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News from around Wisconsin (10:08 p.m. 1/12/10)

Officials: Asian Carp DNA found in Chicago River

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says more DNA from the invasive Asian Carp has been found near Lake Michigan.

Major Gen. John Peabody said Tuesday that carp DNA — but no live fish — was found in the Chicago River near the Wilmette pumping station north of Chicago. He says the sample was taken in October and the Corps received the results last Thursday.

The news comes two months after officials said they found DNA in a shipping channel near Chicago.

That led to calls for closing shipping locks separating the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin to prevent the giant fish from destroying the lakes’ $7 billion fishing industry by out-competing native fish for food.

Michigan and other Great Lakes states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to order the locks closed immediately.

Archbishop: Proposed bill would bankrupt dioceses

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bill that would erase the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits against child sex abusers could drive Catholic dioceses in Wisconsin bankrupt, Milwaukee’s new archbishop told lawmakers Tuesday.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki said the bill would open the church up to lawsuits from people still hurting from sexual abuse from priests and others who believe the church has deep coffers. That would drain resources from charitable causes and could drive dioceses under, he said.

“We can’t ignore the injustice of targeting the Catholic church,” Listecki told the state Senate judiciary committee during a hearing.

Current Wisconsin law allows people to bring civil lawsuits against anyone who sexually abused them as a child until the victim turns 35.

The bill would wipe out that age limit. Anyone sexually abused after the measure took effect could bring a civil lawsuit whenever they chose. Anyone 35 or older the day the bill takes effect would have three years to file.

Supporters say child victims sometimes need years to deal with the trauma of a sexual assault and file a lawsuit. They also maintain the civil lawsuits would identify more potential sexual predators police could investigate.

Opponents argue the three-year retroactive window is unconstitutional and would create cases where the facts have become obscured over time. They insist the bill is really about money.

Feds investigate wolf killings in 3 states

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Federal agents are investigating a recent rash of illegal wolf killings across northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday asked for the public’s help in finding suspects in 16 wolf killings across the three states in November and December.

Two wolves were killed in Minnesota, eight in Wisconsin and six in Michigan.

Wolf populations have rebounded over the last 30 years, but the gray wolf remains under protection of the federal Endangered Species Act.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people who kill wolves. Wolf advocacy groups have added money to the rewards.

Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com

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