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a.MKE: Germania, salt shortage, Russian sanctions and e-cigs 3.5.14

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European Union members are scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss possible sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine. Russian lawmakers are drafting a law that will allow them to confiscate assets belonging to U.S. and European companies if it faces sanctions. These threats are the latest in a war of words over Russia's military intervention in Ukraine's southern region.

Communities from Milwaukee to Waukesha are scrambling to stretch their salt supplies as wintry weather continues this week. Freighters are having a trouble moving shipments to the Port of Milwaukee due to unusually thick ice in upper Lake Michigan. The Coast Guard in Michigan will work on cutting up the ice that is more than 30 inches deep.

As reported by the MBJ: Milwaukee officials on Tuesday approved a historic designation to the downtown Germania building that two developers plan to buy and convert into 78 apartments. The eight-story office building is at North Plankinton and West Wells street.

There is a public hearing at the State Capitol today to approve a bill to exempt e-cigarettes from Wisconsin's smoke-free air law. Right now, e-cigarettes are not regulated, which the American Lung Association believes is wrong. The sales of e-cigarettes hit $1.5 billion in sales last year.