Sheriff’s recruits, trainees laid off due to soda tax holdup

CHICAGO (AP) — The Cook County sheriff has laid off more than 110 recruits and trainees, saying the move was made because a proposed countywide tax on soda was put on hold. The layoffs are in addition to 300 layoffs announced last week by county board President Toni Preckwinkle. Cara Smith of the sheriff’s office […]

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Biologist researching growing rice commercially in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Marquette University biology professor is researching the possibility of growing rice commercially in Wisconsin, despite the state’s seasonally cold temperatures. Native American tribes have been growing wild rice in Wisconsin for generations, but growing rice commercially is a different challenge, associate professor of biology Michael Schlappi told Wisconsin Public Radio. About […]

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Woman made hundreds of teddy bears for kids

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — Edith Kroencke is not content to sit around at age 99. She likes to keep her head and her hands busy. Each day for the last 12 years, the Curtis Creek Senior Living resident cuts, sews, stuffs and closes small teddy bears to donate to children at Blessing Hospital. Kroencke cuts […]

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Lawmaker: ’99 percent’ sure craft brewery changes dead

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A proposal that would require breweries and wineries to stop selling their products on-site and instead work through distributors is probably going nowhere, a key Republican lawmaker said Wednesday. Craft brewers and wineries were outraged last month when a mysterious memo emerged detailing a plan that would require them to work […]

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Federal appeals court upholds Wisconsin right-to-work law

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal appeals court panel has upheld Wisconsin’s right-to-work law. The law prohibits businesses and unions from reaching agreements that require all workers to pay union dues. Unions maintain the law enables nonunion members to receive free representation. Two chapters of the International Union of Operating Engineers filed a lawsuit last […]

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Wisconsin grocery store chain to close

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Officials of a grocery store chain with roots in Wisconsin say it’ll close its five stores because it can no longer compete in today’s market. Brennan’s Market officials tell the Wisconsin State Journal that it will also close its New Glarus production facility on Sept. 30. It will bring an end […]

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Official: 1,100 layoffs anticipated after soda tax blocked

CHICAGO (AP) — An official says more than 1,100 layoff notices will go out in the Chicago area because of efforts to block Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax from taking effect. County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Tuesday the notices will go out starting soon to some county workers. Cook County was counting on raising […]

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Amtrak suspends Milwaukee to Chicago service due to flooding

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Heavy thunderstorms are flooding roads and low-lying areas in southern Wisconsin, causing Amtrak to suspend service between Milwaukee and Chicago. Amtrak says local flooding in Kenosha County and Lake County, Illinois has led to a train track closure affecting the Hiawatha line. Amtrak did not say when restoration of service was expected. […]

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Researchers say happiness turns dairy cows into cash cows

SAUK CITY, Wis. (AP) — Dairy farmers, take note: The key to turning your dairy cow into a cash cow is udder happiness. Give her a bigger stall, increase air circulation and provide some shelter to prevent overheating. That’s according to a University of Wisconsin initiative that focuses on making dairy cows happier so they […]

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19 aquariums across US part of effort to reduce plastics

CHICAGO (AP) — Nineteen aquariums across the U.S. are partnering in an effort to reduce plastic pollution in the Great Lakes, rivers and oceans. The new Aquarium Conservation Partnership announced Monday includes Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium and National Aquarium in Baltimore. Shedd Aquarium officials say the Chicago tourist destination already has eliminated […]

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