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NEWS STORIES

Moratorium on utility disconnections expiresSubmitted: 04/15/2014
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - People behind on their utility bills could start getting shut off today.

That's because the state's winter moratorium on disconnecting utility customers is ending.

The law prohibits utilities from shutting off a customer's heat between November 1st and April 15th.

Nearly 26,000 Wisconsin Public Service customers got at least 4 months behind on payments this winter.

That number is slightly higher than last year.

Harsh winter weather pushed up heating bills.

Utility companies encourage those who are behind on their bills to get in touch.

They will work with customers to make payment arrangements.

Help is available for people whose household is at, or below 60 percent of the state median income level.

That's about 47,000 for a family of four.

People can apply for assistance through county social service offices, tribal governments and private nonprofit agencies.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/03/2015

- A measure passed by the state's budget committee Thursday night would limit what information lawmakers would have to disclose under open records rules. State lawmakers will essentially get to keep secret records for things like research, discussions and amendments to legislative proposals. We'll look at the issue tonight on Newswatch 12.

- In most of Wisconsin, crossing railroad tracks on foot is illegal. A proposal in the state budget would change that.

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

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MADISON - Wisconsin could force drunk drivers to pay in more money to support SafeRide Home programs in the state.

Earlier this week, we told you the state was planning to kick in less money to support county SafeRide Home programs. The program offers free taxi rides home from bars.

A proposal passed by a Capitol committee on Thursday night could help SafeRide Home.

It would add a $50 surcharge to some OWI offenses. That money would go back into SafeRide Home programs.

The proposal is part of the state budget, which has yet to become law.

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MADISON - After a five-week delay, the Legislature's budget-writing committee has given final approval to a new two-year spending plan.

The Joint Finance Committee early Friday voted 12-4 with all Republicans in support and all Democrats against the $70 billion budget.

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LA CROSSE - A Wisconsin man is being detained in a mental health facility after authorities say he told a security guard he planned to kill President Barack Obama.

A warrant was issued Thursday for 55-year-old Brian Dutcher of Tomah, the same day Obama was in La Crosse touting a proposal to make more workers eligible for overtime pay.

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MADISON - Republicans on the state's budget committee approved a number of measures in the final stages of the budget process Thursday, including removing the Milwaukee Bucks Arena and prevailing wage proposals, while passing sections impacting taxes and borrowing for transportation.

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RHINELANDER - The number of fireworks-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 nationwide go to emergency rooms every day with these injuries around this time of year.

To prevent injuries, it's important to follow guidelines set up by the state of Wisconsin.

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RHINELANDER - A one-car rollover slowed down traffic for about an hour in Rhinelander on Thursday.

Police received a call around 3:30 Thursday afternoon. No other cars were involved.

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