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The state Legislature's Joint Finance Committee has endorsed two major tax increases in Gov. Jim Doyle's state budget. The eight Republicans on the panel were not able to stop the eight Democrats Thursday from voting to double the state transfer fee for home sales. By the same vote, the committee also approved a doubling of the limit on local property tax increases, from 2 percent a year to 4. The home-selling fee would be an extra $300 on a $100,000 property. Republicans say the downturn in the housing market makes this a horrible time to raise the fee.
An experimental vaccine in mice has raised the possibility that it could be put into deer feed someday thus stopping the spread of chronic wasting disease. Researchers in New York tested an oral vaccine designed to ward off prions that are believed to cause CWD. And they found no prion disease in mice which had high levels of antibodies. Dr. Richard Olds of the Medical College of Wisconsin said the degree of protection was impressive. Researchers are now working on a vaccine for deer and elk.
A bill to include cell phones and small businesses on the state's do-not-call list has taken a step forward in Madison. A Senate committee voted 3-2 this week to endorse a measure that could almost triple the phone numbers telemarketers would have to stay away from. Right now, the no-call list includes 1.1 million home phones on landlines. But Senate Democrat Jon Erpenbach says many folks only have cell phones these days and the telemarketers are eating up their minutes. Also, there are more violators. So the bill wratches up the penalties from $100 per violation to a maximum of $10,000.
Gov. Jim Doyle has signed a bill that lets adult shoppers get free beer samples. Both houses of the Legislature passed the measure last month. It lets grocery and liquor stores give out beer samples totaling up to six ounces a day. The new law will let breweries promote their specialty products, the same as wineries do now. The free samples can be issued between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., only to those of legal drinking age.
654 Glover Rd. PUBLIC HEARING - There will be a public hearing at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday May 10, 2007 at the Troy Town Hall to hear comments regarding the amendment of the Town of Troy Chapter 171-Lower St. Croix Riverway Zoning ordinance. REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING-- will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday May 10, 2007 at the Troy Town Hall. AGENDA: 1. Approve Minutes; 2. Park Board and Plan Commission Reports; 3. Citizen Input; 4. Discuss & consider public hearing comments regarding amendment of the Town of Troy Chapter 171 Lower St. Croix Riverway Zoning Ordinance; 5.
Six area art studios will participate in The Creative Drive 2007 tour Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6. Art featured on the tour includes oil and watercolor paintings, wood furniture, cards, fiber art, chocolates, stoneware, sculptures and pottery. The studios will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stops on the tour include: Stone Soup Gallery, 1025 David St., Hammond; Color Crossing, 201 N.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sitting in for Dave Wood today is his wife, Dr. Ruth Wood, an English teacher at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. I'm a teacher of international and multicultural literature, so when Coffee House Press sent three intriguing new books by Asian-American writers, I asked to be a guest columnist. This is a great array: A novel by Japanese-born Yuko Taniguchi, a short story collection by Chinese-born Wang Ping, and a poetry collection by Sun Yung Shin, a Korean adoptee. My favorite of the three is Wang Ping's story collection, "The Last Communist Virgin" ($14.95).
After a year of extensive research and planning, the Free Clinic of Pierce and St. Croix Counties begins offering basic medical care for those lacking the means to pay. The free clinic officially opens its doors at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 24. Patient registration begins at 5 p.m. The free clinic, a nonprofit organization, is located in Unit 2 of the River Falls Medical Clinic, 1629 E. Division St. For those coming to River Falls, take the Hwy.
654 Glover Road PUBLIC HEARING - There will be a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday May 3, 2007 at the Troy Town Hall to hear comments regarding the amendment of the Town of Troy Chapter 171-Lower St. Croix Riverway Zoning ordinance. PLAN COMMISSION will meet Thursday May 3, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall. AGENDA: 1. Approve Minutes; 2. Acknowledgement of applications for action as regulated by SDO; 3. 3 lot CSM - Larry & Mary Bauer, 163 S. Glover Rd.; 4. Setback variance - Theodore & Michele Passe, 280 St. Andrews Drive; 5.