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Crews make progress restoring power in WisconsinSubmitted: 07/01/2014
Story By Associated Press

MILWAUKEE - Officials with We Energies say they're making progress in restoring power to customers in southeastern Wisconsin, but outages are expected to persist into Wednesday

At least 115,000 customers of Milwaukee-based We Energies were without power at the peak of the outages. The number was down to about 15,000 by Tuesday night.

We Energies spokesman Rick White says Monday's severe thunderstorms damaged 29 power poles. He calls it the utility's worst outage in a decade.


Across the rest of southern Wisconsin, Madison-based Alliant Energy says about 600 customers remained without power Tuesday night, down from a high of 10,000.

Police say a 63-year-old Janesville man is in critical condition at Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center after apparently being struck by lightning after he got out of his vehicle Monday.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The case of a Wisconsin man accused of killing four people while driving drunk last year won't proceed because a brain injury he suffered in the crash prevents him from assisting in his defense.

Dane County Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara indefinitely suspended the case of 33-year-old Brysen Wills Friday after prosecutors and his defense attorney said two doctors concluded he's not competent to stand trial.


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WAUSAU - Cat lovers got the chance to show off their furry friends Saturday at the Spring Cat Show. 

This is the 28th year the Central Wisconsin Cat Club has hosted the event. The show took place at Faith Christian Academy in Wausau

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WAUSAU - Democratic lawmakers hosted a listening session on the state budget Saturday. The listening session was held in the Marathon County Public Library.

Democratic representatives heard from central Wisconsin residents on a number of topics.

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PORTAGE COUNTY - A man died in a car crash early Saturday morning in Portage County.

The driver was a 33-year-old man who suffered severe trauma and died at the scene according to the Portage County Sheriff's Office.

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RHINELANDER - Childhood friends are no business partners thanks to a class project.

Three students used their Three Lakes Fab Lab to make a septic tank screen hose, which helps stops clogs.

They haven't graduated high school yet, but a company in Illinois is already manufacturing their product.

Three Lakes High School students Tom Stuckart, Jack Connelly and Stephen Gensler had the idea of making their screen hose last summer and started making the prototype when school started in September.

"It's amazing what a little bit of hard work can actually get you. The community has been awesome supporting us and things like that.

 Just having the opportunity to come here and speak is awesome," said Stuckart. 

On Thursday their business JTS Waste products became official as an LLC.

They presented their business at the Annual Oneida County Economic Development Committee meeting in Rhinelander today.

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MINOCQUA - Police officers often meet people on their worst days: after a death, crime, or other bad situations.  The Minocqua Police Department hopes some unpaid additions to their staff can help victims, families, and officers cope with those situations a little better.

The department is looking to add a team of clergy members to form a chaplain program.  The chaplains would be on call and show up to scenes when needed.  Chief David Jaeger had been considering the idea for a while when he heard about police in Oneida County using the same program.

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RHINELANDER - For better or worse, drivers in Rhinelander will get an extra week to use the Davenport Street bridge.  The city's contractor for its downtown reconstruction project delayed closing the bridge for repairs to May 8th.

Crews first planned to close the bridge in mid-April, then pushed that back to May 1 due to weather.  Now, weather has further delaying the month-long repairs to the concrete decking.

This is part of a larger project to finish up the downtown reconstruction, which began in March 2016.  The city reconstructed 21 blocks, replacing underground utilities and modernizing the downtown area.

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