big step toward resolving its nearly three-year-old bankruptcy case. A group of insurers that includes Lloyd's of London has agreed to buy back policies they sold to the church, in exchange for avoiding liability in paying claims to victims of sex abuse by priests. Church spokesman Jerry Topczewski would not say how much the archdiocese will get from the settlement. He says it will be spelled out in the church's financial re-organization plan which must be approved in federal bankruptcy court. Topczewski did not know when the plan will be filed. Media reports say settlement talks continue with another carrier, Stonewall Insurance. The Milwaukee Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011, saying it doesn't have the money to pay millions-of-dollars to victims of sex abuse by priests dating back for decades. It's been one of the most hard-fought Catholic bankruptcy actions in the country, as both sides have wrangled over which victims should get compensated -- and which assets can be protected from creditors. The court has ruled that the archdiocese cannot tap assets from its local churches to pay the creditors -- mostly around 575 sex abuse victims who filed for compensation in the bankruptcy process. Their attorney, Michael Finnegan, says the Lloyd's of London settlement excludes victims -- a first among the nation's church bankruptcies.

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Appleton Police want to question a man about a hit-and-run crash last weekend that killed a 61-year-old bicyclist. Robert Joosten was found dead early last Saturday on Wisconsin Avenue, one of Appleton's main streets. Police said Joosten's bicycle was apparently struck from behind by a truck that never stopped. Police issued surveillance photos yesterday which showed the man they're seeking. They described the truck as a red, full-sized pick-up with flared rear fenders, dual wheels on the rear axle, and a workbox in the truck's bed.

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Jordy Nelson will be the next host of an annual charity softball game that has raised millions-of-dollars over the past two decades. Nelson has become the Packers' flashiest wide receiver this season -- and it was announced yesterday that he'll help sponsor the annual softball game featuring the Green Bay offense against the defense. It will be played next June 8th at Fox Cities Stadium near Appleton. Donald Driver hosted the charity game for six years before he retired last December. Brett Favre headlined it for eight years before that. Ex-Packers' defensive back George Teague and singer Michael Bolton started the charity game in 1994. The main charity for next year's event is Young Life, a Christian-based program that mentors middle-and-high school youngsters. A sell-out crowd normally attends the game. Over nine-thousand showed up last year to watch the Packer defense beat the offense 24-to-20. Driver had talked about staying on as the host -- but he ended up agreeing with the game's organizers that a current Packer should be in that role.

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An Appleton man has been sentenced to 16 months in prison on a federal bank fraud conviction. 28-year-old Travis Zielinski pleaded guilty to a scheme in which he withdrew 68-thousand dollars from 48 bank accounts. Prosecutors said Zielinski combed through newspaper obituaries to target the bank accounts of people who had recently died. Authorities said the victims were either dead, incapacitated, or were vulnerable in other ways. Zielinski must spend three years under federal supervision once he leaves prison. He also has to repay all of what he stole.

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Police in Marshfield are trying to find out how a man died in a bathroom stall at the city's Walmart. An autopsy was scheduled on the 33-year-old man, who was found dead shortly after three yesterday morning. Police Lieutenant Darren Larson said there were no early signs of foul play. The Marathon County medical examiner's office is helping with the investigation. The person's name was not immediately released, pending notification of relatives. 

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The harvest rolls on in Wisconsin, as some farmers continue to wait for their corn to dry a little more. Others have given up on that, as more waves of rain-and-snow have gone through the Badger State in recent weeks. Officials say 62-percent of the state's corn-for-grain has been harvested -- seven-percent below normal, but 12-percent more than a week ago. There have been some reports of corn mold in Marathon, Chippewa, and Buffalo counties. Eighty-six percent of the Wisconsin soybean crop is in, six percent below the norm and four-percent higher than a week ago. National corn and soybean harvests are slightly below normal.  

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