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Wisconsin roundup: GOP leadership: We don’t have votes to pass tax break bill yet; more state news stories

One of the leaders in the Wisconsin Senate says supporters don't have the votes needed to pass a tax break bill benefiting Kimberly-Clark.

Republican Sen. Alberta Darling says work is being done to come up with a bill which can pass. The Wisconsin Assembly has already given its approval to a plan which would save hundreds of jobs at the paper products company. Kimberly-Clark had announced it was closing two plants. Now, company officials say they are open to staying in the Fox Valley if the incentives are approved. One Republican senator has already said he's against the legislation.


UW-System accused of age discrimination

The federal government is accusing the University of Wisconsin System of age discrimination.

The EEOC filed the suit Monday. It alleges 53-year-old Bambi Butzlaff Voss was laid off from her job as a marketing and communications specialist at the Waukesha campus. She applied for six positions with the UW-System's central office in Madison, citing her 25 years of experience. The university hired a 23-year-old candidate for the job with less than two years of experience. A federal judge is being asked to force the university to hire Butzlaff Voss and give her back pay.


Armed men take safe, demand combo from resident

Police say three men took a combination safe overnight Monday from a woman’s home in Madison.

The woman told police two of the men were armed. Officers say the three men entered the woman’s Radcliffe Drive Apartment at around 12:15 a.m. The victim, whose name was not released, said the men ordered her to give them the combination to a safe, which they took from her home. The woman was not injured. Investigators say they believe the crime was a targeted armed robbery.


UW-Eau Claire construction projects almost complete

School officials say the newly renovated dorms and updates to the lower campus at UW-Eau Claire are nearly completed.

Furniture was installed in Karlgaard Towers and work is almost finished on Garfield Avenue on the lower campus. The renovations on Karlgaard Towers have been underway since September 2017 which included new bathrooms, study lounges, refurbished rooms, air conditioning and replacing major mechanical systems.


Oshkosh company buys paper straw maker

Oshkosh-based Hoffmaster Group is moving into the rapidly-growing paper-straw manufacturing field.

Hoffmaster announced its purchase of Indiana-based Aardvark Straws Monday. The demand for paper straws is growing because several cities have already banned plastic straws. Consumers use an estimated half-billion plastic straws everyday, adding to an existing environmental threat. Hoffmaster officials say they think they can double the output of the Aardvark facility in Fort Wayne over the next six-to-nine months.


Douglas County officials struggle over closing swimming area

A Douglas County committee has delayed a proposed action which would have banned swimming at a beach on Lake Superior.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports Shafer Beach has exceeded standards of bacteria on numerous occasions over the last 12 years. Members of the Land and Development Committee were talking about a plan to close the beach to swimming for the next nine years. One supervisor says he is firmly against cutting off public access and he suggested posting a sign cautioning swimmers.


$6.8B stock deal to create ‘global leader in consumer packaging’

The purchase of Neenah-based Bemis Co. by an Australian competitor is expected to create what a news release calls a "global leader in consumer packaging."

Amcor will buy Bemis in a $6.8 billion all-stock transaction. The company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as New Amcor. The new company stands to receive $1.8 million in tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation so it can convert the Neenah facility from making white paper to a packaging grade product.