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NEWS STORIES

DOT's new smartphone app could help prevent drunk drivingSubmitted: 03/15/2013
Story By Lane Kimble

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STATEWIDE - More than 500 people died on Wisconsin roadways last year. Plenty of things factor in, but many of those could have been prevented by not drinking and driving.

The DOT hopes its new smartphone app will help.

You might have seen these commercials recently on our station. They promote the new "Drive Sober" App.

It can use your phone's GPS to find the nearest safe ride. It also has a Blood Alcohol Content estimator and designated driver selection tool.

Oneida County Sheriff's Lieutenant Lloyd Gauthier knows not all car crash deaths are caused by drunk drivers.

But he thinks tools like this one definitely help.

"Some of that's due to intoxication, OWI, seatbelts, speed, so the more inforcement that we do and just educating the public that we certainly don't want to deter people from having a good time, but we want them to do it safely and responsibly," Gauthier said.

The DOT stresses the BAC tool isn't exact. It's meant to give you basic guidance.

The app is free in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Flood Warning at Keshena may be extended againSubmitted: 12/19/2014

KESHENA - A flood warning effecting south central Menominee county could be extended again.

The warning for the Keshena area is due to run out at 10:00 p.m. Friday.

The warning will be extended if high water continues to be a problem.

The National Weather Service issued the warning after ice jams backed up water on the Wolf River.

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Wisconsin may see the fewest number of traffic deaths since World War IISubmitted: 12/19/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin may see the fewest number of traffic deaths since World War II.

Traffic fatalities continue to decline across Wisconsin.

As of Wednesday, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Data showed there have been 480 road deaths so far this year.

That's compared to 527 in 2013.

The director of the transportation department's bureau of safety hopes there will be less than 500 fatalities by the end of the year.

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Couple sues county officials for putting down donkeySubmitted: 12/19/2014

BUTTERNUT - A Wisconsin couple is suing Ashland County officials for putting down their mammoth donkey named Jethro.

The Daily Press of Ashland (http://bit.ly/1w6ElCB) reports Patricia and Dwight Westmore have filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the county unfairly seized Jethro and four horses from their property last year after a report of maltreatment. The complaint alleges Ashland County euthanized Jethro over the couple's objections. One of the four horses taken later died.

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Wisconsin ranks 32nd in private-sector job growth during June 2013-14 stretchSubmitted: 12/18/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin ranks 32nd in private-sector job growth for the 12-month period ending in June.

The latest figures were reported Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

They show that Wisconsin grew private-sector jobs between July 2013 and the end of June this year by 1.45 percent. That lags the national average of growth at 2.3 percent.

Wisconsin ranks 32nd nationally and behind Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development also reported Thursday that unemployment dropped from 5.4 percent to 5.2 percent between October and November. The national unemployment rate for November is 5.8 percent.

The monthly also shows Wisconsin added 16,500 private sector jobs in November.

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Tree of Hope helps families in MerrillSubmitted: 12/18/2014

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MERRILL - Needy families in Merrill will have a better Christmas this year.

The Merrill Fire Department is sponsoring the Tree of Hope.

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2 Salvation Army red kettles stolen in HaywardSubmitted: 12/18/2014

HAYWARD - Two Salvation Army red kettles have been stolen in Hayward in recent weeks.

The Salvation Army says one of the kettles contained an estimated $400.

The most recent theft happened Wednesday at Walgreen's. Sawyer County Salvation Army director Debbie Huebner says surveillance video shows someone grabbed the kettle's stand and put the whole structure into the back of a vehicle.

Huebner says that kettle had been emptied right before the theft. But a few weeks ago, a thief cut a cable to steal a kettle from Walmart. Huebner estimated it contained $300 to $400.

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Peace Candle Lighting: a new holiday tradition Submitted: 12/18/2014

WOODRUFF - Some members of a Northwoods church hope to offer people the chance to start a new holiday tradition this year.

Members of Holy Family Catholic Church in Woodruff think everyone has something to gain by giving more attention to peace.

Church members brought a peace candle to the Northwoods.

They hope the candle lighting will help the community reflect on peace this holiday season.

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