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Will you be among 1 in 5 to vote Tuesday? State slips again with job creation, more state briefs

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MADISON -- The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is projecting voter turnout for next Tuesday's election at about 20 percent.

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Voters will decide on local issues plus statewide races for Supreme Court justice and state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

More than 9,500 candidates are running for 6,700 state and local offices.

There are also votes on 76 referendums. Twenty percent would be about normal for a spring election. Two years ago the turnout reached 34 percent, but that vote came at the peak of the Capitol protests.

Wisconsin stumbles backward in job-creation figures

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Quarterly figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show Wisconsin has dropped to 44th among the states in creating private-sector jobs.

The numbers cover the year which ended in September and they reflect a consistent decline. Wisconsin was 42nd in the 12-month period which ended last June and 37th for the year which ended in March 2012.

Other Midwestern states did much better, with Indiana ranked 11th, Michigan 13th and Ohio 24th.

Republican leaders argue the Wisconsin economy is actually getting better due to the economic reforms they put in place. They say that's why the state now has a projected $484 million budget surplus.

State agencies spent $13 billion in federal money last year

MADISON -- A report from the Legislative Audit Bureau shows Wisconsin agencies spent nearly $13 billion in federal assistance money last fiscal year. The money was distributed through more than 2,000 federal programs and grants.

Though the audit shows the agencies generally complied with federal guidelines, it was noted those guidelines weren't followed in the awarding of community development block grants.

Auditors say the Department of Children and Families continues to overcharge the federal government for the money it passes on to adopted children. Also, the Department of Transportation is still working to correct some reporting and record-keeping failings.

Barron, Beloit schools subject of ACLU complaints

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.

Great Lakes leaders will gather at Mackinac Island to talk carp, other threats

Great Lakes governors and premiers will be meeting at Michigan's Mackinac Island in two months to discuss issues like the Asian carp, water levels and the threat from ballast water from ships.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says he is amazed a meeting with his peers in states and Canadian provinces hasn't happened before now.

Snyder and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn are co-chairs of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.

The meeting of six Great Lakes governors and two premiers starts May 31st and runs three days.

Teen's peculiar death linked to night of drinking

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.

New Holstein is a town of about 3,200 in Calumet County, east of Lake Winnebago and southeast of Appleton.

Firm hired to help repurpose Wisconsin River industrial complex

PORT EDWARDS -- 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.

Burlington home search yields cache of dope, weapons

A search of a suspected drug house in Burlington has resulted in three arrests.

The Racine County Sheriff's Office and Racine County Metro Drug Unit reported finding more than five pounds of marijuana, packaging for drugs, paraphernalia, a loaded AK-47 assault rifle and a loaded 20-gauge shotgun at the residence on Market Street.

Three people were arrested on suspicion of charges of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver while armed, keeping a drug place while armed and possession of drug paraphernalia. Two are also expected to be charged with bail jumping.

Alleged murderer in Oklahoma admits to 1990 rape here

Prosecutors say they will ask for the maximum 20-year prison sentence for an Oklahoma man who has admitted his guilt in a 1990 sexual assault in Wisconsin.

Glendon C. Gouker is in Oklahoma right now, waiting to go to trial on murder charges. Gouker's sentencing will be scheduled after the Oklahoma trial is completed.

He waived his right to appear in person yesterday, so he will learn how long his Wisconsin sentence is by video conference.

Gouker has also been named a "person of interest" in the fatal stabbing of two people in Weyauwega last month.

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