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Oneida Co. Sheriff's Office beefing up St. Pat's patrolsSubmitted: 03/14/2013

Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - Don't expect to get away with drinking and driving this weekend.

On a weekend when everyone's a little Irish, the Oneida County Sheriff's Office wants you to be more than a little smart.

Oneida County will beef up drunk driving and seatbelt enforcement the entire weekend. They're able to do that thanks to a $12,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Sheriff's Lieutenant Lloyd Gauthier knows the holiday brings out many more people than an average weekend.

"The possibility of people driving while impaired, and that concerns us," Lt. Gauthier said.

"Our motto at the Sheriff's Office is we're committed to our community. And a big commitment is safety. Wanting people to get out and enjoy the time, have a good time. But take advantage of the programs that are out there through the Oneida County Tavern League, including the Safe Ride Home program."

That Safe Ride program is available at any participating Tavern League Bar. All you have to do is ask a bartender for your free ride.

Lt. Gauthier says people seem to be drinking more responsibly the last few years.

But he also points to a disturbing statistic: more than 500 traffic deaths in Wisconsin last year.

"That's why the DOT is so focused on getting these grants out each year," Gauthier said. "They see that there is a positive side to it with additional enforcement that those numbers are coming down."

The DOT gives out the grants based on where they see roadways that could be safer.

This grant is broad. That means Sheriff's Patrols could be on any road, both county and city or town.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/27/2017

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We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - A key Republican legislator says Gov. Scott Walker's plan to cut University of Wisconsin System tuition could hurt taxpayers that and lawmakers should instead consider letting the system raise tuition according to inflation or income increases.

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RHINELANDER - Earlier this week, WJFW shared some tips on how diet and exercise can help prevent cancer. On Saturday, one Northwoods man hosted a cancer prevention seminar to educate the community.

Carl Silbernagel says this weekend was the second time he hosted a cancer seminar.

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WAUSAU - For many pet owners, costly visits to the vet burden their bank accounts. The Wausau Police Department hosts an event every February and December so that pet owners can get some basic care for their furry friends at a lower cost.

Pets of all breeds, shapes, and sizes were taken to the Paws and Protect event in Wausau Saturday.

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ST. GERMAIN - A snowmobile rider from Kenosha died after crashing in St. Germain Saturday night.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says Jeffrey E. Schultz, 62, crashed into a utility pole while riding on a snowmobile trail near the Rustic Manor along Highway 70.  It happened just before 11 p.m.  Schultz was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 43-year-old man from St. Germain who was riding on the sled was hurt in the crash.  Emergency crews took him to Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff.

"Prior to Friday we had 14 fatalities for the season in the state. We had one in Iron County last night and then of course this one here in Oneida County. As far as I know it's 16. I hope we haven't had any more over the weekend," said DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor David Walz.
 
Walz says both the driver and passenger were wearing helmets. He did not say if alcohol or speed were factors in the crash.

"This power line corridor is fairly straight and wide open. It's a well-traveled corridor. You have traffic going in two different directions. It's more like a highway here [because] it's split, you know there's two different directions that are split in the middle of the trail," said Walz.

Walz says two thirds of all fatalities in the state have involved speed and alcohol. He also says it's important for riders to slow down at night while riding their snowmobiles.

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NEW ORLEANS - 8:30 p.m.

New Orleans police say the number of people injured after a vehicle crashed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans has increased to 28 and a suspect is in custody.

Police Chief Michael Harrison says one person in custody and that he is being investigated for driving while intoxicated. Harrison says police do not suspect terrorism.

Harrison says that 21 people were hospitalized after the crash with five victims in guarded condition. Seven others declined to be hospitalized.

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MADISON - State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz sent a campaign-focused email detailing his support among Republicans using his Whitnall Public School email address during a school day.

The email sent in May appears to be in violation of the state law prohibiting the use of government resources for campaign work.

The email was provided to The Associated Press by the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now which received it through an open records request.

Holtz did not respond to a request for comment.

Former chief state elections administrator Kevin Kennedy says the email does break the law, but it's not likely to rise to the level of something warranting prosecution. Kennedy says it shows more of a lack of judgment than criminal act.

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