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a.MKE The List: Barrett Announces Run for Governor & UW-Milwaukee Students Pass Referendum for New Student Union: Today’s Top Stories

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Governor Walker signed the youth-concussion bill into law at Lambeau Field over the weekend. This bill sets new guidelines to educate coaches, athletes and their parents about the risk of concussions and head injuries in youth athletic activities, including club sports. The measure also would require that a person suspected of suffering a concussion or head injury in a youth athletic activity, be removed from the field of play immediately. Provisions of this bill would protect coaches, officials, or volunteers from liability if they fail to remove an athlete from competition.

UW-Milwaukee students passed a referendum that basically agrees to pay for a new $160 million student union. Over 4,000 votes were cast via email – nearly 2,800 of those were in favor and roughly 1,100 were opposed. The existing center for student activities was built back in 1956. Those in favor think a new union is needed because the building’s system, such as electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling, have reached the end of their road and need to be replaced. Now if approved by the UW Board of Regents, a graduated series of increases in student segregated fees would kick in beginning in 2015.

House Budget Chair Paul Ryan endorsed Mitt Romney on Friday, which now gives Romney the backing of an influential Wisconsin Conservative. Ryan said, “I think he deserves to be the nominee. I think he earned it. He has emerged as the best candidate.” After Scott Walker, Ryan is considered the biggest endorsement “get” for tomorrow’s GOP primary. Now Ryan is also viewed as a possible Vice Presidential pick for Romney. Romney said during a CBS interview, “I would consider it. But it’s not even something in my mind, because it’s a decision someone else makes at a later time.”

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is asking the public to help name its new vessel that helps clean area rivers and Lake Michigan. The “naming contest” will run on On-Milwuakee.com starting today through April 14th. MMSD’s new river skimmer boat will clean up thousands of pounds of garbage, tree branches and logs each year, helping create a positive image and experience for both residents and tourists enjoying the city of Milwaukee.

The Obama Administration and five states agreed to speed up the approval of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes, which have been delayed because of cost concerns and public opposition. Under the deal, state and federal agencies will work together to expedite the regulatory review process without sacrificing environmental and safety standards. Right now the Great Lakes have no offshore wind turbines. Critics say they would ruin nice vistas, lower shoreline property values and harm birds and fish. Supporters think the lakes’ winds are a vast, untapped source of clean energy and economic growth.

The DNR is warning landowners that invasive plants are getting an early start this year due to the recent warm weather. DNR plant specialists say landowners and land managers should keep an eye out for garlic mustard, a plant that smells like garlic and has four small white petals. The plant can completely take over entire forest floors, displacing other wildflowers. The agency says pulled plants need to be buried, burned or sent to a landfill. If they’re left out in the woods or piled in a driveway, they’ll continue to grow and produce seeds.