Saturday morning Wisconsin headlines

Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013 --- 5:10 p.m.


Wis. unions demand stop to certification elections

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A group of unions have told Wisconsin employment officials to stop plans for re-certification elections.

Governor Scott Walker's law stripping most public workers of nearly all their union rights includes provisions that unions hold annual elections to avoid decertification. Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled the law is unconstitutional as it applies to two unions representing Madison teachers and Milwaukee public workers.

Confusion has ensued over whether Colas' ruling applies statewide and Walker's administration has been moving forward with plans to hold this year's elections. Colas said Tuesday the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission can't enforce the law against anyone but refused to issue an injunction.

Six unions told WERC on Friday to stop the elections by Monday or they will try to hold it in contempt of court.


Fees charged to insurance helpers criticized

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Health care advocates say the charges imposed by Governor Scott Walker's administration on those who want to help sign people up for health insurance are deterring them from getting involved.

Fees include $39 for a background check, $75 to take a required exam and $150 for online training.

Insurance commission spokesman J.P. Wieske says more than 500 people have gone through free training the department is offering. He defends the fees as a reasonable cost of implementing the law.

But other states with governors who support the Affordable Care Act are not requiring navigators to pay the fees and supporters of the law in Wisconsin say the charges are road blocks to smoothly implementing the law.

The enrollment period for the health insurance exchange begins October 1st.


Marquette president stepping down

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The president of Marquette University is resigning at the end of the fall semester.

The university said Friday that the Reverend Scott Pilarz informed the Board of Trustees of his decision.

Marquette says Pilarz announced his decision now so the university can have a new president in place for next school year. Pilarz will stay on through the fall semester, which ends December 14th.

Pilarz says after 10 years as a university president, he wants to pursue new apostolic work as a Jesuit priest. He has been Marquette's president for two years and previously was president of the University of Scranton.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Marquette will begin the search for a new president immediately.

Pilarz guided Marquette into a newly reconfigured Big East conference.


Paul Ryan to make 1st NH trip since 2012 campaign

BOSTON (AP) -- U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, the former Republican vice presidential nominee, is headed to New Hampshire.

The Wisconsin congressman is set to visit the state in October to help former House colleague, Frank Guinta. Guinta was defeated last fall, but is expected to launch a new campaign in the coming weeks.

Ryan confirmed the trip on Friday. The visit marks his first to New Hampshire since he campaigned across the state for Mitt Romney's unsuccessful presidential bid last fall.

Ryan says he's looking forward to the visit and notes that the people of New Hampshire were hospitable to his family last year.

New Hampshire traditionally hosts the nation's first presidential primary, and Ryan is thought to be weighing a presidential bid of his own.


Witnesses: Minn. man angry over missing wife post

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Witnesses say a Minnesota man thought friends' attempts to find his missing wife with a Facebook post were "blown out of proportion."

Jeffery Trevino of St. Paul is on trial in Ramsey County on second-degree murder charges. Trevino is accused of killing his wife, 30-year-old Kira Steger, who went missing in February. Her body was found in the Mississippi River more than two months later.

Steger's childhood friend, Lindsey Wolf of Wisconsin, testified that she posted a picture of Steger on Facebook on February 24th alerting others to her disappearance. The Star Tribune reports Wolf testified that Trevino told her to take down the post.

Trevino's attorney noted that Trevino's concern was that Steger would have to explain her affair if she wasn't missing.


Journal Broadcast, Time Warner reach agreement

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Journal Broadcast Group has reached a new agreement with Time Warner Cable, ending a nearly two-month blackout of Journal Broadcast stations in Wisconsin and two other states for Time Warner subscribers.

The agreement, announced Friday, covers stations in Milwaukee and Green Bay/Appleton in Wisconsin; Omaha, Nebraska; Nashville, Tennessee; and Palm Springs, California.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the agreement comes three days before the start of the fall prime-time television season.

The dispute involved fees the cable service pays to carry, or retransmit, a station.

Nashville's WTVF-TV was not affected by the blackout since it was operating under a separate, existing contract.

Milwaukee-based Journal Broadcast owns and operates 35 radio stations and 15 television stations in 12 states. Parent company Journal Communications Inc. publishes the Journal Sentinel.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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