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An employee at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King has filed a complaint against the state alleging she was discriminated against on the job.

Amber Nikolai, the former member and public relations director at the King home and the current volunteer and event coordinator, said she was discriminated against because of her sex and her efforts to oppose discrimination at the agency against others.

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Over more than a decade, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs transferred $55 million away from its largest veterans nursing home as it delayed facilities improvements, including failing to replace soiled carpeting for more than seven years, according to an audit of the home's finances released Friday.   

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Dane County health officials and juvenile justice experts say the absence of an appropriate in-state facility is not anyone’s fault. It’s the result of a set of factors that have built up and changed over time, leading to a population of youth with more complex needs and a shortage of treatment options. It’s also a relatively new issue for Dane County, which placed its first youth in an out-of-state facility in October 2016.

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Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Daniel Zimmerman, just over one month on the job, has reassigned the head of the King veterans home. The move comes as the home is being audited by the Legislature and while Gov. Scott Walker, in both his capital budget and biennial budget requests, has asked for more money to improve infrastructure and staffing there.

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