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As the Wisconsin State Assembly takes up the proposed state budget today, the Senate passed the budget by an 18-15 vote late last night. The substantial last-minute additions to the budget bill, called Motion 999, last Thursday led to an uproar on both sides of the aisle for its proposal to overhaul the state’s open records law.

Milwaukee's latest homicide victim is a 13-year-old boy. He was shot to death early Wednesday morning, in his home near Lincoln Park. Police say they are searching for a known suspect. The boy's death brings the number of homicides in the city so far this year to 83, nearly the total for all of 2014.

Police Chief Edward Flynn says the problems and solutions are not simple, but it is possible to identify many people who need intervention because they are a highly-concentrated population.

"Passing By" the Musical / facebook.com

For many, the concept of home is relative. For some, it is a location, and for others it can be found in a person.

The new musical Passing By explores the themes of choosing your own path through the relationship of Jenny Zimmermann, an ambitious writer; and Edison Wolters, a young man who works on his family’s farm. In the play, set in the small town of Jacksonia, Wisconsin, the characters must decide if they will plan a life together after high school or follow their own plans.

Christine Lalla

The summer festival season is a special time for musicians of all kinds, especially classical musicians. Summer festivals allow them to reach an audience that often does not come to formal concert halls to listen to classical music.

Cellist and Lake Effect contributor Robert Cohen often meets individuals from all walks of life that are genuinely interested in his music during festival trips.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A few weeks have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a key part of the Affordable Care Act. The court’s decision affirmed the legality of subsidies the government provides to make health insurance more affordable.

It’s the latest legal hurdle the five-year-old law has cleared, however, questions still remain about how the latest ruling will be felt in places like Wisconsin, and about what the future holds for the healthcare landscape.

It appears the plan the state Senate will consider on Tuesday would scrap prevailing wages in local communities but maintain them for state projects.

Wisconsin's prevailing wage law has been on the books since the early 1930s. It requires companies that contract with the state or local governments to pay their employees the prevailing wage for that community. Every year, the Dept. of Workforce Development sets the wage by surveying companies about how much they're paying their workers.

S Bence

Besides weakening Wisconsin's open records law, other last-minute items Republican legislators inserted into the proposed state budget on Thursday include allowing a seven-day work week and requiring municipalities with water and sewer utilities to service neighbors who need it.

Milwaukee County supervisors hope the public takes note of another addition. It would transfer more power to the county executive, including authority over county land along Milwaukee's downtown lakefront.

Michael Sears/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

When watching the nightly news coverage of various shootings and violence in the city, it’s easy to separate yourself from the drama on the TV screen. For Lieutenant Jamaal Perry of the Milwaukee Fire Department, there is no separation because he’s the paramedic on the scene for the worst of the city’s violence.

Justin W Kern

UPDATE: Gov. Walker's office had a hand in crafting changes to Wisconsin's open records law, according to Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

When Gov. Scott Walker announces his run for the White House next Monday, his supporters will relish the chance to cheer their candidate. Meanwhile, his critics will be just as eager to share their views.

Fewer than half of Wisconsin voters were happy with the job Walker is doing as governor in the most recent Marquette Law School Poll.

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