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Big Wis. energy users get breaks on rate increases

Published On: Jan 13 2013 03:43:26 PM CST
MILWAUKEE -

Big energy users in Wisconsin are getting breaks on rate increases at the expense of other businesses and homeowners.

Regulators worked to limit utility rate increases for big factories and other large energy users this year, and that means higher power prices for others.

Public Service Commission chairman Phil Montgomery told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the move is by design and is meant to foster Gov. Scott Walker's job-creation goals.

In rate cases finalized last month involving utilities in Milwaukee, Madison and Eau Claire, large manufacturers received smaller increases than homeowners and other businesses.

Commissioner Eric Callisto, who chaired the commission under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, broke from the Republicans on the commission in objecting to the breaks for large manufacturers because they pushed rates higher for other businesses.

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  • PHOTOS: Madison store helps collect hundreds of Teddy bears for police

    MADISON, Wis.--A west Madison store is part of an effort to collect hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to six police departments in Southern Wisconsin.

    Todd Merryfield, owner of The Learning Shop at 714 S. Gammon Road, said the store is collecting the bears for officers who use them to help comfort children with whom police come in contact.

    "This is a great way to support what (police) do," Merryfield said. "Those are the kids that need something like this to reassure them, calm them down, and let them know that things are all right."

    Nearly 500 plush animals were donated Tuesday, a Learning Shop spokeswoman said. The Madison store's effort is part of a larger initiative through the Bears for Humanity organization. 

    Photos by Doug Wahl

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