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    Esther J. Cepeda, formerly of the Washington Post and Chicago Sun-Times, relaunched her popular column in 2021 for the Wisconsin State Journal after moving to Madison and teaching school children here. A native of Chicago whose parents emigrated from Mexico and Ecuador, Cepeda writes about race, culture, education, politics and more. She's the mother of two grown boys, collects pencils and roots for the Madison Forward soccer team. Readers can contact her at ejc@estherjcepeda.com and @estherjcepeda. 

    The bill, which mirrors similar legislation that failed to pass last session, would ensure that health plans count copay assistance and coupons toward the patient's maximum out-of-pocket cost or annual deductible.

    The Republican-led Joint Legislative Audit Committee plans to launch an audit into the Department of Safety and Professional Services, which oversees close to half a million professional license holders and permits more than 200 types of professional licenses and construction permits.

    Police say a Milwaukee police officer was fatally shot early Tuesday during an exchange of gunfire with a 19-year-old robbery suspect who also died from a gunshot wound. Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman says Terrell Thompson fled when officers arrived at the crime scene about 1:15 a.m. He says Officer Peter Jerving and his partner caught up with Thompson and a struggle ensued. Both men fired their weapons. The 37-year-old officer was mortally wounded and died at a hospital. Thompson died at the scene. The chief says it's unclear whether it was from the shot fired by the officer or a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

    An Illinois man has filed a federal lawsuit alleging an off-duty police officer improperly put his knee into his 12-year-old daughter's neck during a fight in a Wisconsin middle school last year. Jerrel Perez, of Zion, Illinois, filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court in Milwaukee against the officer, Shawn Guetschow, the city of Kenosha and its school district. Perez alleges that Guetschow used excessive force when he broke up a fight between his daughter and another student last March and restrained his daughter by putting his knee on her neck. The city attorney said the city hadn't been served yet. An attorney for Guetschow and the school district promised to mount a vigorous defense.

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    Need gift ideas to help with the ladies in your life? This list will surely help you make the grade.

    A 45-year-old Neshkora man was placed on a $15,000 cash bond in Dodge County on Thursday after being charged with his 9th offense of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

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