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Wisconsin drunken driving deaths, injuries dropSubmitted: 08/08/2014
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Wisconsin transportation officials say drunken driving deaths and injuries in the state have dramatically declined over the last decade.

The Department of Transportation released data Friday showing the number of fatalities in alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin dropped 47 percent, from 348 in 2003 to 185 in 2013. The number of injuries fell 59 percent, from 6,445 in 2003 to 2,660 last year.

The overall number of alcohol-related crashes dropped 45 percent, from 9,007 in 2003 to 4,945 in 2013.

DOT officials released the statistics as law enforcement agencies across the state prepare to launch their annual ``Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over'' drunken driving crackdown. The effort is set to begin Aug. 15 and run through Labor Day.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - After the vendors closed up at the end of the first Hodag Farmers Market of the season, several people stayed behind to honor the man who started the market.

That's Douglas Jacobson, and he died last October.

His son, Jonathan Jacobson, said Douglas Jacobson was a big part of the Rhinelander community‚Ä"serving as Lions Club president, being part of many clubs and being a landscape architect for the U.S. Forest Service.

The Jacobson family and Rhinelander city leaders worked to dedicate a bench in his honor in Pioneer Park. That bench went up on Saturday, just off the road that leads into the park.   

"He was a pioneer in helping to establish the Hodag Farmers Market many years ago. And from those humble beginnings, the market vendors, the patrons that arrive here, the citizens of Rhinelander, and those in the community have a wonderful place to come to get fresh, home grown, locally grown vegetables," Jonathan Jacobson said. "It was a great event. It was really nice to have everybody stop out and pay attention to what my dad's been doing and acknowledge all the effort he put into the farmers market for many years. And not only that, dad was a great citizen here in the Rhinelander community."

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PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA - South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a body discovered in Grant County on May 17 has been identified as a missing Wisconsin woman.

Jackley says the woman is 25-year-old Tess Morgan Monae White, of West Allis, Wisconsin. She was last seen on May 5, 2016.

An investigation being conducted by the Grant County Sheriff's Office and the state Division of Criminal Investigation is ongoing.

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WAUSAU - In the midst of a national push to prescribe fewer painkillers, a new Wisconsin proposal appeared that would let chiropractors prescribe prescription drugs, including painkillers.

After speaking with one of the bill's authors, that notion is not at all true. 

John Murray, the executive director of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association, which supports the bill, said the bill was never intended to cover narcotics, or any drugs not related to neuro-muscular skeletal healing. The bill is in its early stages, having had a co-sponsor hearing on Tuesday, and future drafts of the bill will feature more specific language.

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MINOCQUA - Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the boating season in Wisconsin.

The Safe Boating Council has designated this week as National Safe Boating Week.

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RHINELANDER - Every kid deserves a safe and comfortable place to sleep, but many parents can't afford to buy their children proper beds.

That's why Slumberland Furniture in Rhinelander is giving away 40 new twin mattress sets and frames to families who need them. 

The effort is thanks to Slumberland's 40 Winks Foundation. The program found families in need through the local housing authority. Slumberland sees the program as a big benefit to the community.

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RHINELANDER - You'll likely find some slow-moving guests on the road this weekend. Turtles start laying their eggs in late May and continue through mid-June. But, because of where they like to lay those eggs, it's a dangerous time for the reptiles.

Wild Instincts Rehab Center in Rhinelander treats at least 30 injured turtles each summer.  Painted and snapping turtles are most common in the Northwoods.  They tend to lay their eggs along roadsides, driveways, and in places with soft sand.

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WAUSAU - The roads will get busy tonight as tourists return to the Northwoods for Memorial Day weekend. With more traffic on the roads, state troopers want people to be extra careful.

They expect the roads to be the busiest tonight and Monday, when people are driving back home.

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