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Two GOP state legislators are pressing on with their clampdown on drunk driving - even though some lawmakers have balked at the cost of handling those offenders. Assembly Republican Jim Ott of Mequon and Senate finance chair Alberta Darling of River Hills are promoting a half dozen bills. Ott introduced them Feb. 11. All first-time drunk drivers would have to appear in court, even if they just get ticketed instead of criminally charged. Wisconsin is the only state in which first-time OWI is not a crime, except when kids are in the vehicle.
The Wyman Series at UW-River Falls will present Carnaval Brasileiro (Brazilian Carnival) at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, in the University Center's Falcon's Nest. The event is free and open to the public. It will feature Brazilian music, food, dancing, and art, with performance by the ten-piece band, "Beira Mar Brasil," complete with horn section and hand percussion. Drumming Workshop Prior to the performance, a drumming workshop will be offered at 3 p.m. in the University Center's ballroom.
One of Wisconsin's most beloved cocktails has finally reached the age-of-convenience as Clintonville natives Ryan Mijal and his uncle Timothy Pappin are producing bottles of brandy old-fashioneds. The Journal Sentinel said the product made its debut in Milwaukee area stores last month, and one place was selling a six pack for just under $10. The old-fashioneds are both sweet and sour, and they're called "Arty's," named for the producers' first initials.
About $64 million worth of plastics are being buried in Wisconsin landfills each year, when they could be recycled instead, according to a new study commissioned by the state DNR. The agency says it will run a pilot project this spring to expand the recycling of flexible film packaging. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp says it would be a "win-win" for both the state's economy and the environment. That's because the expanded recycling would create more jobs and new opportunities for small-to-medium-sized plastics' recyclers.
Among the many who volunteered at the Annual American Legion and Shrine Gun Show in New Richmond this past weekend were Rod Rommel, left, and Bob Kastens, right, who were busy selling tickets for a gun raffle. The three-day show was well attended.
Authorities found a woman unconscious Feb. 2 in an ice-fishing shanty on Lake Winnebago and ordered an autopsy, which found she died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Sara Meyer, 30, of Chilton, and a 37-year-old man were found passed out in the shanty. The man survived and remains in an Appleton hospital, with no word about his condition. Authorities do not suspect foul play, but sheriff's deputies continue to investigate the deaths. They also urge anglers to be careful when heating their shanties and make sure the small enclosures are well ventilated inside.
For the third time in two years, Wisconsin officials have fined Kraft Foods for selling meat packages out of its Oscar Mayer division that weigh less than what their labels say. Consumer protection officials said Kraft's Oscar Mayer division will pay $14,000 after state inspectors found nine soft packages of ham that were short of the 20 ounces they claimed to weigh. The items were found last summer at Walmarts in Beloit, Dodgeville, Plover, Watertown, Waukesha, and Wisconsin Rapids - and a Racine Piggly Wiggly store.
The Wisconsin-based group Freedom From Religion is suing a florist in Rhode Island Supreme Court. The group wanted to send the flowers to Jessica Ahlquist for standing up against a prayer banner and having it removed at her public school. Freedom From Religion wants flowers and an apology, alleging discrimination. It argues the florist broke Rhode Island state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion. The lawsuit says Plowman responded to the flower order with a note, saying she wouldn't deliver to the teenager.
Kiap-TU-Wish chapter member and Hudson resident Kent Johnson was recently awarded the Wisconsin Trout Unlimited "Jeffrey Carlson Volunteer Award" at the WITU state council banquet.