March 27, 2015

Wisconsin DNR wants permanent walleye bag limits

Walleye fingerlings being released in Lake Shawano (Photo: WDNR)

Walleye fingerlings being released in Lake Shawano (Photo: WDNR)

The state Department of Natural Resources wants to put permanent bag limits in place for walleye on some northern Wisconsin lakes.

Those limits are set each year based on the estimated impact of Native American spearfishing in the ceded territory. However, Joe Hennessy with the DNR’s fisheries department says many anglers are not fond of the changing restrictions each year and want more certainty ahead of time.

The DNR is proposing permanent limits for lakes and rivers in the region that would restrict anglers to three fish a day, along with setting some size restrictions.

Hennessy says the state’s Natural Resources Board will take up the issue at its meeting next month. If approved, the limits would take effect when the fishing season opens in May.


Wausau girl gets 30 days for fatal SUV crash

(Photo: Marathon County Sheriff's Department)

(Photo: Marathon County Sheriff’s Department)

A 17-year-old Wausau girl will spend 30 days in juvenile detention and two years on probation, after she was found delinquent in a crash that killed two young girls last summer.

Authorities said the girl did not have a driver’s license when she and nine others jammed into an SUV last August to go on a picnic at the Eau Claire Dells Park. She lost control of the vehicle and rolled over several times on Highway 52 near Wausau.

Killed in the crash were two 12-year-old, Deserae Landowski of Wausau and Reighlee Stevenson of Oshkosh. A third teen reportedly has permanent nerve damage, and still has trouble walking. The other seven were treated at hospitals with lesser injuries.

The defendant was 16 when her case was filed in Marathon County juvenile court and the charges she faced were only recently made public with the sentencing. All of the county’s circuit judges knew the suspect’s grandparents, so Judge Michael Bloom was brought in from Rhinelander to hear the case.



Lawmaker introduces ‘stolen valor’ legislation

Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton)

Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton)

Legislation being proposed at the Wisconsin Capitol would allow local prosecutors to go after people who falsely claim to be a military veteran.

State Senator Roger Roth (R-Appleton) says the issue of people posing as veterans has become an issue, as more programs are created to help those who have served their country. He says “the outpouring of support from out country has been fantastic, but it’s also been an opportunity for those who want to try to game that system to use that fraudulently.”

Roth, a veteran of the Iraq War serving with the Wisconsin Air National Guard, says it’s shameful that someone would impersonate a veteran.

Under current law, only federal prosecutors can handle cases where someone has posed as a veteran. Roth’s bill would allow local prosecutors to charge someone with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the situation.


Del Monte to close plants in Pulaski, Oconto Falls

Del Monte

Del Monte

Del Monte will close a plant in Pulaski and a warehousing and labeling facility in Oconto Falls.

Nearly 245 workers will be impacted.

The company recently purchased the Sager Creek Vegetable Company, and Del Monte officials announced that the closings are part of a consolidation.

The two facilities will be shut down by mid-June.


Dems hold their own unofficial budget hearings

Wisconsin 2015-17 Budget (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Wisconsin 2015-17 Budget (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

A group of state Democrats will be holding a hearing on the proposed state budget Saturday in Wausau.

That session is being hosted by Assistant Assembly Democratic Leader Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point), and Joint Finance Committee Member Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh).

State representative Katrina Shankland says Democrats were concerned there were only four official hearings and that none of them were in the middle of the state. “I was concerned that central Wisconsin didn’t really get a voice, so we wanted to make sure we had one Saturday in Wausau so that people in central Wisconsin felt that their voices were being heard as well.”

This hearing is one of nine that are being held over the next few weeks. Shankland says they’re making sure to hold the hearing at a time when more people will be off of work. “You’ll notice it’s a long hearing on a Saturday. We want to make sure as many people as possible can get to us to talk about the budget, and their concerns or whatever they think about the budget with us.”

The hearing is open to the public and Shankland says everyone is welcome to come and make their voice heard. “They can register for or against the budget as well as testify for or against the budget. And we will be taking that data and ensuring that people feel that their voices are being heard. If people are comfortable with me sharing their stories during the budget debates or on the floor, I will absolutely do that as well.”

That hearing runs from noon to 4pm at the Terrace Room at UW-Marathon County.