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This Hour: Latest Wisconsin news, sports, business and entertainment

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WALKER-JOBS

Walker refuses to back down on jobs promise

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker says he doesn't think voters will penalize him if he doesn't meet his 2010 campaign promise to create 250,000 private sector jobs by the end of this year.

Walker on Wednesday refused to back down from that promise, even though only about 100,000 jobs have been created over the first three-plus years of his term. That means about 150,000 jobs would have to be added in the next eight months.

Walker says when voters decide whether to elect him to a second term, "I don't think the people in this state come November are going to penalize someone for aiming big."

Walker's Democratic opponent Mary Burke has criticized Walker's record on jobs and the economy, noting that Wisconsin is 35th nationwide in private sector job creation

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR-MELLENCAMP

Mellencamp unhappy with Wisconsin Gov. Walker

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Rocker John Mellencamp wants Republican Gov. Scott Walker to know he supports union rights and says Walker should think about that before using his songs on the campaign trail.

It's the second time in four years Mellencamp has chided Walker for using one of his songs while running for office.

Walker championed a law in 2011 that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

During a recall campaign in 2012, Walker played the Mellencamp song "Small Town." When Walker launched his re-election campaign Tuesday, he played "Pink Houses."

Mellencamp publicist Claire Mercuri tells The Associated Press in an email Wednesday that the rocker is not asking Walker to stop playing the song. But he wants Walker to know that he supports unions and collective bargaining.

MARIJUANA BYPRODUCT

Walker signs bill legalizing pot byproduct

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republican Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that legalizes the use of a marijuana byproduct to help treat children's seizures.

The bill allows the use of cannabidiol, an oil extract, to be administered under the care of a doctor. The measure falls far short of legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The Assembly passed the bill on a voice vote in March. The Senate passed it unanimously earlier this month. Walker's office released a statement Wednesday saying he had signed the bill along with 54 other measures at the state Capitol.

STRIP SEARCHES

Governor signs bill expanding strip searches

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - County jailers will have more power to conduct strip searches under a bill Gov. Scott Walker has signed.

Current Wisconsin law allows jailers to conduct strip searches if an inmate has been arrested for a felony or a number of different misdemeanors. The Republican bill permits them to strip search anyone who will be locked up with other prisoners.

Supporters say the change would create safer jails. Opponents have complained the bill would allow children to be strip searched and open the door to abuses.

Walker signed the measure Wednesday.

RESEARCH RECORDS

Governor OKs classified UW research

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that will allow University of Wisconsin institutions to perform classified national security research.

Current UW System and UW-Madison policies bar researchers from performing work on campus that can't be published, prohibiting them from doing classified government projects on campus.

The bill Walker signed Wednesday allows such work on campus as long as students' educational needs are protected and the institutions make an annual report to the Legislature's budget committee on how many classified contracts were considered.

GAY MARRIAGE

Couple asks Supreme Court to nix marriage ban

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A same-sex couple has asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down the state's gay marriage ban.

Katherine Halopka-Ivery and Linda Halopka-Ivery filed a lawsuit directly with the high court Wednesday, bypassing the trial and appellate courts.

The lawsuit says the couple lives in Milwaukee County and married in San Diego. They allege Wisconsin's gay marriage ban denies them federal rights afforded to opposite-sex married couples, violating their rights to equal protection and due process. They also argue the state is improperly restricting gay marriage based on religious opposition to same-sex marriages.

A separate lawsuit challenging the ban is pending in federal court in Madison.

The state Justice Department is defending the state in both lawsuits. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said Wednesday he will continue to defend Wisconsin's laws.

WIFE'S KILLING-WISCONSIN

Lincoln Co. man guilty of killing wife

MERRILL, Wis. (AP) - A Lincoln County man has been found guilty of killing his wife and dumping her body in a swamp.

Jurors deliberated Tuesday and Wednesday before finding Mark Bucki guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, strangulation-suffocation and hiding a body.

The defense tried to convince jurors that there was no physical evidence linking Bucki to the murder of his wife, Anita. The couple's adult son, Clint, testified that his father was innocent.

The state told jurors Bucki impeded the investigation by not helping search for his wife after she disappeared last April. Prosecutors pointed to circumstantial evidence including Bucki's finances, his wife's insurance policy and a lack of defensive wounds on her body, alleging she knew her killer.

WSAW-TV reports a sentencing date has not been set.

HIGH SCHOOL FIRE

Oconto High evacuated due to fire

OCONTO, Wis. (AP) - Students at Oconto High School have been evacuated and sent home because of small fire in the building.

WLUK-TV reports classes are also canceled Thursday and Friday is a scheduled day off. Students leaving the school say smoke was coming from a boys' bathroom in the school.

Several area fire departments are on scene.

BUCKS-OWNERSHIP

Kohl to make announcement on Bucks' ownership

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Former Sen. Herb Kohl has called a news conference to discuss the ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks and the team's future.

Kohl has owned the Bucks since 1985.

He said in December that he was looking for new investors in the Bucks in hopes of building a new arena. He said then that any partners would have to be committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee.

The 79-year-old Kohl retired from the U.S. Senate in January 2013. He has said he's in good health but wants a long-term plan for the Bucks' future.

The team says in a statement that there will be a "major announcement" Wednesday afternoon.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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