>>Anti-Crime Package Of Bills Approved By Assembly, Heads To Governor

(Madison, WI)  —  The Wisconsin Assembly approved a package of anti-crime bills Wednesday — after the Senate had passed the legislation in November.  The new laws contain stiffer penalties for repeat offenders and illegal firearm possession.  They would also make carjacking a felony and change a sentencing requirement.  The package is on its way to Governor Scott Walker for his signature.  It includes the addition of 54 prosecutors in the 40 Wisconsin counties where the need is the greatest, with hiring to start in July 2019.

 

>>Path Of High-Powered Transmission Line Would Follow Highways

(Madison, WI)  —  Three utility companies are proposing an alternate route for a high-powered electric transmission line from south-central Wisconsin to Iowa.  The preferred route now runs 120 miles along Highway 18-151 from the Cardinal electric substation in Middleton to the Hickory Creek station near Dubuque.  Avoiding a path through farms and fields adds 20 miles to the route of the 345-kilovolt transmission line.  Opponents say the line and its tall towers would damage important Wisconsin conservation areas.  American Transmission Company, Dairyland Power Cooperative and I-T-C Midwest are working jointly on the half-billion dollar project.

 

>>Mondovi Man Convicted Of Making Bomb Threats

(Eau Claire, WI)  —  An Eau Claire County jury has found a 23-year-old man from Mondovi guilty of making a series of bomb threats.  Dustin Hewitt is scheduled for sentencing in May.  He had been accused of sending a threatening e-mail to the state probation and parole office in Eau Claire in 2016.  Hewitt was also suspected of making bomb threats against the headquarters of GoDaddy-dot-com.  Some of his threats were made on Facebook.  Hewitt has a court appearance next week in Rusk County.  He is charged with making bomb threats there which forced the evacuation of the Rusk County courthouse and jail, and the Ladysmith Police Department.

 

>>Ice Fisherman Accidentally Drives His Vehicle Into Lake Onalaska

(Onalaska, WI)  —  The ice was too thin and an ice fisherman barely escaped when his vehicle broke through and sank into Lake Onalaska.  The man’s name hasn’t been released.  Witnesses say the accident happened about a half-mile from Schafer’s Landing and a few hundred yards from the lake’s eastern shore.  The driver was able to get out through a window, but the vehicle sank to the bottom of the lake.  Fishermen located nearby were able to pull the driver to safety.  The man has 30 days to remove his vehicle from the lake.