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Local News Briefs Saturday 1/10/15

The Waupun Correctional inmate who in a series of letters threatened the president, the governor and several judges including a Dodge County judge has been sentenced to an additional 19 years in prison. A jury last summer found 37-year-old Benjamin Biese guilty of seven felony charges. He sent multiple letters, making death threats if his demands were not met. His letters allegedly threatened to use street gangs to carry out the threats and one letter contained a white powdery substance he said was anthrax. It turned out to be a finely grated soap.  In addition to the additional prison term, Biese was ordered to get mental health treatment.

Police Appreciated

Fond du Lac Police Chief Bill Lamb says he’s glad to see efforts like Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, which was held Friday. He says it was a day to encourage the nation to stand up and show their respect for 780,000 law enforcement officers across the nation and their families in recognition of the services and protection they provide and the sacrifices they make. He says there has been anti-police sentiment across the nation recently and it’s nice to see people stand up and share their appreciation, respect and support for officers. He says the level or respect people hold for one another isn’t the same as it used to be not that long ago. He says teachers too aren’t getting the same respect they used to get and it’s an issue the nation needs to address.

Reducing Taxes Will Take Tough Choices

Reducing taxes will be one of the goals of the Walker Administration this year. Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch says they know from holding listening sessions with residents across the state that they want their taxes reduced. She says the state is among the Top 10 most taxed states and efforts have to be made to get Wisconsin out of that unenviable ranking. She says it will take some smart tough choices, but Governor Walker is a creative problem solver. Governor Walker is likely to give some hints on how that will be done in two upcoming addresses of the state legislature. He will give his State of the State Address next Tuesday and some time in the near future his State Budget Address.

Help For Smokers

The program coordinator for the Five Counties for Tobacco Free Living says help is available to BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid members through the striving to quit program. Sandy Bernie says those who are eligible for the program could receive gift cards that pay for a first and second smoking test. The tests will measure the amount of carbon monoxide, a byproduct of smoking, which the smoker has in their system. She says to get started BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid members have to call the Wisconsin Quit Line. She says it’s good news because that’s a population that is disproportionately affected tobacco addiction. The program offers enhanced coaching from the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line and modest financial incentives to eligible participants who agree to quit smoke smoking and be coached in the quit process. To get started call the Quit Line at 1-800-784-8669.

Exports Important For Wisconsin

State Senator Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac says it’s important to make sure that Wisconsin is making the most of exporting its products. He says Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch recently returned from taking a trade delegation to China and the state certainly has opportunities with Canada as well.  Gudex says the state needs toot its own horn when it comes to exporting its products. He says we have a lot of good things to offer in Wisconsin, but seemed to be overlooked because of other states’ efforts. Lt. Governor Kleefisch says 95 percent of the World’s customers don’t live in the U.S. She says there is a lot of manufacturing and agriculture in Wisconsin and some of the highest quality and value products.

Senator LeMahieu Gets Appointed To State Council

State Senator Devin LeMahieu of Oostburg has been appointed as the Senate Majority Representative to the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse.  Senator LeMahieu says, “During the campaign I heard from a lot of families specifically about the need to continue to fight the growing heroin epidemic.” The council’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for Wisconsin citizens by preventing alcohol and other drug abuse and its consequences through prevention, treatment, recovery, and enforcement and control activities. LeMahieu represents the 9th State Senate District. He succeeded Senator Joe Leibham in that seat.

Village Of Kohler Gets State Trust Fund Loan

A Sheboygan County village will be receiving a state trust fund loan. The Village of Kohler will be getting a $335,000 state trust fund loan to purchase vehicles and to finance legal expenses. The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands approved that loan and three others this week totaling slightly more than $2.79 million.