- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014
Wildlife service protects 2 endangered butterflies

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has moved to protect two butterflies found in parts of the upper Midwest under the Endangered Species Act.

The wildlife service says the Dakota skipper and the Poweshiek skipperling are now federally protected.

The agency says both butterflies are threatened by loss of native prairie vegetation agriculture, development, altered fire patterns and groundwater depletion.

Both of the small, brown and orange butterflies were once found in eight states in the Midwest and Great Lakes region.

Today the Dakota skipper is found in western Minnesota, northeastern South Dakota and the eastern half of North Dakota.

Small numbers of Poweshiek skipperlings survive Michigan and Wisconsin. It’s been several years since the butterfly has been seen in Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.

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6th District candidates spar over entitlements

MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) - The candidates for Wisconsin’s lone open congressional seat have sharply different views on the programs some Americans rely on for food, medical care and living expenses.

Democrat Mark Harris and Republican Glenn Grothman are vying for the 6th Congressional District seat. Each has made so-called entitlement programs a focus of his campaign. Both oppose the concept of changing people’s Social Security benefits based on their incomes, but the things they agree on essentially end there, HTR Media (http://htrne.ws/1D1yMJVhttp://htrne.ws/1D1yMJV ) reported.

Harris wants to continue funding programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) because he believes they help Americans in times of need.

“My impression is most people don’t rely on these for a long time and no one aspires to be poor,” he said. “In the free market economy, people fall through the cracks; the social safety net is there to help prevent crisis.”

Medicare and Medicaid can operate more efficiently than private insurance, according to Harris, but politicians should strive to find ways to control the cost of the programs.

Grothman thinks taxes should not be raised on anyone. He believes many of the entitlement programs should be better regulated and less dependent on taxpayers.

“The growth in federal welfare programs is unsustainable and is driving down the work ethic of Americans,” he said.

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Wisconsin court won’t reconsider voter ID case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Supreme Court has refused to reconsider whether the state’s voter photo identification law is unconstitutional.

Republicans passed the law in 2011. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the immigrant group Voces de la Frontera as well as the League of Women Voters challenged the mandate in separate lawsuits. The state Supreme Court concluded in July that the law is constitutional in both cases.

The NAACP and Voces de la Frontera asked the court last month to reconsider. The court issued an order Wednesday saying the groups missed the deadline for filing such a request by a month. The court said the issue is moot since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Oct. 9 that the law won’t be in effect for the Nov. 4 election.

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Appeals court rejects John Doe rehearing request

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A federal appeals court has unanimously rejected a conservative group’s request to reconsider a ruling last month tossing a lawsuit challenging an investigation into possible illegal campaign coordination.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected the request from Wisconsin Club for Growth to rehear the case after a three-judge panel last month sided with investigators.

The court overturned a ruling that halted the probe into Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign and more than 29 conservative groups. The judges said legal issues around the investigation should be resolved in state courts.

The John Doe investigation remains on hold because the state judge overseeing it also effectively stopped it in January. That case is pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

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