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NEWS STORIES

WI Defendants Hit Sentencing DelaysSubmitted: 05/26/2013
Story By Associated Press

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.



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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - A convicted sex offender from Rhinelander can keep pictures of children he cut out of magazines.

A state appeals court dismissed new charges against Albert Chagnon Thursday.

Prosecutors charged the 33-year-old last year with 23 counts of intentionally photographing a minor without consent. Chagnon was about to be released from prison when a guard discovered a notebook in his pants containing photographs of fully-clothed young girls cut out of magazines or newspapers, including the Lakeland Times.

Chagnon argued that the charges should be dismissed because he didn't take the photographs. The 4th District Court of Appeals agreed with him Thursday, saying state law doesn't cover Chagnon's conduct.

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RHINELANDER - A 77-year-old woman who spends the summer and fall in Sugar Camp can celebrate after earning four medals at the 2015 Senior Olympics earlier this month.

Bev Linnihan-Moye, a frequent swimmer at the YMCA of the Northwoods, says she just feels great in the water, especially after an ankle injury a few years ago.

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EAGLE RIVER - Keeping the Northwoods wooded is Trees for Tomorrow's basic goal. This weekend, they'll show people why that goal is important to them, when the organization hosts Forest Fest in Eagle River on Saturday.

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MERRILL - We told you earlier in July about the Merrill Citizen's Fire Academy.

People who take the 10 week course this fall will learn more about what firefighters do.

12 people will take the class.

Spots for the course are filling up.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - A Vilas County shooting range will get some financial aid thanks to the Wisconsin DNR.

The Boulder Junction Shooting Range got a grant for venue upgrades.

The range also got a grant last year.

It used the money to make its facilities handicap accessible.

Range officials say they will use this year's grant for additions.

Those include making the space more energy efficient.

"[The] money will be used for insulating the clubhouse," says Secretary of the Boulder Junction Shooting Range Pete Drahn. "It'll be used to remove doors and windows that we no longer need, and to replace a window with a more energy efficient window."

The range has gotten grants two years in a row, but it won't happen again next year.

"They've told everybody that received the grants this year that they'll start doing grants only every other year for someone who has received it," says Drahn. "So at the earliest, it would be the year after next."

The range's board members want to make the venue better for shooters, but they say they couldn't have done it without the grant's help.

"These are projects we probably wouldn't do for eons," says Drahn. "We don't receive any money from anybody except the users of the range. So we don't have a lot for our capital needs."

The range also plans to install a new fence to improve the facility's safety.

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EAGLE RIVER - You may not notice the Northwoods trade school tucked along Highway 17 in Eagle River, but one national organization thinks it deserves more attention. 

The Advanced Welding Institute will receive an award for its high graduation and employment rates.

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges is granting the Institute its School of Excellence Award. School administrators are invited to attend the professional development conference in September in Arlington, Virginia. 

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MADISON - A former leader of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the agency's new reorganization plan won't fix its problems.

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