MADISON - A new bill being circulated in the Wisconsin state Legislature would allow victims of sexual assault to be accompanied by a trained advocate at any step during the criminal justice process.
The legislation's author, Rep. Jim Steineke, a Republican from Kaukauna, says sex offenders are more likely to be brought to justice when an advocate is available to assist the victims
An advocate is a trained individual providing emotional comfort for victims and guiding them through the legal process. Current law bars an advocate from certain activities such as joining victims in meeting with police officers or medical personnel.
At least 11 states have passed similar laws. Gov. Scott Walker has proposed $4 million in his next biennial budget to pay for grants to assist victims.
EAGLE RIVER - You typically find cotton or denim running through her sewing machine, but Chris Gaffron has been sewing a lot of plastic lately.
"It's just straight stitching, so anyone can do it," Gaffron said.
The "StitchIt" custom embroidery store owner worked on sewing old plastic feed bags from a friend's horse barn, which don't biodegrade. Gaffron and her friend talked about ways to make better use of the trash and came up with an idea to help the homeless.
WOODRUFF - The state will no longer use county-by-county rules to attempt to slow the spread of deadly emerald ash borer (EAB).
Next Friday, all of Wisconsin will be under an EAB quarantine. That means ash wood can now move freely around the state.
In the current system, individual counties are quarantined only if the tree pest was found there. The state restricted the movement of ash wood between infected counties and those free from EAB, trying to keep more areas "clean."
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