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NEWS STORIES

Bill to allow electronic cigarettes scheduled for hearingSubmitted: 03/05/2014
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - While Wisconsin bans smoking in public places, electronic cigarettes might be allowed.

A proposal to do that is up for a public hearing today.

The measure would allow e-cigarette users to smoke where traditional smoking is banned.

Wisconsin's statewide indoor smoking ban took effect in 2010.

Senator Glenn Grothman is the bill's sponsor.

The bill would exempt the devices, which smokers use to inhale nicotine-laced vapors.

Alcohol and convenience store lobbyists support the bill, while various health associations oppose it.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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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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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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MILWAUKEE - A small, single-engine passenger plane has crashed and caught on fire at Milwaukee's Timmerman Airport, killing at least one person.

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RHINELANDER - Thousands of people will come to the Oneida County Fair starting Thursday.

The fair has grown a lot in recent years. Organizers try to get new rides and entertainment to draw in bigger crowds.

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PLUM LAKE - Some ATV riders want to be able to drive as many places as possible--and often on roads, not just designated trails. 

But some communities may not want ATV drivers to have that freedom.

One Northwoods town is trying to determine what's best for its community—whether they welcome or shun ATVs on town roads.

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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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