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NEWS STORIES

WI Defendants Hit Sentencing DelaysSubmitted: 05/26/2013
RACINE - Wisconsin defendants waiting to be sentenced are having to wait several weeks longer to learn their sentences.

Corrections officials cite two reasons for the delays _ too few probation agents to conduct pre-sentence investigation reports, and stricter requirements in the reports that take longer to complete.

A Journal Times of Racine report says in 1997 the Department of Corrections implemented a three-week turnaround to complete the reports. But DOC spokeswoman Lisa Yeates says it's become difficult to meet that deadline.

She says the reports can now take six to eight weeks. That's because they have to include the results of a risk-assessment tool, making the reports 20 pages or longer.

The public defender's Racine office says the delay hurts defendants who end up being sentenced to time served.



Story By: Associated Press

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Northwoods composite panels could mean improvements for home foundations Submitted: 07/23/2014

EAGLE RIVER - A new type of foundation could give you a better way to build a home, and the idea for the improvement starts right here in the Northwoods.

Composite Panel Systems in Eagle River builds composite panels for home foundations. Composite means anything made of two or more materials, which includes fiberglass in this case. The company describes the EPITOME Quality Foundation Wall as a revolutionary composite building solution for residential foundations.

The company makes them off site, and then they put them together on location. Composite Panel Systems' Scott Weber says that means a shorter build time compared to concrete foundations.

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Unemployment up in Wisconsin's largest citiesSubmitted: 07/23/2014

MADISON - Unemployment is up in all of Wisconsin's largest cities and most counties.

The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment rates in June increased in all of the state's 32 largest cities. Unemployment rates went up in 61 of 72 counties and remained unchanged in the other 11.

Wisconsin's monthly unemployment rate in June was 5.7 percent, unchanged from May.

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Local union fundraiserSubmitted: 07/23/2014

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MERRILL - Members of a Northwoods union chapter gathered unique inspiration for a fundraiser - The Beatles.

Merrill-area Local 6 members gathered Wednesday on the Wisconsin flowage to raise money for groups in need of assistance. The union leaders organized boat rides, raffles, barbecues, and contests. The inspiration for the fundraiser came, in part, from the 1965 Beatles single Help!

"I found out it was the anniversary of the 'Help!' release from The Beatles record, and I decided, let's help our community," said Local 6 Vice President Valerie Nelson. "Our membership is very passionate about certain organizations within our community. One being the Lincoln County Humane Society, the local food pantry, and the American Cancer Society."

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Fourth suspect at large in interstate shootingSubmitted: 07/23/2014

MILWAUKEE - Authorities are looking for a fourth suspect in a shooting on an interstate in Milwaukee County.

Sheriff David Clarke says people in a minivan and another vehicle were shooting at each other in a ``running gun battle'' on Interstate 43 Tuesday afternoon. One vehicle struck the other and the minivan spun into the ditch near Fox Point. Three people in the van were arrested. Authorities say a fourth person left the scene.

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Wisconsin to stop enforcing birth control lawSubmitted: 07/23/2014

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker's administration will no longer enforce the state's contraception coverage law for employers with religious objections following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month.

The decision riled birth control advocates and Democrats, who said Wednesday that Wisconsin law is not affected by the decision.

The Supreme Court ruled that companies with religious objections, like Hobby Lobby, can avoid the contraceptives requirement of the federal health care overhaul law.

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Hoggie Doggies celebrates National Hot Dog DaySubmitted: 07/23/2014

WOODRUFF - Americans will eat about 7 billion hot dogs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Wednesday, millions of Americans celebrated National Hot Dog day. That was the case in the Northwoods.

Hoggie Doggies Snack Shack is a staple in Woodruff. Their All-American favorite is the Chicago Style Dog.

The owner Judy Rossi has been there for 12 years and says they go through a lot of dogs.

"Last season we went through almost 17,000 hot dogs. This year we're on track for about 18,000," says Rossi. "Statistically we go through about 8 tons of potatoes in a season, which is close to 16,000 pounds for our homemade french fries. Those are some big numbers for this little place."

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Spirit of the North: water ski team wins state titleSubmitted: 07/23/2014

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CONOVER - The Chain Skimmers Water Ski Team from Conover won the state title for their division last weekend in Wisconsin Rapids. Summer water ski shows are a wonderful part of the Spirit of the North.

"I don't know how to spend the summer anywhere else," said Jessica Clark.

She is one of about 35 skiers between the ages of 12 and 31 who spend their summers on Lake Pleasant in Conover. They come from Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas.

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