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Appeals court denies newspaper’s request for documents

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state appeals court has denied a Wisconsin Rapids newspaper’s request for public records from the Wisconsin Rapids Public School District.

The 4th District Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a Wood County judge’s finding that the documents are personal notes and aren’t subject to the state’s open records law.

The Voice of Wisconsin Rapids sought records related to sexual harassment allegations against Lincoln High School wrestlers in 2011. The newspaper sued the school district after officials refused to release hand-written documents created during employee interviews.

The appellate court said the judge acted appropriately. The court pointed out the documents are hand-written and fragmentary — some notes were scrawled on Post-It notes — and therefore personal and exempt from the law.

The newspaper’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail.

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