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(AP) Outdoor enthusiasts and business groups are forming a new group to promote hunting in hopes of reversing declining interest in the activity. Iowa Retail Federation President Jim Henter says hunters spend more than $288 million in Iowa every year and have a big impact on the state's economy. Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Roger Lande says part of the hunting decline has been because the state has had a series of harsh winters that cut into wildlife population. Last year's mild winter could help that population. Lande says a loss of habitat also has contributed to the wildlife decline. Statistics from the DNR bear out the trend, with the number of hunting licenses issued in Iowa dropping for 10 straight years.
(AP) Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is asking that a fourth colleague on the state's highest court not hear a case involving an ethics violation against Prosser. The state Judicial Commission has accused Prosser of violating the judicial ethics code when he placed his hands on rival Justice Ann Walsh Bradley's neck during an argument last year in front of four other justices.
Prosser on Wednesday asked that Justice Patrick Crooks recuse himself from the case. Prosser has already asked that Justices Pat Roggensack, Bradley and Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson not sit on the case. If three or more justices agree to recuse themselves, the case against Prosser would likely end due to a lack of quorum. Counting Prosser, there are seven justices on the Supreme Court.
(AP) Former U.S. Rep. Dave Obey says Wisconsin Democrats must unite against Republican Gov. Scott Walker and not form a ``suicide pact'' by attacking one another in the primary race. Obey spoke Wednesday on a conference call arranged by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Obey supports Barrett. His chief rival, Kathleen Falk, has been attacking Barrett more aggressively this week leading up to the May 8 primary. Obey says the only way Democrats can make credible arguments to defeat Walker in the June 5 election is to earn the trust of Democrats, independents and Republicans and avoid ``petty sniping.'' He says Democrats are the underdogs in the recall and they face an uphill battle against Walker because of all the money he has raised. Falk spokesman Scot Ross did not immediately respond.
A more focused snapshot of unemployment around Minnesota shows that some areas are continually doing better then others. And that's the case in Houston County. They are still hovering around the 9% unemployment rate...joining 3 other counties in southern Minnesota. The state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate came in at 5.8 percent during March. The highest unemployment remains in north central Minnesota where Clearwater County's 15 and a half percent leads the state. Twin Cities area jobless numbers are closer to the state's overall rate, while the lowest rates, under five percent, remain in southwestern and far western Minnesota.
Grand reopening of La Crosse's most visible park is this Friday. The city will hold a ceremony to not only open Grandad Bluff park but also commemorate its centennial. The park's been closed for a year to undergo an extensive renovation. Some of that meant to preserve the history of the site, says La Crosse park and recreation director, Steve Carlyon. He says the shelter is a good example of that; getting restored to specs in the original blueprints from 1930. At the ceremony on Friday will be food and drink and a ceremonial Ho-Chunk blessing. Renovation cost: $1.4 million. Much of that paid for through state grants.