Sunday, April 21st

State

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Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.(Photo: Rick Wood, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Republican U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said Thursday they're reintroducing a bill to target illegal drugs sent through the mail from foreign countries to the United States.

The Search Now, Inspect for Fentanyl (SNIFF) Act would give U.S. postal workers at five U.S. International Service Centers the ability "to search mail from foreign countries destined for the U.S. when there is probable cause to believe they contain illicit opioids such as fentanyl or other illegal drugs."

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is used as a pain medication with a doctor's prescription. But it is also made illegally and China has been identified as a primary source for the drug that enters the United States, often through the U.S. Postal system.

The Chinese government recently announced it is adding fentanyl-related substances to a list of controlled narcotic drugs.

Heat vapors rise during hands-on fire training at Tyco Fire Product's training facility in Marinette in 2007. The DNR wants the Department of Health Services to evaluated additional toxic chemicals for safe levels in groundwater.(Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis)

The Department of Natural Resources is asking a state health agency to study the potential impacts of a group of unregulated contaminants as a prelude to setting safe limits in groundwater

The agency on Wednesday asked the Department of Health Services to review 40 chemical compounds to recommend levels that would protect human health. 

The request is the latest effort by the state to evaluate, and eventually regulate, a spate of compounds that are coming under growing attention in Wisconsin and nationally.

In March 2018, the agency asked Health Services to evaluate 27 other chemical compounds. 

In the latest action, among the 40 compounds, six are pesticides and herbicides that have been found by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in private wells, according to Steve Elmore, bureau director of drinking and groundwater for the DNR.

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The Wisconsin DNR introduced a pricing plan last year that charges higher prices for high-demand parks. Early signals indicate that the plan seems to be working. A trail at Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan County.(Photo: Chelsey Lewis/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

A new pricing system for camping and daily admission in the Wisconsin state park system that allowed for higher rates at some of the most popular parks helped drive up revenue in key measures in the last half of 2018. 

The Department of Natural Resources reported Wednesday that daily admissions, annual stickers and camping revenue rose 10% in the last six months of 2018 over the same period in 2017.

Revenue from admissions and camping increased by just over $1 million to $10.6 million during the July 1-Dec. 31 period — the first six months the pricing changes were in play. 

The increase came despite a slight dip in attendance last year, which the agency attributed to periods of poor weather, such as flooding that temporarily closed some parks and state trails.

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President Donald Trump speaking during an Oct. 24, 2018 rally at Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee.(Photo: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Forty-six percent of Wisconsin voters approve of President Donald Trump's job performance while 52 percent disapprove, according to Wednesday's Marquette University Law School Poll.

The president's approval ticked up 2 points from a January poll.

With Wisconsin looming as a key battleground state in 2020, 28 percent say they will definitely vote for Trump next year and 14 percent say they will probably vote for him.

Meanwhile, 8 percent say they will probably vote against the president and 46 percent say they will definitely vote against him.

Sixty percent of Wisconsinites polled agree that Russia interfered with the 2016 election while 32 percent said Russia did not.

Thirty-five percent think the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, while 53% say the campaign did not.

The public was split on whether the president tried to obstruct the probe of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.(Photo: Journal Sentinel files)

MADISON - Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Wednesday that Gov. Tony Evers should not appoint anyone new to a commission that regulates utilities until there are more court rulings on lame-duck actions aimed at limiting the Democratic governor's power. 

He made the comments a day after an appeals court unanimously ruled Evers was within his rights to push aside 15 appointees of former GOP Gov. Scott Walker, including Ellen Nowak of the Public Service Commission. 

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Vos, a Republican from Rochester, noted more court decisions are expected on the matter and Republicans may win in the long run. 

"It comes down to the fact that even under the decision yesterday, they're going to go back and re-argue it and if it means that you have to put Ellen back in, why wouldn't you just let Ellen be there the first time?" Vos said.