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Wisconsin roundup: Willow River among state parks seeing fee hikes; more state news stories

Daily fees will be different this year at Devil's Lake, Peninsula and Willow River state parks thanks to changes in the DNR's fee structure. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia

MADISON — Get ready to pay different prices this year for the Wisconsin State Park System.

The state Department of Natural Resources is changing things up with a new demand-based pricing structure that takes effect Feb. 15. The annual admission fees won't change, but daily fees will be different at Devil's Lake, Peninsula and Willow River state parks. Camping rates will fluctuate based on demand across the system. The average fee will go up $3 for camping, with a maximum of $7.

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UW-Madison will warn internship candidates about lawmaker

MADISON — The political science department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is reaching out to its students to make them aware of accusations against State Rep. Josh Zepnick.

Two women have accused the Democrat of drunkenly kissing them against their will at political events. Zepnick has refused to step down. The university says it wants to make sure the intern candidates know Zepnick has been accused of sexual misconduct. Zepnick has admitted the accusations are true.

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Speaker Ryan: Trump comments about African countries ‘unfortunate’

MILWAUKEE — House Speaker Paul Ryan called the president's profane comments about African nations "unfortunate."

Witnesses say Trump asked members of Congress why the United States should admit immigrants from "s-hole countries" like Africa. Ryan wasn't as harsh in his view of the comments as Democrats were, but the Wisconsin Republican said his ancestors were Irish.  

He praised Haitians who live in his hometown of Janesville. Ryan was speaking Friday at a public forum on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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Lung association offers to help public housing residents to quit smoking

MADISON — The American Lung Association of Wisconsin is set to offer public housing residents help in their efforts to quit smoking.

Persons living in public housing will no longer be allowed to light up in their respective housing units starting July 31. All public housing will be required to be smoke-free by July 31 under a new U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) policy. Under the policy, residents will not be allowed to smoke inside or within 25 feet of the building. ALA Wisconsin officials say the "Free from Smoking" program will help to identify triggers, deal with temptations, get to the root cause of addiction and assist with relapse.

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Two snowmobilers found dead in Price County

TOWN OF ELK — An investigation is underway following the death of two snowmobilers in Price County.

The Price County Sheriff's Office says two men were reported missing early Sunday after they left a property in the town of Elk and didn't arrive at their destination in the City of Phillips. Search crews later found their bodies and their snowmobile near the southern end of Long Lake in the town of Elk.

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Man charged in car-train collision faces wrongful-death lawsuit

OSHKOSH — A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against an Oshkosh man accused of causing the deaths of two women in a December wreck.

Television station WBAY reports that prosecutors say 47-year-old Shawn Schettle was intoxicated when he collided with a train in Oshkosh on Dec. 22. Two women, 37-year-old Emily Mueller and 43-year-old Jessica Roby, were found dead in the back seat. Schettle was later found at a nearby home. He's facing several charges including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, hit-and-run resulting in death, and operating a vehicle while suspended causing death. His next court date is set for Jan. 25.

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Man given 25 years for shooting brother-in-law to death

WHITEWATER — A Walworth County judge has sentenced a man to a 25-year prison term for shooting his brother-in-law to death.

A jury found Alan Johnson guilty of first-degree intentional homicide last November. Johnson's father's 40-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol was the murder weapon. Investigators told the court 43-year-old Kenneth J. Myszkewicz had gunshot wounds in his arm and chest and a contact wound on his back. Johnson's father told police his son planned to kill Myszkewicz, then commit suicide. The motive for the shooting was never made clear.

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