A sex sting by Rice Lake police has netted another suspect. Jay Hoppe, from Almena, was arrested over the weekend, and charged Tuesday. A Rice Lake police officer posted an ad online posing as a 15 year old girl who was interested in meeting older men. Police say Hoppe responded, and eventually arranged to meet the girl for sex acts. He was arrested when he arrived to meet her. Hoppe is charged with child enticement, attempted child sexual assault, and using a computer to facilitate a sex crime. He's due court in April.
New data shows Eau Claire is the place to be, when it comes to cost of living. The Eau Claire Director of Economic Development, Mike Schatz, said it may be because we have lower wages, so it's harder to have higher costs. The Cost of Living Index has Eau Claire at 95.1 with the national average at 100. While construction costs are rising, housing costs don't follow that trend, and jump, because our lower wages won't support a more expensive housing market. He said low living costs may attract seniors. Saying it may be a big advantage for people to actually look at Eau Claire when they come to thinking about where they're going to retire. Schatz said utility bills, health care and transportation are above the national average, but average for Wisconsin.
After more than a year of fundraising, the Altoona Police Department is welcoming Max, its new K9. Max, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, officially joined the force Monday. The officer who will work with Max traveled to Albuquerque Saturday and will spend the next six weeks there, training with Max. An Altoona officer told News 18 Max will do a little bit of everything, including apprehension and drug detection. And he said the department thanks the community for all of their support and donations.
The Wisconsin Senate has passed Gov. Scott Walker's school safety proposal that makes $100 million in grants available. The Senate passed the bill 28-4 on Tuesday. The Assembly was expected to sign off on Thursday. The bill creates a new office of school safety under the state Department of Justice, which would be in charge of the grants. But Democrats and other advocates say Walker and Republicans are missing the core issue of tightening gun control. They have been calling for universal background checks and reinstituting a 48-hour waiting period for gun purchases.