The Wisconsin Nurses Association testified in support of a medical marijuana bill sponsored by Rep. Gregg Underheim, R-Oshkosh, at an Assembly committee hearing Tuesday.

Assembly Bill 740 provides a "medical necessity defense" for marijuana-related prosecutions and property seizures.

"It is difficult for nurses to remain silent when seriously ill patients are denied access to an effective medical treatment," Gina Dennik-Champion, executive director of the nurses association, said in a news release. "We support this legislation because there is medical research that indicates that marijuana can serve as a form of medical treatment for specific health problems such as nausea, vomiting, pain, and glaucoma when other treatments fail."

If the Capitol feels cooler these days, it's not for a lack of hot air. It's part of an executive order to reduce state energy usage recently signed by Gov. Jim Doyle.

"Faced with huge increases in heating bills, many Wisconsin families are looking at their thermostats and making the difficult decision to turn it down a notch or two - especially when they're not home," Doyle said in a statement. "This executive order directs state agencies to take the same common sense steps as Wisconsin families are taking."

One first step: the heat will be turned down in the Capitol from 72 to 68 degrees. State agencies are also directed to turn their thermostats down, if they haven't already, and look for other ways to reduce energy.

Doyle recently outlined plans for the possible event of a bird flu pandemic.

State plans include tactics to isolate patients to prevent spread of the virus, agreements that will allow hospitals to assist each other, and testing of people who may have been exposed to the virus and are hospitalized with symptoms.

"There has been a lot said and written about bird flu lately - some of it factual, and some exaggerated," Doyle said in a statement. "But either way you look at it, a possible pandemic is a frightening thing. And I want the people of Wisconsin to know that we're doing everything that we possibly can to prepare for an outbreak of bird flu here, should it occur."

People who want to support the state Capitol, and get something for the Christmas tree, can purchase one of the 2005 commemorative state Capitol ornaments. The ornaments, which were recently unveiled, feature a replica of the gilded female statue that tops the Capitol.

The ornaments, which raise money for the State Capitol Restoration Fund, retail for $17 and are available at various Madison locations, including the Wisconsin Historical Society gift shop or online at www.wisconsin

Former state treasurer and revenue secretary Cate Zeuske helped spearhead the effort and in a statement called the ornaments "a keepsake that can be passed on from one generation to the next."

On Thursday, oil executives will be answering questions about high oil and gas prices in Wisconsin.

Gov. Jim Doyle subpoenaed executives of five major companies to answer questions about the rising cost of home heating and surging gas prices.

Executives subpoenaed include David O'Reilly, chairman and CEO of Chevron Corp.; Lee Raymond, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil Corp.; James Mulva, chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips Co.; Ross Pillari, chairman and CEO of BP America Inc.; and John Hofmeister, president and U.S. country chair of Shell Oil Co.

The hearing will be held at 1:00 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education facility, 161 West Wisconsin Avenue, Room 7970, Milwaukee.

"As your family prepares for the Thanksgiving Day holiday, you might just get caught up in a massive crime wave sweeping across the state," state Rep. Scott Jensen, R-Brookfield, in a newsletter to his constituents. Jensen pointed out that the deeply discounted turkeys that grocery stores offer to lure customers are in violation of the state's minimum markup law, which requires retailers and wholesales to add a certain percentage to the cost of goods in order to prevent larger businesses from underselling smaller operators. Jensen advocates eliminating the law, which he called "silly" and "antiquated." He noted that state inspectors have looked the other way during the turkey sales.