Associated Press

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Neenah Menasha Fire Rescue

  A shuttered paper mill with a history dating back to 1882 has been decimated by fire in Menasha.

Firefighters remained on the scene of the fire at the Whiting Mill Monday morning.

Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue posted on Facebook that the massive fire that started Sunday was under control.

Menasha Mayor Don Merkes posted on Facebook that it was a great loss to the city's history.

The paper mill near the base of the Fox Cities Trestle Trail closed in 2016 after a 134-year history.

The mill was known as the George A. Whiting Paper Co.

Pixabay.com

Wisconsin Republicans plan to vote next week to kill key parts of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ state budget proposal, including legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, expanding Medicaid to capture $1.6 billion in federal funding and granting collective bargaining rights to public workers.

The move, announced Friday, is no surprise and follows what the GOP-controlled Legislature did two years ago to Evers’ first budget.

Pixabay.com

Observation towers and playgrounds at Wisconsin state parks have reopened, as more restrictions in place during the coronavirus pandemic are loosening.

The state Department of Natural Resources has also increased capacity to 100 at open-air shelters, amphitheaters, and outdoor group campgrounds as of Friday.

The DNR reports that state park attendance has increased 25% so far this year compared to 2020. 

GovTrack.us

A judge has ruled that Republican leaders of the Wisconsin Legislature illegally hired private taxpayer-funded attorneys to represent them in anticipation of lawsuits over redistricting.

The lawsuit filed by attorney Lester Pines on behalf of four Madison teachers argued that state law does not allow for legislative leaders to hire attorneys outside the state Department of Justice before a lawsuit has been filed.

The Legislature has yet to begin the redistricting process and there are no pending lawsuits.

Gov. Tony Evers says he hasn't met with Republican legislative leaders to discuss his $91 billion state budget proposal because he’s listening to what the people of Wisconsin want and that GOP lawmakers should do the same.

Republicans who control the Legislature’s budget committee are expected to vote as soon as next week to remove many of Evers’ priorities, such as expanding Medicaid and legalizing recreational marijuana, as they begin to create the next budget.

PIXABAY.COM

Gov. Tony Evers has signed a bill requiring Wisconsin middle and high school social studies classes to teach the Holocaust and other genocides.

Evers signed the bipartisan bill on Wednesday.It passed the Legislature unanimously.

Wisconsin joins 17 other states that require Holocaust education, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. An 18th state, Arkansas, has a law taking effect next year.

PIXABAY.COM

Wisconsin health officials say that only 0.03% of people who have been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Wednesday that the number of so-called breakthrough cases was just 605 out of 1.8 million people who are fully vaccinated.

The state’s number of breakthrough cases is higher than the national national rate of 0.008% reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pixabay.com

Michigan’s August primary date would be moved six weeks earlier, to June, and the state would be required to more quickly check if ballot drives have submitted enough qualifying signatures for the general election under bills advancing in Lansing.

Michigan has three regular election dates: in May, August — when the primary is held — and November.

The House voted 63-46 Tuesday, with many Democrats and some Republicans in opposition, to consolidate the May and August elections into one on the third Tuesday in June, starting next year.

Pixabay.com

Gov. Tony Evers has signed a bipartisan bill that makes it easier for emergency responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to file worker's compensation claims.

Right now, police and firefighters must show they're suffering more emotional strain and stress than the day-to-day tensions they normally feel to claim compensation.

Under the bill, responders diagnosed with PTSD by a psychiatrist or psychologist need only show they're suffering by a preponderance of the evidence.

Pixabay.com

Attorney General Josh Kaul has launched an investigation into clergy sexual assault across Wisconsin's five Catholic dioceses.

Kaul announced the investigation Tuesday.

Clergy sexual abuse survivors and their allies have long demanded that Kaul open an investigation.

Officials in at least 22 other states have opened similar investigations into sexual misconduct within church hierarchies.

Kaul declined to discuss his investigators' strategies, but said if they uncover new cases they will refer them to prosecutors.

Pixabay.com

Michigan’s slow population growth over the past decade will cost the state a U.S. House seat.

That continues a decades-long trend as job-seekers and retirees leave for other states.

The U.S. Census Bureau listed the state's 2020 apportionment population at just over 10 million.

That leaves Michigan with 13 congressional seats.

Michigan’s population grew for decades, from 7.8 million in 1960 to more than 9.9 million in 2000.

It recorded a slight decline in the census 10 years ago, to 9.8 million.

A three-day search for a 17-year-old boy missing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula ended with the discovery of the teen’s body, authorities said Monday.

The Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately reveal the circumstances of Cam Besonen’s death. Nor did they say where and who found the body. The search for Cam was centered near Paulding.

Pixabay.com

Michigan is hanging tight to its position as a national hotspot for COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations at a time when more than half the U.S. adult population has been vaccinated and other states have seen the virus diminish substantially.

Medical professionals point to more contagious variants, the state's pullback on restrictions to limit crowds and COVID fatigue as reasons for the surge, especially in rural, northern parts of the state that had largely avoided severe outbreaks.

Pixabay.com

Wisconsin fishery officials say more tournaments are abandoning their traditional catch-hold-release formats.

The Department of Natural Resources says the number of bass and walleye tournaments that have eschewed the traditional catch-hold-release format for catch-photo-release rules has increased from an average of six annually between 2010 and 2015 to more than 30 per year from 2015 to 2020.  

In catch-hold-release tournaments, anglers transport fish to weigh-in areas, where they're released but not in the areas where they're caught.

Ron Johnson Facebook

Sen. Ron Johnson is in an uncomfortable class of his own.

The Wisconsin Republican is the only senator in his party facing reelection next year in a state that backed Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race.

But Johnson isn't moderating his politics to accommodate potentially shifting voter attitudes.

Instead, he's focusing even more intently on cultural issues that appeal to his party's overwhelmingly white base.

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