Top News & Analysis Wisconsin

  • The budget deficit _ the shortfall created when the government spends more in a given year than it collects in taxes and fees_ topped $1 trillion for the fourth straight time in the budget year that just ended Sept. 30. It now borrows roughly 31 cents for every dollar it spends.

  • MADISON, Wis.-- September was a good month for dairy farmers in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where gains in milk production were among the best in the nation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Wisconsin harvested 2.2 billion pounds last month. Wisconsin is the nation's second-leading milk producer behind California.

  • A unionized job once meant a secure path to a middle-class life. President Barack Obama has signed a series of executive orders that encourage the use of union labor in federal construction projects, ease union financial reporting requirements and more.

  • MILWAUKEE-- Auto parts and building equipment maker Johnson Controls Inc. said Monday that it expects to book a pretax charge between $225 million and $275 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, reflecting costs related to restructuring efforts.

  • WASHINGTON-- Unions are shifting more of their political resources to state and local races this year as they try to head off passage of laws that could undermine bargaining rights, make it harder to organize or reduce their political muscle. In Maine and Minnesota, labor leaders hope to overturn Republican majorities in state legislatures.

  • WASHINGTON-- Unions are shifting more of their political resources to state and local races this year as they try to head off passage of laws that could undermine bargaining rights, make it harder to organize or reduce their political muscle. In Maine and Minnesota, labor leaders hope to overturn Republican majorities in state legislatures.

  • CLEVELAND-- Unemployment rates fell last month in nearly all of the battleground states that will determine the presidential winner, giving President Barack Obama fresh fodder to argue that voters should stick with him in an election focused squarely on the economy.

  • MADISON, Wis.-- Wisconsin's quasi-public economic development agency lost track of $69 million in loans to businesses because no one was in charge of keeping tabs of that money.

  • WASHINGTON-- Tennessee lawyer Brian Manookian says he never considered himself a gun enthusiast. He owns just one handgun and was raised in a gun-free home. An analysis by The Associated Press of data tracking the health of the gun industry shows that President Barack Obama has presided over a heyday for guns.

  • But times are tough for unions in the Rust Belt, even in a longtime bastion like Michigan.

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- For the first time on a key Midwestern route between Chicago and St. Louis, an Amtrak passenger train topped 110 mph Friday, ripping through fog-shrouded farm fields and blowing past cars on a parallel highway. Illinois and the country was a wasteland when it came to high speed rail, "said U.S.

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- An Amtrak passenger train has reached a speed of 110 mph for the first time in Illinois. The five-car, two-locomotive train zipped through the central Illinois countryside, hitting its high speed between the towns of Dwight and Pontiac.

  • MILWAUKEE-- Sensient Technologies' net income grew 3 percent in the third quarter but results weighed down by a strong dollar. Sensient, which makes colors, flavors and scents for food, cosmetics and ink, narrowed its full-year guidance, but still expects net income consistent with Wall Street expectations.

  • MILWAUKEE-- ManpowerGroup's third-quarter net income fell 21 percent as the staffing company's results continue to be pressured by softer foreign currencies. For the three months ended Sept. 30, ManpowerGroup earned $63.1 million, or 79 cents per share, down from $79.6 million, or 97 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

  • Rates dropped in Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina. They were unchanged in New Hampshire and Virginia. With just 18 days until Election Day, polls show GOP challenger Mitt Romney gaining momentum with voters in key states.

  • NEW YORK-- Janney Capital Markets cited the meteoric rise in Snap-On shares this as it stepped back from its "buy" rating Friday, a day after the stock was driven to an all-time high by a stellar third quarter. Wherley did question whether Snap-on has found the most profitable use for all of next year's expected free cash flow.

  • PARMA, Ohio-- Lest anyone forget the importance of Ohio's white, working-class voters, President Barack Obama sent a clear reminder on Thursday. Clinton implored voters to reward Obama for bailing out the auto industry, which has deep roots in Ohio. Ohio is at the center of both Obama and Republican Mitt Romney's campaign strategies.

  • CHICAGO-- In a modest milestone for President Barack Obama's high-speed rail vision, test runs will start zooming along a small section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 110 mph Friday. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Illinois Gov.