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a.MKE The List: Issue Around "Pink Slime" & Rick Santorum Will Visit Milwaukee: Today’s Top Stories

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Under a new change by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, several school districts that get food through the government’s school lunch program will be allowed to say no to ground beef containing an ammonia-treated filler known as “pink slime”. Under the change, schools will be able to choose between 95% lean beef patties made with the product or less lean bulk ground beef without it. Many of these school systems will change their cafeteria menus when the move takes effect next fall and it’s not clear how much the switch might cost.

Milwaukee’s lakefront breakwater is expected to undergo some repairs. It will be the first substantial repair in years, even though port officials believe much more needs to be done. Basically the harbor wall that protects the Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World and Summerfest property is not in danger of collapsing, but some sections are in very poor shape. Repair costs are expected to cost between $15 million and $30 million to rebuild the wall.

National Americorp volunteer week wrapped up yesterday and I thought this was pretty great. A group of LISC Americorp members joined up with children from the Washington Park Neighborhood to create artwork to decorate boarded-up homes throughout the community. So instead of seeing a bunch of nails and a piece of wood when driving by an abandoned home, the youth took the opportunity to bring creativity to the neighborhood.

Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum will be visiting Milwaukee this weekend. Santorum is expected to speak at the “Defending the American Dream Summit” on Saturday. Joining Santorum will be U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and U.S. Rep Paul Ryan. The summit is expected to include seminars on grassroots activism and new media strategies. The event will be held at the Wyndham Hotel on Howell Ave.

The State Assembly was still in session when we last left off on Friday. Democratic Representatives pulled several bills up for votes, only to have them defeated by the Republican majority. The assembly passed a bill that would require a woman seeking an abortion, to undergo a physical exam and meet face to face with a physician in order to assure medical staff that the patient was not coerced into having an abortion. Another bill passed requires kindergarten screening exams and teacher evaluations as part of an effort to improve student reading.

The Department of Natural Resources is looking over an application for the City of Waukesha to see Lake Michigan water flowing out of its taps by 2018. Waukesha’s deep wells are tainted with cancer-causing radium and it’s under court order to come up with a sustainable water source. Most city officials think the Great Lakes will be the best option. If approved, all of the Great Lakes states would be happy to go ahead with the diversion.