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Ship program questioned by federal watchdog groupSubmitted: 08/21/2013
Story By Associated Press

MILWAUKEE - A federal watchdog agency questions a program that benefits a shipyard in Marinette.

The U.S. Navy's is spending 40-billion dollars on the littoral combat ship program.

It supports more than 12-hundred jobs in Wisconsin and pumps millions of dollars into the state's economy.

The Government Accountability Office is questioning whether the warships perform as expected.

Two key lawmakers are also raising questions.

Marinette Marine, based in Marinette, has already built two ships.

Four others are under construction.

They're designed for quick modification.

For example, a ship's anti-submarine package could be quickly swapped out for a mine-warfare package.

But the GAO says the completed ships aren't performing as expected.

The Navy says it's not giving up the program.

It wants 52 of the high-speed warships over 15 years, at a cost of over 40-billion dollars.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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According to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol, it happened around 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and County Highway H.

Investigators think a van went through an intersection and hit a semi truck.

"There was injury," said Boulder Junction Fire Chief Matthew Reuss. "The two passengers in the van had to be extricated. One was taken to Howard Young Medical Center for further care. The driver of the semi was uninjured and the second passenger in the van was pronounced dead at the scene."

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the driver of the van is a 68-year-old woman from Colby. Crews later took her to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield for non-life threatening injuries. Her passenger, a 77-year-old male from Colby, died in the crash. They were both wearing seatbelts. 

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Traffic was rerouted through Boulder Junction for several hours and was reopened shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Several units responded to the scene.

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Police will not release the names until the families are notified. 

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Durand is due in court January 23.

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