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Sixteen sections of underwater oil and gas pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac were found unsupported on the Great Lakes bottom during 2003 inspections — spans of 140 feet or longer, well beyond state requirements for mooring the pipe. Keith Matheny/Detroit Free Press

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A marker on the north shore of the Straits of Mackinac indicates where a pipeline enters the water in St. Ignace, Mich. Just west of the iconic bridge are two oil pipelines laid in 1953 that span the bottom of the Straits, the 5 mile-wide strip of water separating Lakes Michigan and Huron that is whipsawed by currents unlike anywhere else in the Great Lakes.(Photo: Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette called for a comprehensive plan Thursday for the closure of Line 5, a 645-mile petroleum pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinaw.

Tornado siren(Photo: File/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

A storm system moving through the upper Midwest dropped tornadoes on eastern Iowa and Western Wisconsin late Wednesday.

A tornado touched down in Ellsworth, Wis., and made its way east toward the Spring Valley area around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The Associated Press said that a storm spotter reported a tornado 6 miles northeast of Ellsworth Wednesday afternoon that toppled trees and demolished half a house.

RELATED: More than 2,000 still without power from storms, but Thursday looks much better

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Around the same time, a tornado touched down in the eastern part of Iowa.

The Des Moines Register reports that the tornado struck in Prairieburg, resulting in an injury and damaged building structures.

In both states, torrential rains dropped up to two inches of rain and left many people were left without power.

Tornado on ground a few moments ago near Prairieburg, IA video:@rparnow@This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./KXi9eH8U2e

— Garrett (@Gaheyd) June 29, 2017

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court chambers.(Photo: Rick Wood, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

MADISON – The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday ruled Appleton school officials violated the open meetings law when they reviewed a freshman reading class behind closed doors.

The unanimous decision by Justice Michael Gableman reversed two lower court rulings. The case now returns to Waupaca Circuit Court for further proceedings.

John Krueger and the parent group Valley School Watch asked the Appleton Area School District to offer an alternative freshman communications course because they didn't want children reading references to suicide and sex in the book "The Body of Christopher Creed."

District Superintendent Lee Allinger asked the district's chief academic officer and humanities director to respond to Krueger's concerns but didn't tell them how to specifically handle it.

They declined to form a new course because students already could opt out of reading specific books. Instead, they formed a 17-member committee and Krueger argued its meetings must be conducted in public because it was essentially created by order of a high-ranking official.

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Skillet Creek tumbles over rocks into a small pool at Pewits Nest State Natural Area near Baraboo.(Photo: Chelsey Lewis)Buy Photo

The Department of Natural Resources says that it is imposing restrictions on a picturesque property near Devil's Lake State Park. 

The Natural Resources Board on Wednesday approved new management plans for a dozen state natural areas, including new restrictions on a popular spot in Sauk County where some visitors have used the cliffs above Skillet Creek to jump into the creek’s pools.

The protections at the 34-acre Pewits Nest State Natural Area calls for adding fencing and establishing a closed area at the edge of the gorge to keep hikers from crawling along the shaded cliff walls and leaping into the 30- to 40-foot-deep gorge.

Scenic overlooks would be retained. A stairway from the valley floor to the top also would be built to control the movement of visitors.

Even before the vote, DNR authorities decided this month to close public access in some areas.

Gordy Priegel fed the fawn in the Department of Natural Resources' nature walk at the State Fair in 1989.(Photo: Journal Sentinel files)

A top Department of Natural Resources official said Wednesday the agency will continue to have a presence at the Wisconsin State Fair, but on a smaller scale than in the past.

"We are not walking sway from the State Fair," Deputy Secretary Kurt Thiede told members of the Natural Resources Board in Hudson.

Thiede was responding to concerns raised by board member Preston Cole of Milwaukee about the agency's overall communications strategy and, more specifically, its decision to turn over much of its footprint at the fairgrounds to fair authorities this year. 

Cole said recent decisions to pull back its presence at the fair and Gov. Scott Walker's proposal in the 2017-'19 state budget to end publishing of the department's outdoors magazine "makes us look as if we are walking away."

"These self-inflicted wounds have got to stop," Cole said.