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Sunday State News Briefs: More students qualifying for meal programs

More students in Wisconsin public schools are qualifying for free or reduced meal programs. Educators say the programs remain important in helping children learn, but fear they'll be cut back in the governor's proposed budget.

The latest findings from the state Department of Public Instruction show more than 41-percent of Wisconsin's students qualify for reduced or free breakfast and lunch. That's up more than two percentage points from the last school year and is part of a growing trend that's been happening for seven years. DPI spokesman John Johnson says this indicates more students are living in poverty. The school district which saw the greatest jump from last year was Coleman. Nearly 58-percent of its students qualify for subsidized meals, compared to 45-percent the previous school year.


Minority-owned Legacy Bank of Milwaukee becomes the eighth bank to fail after receiving Troubled Asset Relief Program funds from the federal government. Legacy got five and a half million dollars in taxpayer funding from TARP a little over two years ago. It was able to repay only about 355 thousand dollars. The other bank seized by the FDIC Friday was in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. The number of banks which have failed so far this year has reached 25. Seaway Bank and Trust Company is assuming the deposits and nearly 166 million dollars of the assets of Legacy. It will also share losses with the FDIC.


He says the relationship was consensual. In New York, 45 year old John Hopkins is accused of holding a 27 year old Wisconsin woman captive as his sex slave for more than a week. The woman says she answered an ad on Craigslist that said she could live with the suspect for free if she would cook and clean his Brooklyn apartment. Hopkins' attorney says his client had known the woman for two years and they had a consensual sexual relationship. At one point he says the woman wanted to return to the apartment when Hopkins had kicked her out for excessive drinking. Prosecutors call it a heinous crime, saying the woman was forced to drink water, then not allowed to use the restroom, she was sexually molested and had a set of rules she had to obey -- or she would be punished. The woman eventually e-mailed her mother in Wisconsin and she called police. Officers found her in the apartment a month ago.