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Road salt shortage hits snow-removal contractors

It's not hard to remember last year's harsh winter, but private construction companies are still feeling the aftereffects. Contractors are battling a shortage of road salt this season, on top of skyrocketing prices.

Bill Yoss has owned his own construction business for the last four decades and said he has never had a problem getting salt in the past, or had to pay as much as he� is this year to stock salt.

"We've seen it double since last year, and normally we would have a couple tons a year. We got less than 25 percent of that this year, which left us really short and scrambling for salt," Yoss said.

Yoss was shorted by 150 tons of salt and had to pay the same price per ton for the amount from Morton Salt. It forced him to find an additional supply from Venezuela, to be able to provide snow removal this year to shopping centers and areas like the Eclipse Center in Beloit.

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Packaging manufacturer bringing 140 jobs to Beloit

Pratt Intrustries, America's leading 100 percent recycled paper-packaging company, announced Friday it will begin construction on a new $52 million box factory in Beloit next spring, a project expected to create 140 new jobs.

"I'm pleased that Pratt Industries, after seriously considering sites in three other Midwest states, has decided to locate the new facility in Wisconsin," said Gov. Scott Walker.

The proposed 350,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, which will be built in the Beloit Gateway Business Park, a 56-acre site in Beloit, will produce about 600 tons of recycled boxes a day at capacity, the equivalent of saving more than 10,000 trees every 24 hours.

"This is a memorable day for our company. This plant will be our first ever in the great state of Wisconsin, and is a perfect fit with our aggressive growth strategy to increase our manufacturing footprint and capabilities in the Midwest," said Pratt Chairman Anthony Pratt.

Missing 'at-risk' man found

Beloit police said a man reported missing Friday morning has been found safe.

Police said John Lloyd Isaacson Jr., 52, was last seen in the 300 block of Shirland Avenue at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Police reported at 11:26 a.m. that he had been found safe.

Organization hopes to provide affordable homes for families

A Janesville not-for-profit organization hopes that building a new house in the city?s oldest neighborhood will bring a renewed sense of ownership to its residents.

"The house is a structure, but the real character and power of an area is the neighbors," said John Ramstad, director of Community Programs at Community Action.

It's all in an effort to provide affordable housing and encourage more development in the neighborhood.

"If you look where the bulk of the wealth of what families have, it comes from the homeownership and the long-term appreciation of those houses, and so the more people that can share in that the hope is they would have some level of financial base in which the family can live over the long term," he said.

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Deputies: Drunken driver involved in 2 crashes

A Janesville man suspected of fourth-offense operating while intoxicated was involved in two crashes Wednesday evening, according to a release from the Rock County Sheriff?s Office.

Deputies were called to U.S. Highway 14/11 and South Van Allen Road at 6 p.m. for a report of a car that crossed the center line several times. Deputies said the car turned onto East County Road O, where it crossed the center line and struck a westbound vehicle head-on.

The driver of the car, Michael D. Golownia, 27, tried to leave the scene but was unable to get his car out of the ditch, deputies said.

Deputies said Golownia smelled of intoxicants and admitted to drinking. While at the scene, deputies learned that Golownia rear-ended another vehicle while traveling on Highway 14 and left the scene without reporting it, according to a news release.

A search of his car turned up 44 grams of marijuana and evidence of narcotics delivery, deputies said.

Woman arrested after pointing gun at neighbor

Janesville police said a woman was arrested Wednesday night for allegedly ordered her neighbor to get off her property at gunpoint.

The incident happened just after 6 p.m. Wednesday in the 2300 block of Center Avenue in Janesville.

According to police, Kim Rhoades, 46, of Janesville, got into a dispute with her neighbor over a noise complaint. Police said Rhoades pointed a handgun at her neighbor to get him off of her property.

Police said the neighbor went back to his apartment and called police. Police blocked off a portion of U.S. Highway 51/Center Avenue for over an hour while officers set up a perimeter and tried to make contact with the woman.

Police said the woman emerged from her apartment just before 8 p.m. without incident. Police recovered a handgun from Rhoades? apartment after searching the residence.

Police said Rhoades faces numerous charges, including disorderly conduct, bail jumping and felon in possession of a firearm.

Trial date set for Janesville man charged with homicide

A Janesville man accused of murder will face trial in June.

Clayton Courtney is accused of brutally stabbing his roommate and killing Brittany Cross in May. Courtney faces charges of first-degree attempted intentional homicide and first-degree intentional homicide.

During a hearing Wednesday, a trial date was set for June 22. Courtney?s attorney also asked that a jury be brought in from another county citing media coverage of the case.

Judge James Daley declined the request, but didn?t rule out the use of an outside jury later, if needed.

The jury will be sequestered.

The judge did grant a motion to order the Wisconsin State Crime Lab to test Cross' blood sample for HIV.