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a.MKE: Golden Guernsey, paddleboats stay local and Douglas County wildfires 5.15.13

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The State Senate passed a bill to cut the power and budget of the Milwaukee County Board and to hold a referendum next year on cutting supervisor pay. The bill that approved by the Senate on a 19-14 vote would cut the board's budget by two-thirds and limit supervisors' role in contracts, labor negotiations and land sales.

Lifeway Foods Inc., a supplier of cultured dairy products from Morton Grove, IL placed the winning bid Tuesday for bankrupt Golden Guernsey Dairy in Waukesha. Officials from Lifeway appeared to have interest in reaching out to former employees and want to "bring the place back to life."

The Parks, Energy and Environment Committee denied a vender agreement previously approved by the Parks Department for paddleboat operations in Veteran's Park. Tim and Val Ritter, who had run the paddleboats for 16 years lost the contract to California-based Wheel Fun Rentals last month. Responding to the public pleas to keep the business local, the Committee renewed Juneau Park Paddleboats contract for one more year. 

A wildfire in northwestern WI has spread to 6,800 acres and destroyed at lease 50 structures and forced dozens of resident to leave their homes in Douglas County. Members of 17 local, state and federal firefighting crews worked through the night to contain the fire, fueled by pine and mixed hardwoods.