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MADISON -- While no one really knows what the new year will bring, everyone can take steps to make sure 2013 doesn't start with a drunk-driving arrest or crash. To crackdown on drunken driving on New Year's Eve, the Wisconsin State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin will be stepping up their patrols. "Drunken driving is a serious offense, and law enforcement officers don't give warnings or second chances to drivers who are impaired," says State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Safety.
Police in northwest Wisconsin are looking for two holiday scrooges who stole a trailer with tools and building materials where a Habitat for Humanity home was being built. The Wild Rivers Habitat group said the trailer was stolen late the night of De. 15 in Grantsburg; a witness did not realize that a crime was going on. Habitat for Humanity builds homes for lower-income families - and those families help build the homes they'll eventually live in. The group's local director, Eric Kube, said the stolen items were all donated by the community.
State auditors want to know where the 26 UW campuses will get their Internet service starting in summer 2013. All UW schools are currently on Wisc-Net - a non-profit group that provides high-speed Web service to the university, public libraries, and most K-12 school districts throughout the state. Wisc-Net gets most of its money from its tax-funded users. GOP lawmakers cried foul, saying the government shouldn't compete with the private sector, and they passed a law ordering UW schools to cease their Wisc-Net service and get it elsewhere.
Anyone who needs help pronouncing the names of some places in Wisconsin now have a way to get it. The State Cartographer's Office and www.misspronouncer.com have launched an interactive map called "Pronounce Wisconsin." Users can put a computer mouse over one of 1,700 places on the map and hear how the name of that place is pronounced. The site can be accessed from computers and mobile devices. Pronounce Wisconsin was started by the cartographer's office and Wisconsin Radio Network reporter and anchor Jackie Johnson.
For the second time in 13 years, a federal judge said no Dec. 17 to letting Chippewa Indians hunt deer at night in much of northern Wisconsin. Judge Barbara Crabb said the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission overstepped its boundaries when it created a special night-time deer hunt. It was supposed to start the Monday night after Thanksgiving in the ceded territories where Chippewa have exercised hunting-and-fishing treaty rights for centuries. But the hunt never got started, because the state DNR filed suit to prevent it.
A northwest Wisconsin man wants $4 million in damages after he was wrongly accused of molesting a child. Paul Burritt filed a civil suit against the Polk County Sheriff's Department and investigator Lisa Ditlefsen. Burritt, 61, claims that the investigator had a "reckless or intentional disregard" of the facts, when she arrested him last December for allegedly molesting an 11-year-old girl he was carrying in a van for kids with special needs. The girl later recanted her story and said the alleged abuse never took place.
Thousands of Wisconsinites wore Aaron Rodgers' shirts to celebrate the 12-12-12 date that won't happen again for 100 years, but an infant in Waukesha took things one step further. Teagan George Hoeffler entered the world on Dec. 12, 2012 at 12:12 p-m yesterday. His mother Holli insists it was not planned. She said it was the baby who had the plan to quote, "hit that cool day." Teagan was due Dec. 12, and doctors were going to induce her labor on Friday, Dec. 14. But the labor pains started around 3 a.m., and Holli went to Waukesha Memorial Hospital.
It's no accident that a new clock outside of Green Bay's Lambeau Field is always 15 minutes fast. The clock faces Lombardi Avenue and shows what is commonly known as "Lombardi Time." Legendary Packers' coach Vince Lombardi expected his players to be 15 minutes early for practices and meetings, one of the nuances that helped the Packers win numerous NFL championships and the first two Super Bowls. The clock's been up since July, and the Packers said nothing about it until now. Some people called the team's offices to report that something was amiss outside 1265 Lombardi Avenue.
It was not all that long ago when Wisconsin's only heroin deaths were in the Milwaukee urban area. But Marathon County - where Wausau is located - has had three confirmed deaths this year from overdoses of heroin, and lab results are pending in a fourth case. County medical examiner John Larson said there were also three heroin deaths in 2011. He could only remember two other such deaths in 26 years.