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Western Wisconsin News Briefs: Body pulled from Chippewa River

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

EAU CLAIRE - A body was pulled yesterday from the Chippewa River in Eau Claire. Police said canoeists spotted what appeared to be a body near the Short Street Bridge around 5:50 p.m.

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Fire Department rescuers launched a boat, and recovered the body about 40 minutes later about a quarter-mile from the bridge. There was no word on the person's identity. WQOW-TV of Eau Claire said police did not have a report of a missing person in the area since April - when UW-Eau Claire student David Rodgers vanished after going into the Chippewa River.

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Several motorcyclists drove away after a member of their group was hurt in a drunk driving crash, and later died. 40-year-old Tondelaya Bennett of Montfort died yesterday at UW Hospital in Madison from injuries she suffered in the crash, which happened on Sunday night in Iowa County in southwest Wisconsin. Authorities said Bennett was riding on a motorcycle driven by a 36-year-old Montfort man when it crashed off a county road in the town of Mifflin. He was later found and arrested. Sheriff's officials are recommending charges of homicide by drunk driving, negligent driving, reckless endangerment, and failing to render aid at a crash scene. It's still not known what caused the crash. That's still under investigation.

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One of the two men killed in a weekend plane crash on Madeline Island was a doctor at the Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. 63-year-old Rick Renwick was an OB/GYN specialist at the clinics in La Crosse and Viroqua. His brother, 58-year-old Bruce Renwick of Waunakee, was also killed. Ashland County Sheriff Mick Brennan said the doctor was piloting the single-engine Piper Comanche that went down on a second approach near the Madeline Island Airport on Saturday evening. Brennan said the craft apparently stalled out, and dove into a wooded area at a 40-to-60-degree angle before it burst into flames. The bodies were pulled from the craft the following day. Madeline Island is just east of the Apostle Islands chain. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

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