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Wisconsin roundup: Evers open to making OWI a more serious offense; more state news stories

Gov.-elect Tony Evers has said he would like to see stricter penalties for first-time OWI offenders. File photo

Gov.-elect Tony Evers has said he would like to see stricter penalties for first-time OWI offenders.

Wisconsin is one of the few states which considers the first such offense a civil matter. Legislation could be considered during the coming legislative session at the Capitol to criminalize operating while intoxicated the first time a person does it. Evers says he doesn't want to increase the state's jail population, but he'd be open to making the penalties harsher.

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Walker plans to give speeches, advocate conservative issues

Gov. Scott Walker says his plans for the future include giving speeches around the country while advocating for conservative issues.

Walker leaves the office he has held for eight years next Monday. The Republican says he will stay in Wisconsin but will join a speakers' bureau to talk about what he calls "a federal government grown out-of-control." He says he will talk on issues like returning powers to the states and the need for more tax reform.

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Woman finds tipsy NYE reveler sleeping in her dog’s bed

A Waukesha woman tells police she found a man sleeping in her dog's bed early Tuesday morning.

The man told responding officers he had too much to drink while he was celebrating New Year's Eve and he entered the wrong home through an unlocked door. He laid down in the dog bed with the owner's 150-pound Mastiff named Benton. After speaking with police, the man went back to his own home just a few doors away.

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Norovirus increase in Eau Claire being monitored

Doctors in the Eau Claire area report they are seeing a growing number of norovirus cases.

The highly contagious stomach bug causes diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain. Doctors say people get it when they don't wash their hands very well. There is no cure, but the symptoms can be treated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns dehydration is a major concern for victims.

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Lake Mills firefighter fatally injured while helping at crash scene

Monona police say an off-duty Lake Mills firefighter was hit by a vehicle Monday when he stopped to help at a crash scene.

Chris Truman suffered fatal injuries when he was hit on the Beltline just before 7 p.m. Police have arrested the driver of the car which hit Truman, 28-year-old Samuel Patrick Cremers of Columbus. He is being held on suspicion of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

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3 people killed after car pursued by police plunges into river

Milwaukee police report three people died when a car being chased went out of control Monday night and plunged into the Kinnickinnic River.

No names have been released. The car was a suspect vehicle in several armed robberies. A woman's body was found in the water, then the medical examiner's office was called back to the scene Tuesday afternoon. The bodies of a man and girl had been discovered when the wrecked car was pulled from the river.

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Rural Wis. county divided over solar energy project

People in a rural Wisconsin county are split over a proposed solar farm.

A Chicago developer named Invenergy wants to cover 2,700 acres in Iowa County with solar panels. The proposed Badger Hollow Solar Farm could power more than 70,000 homes. Some residents support the plan, saying it has a financial benefit for farmers who own land where the solar panels will be placed, in addition to solar power being environmentally friendly. Critics say they're concerned the panels will take up valuable farmland and hurt the area's scenic beauty.