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Homicide charge to be filed in bat beatingSubmitted: 06/06/2014
Story By Associated Press

PLOVER - A Portage County prosecutor says he will file a homicide charge against a Plover man accused of beating his stepfather with a baseball bat.

Thirty-two-year-old Andrew Pray is being held in the Portage County Jail on $250,000 bond. Authorities say he attacked 77-year-old Christopher Bonnstetter and hit him in the head and chest with the bat last week. Bonnstetter died Tuesday night at St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield.


Assistant District Attorney Cass Cousins says Pray will be charged with first-degree intentional homicide Friday. Police haven't revealed a motive for the attack.

Court records did not list an attorney for Pray.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - Fire safety rules might prevent the use of real Christmas trees in some spots.

A bill now approved by the Assembly would ensure live trees are still allowed in churches and the state Capitol rotunda.

National Fire Protection Association guidelines call for banning live Christmas trees in places where 50 people or more gather.

The guidelines also allow limited quantities of combustible vegetation....if local fire officials decide adequate safeguards are in place.

Under the bill, the state and local governments would not be allowed to prevent placement of Christmas trees in the Capitol rotunda or in a church.

Trees in the rotunda and churches would be presumed to be safe during fire inspections.

The Assembly approved the bill Tuesday evening.

Now it goes to the state Senate.

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MADISON - Big changes for Wisconsin's managed forest program cleared the state Senate.

The Program gives participants property tax breaks if they keep their land open to the public....and follow timber management plans.

Land owners can close their property, but get a smaller tax break and must pay a fee.

The bill would cap closed land at 320 acres.

Fees would be reduced for withdrawing from the program early.

Property owners would be able to lease their land.

The changes would eliminate local taxes on timber harvested from program land, but allow local governments to keep 80 percent of closed acreage fees.

Right now 100 percent of those fees go to the state forestry account.

The changes now go to the state Assembly.

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WISCONSIN - Coyotes become more active and territorial this time of year.

That's because it's breeding season for the animals.

The DNR hopes people will take steps to avoid interactions with coyotes.

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EAGLE RIVER - Vilas County's courthouse expansion could look a little different and sit in a different spot than previously agreed upon, but those changes could save close to a million dollars and speed up construction.  Tuesday, a county committee agreed that's a good path to take.

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RHINELANDER - Nearly 150 lakes, rivers, and creeks in Oneida County contain some type of invasive species. That's why 12 counties in northern Wisconsin have come together to hold the Fifth Northwoods' Invasive Species Poster Contest.

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MADISON - The state Senate has approved a bill that would give libraries more power to collect fines for overdue materials.

The measure would create exceptions to privacy laws protecting borrowers' identities so libraries could report them to collection agencies and police.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/09/2016

- Chronic Wasting Disease just made it to the Northwoods. What is the Upper Peninsula doing to try and stop its spread there? Find out tonight.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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