Wisconsin roundup: Wis. electric rates some of nation’s highest; more state news stories

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports Wisconsin has some of the highest electricity rates in the country, despite the fact residents don't use as much power as other states.

The average household pays 10 cents a kilowatt in Wisconsin — well above the national average. Despite the high rate, the same average household uses less than 700 kilowatts each month, resulting in an annual electricity bill which is 10th-lowest among the states.

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Authorities investigate 3 fake school threats around state

FITCHBURG — Fitchburg Police took a 14-year-old boy into custody Friday after he apparently called the wrong number while threatening to "shoot up" a school.

The boy's name hasn't been released. Police quickly determined the threat wasn't credible, but it represented the third separate school threat in a 24-hour period in southern Wisconsin. Other calls were in Madison and Orfordville and they all seemed to be in response to the Florida shooting. The Fitchburg case involved a call to a number in Juneau County, threatening an attack on a school which doesn't exist. The teenage suspect was taken to the Dane County Juvenile Reception Center.

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Wisconsin 2017 bankruptcies fewest in a decade

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin is following national trends as 2017 saw the fewest bankruptcy filings in a decade.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court handled 16,769 cases last year, down 66 from the year before. A majority of the cases were Chapter 7, giving the person filing a chance to restart by eliminating debt like medical bills and credit card balances. The 2017 decline continues a trend seen since the Great Recession, when filing peaked in Wisconsin at nearly 30,000 cases.

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Flu activity remains high statewide

MADISON — Although officials believe flu activity appears to have peaked in Wisconsin, they say high activity can be expected for several more weeks. .

Most of the state is seeing high levels of cases, with the southeast corner recording moderate levels of the virus. Nationwide, there have been 84 children's death from the flu since October, while there have been none registered in Wisconsin.

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Baldwin sponsors bill for universal flu vaccine development

WASHINGTON — U..S Sen. Tammy Baldwin is co-sponsoring a bill to support comprehensive research for the creation of a universal flu vaccine.

The Flu Vaccine Act could eventually lead to a flu shot that could be administered once or twice and provide a lifetime of protection. Baldwin says this year Wisconsin is experiencing a severe flu season that is threatening the lives of children and families. She adds that it's absolutely critical we increase our federal investment in medical research. The legislation calls for a total investment of one-billion dollars.

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H-D stands firm, despite Missouri congressional delegation plea

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin-based Harley-Davidson rejects a plea from the Missouri congressional delegation and continues with plans to close its Kansas City plant.

That will eliminate 800 jobs. A letter from Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, and U.S. Reps. Sam Graves and Emmanuel Cleaver, pointed out the millions of dollars in incentives that state has given the company since it opened more than 20 years ago. Harley leaders reiterated that market conditions are leading the company to switch the work to its Pennsylvania plant. Harley sales have dropped four years in a row.

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Potato growers: Leaving NAFTA would be mistake

ANTIGO — The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association says NAFTA needs to be improved and the United States should stay in.

President Trump has threatened to pull the country out since he was on the campaign trail more than a year ago. WPVGA Executive Director Tama Houlihan says the North American Free Trade Agreement is a great deal, "especially for tomatoes." It means there products flowing to and from Mexico and Canada are duty-free. Houlihan tells Newswatch 12 WJFW-TV this state doesn't export much of its crop, but the association is supporting other United States producers. The Trump administration is said to be trying to renegotiate with the two border nations.

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Plastics company relocating to Wis.

MADISON — A leading supplier of custom plastic injection molds and parts is relocating its operations from Illinois to Kenosha.

Gov. Scott Walker says International Mold and Production plans to create 25 jobs at its new headquarters. The company says one reason it's relocating is to take advantage of the opportunities that will be presented by the Foxconn Technology Group and its $10 billion manufacturing campus being built in Racine County.