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For his third budget in a row, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle has included a provision that would give in-state tuition at University of Wisconsin System schools to illegal immigrants living in Wisconsin. "The governor believes that this group of individuals shouldn't be singled out," said Carla Vigue, a Doyle spokesperson. "He believes that they've already done the work they needed to do to get into the university." However, unlike the last two times, this year the budget committee is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, with all tie votes going to the governor.
A Superior man has filed suit against the police department and the officer who shot him more than three years ago after a rampage.
A total of three bodies have now been found in the Mississippi River near La Cross and rescuers are now searching for the fourth. Rescuers near La Crosse today (Thursday) found the second and third of four family members missing when their boat overturned last Saturday on the Mississippi River. A diver from Winona County (Minn.) found the body of Cha Kong, 34, St. Paul about 5:30 a.m. The body of eight-year-old Amanda Xiong, 8, was discovered around 9:30 a.m. The body of Joshua Xiong, 10, is still missing.
Cole Hamels had a perfect game through six innings last night as the Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers in Philadelphia 6-2. Rickie Weeks was Milwaukee's first base-runner when he led off the seventh with a walk. He scored when J.J. Hardy hit a two-run homer. Hamels struck out 11 and gave up just two hits in eight innings. The Philly offense, meanwhile, scored two unearned runs off Jeff Suppan in the first inning and Aaron Rowand hit a three-run blast in the second to make it 5-0. Hamels had a pair of singles to help his own cause. He's now 4-0 in May and 5-1 overall.
The committee that's reviewing Gov. Jim Doyle's new state budget will decide today how much the federal Real ID law should cost drivers. Doyle originally wanted a $10 increase for all drivers' licenses, to make sure that only legal U.S. residents get licensed. But the DOT now says it needs an extra $32 million instead of $22 million for everything that's necessary to dig up people's backgrounds and to make the license itself more secure. It wants a $15 increase in the license fee.
The Milwaukee Brewers are 8-5 on the road and they hope to improve on that record starting tonight (Friday) in New York against the Mets. The Brewers will play 13 of their next-16 games away from home and the competition will get tougher, as four of their next five opponents made the playoffs a year ago. Milwaukee has the Majors' best record at 24-10. The Mets are tied for the game's fourth-best mark at 21-12. They're a half-game behind Atlanta in the National League East. The Brewers lead the Central by 7 games over the Chicago Cubs. The Mets have won two straight.
Oregon calls itself a place for dreamers. Kentucky markets its unbridled spirit. So how should Wisconsin brand itself? That question got a lot of answers Thursday at the State Capitol. A public hearing was held on a bill by Rep. Steve Wieckert, R-Appleton, to conduct a feasibility study on a state brand. The '70's TV show Laverne and Shirley painted Wisconsin as the home of beer, brats and bowling. And nationally-televised Packer games portray us as cheeseheads. Wieckert says the Badger State has a lot more than that and we should find a way to brag about it.
A 36-year-old St. Peter, Minn., woman has been named as the victim in a Thursday afternoon accident on Highway 35 in Pepin County. At around 2:30 p.m. Katie Rogers-Phillips was southbound on Highway 35 when she lost control of the 2005 Buick LaSabre she was driving, according to the Pepin County Sheriff's Department. The vehicle crashed through the guardrail and then overturned several times as it rolled down the steep embankment.
Homeowners and renters who shoot intruders would be presumed innocent under a bill the state Assembly passed. It's already legal to shoot someone who breaks into your house as long as it's done in self-defense. The new bill would make the courts assume self-defense and the intruders would have to prove otherwise. Carol Owens, R-Oshkosh, sponsored the measure, saying it's not wrong for people to protect themselves. But opponents say it's likely that burglars who don't mean to harm anybody will pay with their lives. The Assembly OK'd the change on a voice vote. It now goes to the Senate.
Trash haulers and boaters would pay more under the latest state budget proposals endorsed by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee. Thursday the panel approved a 15 percent increase in boat registration fees, but it was less than half than what Gov. Jim Doyle had requested. Those fees have not been raised in 11 years. They would apply to motorboats and sailboats over 12 feet long. The trash-hauling fee would rise from $3 a ton to $6.