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Wisconsin roundup: Foxconn affirms commitment to Wis. deal; more state news stories

Gov. Tony Evers has raised doubts about Foxconn's pledge to create 13,000 local jobs in Wisconsin, which prompted the company to release a statement Thursday restating its commitment to Wisconsin. RiverTown Multimedia file photo

Foxconn says it remains committed to its multi-billion dollar deal with the state of Wisconsin.

The Taiwan-based technology giant released Thursday's statement the day after Gov. Tony Evers said it is "unrealistic" to expect the company to hire 13,000 workers. The liquid crystal display manufacturing facility being built in Racine County is much smaller than originally planned. The company's release said nothing about the number of jobs to be created. Evers says he wants to revisit the contract and Foxconn says it is open to consultation and new ideas.

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Census: Number of women in agriculture growing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports the number of women in that field is growing in Wisconsin.

About 35 percent of all Wisconsin farmers were women as of 2017. Many of the 40,000 women counted in the Agriculture Census hold leadership roles. A change in how farm data is collected plays a role in those statistics, but women are still the fastest growing segment of farmers in the state.

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State Patrol: Pursuit of wanted suspects reaches 119 mph

The Wisconsin State Patrol says a suspect from Maryland led troopers on a wild chase at speeds up to 119 mph Thursday.

The U.S. Marshals Office had reached out, saying the fugitive was in the Sparta area, was known to be armed and likely had drugs with him. Troopers spotted the car on the interstate headed toward Madison and they used spikes in an effort to stop it more than once. The fleeing car finally had a blowout near Windsor and the man was taken into custody and booked into the Dane County Jail. His name hasn't been released.

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State’s unemployment rate unchanged from March

Wisconsin's unemployment rate remained at 2.9 percent in March.

The Department of Workforce Development says private-sector employment decreased 4,500 jobs from February while total non-farm employment lost 1,800 jobs last month. The state added 9,200 non-farm jobs and 12,400 private-sector jobs from March of 2018 to March 2019. Wisconsin's labor force participation rate was 67-point-five percent last month. The national unemployment rate in March was nearly a point higher than Wisconsin's at 3.8 percent.

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Speaker Vos: No reason to change Foxconn deal

Speaker Robin Vos says there is no need to change Wisconsin's deal with Foxconn.

Gov. Tony Evers said Wednesday the state is working to revise it because he doesn't think the company will ever hire 13,000 local workers. Vos says Foxconn won't get its full set of tax breaks if it doesn't hire that many people. He told WISN-TV, "it is beyond my level of understanding to think that a governor of Wisconsin is basically rooting for the failure of the largest economic development project in our state's history." Vos alleges Democrats may be trying to sabotage Foxconn in Wisconsin — to pin the blame on President Donald Trump. Foxconn said Thursday that it is committed to its contract with the state.

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Lack of competition could mean Wis. paying too much for road work

A lack of competitive bidding could mean Wisconsin is paying to much to complete its road construction projects.

Broadcast reports indicate 16 percent of Badger State road construction jobs are awarded to contractors who were the sole bidder. That happens twice as often in Wisconsin as it does in border states like Iowa and Illinois. When looking for the best bid, taxpayers would win if five companies were submitting bids — rather than two or three. Inconsistent state funding hurts the process because contractors won't buy the expensive heavy equipment they need if they're not sure the work will be available.