THREE LAKES - You could soon get to your favorite websites faster in parts of Central and Northern Wisconsin.
The state will use $4.2 million from the federal government to boost broadband at libraries in Wisconsin.
That includes the Demmer Memorial Library in Three Lakes. Demmer Memorial Library Director Janet Dixon says the upgrade will make their internet three times faster for the same price they pay now.
"Our patrons are doing a lot of research on our computers now and sometimes they're awfully slow and we would really like to have that consistent speed for them," Dixon said.
More than 350 libraries across Wisconsin will get the internet speed boost.
Dixon says the fiber broadband will get their connection from 3mbps to 10mbps. She believes the upgrade will help rural areas avoid falling behind in technology and opportunity.
"I think the speed is important for them (patrons)," Dixon said. "So we want to be able to provide that even though we're up here in the Northwoods, we want to have good internet service."
Workers will start laying the broadband fiber lines in April. That means libraries could get the broadband boost by November. State Superintendent Tony Evers is excited for the project.
"More than 60 percent of our public libraries report inadequate Internet connection speeds to serve library patrons," Evers said in a press release. "Many of our libraries are the only public Internet access in their small, rural communities. Our libraries provide online education resources for students of all ages including BadgerLink services for job seekers and information on government services so this upgrade of Internet connectivity will be a welcome improvement across the state."
Planning for the project started in 2013 and is a part of improving the state's BadgerNet broadband connection.
MAUSTON - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found unresponsive in Decorah Lake early Friday.
Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.
The Mauston Police Department says attempts were made to rescue the individual, but the Juneau County Coroner's Office pronounced the individual dead at the scene. Police have provided few other details, and the victim's name has not been released.
APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.
The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.
The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.
Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."
TOMAH - The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says it has adopted another plan to improve patient care.
The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.
The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.
Among other things, it calls for recruitment of psychiatric staff, employee forums and listening sessions, and opening an employee wellness center.
Several Tomah VA officials — including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan — have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.
WAUSAU - This has been Wisconsin's deadliest gun-deer season in the past five years, with two shooting fatalities already recorded.
Daily Herald Media reports (http://wdhne.ws/1HvNth3 ) that the two fatalities brought to an end a three-year series of seasons that had been free of firearm deaths. Four other hunters also have been wounded.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters violated some of the fundamental rules of gun safety in all the incidents.
A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.
RHINELANDER - People deposited more than just money at a Rhinelander bank Friday morning. A blood drive at People's State Bank allowed donors to double down on what they gave.
Nurses from the Community Blood Center took donations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of the "Give a Pint, Give a Pound" blood drive. For every pint donated, the Blood Center will give a pound of food to the Lakeland Food Pantry.
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