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Wisconsin roundup: Proposed ordinance would fine parents for kids’ bullying; more state news stories

If Wisconsin Rapids passes a new ordinance, the parents of a bully could be fined.

City leaders are considering taking the step after a viral social media post showed several children urging a seventh-grade student to kill herself. The ordinance would hold parents or guardians responsible if the bully is less than 18 years old. Counting court costs, the first offense would cost $313, based on a $50 fine. The anti-bullying ordinance will be considered at a June 18 Common Council meeting.

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Shopko workers seek promised severance payments

A group of Shopko workers has signed a letter asking for the several payments they were originally promised when the company filed for bankruptcy.

A federal judge approved the retailer's plan to phase out its operations last week and that sets things up for the remaining stores to close by the end of the month. The 700 former and current Shopko workers are asking the private equity firm that bought the chain 14 years ago to keep the promise. The payments to those workers were taken out of the plan as it moved through the courts.

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State budget work could be wrapped this week

There's still work to be done, but the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee could complete work on the two-year Wisconsin state budget this week.

The spending plan would then advance to the state Assembly and Senate. The committee still has to put the finishing touches on possible tax cuts and how much money to dedicate to building projects. Gov. Tony Evers is still pushing for more money for public schools. He will have to decide whether to veto the entire budget or settle for making changes with his partial veto power.

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Madison triathlon: 1 competitor dead, 1 in critical condition

One competitor in the Wisconsin Ironman has died and a second is in critical condition after Sunday's triathlon.

The event in Madison was a qualifier for the 2020 Ironman Championship in Hawaii. Both athletes were taken to the shore of Lake Monona when they started having problems. The athlete who died may have suffered a medical condition. The names of the victims haven't been released.

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Baldwin: Blackwell Job Corps Center important to northwoods

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is calling on the Trump administration to reverse its decision to close the Blackwell Job Corps Center in Forest County.

It is one of nine being shut down nationwide. The Wisconsin Democrat says Blackwell is critically important to the Northwoods community. The facility is a Civilian Conservation Center which works with the U.S. Forest Service to keep Wisconsin's forests healthy.

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DNR says Johnson Controls failed to report hazardous materials release

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has referred a hazardous materials case to the Attorney General's office.

The DNR accuses Wisconsin-based Johnson Controls of failing to tell the state about the release of chemicals at a fire training facility in Marinette That led to residents in some parts of northeastern Wisconsin drinking contaminated water for years. Johnson Controls counters by saying it thought the contamination was limited to its property. Scientists say the compounds released can cause health problems like thyroid disease, liver damage, asthma and even some cancers

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Wis. wind energy projects in show growing interest in the field

Three possible wind energy projects in southwestern Wisconsin are evidence of growing interest in the industry in this state.

Utilities are looking for renewable energy sources. Wind energy production costs have fallen over the last 10 years and the federal government is offering tax incentives, but that tax credit goes away at the end of the year. The projects in the state's southwestern region could generate more than 300 megawatts and that represents about 40 percent of the electricity generated in Wisconsin right now.

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