Wisconsin drunken driving deaths, injuries dropSubmitted: 08/08/2014
Wisconsin drunken driving deaths, injuries drop
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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MADISON (AP) - Wisconsin voters will decide April 3 whether to eliminate the office of state treasurer.

The little-known position dates to territorial days, but Republicans say it's outlived its usefulness. The office has already been stripped of most of its duties over the past decade.

But it has defenders, who say it's an essential check on executive power. They argue it should have powers restored so it can function as a strong independent watchdog.

Attempts to remove the office have been voted on in the Legislature for decades, but it's never gotten enough support to go to voters until now.

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CLARK COUNTY - David Farris has been found safe according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. 

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MADISON (AP) - An environmental organization and the U.S. Forest Service are working together to harvest timber in northern Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the 2014 Farm Bill has allowed the two groups to enter into a stewardship agreement. The conservancy will hire loggers, sell timber and use the proceeds for projects the Forest Service can't afford to do.

The conservancy plans to use some money to restore Simpson Creek by rerouting the channel and exposing the gravel floor that fish need to spawn. The group also plans to rebuild a handicap accessible boardwalk on the Oconto River and will use funds to restore habitat for the endangered Kirtland's warbler.

Forest Supervisor Paul Strong says the Forest Service's budget has been stretched by efforts to fight wildfire that have become more frequent and more intense.

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WESTON - A Weston company hosted a so-called "bus-rodeo." The event served as an open house for the Lamers Bus Company.

The goal of the event is to see if people are interested in a job as a bus driver. People who visited could get behind the wheel and take a bus for a spin.

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RHINELANDER - Downtown Rhinelander turned into a sea of green on Saturday.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade brought in hundreds down to Brown Street.

Green beer, good food and great music made for a perfect St. Patrick's Day.

While most people wore their green clothes proudly, Mike Lamarre from Suring Wisconsin didn't get the memo.

"My eyes are green that's it," said Lamarre.

Lamarre came to Rhinelander with one thing on his to do list.

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FOREST COUNTY - A DNR technician went to check on timber sales in Forest County on Thursday. In between checks he found what he thought was an abandoned car in the woods. It turned out to be a woman stuck in the snow for a few days.

Jason Headson and his partner Sam were out checking on timber when they saw a parked vehicle.

"We noticed some movement in the car," said Headson.

They approached the small, grey sedan, which had its hood up. Then they discovered an elderly woman in the car.

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ARBOR VITAE - Hospice workers help people in their finals days. 

It's a hard job that sometimes goes unnoticed.

That's why co-workers and community members took the time Friday to honor one social work at Dr. Kate Hospice in Arbor Vitae.

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