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State News Roundup: ACLU files suit against three Wisconsin schools

The ACLU has sent complaints to the U.S. Department of Education about three Wisconsin schools which separated boys and girls into single-sex classrooms. The group's Wisconsin chapter is asking if Riverview Middle School in Barron and Robinson and McLenegan Elementary Schools in Beloit are violating Title Nine with the separation. Title Nine bars sex discrimination in education. The Beloit School District says the curriculum is the same for single-sex and combined-sex classes at the two schools and parents are allowed to choose which classes their children will attend.


Caterpillar has informed its union it intends to lay off as many as 300 workers at its South Milwaukee factory by next June. That would represent 40 percent of the blue collar workforce. The company is saying the layoffs can be blamed on slow sales. The United Steelworkers union is scheduled to start contract negotiations with Caterpillar next week. That union has represented the people working at the mining equipment plant for more than 70 years, but this is the first contract to be negotiated since Caterpillar bought out Bucyrus International three years ago.


The Calumet County medical examiner has ruled the death of an 18 year old woman accidental. Authorities say Monica Batts had been drinking and died from exposure to the cold. Her dead body was found in a backyard in New Holstein last month. Batts left a home at about 4 a.m. February 11th, walked across a snow-covered field, then climbed over a small fence into a backyard. She apparently tried to enter that home, but failed. The autopsy shows she died of hypothermia. The toxicology tests revealed an elevated blood alcohol content level.


Five years after the Domtar paper mill ceased its operations, an Ohio company has been hired to seek out potential uses for the 192-acre location. The redevelopment planners say the site along the Wisconsin River would work well for new warehouse and light manufacturing operations. When the mill closed, the Port Edwards area lost 500 jobs. The deal announced by that village does not include the hydroelectric facilities. Domtar uses the power generated there to run its paper mill in Nekoosa.