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NEWS STORIES

Mandatory Prison Proposed for Some Drunk DriversSubmitted: 05/02/2013
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - The worst drunk drivers would automatically go to prison under a bill due for a hearing before an Assembly committee.

The measure would require a minimum 3-year prison sentence for 7th, 8th or 9th time drunken drivers.

There would be a minimum 4-year sentence for those with ten or more convictions.

Anyone who hurts somebody while driving with a blood alcohol content between point zero four percent and point zero eight percent would spend at least 30 days in jail.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on the ideas today at the state Capitol.

The panel is not expected to vote on the proposal just yet.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - The number of firework related injuries increases in the 30 days surrounding the fourth of July.

A study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission says more than 200 people go to emergency rooms with these injuries around this time.

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MADISON - Aides to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker say the Republican is entering the crowded Republican race for president.

They say Walkers plans to launch his long-expected run by filing the necessary paperwork Thursday. Walker's official kickoff is expected July 13 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the launch ahead of the filing.

The 47-year-old Walker is in his second term as governor. He won a recall election in 2012 after angering union members by signing a law curtailing their collective bargaining rights.

Before jumping into the 2016 race, Walker had been waiting for state lawmakers to finish work on a new budget. But with progress in the Wisconsin Legislature stalled, Walker is moving ahead with his campaign.

(Copyright 2015 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

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MERRILL - You can get a free cab ride when you've had too much to drink at many Northwoods bars.

It's part of the SafeRide Home Program, funded mainly by the tavern league.

About 150 people use the SafeRide Home program every month in Lincoln County.

The program's success could be one reason it will get less money from state grants.

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NORTHWOODS - Our nation celebrates its independence in three days. People in the Northwoods are planning how they want to view fireworks. Will they buy their own, or will they see a community show?

Peter Anderson has been a fireworks organizer for the city of Eagle River for several years.

"We've been doing it for a long time," he said. "We hire a fireworks company to come in and do it every year for us. It's just kind of a tradition to celebrate the 4th of July."

Many communities in the Northwoods put on firework displays. And those displays can cost quite a bit of money.

"Right around $9000 is what we spend in Eagle River," said Anderson. "It all goes right towards the fireworks. Everything else is volunteer; we get the land donated to us, we get everybody's time donated to us, and all of the money goes directly towards the fireworks."

Anderson says a big reason his community does a display is so people can celebrate on the fourth safely.

"I'm on the fire department; that's one of the reasons why I got involved with it was to have a nice big community firework display so that people don't have to do their own displays," said Anderson.

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NORTHWOODS - A dog in Wausau died Tuesday after being locked in a car for two hours. Police say the dog had a heat stroke.

Veterinarians say dogs can overheat even if the windows are rolled down. That's because dogs are naturally warmer than humans and different breeds have hair or fur that might make the dog even hotter.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill to end Wisconsin's classroom SAGE program.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill designed to curb using GPS devices to track people.

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