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Sheriff urges drivers, passengers to buckle up

Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister urged drivers to drive sober and passengers to buckle up to avoid preventable traffic deaths. The sheriff’s office said it will take part in a statewide law enforcement effort next week to thwart drunken driving and encourage drivers and passengers to use their seat belts.

The Sauk County Sheriff’s Department will participate in the state Department of Transportation’s "Booze & Belts" mobilization Dec. 13 to 21, when agencies will crack down on impaired and unbuckled motorists. 

According to the DOT, last year in Wisconsin, there were approximately 27,000 convictions for drunken driving and nearly 105,000 convictions for failure to fasten safety belts.

Deer season comes to a warmer close

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On this weekend after Thanksgiving, Melissa Rolstad had more to be thankful for than turkey leftovers.

Every year, she and her dad, Brad, go hunting together. Melissa scored a buck and didn?t have to freeze to do it.

?Nobody wants to sit out in the cold for four hours in like two-degree temperatures,? Rolstad said.

Rolstad said that?s what it was like last weekend for the deer hunt season opener. She said she only lasted three hours in the tree stand, not able to bear any more of the wind and cold temperatures.

?This year, the opening weekend was a heck of a lot colder than any years that I've experienced,? Rolstad said.

Reedsburg man stabs bartender in neck, officials say

A bartender was injured early Monday morning when a Reedsburg man stabbed him in the neck with a knife, officials said.

Police responded to the parking lot behind a bar in the 200 block of East Main Street around 1:20 a.m. Monday for reports of a stabbing, according to a release.

When crews arrived they found a man with a knife wound to his neck, officials said. Bar customers were restraining Gary L. Jackson, 48, of Reedsburg, the man believed to have stabbed the bartender.

Officials said Jackson was arrested and crews recovered the knife.

The bartender, Daniel R. Schlough, 52, of LaValle, was transported to Reedsburg Area Medical Center for serious but not life-threatening injuries, according to the release. Schlough was later transported to UW Hospital for further treatment.

5 taken to hospital in Sauk County crash

Seven people were injured in a three-vehicle crash on Highway 12 Saturday night, according to the Sauk County Sheriff?s Office.

Deputies were called to Highway 12 north of Sauk Prairie Road in the town of Prairie du Sac at 8:22 p.m. for a report of a crash that injured seven people and included a vehicle that had rolled over and trapped the occupants.

Investigators said a car driven by Erik J. Michels, 23, of Dane, was traveling south on Highway 12 when it drifted over the center line and struck a northbound truck driven by Leonard J. Statz, 45, of Prairie du Sac.

The truck crashed into the ditch and the car struck another northbound vehicle, deputies said. The car, driven by Robert O. Dessauer, 51, of Baraboo, rolled into a ditch. Dessauer and three of his passengers were trapped inside and required extrication.

DOT sets annual tribal transportation meeting

Wisconsin officials are set to talk transportation with the state's tribes next month.

The state Department of Transportation will hold its seventh annual tribal transportation conference at the Ho-Chunk Nation's casino and convention center in Baraboo from Dec. 17 through Dec. 19.

State, federal and tribal officials as well as transportation construction professionals will discuss safety, preserving cultural resources and history and program funding.

Merrimac Ferry closes for the season

One of the main ways to get across the Wisconsin River has shut down for the season.

The Department of Transportation said the Merrimac Ferry has closed for the year. The ferry crosses the Wisconsin River north of Lodi, between Sauk and Columbia counties on Highway 113.

The ferry typically closes for the winter, but this year's chilly temperatures in November has caused the ferry to shut down earlier than normal.

Drivers will have now either have to drive west to Prairie du Sac or east to interstate 39-90-94 to find a way to cross the Wisconsin River until the ferry reopens in the spring.�

Students rally to help those impacted by typhoon

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A rural Wisconsin community is rallying to help the people impacted by the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

Students at Tower Rock School in Prairie du Sac seemed to be more than happy playing in Monday?s early snow. But inside, fifth-grader Kendra Yager and her classmates were excited about a bake sale to help kids in the Philippines after they were hit by Typhoon Haiyan.

?I was just shocked. I couldn?t believe how much damage. It was devastating,? Yager said.

Students are selling treats and bracelets to raise money for the Save the Children organization. They are even holding a read-a-thon for donations.

They students are raising money because of Estela Ohlrogge, a reading teacher from Cebu, Philippines.

?I showed them a video of a news clip of what was going on and the devastation and they were pretty moved,? Ohlrogge said.