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Saturday Morning Wisconsin News Headlines

WISCONSIN UNIONS-RIGHT TO WORK

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal appeals court ruling upholding Wisconsin's law effectively ending collective bargaining for public workers is leading to a call for the state to pass a right to work law.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld the law passed in 2011, while other court challenges are pending.

Still, National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix says the ruling should motivate the Republican-controlled Legislature to pass a right to work law like was done in Michigan last month.

He says, "No Wisconsin public worker should ever be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment."

Republican Governor Scott Walker has said he won't pursue right to work this year.

WISCONSIN UNIONS-REACTION

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans say a federal appeals court ruling upholding Governor Scott Walker's collective bargaining law affirms their argument from the beginning that the law is constitutional.

However, a state court ruling from last year striking down the law for school district and local government workers remains in effect. Other lawsuits are also pending.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he hopes Friday's ruling backing up the law will bring an end to the other lawsuits.

Statewide teachers' union president Mary Bell says they are reviewing the ruling and their options. The decision can be appealed to the full 7th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Democratic opponents of the law say they are disappointed in the ruling.

WISCONSIN JOBS-MINING

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Republicans have scheduled a public hearing next week on a bill to overhaul the state's mining regulations.

The hearing is set for Wednesday morning in front of the Senate and Assembly's mining committees at the state Capitol.

Republicans are trying to persuade Gogebic Taconite to open a huge iron mine just south of Lake Superior. They introduced a bill this week that streamlines the state's mining regulations, including creating a 480-day window for the state Department of Natural Resources to approve or deny a permit application and loosening restrictions on mining waste storage locations.

The GOP says the bill will lead to thousands of new jobs around the state. Environmentalists counter the mine would devastate one of Wisconsin's last pristine regions.

WISCONSIN JOBS-MINING-CORPS

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is warning its mining approval process could take years.

Republicans introduced a bill this week that streamlines state mining requirements. They maintain the changes will jump-start mining in the state and create thousands of jobs. Democrats counter it would be years before any jobs materialize.

Any mine that affects federal wetlands would need corps approval. State Senator Tim Cullen, a Janesville Democrat, released a corps timeline Friday. He says that the process could take between two and four years.

Senator Tom Tiffany, who wrote the GOP bill, noted mining applicants would have to notify the corps as soon as they decide to file a state permit application. He said he didn't believe the corps' review process would lead to major delays.

COUPLE DEAD-GREEN BAY

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Green Bay police have released the names of a husband and wife found dead in a home.

Police say the bodies of 49-year-old Michael Carroll and his 52-year-old wife, Kyung McCoy, were lying on a bedroom floor when officers arrived at the west side home Thursday. Police said there were no obvious signs of trauma to the bodies.

Authorities still don't know the cause of death.

Brown County Medical Examiner Al Klimek told WLUK-TV on Friday it could take more than two weeks for complete autopsy results to be returned.

CHILD DEATH-MILWAUKEE

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee man who gained attention for overcoming poverty and a broken home has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally beating a 2-year-old boy.

Twenty-eight-year-old Corey Benson was sentenced Friday to a life term with no chance of supervised release.

Benson was convicted in March of killing his girlfriend's 2-year-old son while babysitting the boy in 2011, and severely injuring the boy in 2010.

The criminal complaint says Benson walked into Aurora Sinai Medical Center in 2011, carrying Karmari Curtis, who wasn't breathing. An autopsy showed the boy had multiple injuries.

Benson has been charged with abusing Karmari before. In October 2010, the boy was hospitalized for six days because of his injuries.

WISCONSIN COACHES-CONTRACTS

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents has approved contracts for incoming football coach Gary Andersen and his offensive and defensive coordinators.

Anderson will be paid $10 million over five years. He'll make $1.8 million in 2013, and then get $100,000 raises in each of the next four years.

The regents on Friday also approved salaries for offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. Each received a two-year deal worth $480,000 per year. That's $215,000 more than each of their predecessors made last season.

UW associate athletic director Justin Doherty says the contracts have all been approved but not yet signed.

Andersen replaces Bret Bielema, who left last month to become the head coach at Arkansas.


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