MADISON - Bills designed to toughen Wisconsin's notoriously weak drunken driving laws that passed the state Assembly with bipartisan support may be going nowhere in the Senate.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald tells The Associated Press he would prefer to spend money on setting up special drunken driving treatment courts statewide before considering the bills. He said Friday the courts would be a more effective way to tackle drunken driving.
One of the bills awaiting Senate action would make all second offenses misdemeanors. Under current law, a second offense committed more than 10 years after a first offense is considered a first offense.
Another proposal would require all first-time offenders to make an appearance in court. A third bill would ensure that court-ordered ignition interlock devices are promptly installed.
MILWAUKEE - A Wausau-based company that makes architectural metal finishing took home a big honor Thursday night. Linetec won the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce's Manufacturer of the Year Award in the Large Company category.
The annual awards program celebrates Wisconsin companies that are well respected, serve their communities, and make Wisconsin "a better place to live, work, and play", according to a press release from the WMC.
NORTHWOODS - Lakes and nature bring people from all over the country to the Northwoods during the summer. Those same attractions get some people to stay here. Home sales and home prices in the Northwoods went up in 2017.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association reports about 1,300 more homes sold last year than in 2016 in Wisconsin. A local broker saw the increase firsthand.
"The markets that are going crazy right now are premium homes. The Minocqua chain is red hot, the Eagle River chain is pretty hot the Three Lakes chain is pretty hot and there are some chains of lakes that are less hot," said Coldwell Banker broker Jim Mulleady.
HAYWARD - Trail conditions for this year's American Birkebeiner race will be just about perfect.
Executive Director Ben Popp said there's about a six inch base, three inches of snow on top, and more snow on the way in the Hayward area.
"The energy right now is just unreal. You can feel it here in Hayward and Cable and certainly around the world. Now with a gold medal, Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall, brings more excitement to not only this event, but the sport. So it's a really great time to be a cross country skier," said Popp.
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