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Wisconsin crop progress report
MADISON ? Dry, windy conditions with spotty rain are beginning to cause soil moisture to dip in parts of the state, according to this week?s Wisconsin Crop Progress and Condition Report issued…

Jerome Christenson: When it comes to killing, we've lost our touch
It seems we?ve forgotten how to kill people.

Thompson biking around state to fight cancer that killed brothers
Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson is bicycling around the Badger State again promote awareness of pancreatic cancer and raise research money to fight the painful disease that killed his two…

Supreme Court set to issue three major rulings
MADISON ? The Wisconsin Supreme Court will release opinions Thursday on the three biggest cases of its term.

BRF School District will go to referendum
BLACK RIVER FALLS ? The Black River Falls School District will place a $22.5 million referendum question on the November ballot to address facilities needs.

Disaster preparedness project needs AmeriCorps members
MADISON ? Wisconsin Emergency Management is seeking 20 community-minded people to serve as part-time AmeriCorps members in emergency management offices throughout the state from Sept. 1 throug…

City's rental registry deadline looms
Landlords in La Crosse have until Thursday to get their properties on the city?s rental registry or face late fees and potentially costly daily fines.

Suicide Prevention Summit set for September
The La Crosse Area Suicide Prevention Initiative will sponsor its annual Suicide Prevention Summit from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 10 at the La Crosse Center.

More charges against Onalaska sex offender
Prosecutors Tuesday levied four new felony charges against an Onalaska sex offender accused of molesting a 6-year-old girl and photographing a 7-year-old boy.

Man ordered to jail after new joyriding case in La Crosse
A Sparta man who took a stolen truck on a joyride in south La Crosse Monday evening before running from police was sentenced to jail last week for leading officers on a June 25 pursuit, accord…

La Crosse County Circuit Court felonies

Attorneys, judge whittle potential jurors for Kwik Trip homicide case
Attorneys and a judge Tuesday eliminated more than 30 potential jurors polled for Mitrel Anderson?s homicide trial.

Sediment quagmire stalls 186,700 tons of cargo on Mississippi
A freakish amount of sediment left when the Mississippi River braked from flood stage to low water put a cork in barge traffic near Winona and Wabasha, Minn.

Witnesses, vomit lead police to hit-and-run suspect
A puddle of vomit helped La Crosse police find a suspect in a hit-and-run Saturday afternoon.

Real Colors interactive seminar set
VIROQUA†? The Vernon County Volunteer Coordinators will host a Real Colors seminar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, at Vernon Memorial Hospital Conference Rooms.


National News
Carnage at U.N. school as Israel pounds Gaza Strip

Palestinians displaced by an Israeli ground offensive take shelter at a United Nation-run school in Jebalya refugee campBy Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli shelling killed at least 15 Palestinians sheltering in a U.N.-run school and another 17 near a street market on Wednesday, Gaza's Health Ministry said, with no ceasefire in sight after more than three weeks of fighting. Israel's security cabinet convened to discuss a revamped Egyptian proposal for a truce but it was unclear whether any decision was imminent that could halt a 23-day conflict in which nearly 1,400 people, mostly civilians, have died. Some 3,300 Palestinians, including many women and children, were taking refuge in the school in Jabalya refugee camp when it came under fire around dawn, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said. "Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school," UNRWA chief Pierre Krahenbuhl said in a statement after representatives of the agency visited the scene and examined fragments, craters and other damage.

Moscow fights back after sanctions; battle rages near Ukraine crash site

Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside MoscowBy Polina Devitt and Gabriela Baczynska MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) - Russia fought back on Wednesday over new U.S. and EU sanctions imposed over Ukraine, where fighting between Moscow-backed rebels and government troops has intensified since a Malaysian airliner was shot down. The confrontation between Moscow and the West entered a new phase this week, with the United States and European Union taking by far the strongest international steps yet against Moscow over its support for Ukraine's rebels. Moscow said the sanctions were "destructive and short-sighted" and would lead to higher energy prices in Europe and damage cooperation with Washington on international affairs. On the ground in Ukraine, heavy fighting between government forces and the separatists has been taking place near the site where Malaysian flight MH17 crashed into wheat and sunflower fields on July 17, shot down by what Washington and Brussels believe was a missile supplied by Russia.

Two former senior Murdoch editors charged over UK phone-hacking

A man passes a sign outside the News International Limited complex, in LondonTwo more senior journalists from Rupert Murdoch's defunct British tabloid the News of the World have been charged with phone-hacking, prosecutors said on Wednesday, weeks after the paper's former editor was jailed for the crime. Neil Wallis, the paper's former deputy editor, and former features editor Jules Stenson, have been charged with conspiracy to intercept voicemails on mobile phones of well-known figures or people close to them, the Crown Prosecution Service said. Andy Coulson, who edited the paper from 2003 until 2007 before working as Prime Minister David Cameron's media chief, was jailed on July 4 for 18 months for encouraging staff to hack phones in a bid to get exclusive stories. Outrage at the paper's activities forced Murdoch to close the paper in 2011 when the scale of the crimes came to light, since when dozens of reporters from his British tabloids have been arrested over allegations of criminal activity.

Temporary ceasefire in Tripoli, 75 bodies found in Benghazi

A general view shows fire burning at a fuel depot near the airport road in TripoliBy Aziz El Yaakoubi and Ayman Al-Warfalli BENGHAZI/TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Rival Libyan militias fighting for control of Tripoli's airport agreed to a temporary ceasefire on Wednesday to allow firefighters to try to control a huge blaze at a fuel depot hit by a rocket. Meanwhile in Libya's second city, Benghazi, at least 75 bodies, mostly soldiers, were found after two days of fighting in which Islamist fighters and allied militiamen overran an army base. The past two weeks of fighting have been the worst since the civil war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, prompting Western governments to follow the United States and the United Nations in pulling their diplomats out of the North African country.

Trial over Malaysian plane crash not likely at ICC: Dutch

Armed pro-Russian separatist stands at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk regionBy Anthony Deutsch AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands or Malaysia is likely to try those responsible for the downing in Ukraine of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, not the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Dutch said on Wednesday. Cases are only referred to the world's permanent war crimes court if countries involved are unable or unwilling to prosecute atrocities, Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten said in a letter to parliament. The Dutch, who had 195 nationals onboard the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, are leading an international investigation into the crash and it is unlikely the countries involved "will not be able or willing to lead the investigation and prosecution," Opstelten wrote. The Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the inquiry, said this week it had received a large quantity of evidence from sources outside Ukraine and will not need access to the entire crash site, now inaccessible due to fighting.

Spanish, Catalan leaders stand ground in independence tussle

Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy gestures during meeting with Catalan President Mas at the Moncloa Palace in MadridSpanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Catalan President Artur Mas failed to break the deadlock over Catalonia's independence drive on Wednesday, both standing firm on their positions when they met for the first time in a year. The meeting had been seen as an opportunity for the two leaders to work on a possible compromise over an independence referendum that the northern region wants to hold on Nov. 9 - two months after a similar vote in Scotland that is being closely watched in Catalonia.

A look at the EU's new sanctions against Russia

Sign reading 'Bank of Moscow" is installed on the headquarters of Russian Agricultural Bank in downtown Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, followed swiftly by a new round of U.S. penalties. Among the targets were three Russian banks: the Bank of Moscow, Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank, Russia's second largest bank. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)BRUSSELS (AP) ? The European Union's sanctions against Russia are bound to inflict pain on the country's ailing economy. While still narrowly targeted, they come as a warning shot to convince Moscow to change its Ukraine policies or face even tougher penalties.

Libya Islamists seize key Benghazi army base

Smoke billows during clashes between security forces and armed groupsIslamist groups have seized the army special forces headquarters in Libya's Benghazi after days of fighting left at least 35 soldiers dead and plunged the country deeper into lawlessness. Libya's Red Crescent said it had recovered the bodies of 35 soldiers from the base. Fighting in Benghazi has claimed about another 60 lives since Saturday, medical officials in the city said. "Special forces under the command of (Colonel) Wanis Abu Khamada withdrew after several attacks," said the army official after the biggest loss yet for the armed forces in their fight against the country's powerful militias.

Earthquake of magnitude 5.7 reported off Papua New Guinea: USGS
(Reuters) - An earthquake of magnitude 5.7 was recorded off the coast of Papua New Guinea on Wednesday, the United States Geological Survey reported. The USGS said the earthquake's epicenter was 133 kilometers south west of Arawa and 10 kilometers deep. (Editing by Toby Chopra)

Suspected Ebola cases sent home as Liberian isolation unit fills up
By David Lewis DAKAR (Reuters) - An isolation unit for Ebola victims in Liberia's capital, Monrovia, is overrun with cases and health workers are being forced to treat up to 20 new patients in their homes, government officials said on Wednesday. Protests by the local community against the construction of a new isolation unit at Elwa Hospital have ended, said Tolbert Nyenswah, an assistant minister of health, but patients with Ebola symptoms will have to wait at home until work is finished. West Africa is battling the worst Ebola outbreak on record, with 672 people believed to have died in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra since the epidemic began in February, according to the World Health Organisation.

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