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GREENDALE, Wis. — Hundreds of people are attending the first public hearing on Gov. Scott Walker's two-year budget proposal. Advocacy groups and others criticized Walker's proposal at the outset of Thursday's hearing. They spoke out against Walker's plan to expand the state's voucher school program and turn down federal funding for a Medicaid expansion. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to take comment for eight hours Thursday. By Kevin Wang.
MILWAUKEE — It's been more than four months since American journalist James Foley was kidnapped while working in Syria, and his parents are working to keep his case in the public eye while the State Department seeks his release. On Friday, they will participate in a rally at Marquette University, where Foley went to school. By M.L. Johnson.
WISCONSIN LEGISLATURE-FARM LOBBY
DOTYVILLE, Wis. — A group representing Wisconsin farmers said its lobbying agenda this spring will include opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's plan to eliminate limits on foreign land ownership. Currently, no foreign person, company or government can buy more than 640 acres of land in Wisconsin. A provision eliminating that cap is included in Walker's budget proposal, which the Legislature is reviewing.
MADISON, Wis. — A northeastern Wisconsin lawmaker says his plan to delay asbestos lawsuits will clarify defendant companies' share of liability. Rep. Andre Jacque's bill would force judges to stay civil lawsuits seeking damages from companies responsible for causing asbestos-related diseases until the plaintiffs disclose whether they're pursuing claims against now-bankrupt companies that also may have been at fault. Opponents contend the bill is designed to slow down lawsuits in the hopes plaintiffs will die from their ailments before the litigation can be completed. By Todd Richmond.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — At least some Asian carp probably have found their way into the Great Lakes, but there's still time to stop the dreaded invaders from becoming established and unraveling food chains that support a $7 billion fishing industry and sensitive ecosystems, according to a scientific report released Thursday. Written by experts who pioneered use of genetic data to search for the aggressive fish, the paper disagrees with government scientists who say many of the positive Asian carp DNA hits recorded in or near the lakes in recent years could have come from other sources, such as excrement from birds that fed on carp in distant rivers. By John Flesher. AP Photos.
ASIAN CARP-RIVERS, from ST. PAUL, Minn. — Researchers studying water samples from the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers for fragments of Asian carp DNA say they found little evidence of bighead and silver carp in Minnesota. The study released Thursday concludes that while the invasive fish are present in Minnesota, their numbers are likely relatively low.
ONEIDA GASIFICATION PLANT
GREEN BAY, Wis. — An Oneida tribal company that has faced heated opposition to building a waste-to-energy gasification plant off the reservation has turned its attention to constructing it on tribal land and is getting resistance from its own members. Plans by the Oneida Seven Generations Corp. to build the plant in the Green Bay area have been met with public protests, adverse court rulings and government obstacles.
— SISTERS KILLED — The mother of three girls who were killed by their father in northwestern Wisconsin says she was worried about leaving the children alone in his care.
— SCHOOL VOUCHERS-VOS — Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he's open to the idea of tuition tax credits for families that send their children to private schools in Wisconsin.
— WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT — Spending on television advertising in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race won by Justice Pat Roggensack topped $1 million.
— WALKER-WEBSITE — While talk swirls about Gov. Scott Walker running for president in 2016, he's busy getting ready for his re-election bid next year. Walker on Wednesday sent supporters an email providing them a link to his updated campaign website.
— WALKER-FORESTRY TOUR — Gov. Scott Walker plans to spend Friday in northern Wisconsin on a forestry tour. His itinerary includes stops at a logging site in Springbrook and the wood yard at Futurewood Corp. in Hayward.
— ATF STING-MILWAUKEE — Several members of Congress have sent another letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives demanding information on a flawed undercover sting in Milwaukee by next week.
— HUMANE SOCIETY DRUGS — Sheboygan County Humane Society's director is charged with drug fraud.
— FIRE RESCUE-MADISON — Three children have been rescued from the roof of a burning duplex in Madison.
— SHOOTING SCENARIO CLASS — A technical college in northeastern Wisconsin is teaching a class on how to deal with a mass shooting scenario.
— MISSING WOMAN-CIVIL CASE — A civil case against a Mishicot man convicted of killing a young photographer nearly eight years ago is still winding its way through the courts.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs added depth at linebacker Thursday by signing Frank Zombo, who had spent the past three seasons with the Green Bay Packers.
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin's spring turkey season gets under way next week. The first of a half-dozen seven-day season periods begins Wednesday. Hunters killed 42,612 turkeys during the 2012 season, up 6 percent from the year before, and state wildlife ecologists say hunters might have even better luck this time around.