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Wisconsin roundup: Walker says Dems should be ashamed of excluding female candidates; more state news stories

Gov. Scott Walker says Democrats should be ashamed of excluding female candidates from a forum held last month. File image

MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker says Democrats should be ashamed of excluding female candidates from a forum held last month.

The forum for gubernatorial candidates sponsored by the Construction Business Group included five men, but left out Kathleen Vinehout and Kelda Helen Roys. Democrats accuse the governor of lying when he claims their party excluded the two female candidates. The CBG says it invited only the top-five Democratic fundraisers to its forum. The Wisconsin Democratic Party says it didn't sponsor the forum and didn't choose the candidates.

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Sexual orientation, gender identity at issue in De Pere lawsuit

DE PERE — The city of De Pere is asking a Brown County judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by five churches and a Christian radio station.

They are fighting a city ordinance which went into effect this month prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The churches and Lakeshore Communications want a declaration that the ordinance doesn't apply to them — or, that it be declared unconstitutional. They say it is so broad it undermines their Constitutionally-protected rights to follow religious mandates and principles. The city says the suit is based on theory only and shows no example of damages.

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UW-Stout students headed to Houston for hurricane relief efforts

MENOMONIE — Some UW-Stout students are spending spring break helping with Hurricane Harvey cleanup.

Nearly 30 students will be driving to Houston to assist with recovery efforts. The students are from the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity and are partnering with Northwest Harris County Habitat for Humanity chapter in Houston to help build new homes and tear down damaged structures.

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Walker signs bill boosting state funding for rural schools

MUSCODA — School districts in rural Wisconsin would see increased state aid under a new bill signed Monday by Gov. Scott Walker.

The maximum that a qualifying low-spending district can spend by combining property tax revenue and state aid would go up by $300 to $9,400 for next school year. That limit would increase by $100 a year for the following four years. The legislation also increases the amount of sparsity aid from $300 to $400 dollars per student. Some 144 Wisconsin school districts qualify by having 745 students or fewer and a membership density of less than 10 students a square mile.

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Electric workers rescue man, baby

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee firefighters were called to a burning home Monday morning, but two occupants had already been rescued by the time they got there.

Employees with Milwaukee-based Roman Electric were working nearby. They helped a man and a baby getting out through a first-floor window. Worker Chris Rassette says they first noticed somebody opening windows on the home, trying to get out. A second man made his way to the roof to escape the flames and eventually had to jump to safety. Fire crews found another person on the second floor and they were taken to Columbia St. Mary's Hospital's burn unit for treatment.