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Schachtner defeats Jarchow in special election

Wisconsin roundup: 2018 will bring end to library late fees in Eau Claire; more state news stories

Late fees will be waived at the Eau Claire public library beginning Jan. 1 as part of an effort to lift barriers from people who might otherwise engage the facility. Image courtesy of L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library

EAU CLAIRE — Eau Claire Library officials say the important thing is to get people to return to the library.

About 8,000 people are blocked from checking out materials because they owe fines of $10 or more. Starting next Monday, those late fees are being eliminated and people are being urged to return their overdue books and materials. Many of the people who have been blocked are children and low-income residents.

Late fees will still be charged for kits, equipment and materials from other libraries. You'll also need to pay a fee for damaged or lost items checked out.

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Scam emails use ag department as lure

MADISON — The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says scam emails are making the rounds that are claiming to be from their office, and tell people that they have an invoice due.

The mail then claims that the recipient needs to click a link and pay that invoice. Spokesperson Jerad Albrecht says this is something that happens to their agency every so often. Versions of the email currently circulating will claim to be from agency officials, but the email address actually sending those mails will be from some random website not affiliated with the state. He says you should not open the emails as you could end up to losing your personal information or installing malware on your computer.

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Top Republican says some bills unlikely to pass

MADISON — A top Republican in the Legislature says he does not expect bills targeting fetal tissue research to pass this session.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says while some Republicans back a bill that would more broadly ban research using human fetal tissue — he doesn't see them reaching a consensus this spring, before the session ends. Vos says a bill that would close the so-called dark store loophole — which has allowed big box retailers to challenge and lower their tax assessments — probably won't pass either.

Legislation changing the state's concealed carry laws is another issue he says is unlikely to pass in its current form. Vos says he sees support for a provision that would allow permit holders to have a gun in their vehicle on school grounds, but understands concerns about other provisions that would relax the need to have a permit at all.

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Green Bay police stop searching for man who fell through ice

GREEN BAY — The dive team with the Green Bay police thinks a man who fell through the ice on the East River died in the cold water Friday night.

The search lasted until Saturday afternoon. Witnesses told emergency responders the man had gone out of sight minutes before they arrived. Dive team members found a set of footprints and the tracks of a bicycle leading up to the water. Crews were using sonar Saturday morning to look for the body. Police say they have no reports of a missing person in the Green Bay area.

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Heroin overdose could result in criminal charges

OSSEO — Osseo police have forwarded details from a heroin overdose case to the Trempealeau County district attorney's office for a decision about criminal charges.

Officers were called to the parking lot of the Osseo Family Restaurant to help a man who was suffering from a medical condition last weekend. Narcan was administered and he was taken to a nearby hospital. Investigators say they seized heroin they found in that parking lot. A man from Eau Claire was arrested. His name hasn't been released.

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Foxconn forwards $60M to Mount Pleasant for land acquisition

MOUNT PLEASANT — A flurry of real estate transactions should be completed by the end of the week in Mount Pleasant.

Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group has deposited $60 million for the village to start acquiring land for the new flat-screen manufacturing plant. Dec. 29 is the deadline for the village to exercise purchase options on 1,400 acres. Eventually, the massive operation could cover more than twice that much area and employee up to 13,000 workers.

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Two thieves admit stealing Salvation Army red kettle

CALEDONIA — Police in the Village of Caledonia say two people have admitted stealing a Salvation Army red kettle.

The suspects are being held in the Racine County Jail. The 34-year-old woman and her 35-year-old boyfriend apparently told investigators they took the contents of the kettle in front of a Walgreens store to support their heroin habit. Their names haven't been released. Police say they received several tips from the public after they released surveillance video from the store. The video showed the woman posing as a kettle attendant for about an hour before grabbing it and getting into a car driven by a second person.

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Woman arrested for taking baby Jesus from manger

WEST BEND — West Bend Police say an officer observed a female walking along Main Street carrying a baby Jesus figurine at 2:10 a.m. Christmas Eve.

The officer attempted to stop and speak to the woman and she dropped the figurine and ran. She was caught after a short chase. Police say the baby Jesus figurine she was carrying was from the Nativity Scene at Old Settlers Park in downtown West Bend. The figurine was a replacement for one that was damaged on Dec. 17. The woman, a 21-year-old West Bend resident, was taken to the Washington County Jail, on charges of theft and obstructing an officer. Investigators were not able to connect the woman with the criminal damage of the baby Jesus figurine on Dec. 17

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Human remains found in burned car

KAUKAUNA — Kaukauna police report the discovery of human remains in a burned car sitting on abandoned railroad tracks Saturday morning.

It's believed only one person died inside that car. Kaukauna Fire Department officials say it's not known how the car fire was started. The flames were out by the time emergency responders arrived. Authorities haven't identified the person whose skeletal remains were in the vehicle. It isn't even clear how it came to be parked on the unused railroad tracks.

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