STEVENS POINT - Students, staff and visitors at UW-Stevens Point won't be able to smoke on campus starting next fall.
The school made the decision after it conducted numerous surveys of students faculty and staff.
The administration also held open forums regarding the issue.
The school's Student Government Association led the effort to change school policy.
School Chancellor Bernie Patterson said "It's time. UW-Stevens Point is known for sustainability and health consciousness. The policy demonstrates our commitment to wellness, which is a major part of our strategic plan."
A committee of students, faculty and staff will come up with a plan to implement the new rules during the spring semester.
EAGLE RIVER - Snowmobile trails open at 6 p.m. in most of Vilas County.
Local businesses that cater to snowmobilers look forward to a successful season.
The trails already have a lot more snow than they did last year at this time.
"Anytime you bring people to the Northwoods, whether it's just the snowmobilers, it's not only helping our business, it helps everybody. They bring family up so they'll go to the Children's Museum, or the downtown and restaraunts. They utilize all the area businesses," said Greg Cook from Track Side in Eagle River.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a bill that creates a new open crossbow season to run concurrently with the archery deer season.
Crossbow hunting had been allowed only for those over age 65 and those with physical disabilities. Under the new law, hunters of all legal ages and physical abilities can use crossbows to hunt deer and other smaller animals including rabbits and coyotes.
The crossbow season will be the same as the archery deer season, which runs from mid-September until the end of November or beginning of December, depending on the year.
Creating the new crossbow season ran into some opposition from traditional bow-and-arrow hunters who worried that allowing a crossbow would taint archery hunting. Walker signed the bill on Tuesday.
RHINELANDER - Many veterans are not eligible for full dental coverage.
But a new VA healthcare program is changing that.
Veterans who don’t have dental insurance can now join a new program that will give them coverage.
The VA partnered with insurance companies MetLife and Delta Dental.
Brad Nelson is the public information officer for the VA in Iron Mountain.
"About 90 percent of our veterans who are enrolled in VA healthcare, are not eligible for VA dental care directly, like we mentioned," said Nelson. "So that's why this insurance program would be a very good option for them if they don't already have dental insurance."
The new program allow veterans can work directly with the two insurance companies for the best coverage plans.
The closest full-care VA hospital is in Iron Mountain.
The program will cut down on travel time for veterans by helping them find a dentist who will accept their new insurance plan closer to home.
"Taking control of your healthcare is actually one of the messages that the VA wants to come across to our veterans, including dental care," said Nelson. "Again, we want recognize at the VA that oral health can impact a person's overall health."
The program will get vets a reduced monthly cost for the insurance.
Coverage goes into effect January 1st.
For additional information, visit the VA Healthcare website.
ACROSS WISCONSIN - Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a Republican-sponsored bill that gives landlords more power over tenants.
The bill Walker signed privately Thursday allows landlords to dispose of any property an evicted tenant leaves behind, immediately tow parked vehicles and toss tenants out if a crime occurs on the property and the tenant was in a position to prevent it.
Democrats who opposed the measure argued that it strips tenants of their rights and limits local governments' control over property in their jurisdiction.
The bill was opposed by the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the cities of Milwaukee and Madison as well as the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and others.
RHINELANDER - A bill signed Thursday by Gov. Scott Walker will allow bow hunting within city limits.
Hunters would have to be at least 100 yards from any building when hunting within city limits.
Rhinelander has used city bow hunts to control the deer population in town.
The city allows special hunts when they get enough complaints and see enough deer related crashes in the city.
But the new state law will force Rhinelander to allow bow hunting during the entire bow season.
Rhinelander Alderperson Alex Young says the law will erase Rhinelander's city hunt ordinances the city had on the books, like background checks on people hunting in the city.
"Those restrictions we used to have are off and anybody who has a hunting license can come in and bow hunt," Young said. "The only thing that you are really allowed to restrict is the distance from neighboring houses."
The city wants to go back to an old distance requirement. It would require hunters to be at least 200 feet away from a building. Cities can make the distance less restrictive. Its also the only thing municipalities can modify, so Rhinelander hopes to do that soon.
"We're kind of moving fast with it because the bill was signed into law today and it is late bow season right now," Young said. "So given that the season is open and anybody could hunt in the city with a bow right now, time is in the way of essence."
The city attorney will see if the city can go back to the 200 foot distance requirement as soon as Monday.
Young says people shouldn't worry about hunting in dense portions of Rhinelander. He says that's because most plots are spaced between 60-70 feet and would not qualify for the current 100 yard restriction.
The law, 2013 Wisconsin Act 71, also requires hunters to shoot arrows or bolts from their weapon towards the ground while hunting.
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