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AMKE: The List 11-21-11

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NEWS RUNDOWN

State Election officials are estimating that they will need an extra $650,000 next year to cover the wave of recall efforts. These costs would actually go toward hiring 50 temporary workers, renting office space to house them and the one and a half million petitions.

There’s a new plan that legislators approved recently for public employees. It includes no pay raises for the next two years for around 41,000 state workers and 25,000 University of Wisconsin employees. The plan takes effect in January and also changes how some agencies will go about overtime and award raises.

For all you bike commuters out there, Governor Walker recently signed the "tune-up" bill. This means that it's now legal for people who ride their bike to signal turns with either their right or left hand and to use red rear lights in place of rear reflectors. Before, bicyclists had to use the same hand signals as motorists, which require both hands off the handlebars, which is quite dangerous.

A recent report shows that Wisconsin lost roughly 9,300 private-sector jobs during the month of October. The Department of Workforce Development said that losses ranged from manufacturing to health care and financial services to retail trade. One increase, however, came from restaurants and hotels.

Wisconsin’s farm exports increased by 24%, and the most valuable exports ranked were cereal grains like rice, wheat oats, and corn and also beverages such as beer and nonalcoholic drinks. According to the State Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin exported a record high $2.1 billion worth of products within a nine-month period.

As Thanksgiving approaches so does planning for Black Friday. This year, the popular shopping day is making an early entrance, now to Thanksgiving night. Instead of waiting in line until 3 or 4 in the morning, doors will open at midnight for stores like Best Buy, Boston Store, Kohl's, Macy's, and Target. According to the National Retail Federation, as many as 152 million people plan to shop over Black Friday into the weekend.