Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wheeler News - Noon State Sports - 4/24/14

Wheeler News Service - Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Noon State Sports

Editor on Duty: Thom Gerretsen (715) 389-2373
Story Contributions:

Here are the details:

Next to a Super Bowl title, division supremacy is king in the N-F-L.  And that could be an issue for the Green Bay Packers if they don't get off to a fast start this season.  The newly-released schedule has the Packers playing all three of their N-F-C North Division opponents in a stretch of only 12 days starting in Week-Three.  They're at Detroit September 21st, at Chicago on the 28th, and at home against Minnesota on Thursday night October second.  The Lions and Vikings have new coaches, which creates even more uncertainty for coach Mike McCarthy as the Packers go for their third straight Norris title.  McCarthy says he relishes the challenge.  He says division games always carry more importance, no matter when they're played.  The Packers won't have to worry about an early bye, unlike a year ago when they played every weekend for four months including the playoffs.  This year's bye is on November second, right at the halfway point of the season.  McCarthy calls that ideal.  


The W-C-H-A will soon have a new commissioner for its women's hockey programs.  Aaron Kemp has been named to replace Sara Martin, who's about to retire after serving as the only top official for a league that began in 1999.  The 38-year-old Kemp has signed a four-year contract, and will move to Minnesota's Twin Cities where the league offices are about to relocate.  They've been headquartered in Madison.  Kemp has been at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania since 2008.  He was promoted to the senior associate athletic director's post three years ago.  Kemp has also been an executive committee member in two other conferences, and he remains on the N-C-A-A hockey rules committee.  The leadership change affects the Wisconsin Badgers, whose women's program remains in the W-C-H-A.  The Badger men helped start a new Big Ten hockey circuit this past season.


The Milwaukee Brewers are off today, after improving to 7-and-5 at home with a three-run victory over San Diego last night.  The Brewers hope to beef up their Miller Park record this weekend against the Chicago Cubs, who have the National League's second-worst overall mark.  The Cubbies are 7-and-13 after they blew a ninth-inning lead yesterday and lost to Arizona in a game that celebrated the 100th birthday of Wrigley Field.   Chicago will enter Miller Park with a 2-and-6 road record.  The Brewers continue to have the Majors' best overall mark at 16-and-6, thanks in part to a generally solid bullpen that has only imploded once this season.  That was last Thursday night, when Pittsburgh scored nine times in the final two innings after Yovani Gallardo left.  With the exception of that meltdown, the Brewers have out-scored their opponents 22-to-5 from the eighth inning on.  Closer Francisco Rodriguez is 9-for-9 in save chances so far.


In the Midwest League, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will go for a split of their four-game series at Burlington today.  The Bees won their first two games before the Rattlers broke through with a 6-to-4 victory last night.  Today's first pitch is at 11:30 from Burlington Iowa.  Meanwhile, the Beloit Snappers are at Kane County tonight, where the Snappers lost 10-to-4 last evening.  Kane County is going for a split, after Beloit won the first two games of that set.


In golf, both of Wisconsin's P-G-A regulars are in New Orleans for the Zurich Classic.  Pewaukee native Mark Wilson began his opening round at mid-morning.  Jerry Kelly of Madison is due to tee off during the noon hour.  Kelly won this tournament in 2009.  The senior P-G-A Champions Tour is off this weekend.


Minnesota News from MNN - 4/24/14

"Minnesota Summary"    4-24-14

Senser Leaving Prison Today

(Shakopee, MN)  --  The wife of a former Minnesota Viking serving time for the 2011 death of a man on an I-94 exit ramp will leave prison today.(thurs)  Amy Senser will be transferred from the state prison in Shakopee to a work release facility after serving 21 months of a 41 month sentence.  Senser was convicted of criminal vehicular homicide in the death of 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong, who was hit and killed while refilling his gas tank on an exit ramp in Minneapolis.  She will be on work release until October, then on supervised release until December of 2015.  Senser is the wife of former Vikings tight end Joe Senser.

Attorneys Working On Plea Deal For Willmar Teen Charged With Murder

(Willmar, MN)  --  Attorneys are working on a plea agreement for the so-called "mastermind" of last summer's murder of 79-year-old Lila Warwick of Willmar.  Her grandson, 18-year-old Robbie Warwick, is accused of planning her murder and is charged with 1st Degree Murder.  Warwick was killed by 19-year-old Brok Junkermeier last July and he is now serving life in prison.  Warwick's lawyer told the judge in a pre-trial hearing yesterday (Wed) that he was in negotiations with prosecutors from the Minnesota Attorney General's Office, but didn't give any details of the possible plea deal.    Attorneys have also asked that if the case does come to trial it be moved out of Kandiyohi County. 

Lake Lillian Man Killed In ATV Accident

(Lake Lillian, MN)  --  A rural Lake Lillian man is dead after an ATV accident Tuesday night.  The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Department says 76-year-old Cyrus Flann was using an ATV to move sand along the shore of Big Kandi Lake when the vehicle overturned, pinning him underneath.  Bystanders began giving him CPR, which was continued by first responders, but Flann was declared dead. 

MSU-Moorhead Names New President

(Moorhead, MN) --  Anne Blackhurst takes over as president of MSU-Moorhead July 1st.  The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs has been named the school's next president.    Blackhurst says she wants to make sure everyone knows what a great institution MSU-M is.  Prior to coming to MSU-M, Blackhurst served at Minnesota State University-Mankato as acting vice president for academic and student affairs.

Willmar Wind Turbine Damaged

(Willmar, MN) --  The city of Willmar's two wind turbines have been working hard this spring.  So hard, in fact, that on Wednesday the nose-cone of one of them came off.  John Folkedahl is the superintendent of electric production for the city and says something came loose inside of the nose cone and broke the bolts off.  He says it didn't impact the operation of the turbine, but it was stopped because whatever worked loose is still loose and the precaution seemed wise.  Folkedahl expects to have the problem to by diagnosed by about midday and then will have a better idea of how long it will take to fix.  The two wind turbines have had a troubled history since they were erected in 2009.  Software and hardware problems have kept either one or both out of commission for prolonged periods of time.  Last September Willmar Municipal Utilities sought repayment of $254,000 from Dewind Corporation for the loss of electricity to the city caused by the outages. 

Minneapolis Murder Investgation

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Details are scarce, but Minneapolis police are investigating a murder that took place early this (Thu) morning.  Officials say a 9-1-1 call reported the shooting at a home on James Avenue North, and when officer arrived they found the body of a man who had been gunned down.  The Medical Examiner will release the identity of the victim and the nature and cause of death, and investigators are hoping for tips that will help them solve the case. 

Police Recalculate Gun Cases, Find Much Smaller Jump

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Minneapolis police have revised their figures in a crime analysis report and found the increase in gun incidents was not as steep as their initial numbers.  According to a spokesman for the department, gun incidents were up by eight-percent from 2012 to 2013 instead of the 40-percent police had originally told the "Minneapolis Star Tribune."  The discrepancy is being blamed on a flaw in the data discovered yesterday by crime analysts. 

Man Allegedly Driving Nearly 100 In Fatal Crash

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Court records show 55-year-old Philip Bertelsen of Golden Valley was driving nearly 100 miles an hour and more than twice the legal limit drunk in a November 3 fatal crash.  Melvin Jones of St. Paul and his girlfriend, Brandy Brinks-Sutta of Minneapolis, were killed in the accident in north Minneapolis.  Bertelsen's blood-alcohol level was point-18 when he slammed into vehicles at a red light.  He has eleven prior convictions for driving violations over the past decade.


Wheeler News - Morning State News #4 - 4/24/14

Wheeler News Service - Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Morning State News #4

Editor on Duty: Thom Gerretsen (715) 389-2373
Story Contributions:

Here are the details:

The risk of wildfires has gone down, and rain is in the forecast statewide for today.  Even so, the D-N-R says you should not forget that it's the worst time of year for out-of-control forest and brush fires.  This is "Wildfire Prevention Week," to remember the upcoming anniversary of last May's blaze in Douglas and Bayfield counties that blackened 74-hundred acres -- the state's largest forest fire in 33 years.  It was only last week that far northern Wisconsin had up to 19-inches of snow.  The D-N-R's Catherine Koele (cool'-ee) said it's a misconception that things don't burn after such a large snowstorm melts away.  She said it's exactly the opposite because the vegetation is dead, and dry windy weather makes for a bad combination.  Officials urge those burning yard waste to make sure their fires are completely out when they're done -- and to get the proper permits.  The D-N-R has reported about 150 wildfires in Wisconsin this spring, burning around 12-hundred acres.  The fire danger remains high in west central Wisconsin and about the southern third of the state.  Moderate fire dangers are reported everywhere else except Vilas County, where the risk is low.

(Thanks for help Natalie Jablonski, WXPR, Rhinelander)


Wisconsin U-S Senator Tammy Baldwin says she wishes her fellow Democrats would start speaking more proudly about the successes of Obama-care.  The Affordable Care Act is sure to be one of the biggest issues in this fall's elections.  Repubilcans have been ridiculing the Democrats' health program on the campaign trail, as an example of government overreach.  Baldwin spoke at a forum at Marquette University in Milwaukee yesterday.  She admitted that the roll-out of Obama-care was botched -- namely the online sign-up system.  But Baldwin says it's time for Democrats to explain how the law has made things better.  As an example, she insurance companies can no longer deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.  With all House members and a third of the Senate up for re-election this fall, Baldwin said Democrats need to make sure that people understand what Obama-care has accomplished.  She predicted that G-O-P candidates would campaign on a pledge to de-fund or kill the law -- something she calls futile.  Baldwin also predicted that Democrats would keep control of the Senate after November.  Her term won't be up for another four-and-a-half years.  Baldwin also said Congress should raise the minimum wage, and adjust it for inflation so they don't have to revisit it.  


Paddle-boat tours will take place on the Saint Croix River near Hudson, so folks can see the construction progress of the new four-lane bridge there.  Project manager Jon Chiglo said there are no good places on the shore for the public to safely view the work.  So paddle-boats were arranged for tours on Saturday mornings and late Wednesday afternoons.  Tickets can be purchased for trips that will begin May 31st.  They'll run through the end of September.  Project staff members will be aboard the paddle-boats to answer questions.  There's a lot of interest in the new Saint Croix bridge.  It was debated for decades before Congress and President Obama approved an environmental exemption which paved the way for the project.  The new river crossing is due to open by the fall of 2016.


Minnesota Sports from MNN - 4/24/14

"Minnesota Sports Summary"

Twins Top Rays In 12

(St. Petersburg, FL)  --  Minnesota designated hitter Chris Colabello knocked in two runs with a single in the 12th inning to help the Twins top the Rays 6-4 in Florida last night.  Colabello also hit a two-run homer for Minnesota, which has won two of three.  Colabello now has 26 runs driven in this month, which tied Kirby Puckett's franchise record for RBI in a single month.  Casey Fien (FEEN) moved to 3-and-0 out of the bullpen while Glen Perkins notched his fourth save.  Matt Joyce knocked in two runs while Desmond Jennings was 3-for-5 with two runs scored for Tampa Bay, which has lost six of nine overall.  Josh Lueke (LOO-kee) took the loss.  The Twins trailed 4-2 at one point and rallied to tie the game. 

Twins Wrap Up Series With Rays Today

(St. Petersburg, FL)  --  The Twins wrap up their three-game series with the Rays today at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.  Ricky Nolasco aims for his second win of the year.  He is 1-and-2 with a 6.08 ERA in four starts so far.  The Rays will counter with veteran left-hander Erik Bedard, who has a 6.35 ERA in two games including one start.  First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m.

Wild Host Avs Tonight In Game Four

(St. Paul, MN)  --  The Minnesota Wild look to even their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Colorado Avalanche tonight in Game Four in St. Paul.  Mikael Granlund (me-KYLE GRAN-lund) scored 5:08 into overtime to lift the Wild to a 1-0 win in Game Three on Monday.  Minnesota still trails 2-1 in the best-of-seven set.  Tonight's game faces off at 8:30 p.m. Game Five is Saturday in Denver and gametime for that one has been set for 8:30 p.m.

Wild's Cooke Suspended Seven Games

(New York, NY)  --  Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke is suspended for seven games for kneeing Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie (BARE-ee).  The incident occurred in the second period of the Wild's 1-0 home win over the Avalanche in Game Three of their Western Conference quarterfinal series on Monday.  Barrie suffered a sprained MCL and is going to miss four-to-six weeks.  The Avs currently lead the best-of-seven set two games to one with Game Four tonight in St. Paul.

Stars, Blue Jackets, Blackhawks Even Series

(Undated)  --  The Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks all evened their respective first round Stanley Cup Playoffs series at 2-2 on Wednesday night.  The Stars scored four unanswered goals to down the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 in Dallas.  The Blue Jackets rallied from three goals down to win 4-3 in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The Blackhawks blew a two-goal lead but rebounded for a 4-3 win in OT against the St. Louis Blues.

Kemp Is WCHA Women's Commish

(Madison, WI)  --  Aaron Kemp has been named the new commissioner of the WCHA women's hockey  Kemp agreed to a four-year deal to take over for the retiring Sara Martin.  Martin had been with the league since its inception in 1999.  Kemp comes to the WCHA after serving as associate athletic director at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania.  The 38-year-old Kemp will move to the Twin Cities, where the league office will now be located.  The women's WCHA had been headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin.

Vikings Release 2014 Schedule

(Eden Prairie, MN)  --  The NFL schedule is out.  The Minnesota Vikings open the 2014 season at St. Louis on September 7th.  Their home opener is the following Sunday against the New England Patriots.  The Vikings bye is in Week 10 and they close out the season December 28th at home against the Chicago Bears.  Minnesota Vikings home games in 2014 will be played at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.  All home games will be Sunday.  The lone prime time game for the Vikes is a Thursday night road game at Green Bay on October 2nd.

NBA Playoff Recap

(Undated)  --  LaMarcus Aldridge stole the show during Wednesday night's NBA playoff action.  Aldridge broke the 40-point mark for a second straight game to lead the Trail Blazers to a 112-105 win against the Rockets.  Portland leaves Houston with a 2-0 lead in its Western Conference quarterfinal series.  The Mavericks were a fourth quarter collapse in Game One from joining them.  An impressive performance on the defensive end gave Dallas a 113-92 win over the Spurs and the two teams will head to the Mavs home all even at one.  The Heat were able to hold off a late charge from the Bobcats in Miami to pull out a 101-97 victory.  LeBron James posted 32 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Heat took a 2-0 series lead.

Gophers Rained Out

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Wednesday's non-conference softball doubleheader between No. 12 Minnesota and North Dakota was rained out and will not be made up.  The Golden Gophers will instead begin focusing on this weekend's Big Ten series against Penn State.  There are single games set for tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.  Minnesota is 33-and-8 on the season.


Wheeler News - Morning State News #3 - 4/24/14

Wheeler News Service - Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Morning State News #3

Editor on Duty: Thom Gerretsen (715) 389-2373
Story Contributions:

Here are the details:

A statewide tornado drill is still on for today.  It would have been called off had severe weather been predicted for real.  With rain in the forecast, the National Weather Service said it consulted with state officials and the broadcasters association -- and they agreed to go ahead with the drill.  It gives schools, businesses, and residents a chance to practice what they'd do in the event of a real twister.  A simulated tornado watch will be issued at one this afternoon -- and you should hear the sirens go off when the test tornado warning goes out at 1:45.  The drill will be finished by two o'clock.  It's part of Wisconsin's Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week.  The Badger State averages 23 tornadoes each year, but it only had 16 a year ago.  The weather service says most tornadoes occur in May and June, but they can happen anytime when conditions are right.  Most twisters touch down between three and nine p-m.


Shawano County prosecutors are expected to file charges by the end of the week against a man arrested for holding a McDonald's manager hostage.  The 28-year-old suspect from Gillett (jill'-ett) was sent to jail after he was checked out at a mental health center.  Authorities said he had symptoms of severe depression during Tuesday's incident at a combined Mickey-D's and Shell gas station in Wittenberg.  The man reportedly allowed everyone else to leave before he held the 26-year-old restaurant manager at gunpoint for about an hour on Tuesday afternoon.  The male hostage was let go without injury, and officials said the suspect surrendered an hour later after negotiations with officers.  He did not ask for money from the store, and there's no apparent relationship between the gunman and the hostage.  Online court records showed that the man only had previous traffic offenses on his record -- including first-time O-W-I and driving with a revoked license.

(Thanks Larry Lee, WSAU, Wausau)


Minnesota State-Mankato now wishes it could have been more forthright in explaining how it dealt with former U-W Eau Claire football coach Todd Hoffner.  The school is asking Minnesota's legislative auditor to review the process Mankato used in firing its coach last year -- only to bring him back after an arbitrator recently ordered the school to do so.  Hoffner's supporters said he got caught up in the public outcry against former Penn State football assistant Jerry Sandusky.  Hoffner was fired after a judge dropped charges that he possessed child porn in 2012, because he had nude photos of his kids playing in a bathtub on his university-issued cellphone.  The arbitrator said Hoffner was wrongly let go.  Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said one of the most frustrating aspects of the case was the inability under state law to explain its actions to the public.  He said there was quote, "no intentional wrongdoing' by Mankato's decision-makers.  The school wants the legislative auditor to determine whether the processes used were appropriate.  Hoffner coached at Eau Claire for seven years before going to Mankato.

(Thanks Minnesota News Network) 


Three Marquette engineering students have won 53-thousand dollars, for creating a mobile app that makes it easier to do Power Point presentations.  Undergrads Devin Turner and Charlie Beckworth, and M-B-A candidate Nicholas Winninger won a entrepreneurial prize in the Rice Business Plan competition.  They created an app called "Focal Cast" in a company called Narsys that Turner established.  The app allows people to make wireless Power Point presentations from their smartphones or tablets.  The team said the prize money will be used to further develop the app so it can run on Apple's platform.  It will also be tested by Wisconsin firms like American Family Insurance and the Brady Corporation.  The app is expected to be released next month for Android devices.


Minnesota News from MNN - 4/24/14

"Minnesota Summary"  4-24-14

Post-Shooting Audio Tape:  "I don't see them as human"

(Little Falls, MN)  --  Testimony continues today (Thurs) in Little Falls in the trial of 65-year-old Byron Smith, accused of murdering two teens after they broke into his home Thanksgiving Day 2012.  Yesterday jurors heard more of the audio that Smith recorded of the shootings, as 18-year-old Haile Kifer's (HALEY KIH'-ferz) mother cried in the courtroom.  Kifer and her 17-year-old cousin Nick Brady were killed in the shootings.  In the audio you can hear Smith talking to himself;  He says, "I had to do it, I had to do it.  I see them as vermin, social mistakes, social problems.  I don't see them as human."  He went on to say, "I refuse to live in fear."  The state calls two more witnesses today (Thu) before the defense brings it's first to the stand.

MSU-Mankato Wants Review Of Process Used In Hoffner Firing, Re-instatement

(Mankato, MN)  --  Officials at Minnesota State University Mankato are asking the legislative auditor to review the process they used in dealing with head football coach Todd Hoffner, who was initially fired amid allegations of child pornography -- then re-instated by an arbitrator's order after charges against Hoffner were dropped.  State college and university system Chancellor Steven Rosenstone says one of the most frustrating aspects of the case is MNSCU's inability under state law to explain the university's actions to the public.  Rosenstone stressed there has been "absolutely no intentional wrongdoing" by university decision-makers.  Officials say the arbitrator's decision reinstating Hoffner stands, but they want the legislative auditor's opinion whether "processes used were appropriate." 

Statewide Tornado Drill Today

(Various)  --  Tornado sirens will be sounding twice statewide today (Thurs 1:45pm and 6:55pm) as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota.  National Weather Service Meterologist Todd Krause (KRAU'-zee) says today's mock drill is good practice for when a real warning is issued.  Krause says the Weather Service generally sends out a tornado warning any time radar shows a good chance for a twister.  He says people need to take cover immediately when a tornado warning is issued in their area.  Two twisters touched down near Saint Leo in southwestern Minnesota in late March. 

Republicans Say Dayton Using Official Letter To Taxpayers For Campaign Pitch

(St. Paul, MN)  --  Republicans accuse Governor Dayton of using state Revenue Department communications with taxpayers to benefit his re-election campaign.  At issue are letters requesting additional information from taxpayers whose state returns may be affected by tax cuts recently enacted.  Republicans object to those letters mentioning that "Governor Mark Dayton recently signed legislation"  and going on to say that "These changes could reduce your state income tax."  Lino Lakes Senator Roger Chamberlain calls it "clearly a campaign tactic," with the governor using state letterhead, state resources and a list of taxpayers.  A Dayton spokesman responds nothing in state law prohibits the Revenue Department from mentioning a governor's name in an official letter to a taxpayer.  The spokesman adds Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty did it in 2010. 

Backers, Opponents Prepare For Friday Committee Vote On Medical Marijuana

(St. Paul, MN)  --  As backers and opponents get ready for tomorrow's (Fri am) Senate committee vote on a medical marijuana bill, supporters of totally legalizing marijuana are also making their push at the State Capitol.  Governor Dayton says there's already a drug epidemic in schools and on the streets, with heroin and prescription drugs which are tightly controlled wrecking a lot of people's lives.  He asks why the state would want to legalize another drug whose effects may be beneficial to some, but potential for harm is greater for many more.  Minnesota NORML board member Brandan Borgos (BOR'-gus) responds marijuana has been readily available for 40 years and people have been using it under a system of no control whatsoever.  Borgos says people are using the legalization issue as cover, when really they're opposed to medical marijuana as well.

Renewable Fuels Report Details Economic Impact On Minnesota

(Undated)  --  The Fuels America coalition has released a new report that details the economic footprint of renewable fuels in Minnesota and neighboring states.  The study shows oil imports have fallen to the lowest level in decades, and renewable fuels are responsible for more than 12-billion dollars in economic impact in Minnesota.  Minnesota-based Poet is one of the largest ethanol producers in the world, and the company's Larry Ward says they are helping to reduce dependence on foreign oil.  Ward says they produce enough ethanol every year to offset the need for about 20-thousand Exxon Valdez (val-DEEZ') tankers.  Analyst John Dunham says the positive impact in Minnesota and other ethanol-producing states is being achieved without subsidies, after the ethanol tax credit expired more than two years ago.

HIV/AIDS Fundraiser Today

(Undated)  --  The Aliveness Project is celebrating the 20th anniversary today of its "Dining Out for Life in Minnesota" HIV/AIDS fundraiser.  Spokesman Tim Marburger says the event raised 255-thousand dollars last year for programs that served 17-hundred adults and children affected by H-I-V/AIDS in the state.  He says this year, 237 restaurants have pledged from 20- to 100-percent of today's sales, and they're hoping to raise 270 thousand dollars.  Marburger says 75 percent of the people the Aliveness Project serves live in poverty.  There are participating restaurants in Duluth, Mankato, Rochester, Lanesboro and the Twin Cities.  For more info, go to

Truck Driver Shortage Expected In Minnesota

(Undated)  --  Minnesota is expected to see a commercial truck driver shortage over the next six years.  John Hausladen (HOUSE'-lahden) with the Minnesota Trucking Association says the average age of a truck driver in the state is 55.  He says their association has been working closely with state officials on how to fill those and other driving jobs when baby boomers start turning in their ignition keys.  He says trucking is big business in Minnesota, with 2010 freight shipments valued at nearly 240 billion dollars.


Wheeler News - Morning State News #2 - 4/24/14

Wheeler News Service - Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Morning State News #2

Editor on Duty: Thom Gerretsen (715) 389-2373
Story Contributions:

Winning lottery numbers:
Powerball:  19-25-29-36-48, Powerball 12, Power Play 4
Megabucks:  2-5-31-33-42-49
Five-Card Cash:  2-hearts, Q-clubs, 5-diamonds, 8-clubs, K-diamonds
Supercash:  3-9-12-22-25-26 - No Doubler
Pick-3:  4-0-1
Pick-4:  3-7-8-7
Badger-5:  3-8-12-23-27

Here are the details:

A court hearing will be held in Madison today on a lawsuit that challenges conditions for abortions that were set by Republican state lawmakers in 2012.  Planned Parenthood filed suit 14 months ago, claiming the law is too vague to be constitutional.  Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess (nees) will hear arguments on both sides this morning.  Under the law, doctors must determine if a woman really consents to an abortion -- and if they think she's being coerced, they'd have to tell her about available domestic abuse services.  Also, doctors would have to conduct physicals before they could prescribe abortion-inducing drugs -- and they'd have to be in the same room where the drugs are administered.  Planned Parenthood says the law does not clearly say how voluntary consent would be determined -- and whether doctors need to be around when drugs are dispensed.  


Wisconsin food, paper, and sewage plants can buy up to 20 years of extra time to comply with the state's limits on phosphorus emissions.  Governor Scott Walker signed a bill yesterday allowing waste-water discharge facilities to get up to four five-year exemptions from the state's tough new restrictions on phosphorus releases.  But first, the state would have to get federal approval for a statewide exemption from the requirements the D-N-R first adopted in 2010.  For each individual exemption, discharge limits would get more stringent.  When lawmakers first passed the new limits, communities and businesses said they would have to spend millions of dollars on sewage upgrades.  The Republican Walker put a temporary halt to the new rules after he became governor in 2011.  The bill was among 55 Walker signed yesterday in his Madison office.  Others will strength state laws against human trafficking, and give victims a chance to escape penalties for any crimes they commit while being trafficked.  Also, Walker agreed to ban anyone under 18 from officiating at weddings.  


Businesses affected by the downsizing of the Oshkosh Corporation will get the state's help to replace the military business they'll lose.  The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation says it will issue short-term loans and loan guarantees of up to a quarter-million dollars each.  The agency said it was planning to begin a pilot loan program sometime after July -- but it's proceeding now, in order to help companies affected by new layoffs at the Oshkosh plant.  That firm recently said it would lay off 760 people.  It's because of a slowdown in military vehicle production, due to the ending of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Suppliers like metal fabricators and machine shops will also feel the pinch.  W-E-D-C leader Reed Hall says it's imperative for companies that rely on dwindling defense contracts to diversify, and explore new products and markets.  The agency said the loan program could eventually expand to help other Wisconsin companies.


Wheeler News - Morning State News #1 - 4/24/14

Wheeler News Service - Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Morning State News #1

Editor on Duty: Thom Gerretsen (715) 389-2373
Story Contributions:

Winning lottery numbers:
Powerball:  19-25-29-36-48, Powerball 12, Power Play 4
Megabucks:  2-5-31-33-42-49
Five-Card Cash:  2-hearts, Q-clubs, 5-diamonds, 8-clubs, K-diamonds
Supercash:  3-9-12-22-25-26 - No Doubler
Pick-3:  4-0-1
Pick-4:  3-7-8-7
Badger-5:  3-8-12-23-27

Here are the details:

Starting tomorrow, it could be three times as expensive for able-bodied Wisconsinites to speed up their errands by parking in spaces for the disabled.  Governor Scott Walker signed a bill yesterday raising the minimum fine from 50-dollars to 150.  The bill was among 55 the Republican Walker signed in private ceremonies in his Madison office.  The maximum penalty of 300-dollars won't change.  Also, building owners can no longer escape their obligation to let the disabled park close to their front doors.  Building owners and tenants with at least 26 parking spaces must reserve disabled spaces -- or they'll be fined 150-to-300-dollars.


About two dozen people looked on as Governor Scott Walker signed the bill to force larger police departments to use outside personnel to investigate deaths involving their officers.  Friends and-or relatives of Michael Bell, Derek Williams, and Paul Heenan attended yesterday's private bill-signing ceremony.  All three were killed by officers who were never charged for their actions -- and that prompted lawmakers of both parties to force departments like Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay to stop investigating themselves.  Also, Walker signed a bill requiring police to get warrants before they track suspects by tapping into their cellphones.  The governor also agreed to have local police notified when out-of-state sex offenders move into their communities.  The requirements are similar to what's now in place when in-state offenders move to a community.


The field of Republicans hoping to replace U-S House Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse got a little smaller yesterday.  Chris Anderson pulled out of the race, leaving three other G-O-P hopefuls to square off in an August primary for the right to challenge Kind in November.  Anderson, a former aide to U-S Senator Ron Johnson, is joining Tony Kurtz's House campaign as his finance director.  Anderson said he'd rather support Kurtz -- a Prairie du Chien business owner and retired Army veteran -- because of his conservative ideas.  The other G-O-P candidates are Karen Mueller of Chippewa Falls and former Mauston alderman Ken Van Doren.  Kind, a 14-year House veteran, did not comment on Anderson's withdrawal from the race.  He said earlier this month that campaigns start too early, and he'll focus on doing his job for now.


A ticket sold in Florida won last night's Powerball jackpot of 148-point-eight million dollars.  Wisconsinites did not win any of the other big prizes.  Four players in the Badger State won 400-dollars by having the Power Play multiplier of four, and matching either four regular numbers or three-plus-the-Powerball.  Almost 10-thousand-400 Wisconsin players won smaller prizes.  Last night's numbers were 19, 25, 29, 36, and 48.  The Powerball was 12.  The jackpot was building since March 22nd.  It returns to 40-million dollars for the next drawing on Saturday night.  In Mega Millions, the top prize is at 59-million dollars for tomorrow night.


Wheeler News - Morning State Sports - 4/24/14

Wheeler News Service - Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Morning State Sports

===Stations:  The complete Green Bay Packers schedule is at the end of this report.===

Editor on Duty: Thom Gerretsen (715) 389-2373
Story Contributions:

In Major League Baseball...
Milwaukee 5, San Diego 2
Arizona 7, Chicago Cubs 5
Chicago White Sox 6, Detroit 4
Minnesota 6, Tampa Bay 4 in 12 innings

In the Midwest League...
Wisconsin 6, Burlington 4
Kane County 10, Beloit 4

Here are the details:

For the second time in four years, the Green Bay Packers will play in the N-F-L's Thursday night regular season kickoff event.  The Super Bowl champions normally host the league opener.  And when the schedule was announced last night, the Seattle Seahawks were at the top, as they'll host the Pack on September fourth.  The last time the Packers played there, the replacement referees awarded a touchdown to Seattle receiver Golden Tate on the game's final play -- although replays showed that Packers' defender M-D Jennings came down with the ball.  Green Bay lost the so-called "Fail Mary" game 14-to-12.  Coach Mike McCarthy knows that loss will be examined heavily between now and the September fourth renewal -- and he's quick to point out that it won't be about the past, but rather about the 2014 Packers.  Both Jennings and Tate have moved onto other teams.   

For now, at least, Green Bay has five night games -- two on Thursdays.  The other one is a home contest with Minnesota October second.  They also have two tentative Sunday Night games at New Orleans on October 26th and Chicago at home November 9th.  Those games could be moved if the league and N-B-C find more compelling match-ups, which is what happened to Green Bay twice in 2013 when Aaron Rodgers was hurt.  The "flexible scheduling" for Sunday Night Football now begins at Week-Five instead of Week-11 as in the past.  The Pack's other national night game is a Monday nighter on December 8th at home against Atlanta.  Overall, Green Bay has the N-F-L's 13th toughest schedule, with an opponents' record of .504 from a year ago.   


Jean Segura hit a three-run homer in the first inning last night, and the Milwaukee Brewers hung on to beat San Diego 5-to-2 at Miller Park.  Khris Davis belted a solo shot, and Ryan Braun added an R-B-I double for the Brewers.  They won their fifth game in their last six, and improved to 13-and-0 when scoring four or more runs.  Kyle Lohse won his fourth straight start -- the first time he's done that since April of 2011.  He gave up two runs -- one earned -- on five hits in seven innings with five strikeouts.  Lohse improved to 4-and-1.  Francisco Rodriguez struck out a pair in the ninth for his ninth save.  Padres' starter Tyson Ross was shelled for five runs in six innings, and he gave up more than one homer for only the second time in his career.  Ross dropped to 2-and-3.  Nick Hundley and Seth Smith drove in San Diego's two runs, as the Padres have now lost three-of-four.  Milwaukee again becomes the only Major League team to be ten games above .500, with the best record in the bigs at 16-and-6.  The Crew took 2-of-3 from the Padres to win their second straight series.  Milwaukee is off today, and will host the Chicago Cubs tomorrow night.


Brandon Kintzler will return to the Milwaukee bullpen tomorrow night.  He threw a simulated inning of 40 pitches yesterday, and said everything felt fine.  Kintzler is coming off a strained right rotator cuff which landed him on the 15-day disabled list.  Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke said he'll try to ease Kintzler back into the bullpen schedule, if possible.  He was solid as a set-up man last year, with a two-point-six-nine E-R-A in 71 appearances.  Nobody has scored against Kintzler in five relief outings so far this season.  


The U-W Milwaukee baseball team lost at Northern Illinois yesterday, 3-to-2.  Joe Battaglia drove home the winning run with a suicide squeeze bunt.  Milwaukee left 12 runners on base, as it dropped to 14-and-17 overall.  Mike Porcaro and Ryan McShane each went 2-for-4 for Milwaukee, and each had a pair of stolen bases.  Northern Illinois improved to 11-28-and-1.


U-W River Falls was put on one year of probation by the N-C-A-A yesterday.  The Division-Three Infractions Committee found that the school improperly used athletic ability as a criteria for scholarships from the fall of 2007 through the spring of 2012.  It allowed five present and former athletes to get more than four-thousand dollars in financial aid that was not allowed.  The N-C-A-A said River Falls also violated another rule when former football coach John O'Grady arranged financial aid packages for four years.  River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Guden said the school reported the violations itself, as soon as it found out about them.  O'Grady retired in 2010, and an N-C-A-A spokesman says the current football coaching staff at River Falls had no connection to what happened.  Athletic director Roger Ternes said the school has adopted new measures over the last three years to improve compliance with the N-C-A-A's rules.  


Former Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson of Seattle is getting a divorce.  He issued a statement yesterday, announcing that he and Ashton -- his wife of more than two years -- are breaking up.  The 25-year-old Wilson called it a difficult decision.  He asked for prayers, understanding, and privacy.  The two had known each other since high school in Richmond Virginia.  They began dating while he played football and baseball at North Carolina State.  They stayed together during his senior year at Wisconsin, and were married in January of 2012 in Richmond.  A few months later, Seattle drafted Wilson in the third round -- and he beat out the Packers' Matt Flynn to win the starting quarterback job as a rookie.


===Stations: Here is the Green Bay Packers' 2014 schedule.===
*Start time may change due to the NFL's Flexible Scheduling

Saturday, Aug. 9, at Tennessee, 7 p.m., state network
Saturday, Aug. 16, at St. Louis, 3 p.m., state network
Friday, Aug. 22, Oakland, 7 p.m., CBS (Milwaukee ticket holders)
Thursday, Aug. 28, Kansas City, 6 p.m., state network

Regular season
Thursday, September 4, at Seattle, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Sunday, September 14, New York Jets, 3:25 p.m., CBS
Sunday, September 21, at Detroit, Noon, Fox
Sunday, September 28, at Chicago, Noon Fox
Thursday, October 2, Minnesota, 7:25 p.m. CBS-NFL Network (Milwaukee)
*Sunday, October 12, at Miami, Noon, Fox
*Sunday, October 19, Carolina, Noon, Fox
*Sunday, October 26, at New Orleans, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Sunday, November 2 - Bye
*Sunday, November 9, Chicago, 7:30 p.m., NBC
*Sunday, November 16, Philadelphia, Noon, Fox (Milwaukee)
*Sunday, November 23, at Minnesota, Noon, Fox
*Sunday, November 30, New England, 3:25 p.m., CBS
Monday, December 8, Atlanta, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
*Sunday, December 14, at Buffalo, Noon, Fox
*Sunday, December 21, at Tampa Bay, Noon, Fox
*Sunday, December 28, Detroit, Noon, Fox


World / National Morning Summary - 4/24/14

Republican Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia has signed controversial legislation allowing people to carry guns in many public places -- including churches, bars and government buildings without security checkpoints.  Opponents call the new law irresponsible and a threat to public safety.  Deal's signature puts it into force today.


N-F-L linebacker Daryl Washington of the Arizona Cardinals has been sentenced to one year probation in a felony assault case.  The charge could be reduced to a misdemeanor after six months if Washington doesn't violate the terms of his probation.  He had pleaded guilty to the charges last March.  The professional athlete admitted assaulting the mother of his child.  He has also been suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season.


The Ukraine announcement of a resumption of what that government calls an "anti-terror" campaign brings a strong warning from Russia's foreign minister.  He says there will be an immediate response if any of Russia's citizens or interests come under attack in Ukraine.  The Ukraine is stepped up its efforts against pro-Russian insurgents who are occupying buildings in the eastern part of the country.


Canadian rail authorities are phasing out the type of tanker car used by a majority of freight trains in that country.  One of them went out of control and caused a massive explosion and fire which killed 47 people and incinerated much of a town in Ontario last summer.  The Canadian transport minister says those rail cars will have to be eliminated or retrofitted within three years.  The cars, which are prone to rupture,  make up about 70-percent of the tankers cars used today.  


The hope for an answer about Flight 370 didn't last long.  The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says initial tests shows a piece of floating metal which washed ashore on a western beach didn't come from the missing Malaysian Airlines jet.  It looked to be sheet metal with rivets, raising hopes it would be the first substantial clue recovered. 

Nebraska Morning Summary - 4/24/14

Police say his dorm room was filled with guns.  A 20-year-old University of Nebraska-Omaha student will stand trial on felony charges of having weapons on school property.  Ned McNally waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday and he is free on bond.  Police say they found three rifles, three magazines of ammunition and a box of .223 caliber rounds in his dorm room when they checked it last month.


Evergreens aren’t green in Omaha.  Tree experts say they’re seeing a lot of winter burn, winter injury and winter kill from the bitterly cold winter.  There are a lot of growing problems this spring.  One tree expert says if your evergreen is brown, it’s not coming back.  Trees in Omaha only got about 18 inches of snow last winter for moisture.  Bigger trees have a better chance.  Boxwoods, yew bushes, upright junipers – they may be in trouble.  A recent rain has helped.  Homeowners will known if their tree or shrub is dead by the first of June.


A Nebraska man worked on his two-story barn for five years and he had just started to feel like it was finished.  Now, it’s gone.  Strong winds and no water hydrants nearby doomed the structure when it caught on fire Wednesday morning.  Twenty firefighters couldn’t save the barn.  Owner Nick Bokowski and his wife weren’t home when it caught on fire.  They say a goat and some chickens were killed, with a skid loader and some lawn equipment damaged.  The total price tag on the damage is put at 200-thousand dollars. 

Missouri Morning Summary - 4/24/14

The Missouri House Judiciary Committee hasn’t said when it might hold a vote on three separate impeachment measures aimed at Governor Jay Nixon.  That committee held a hearing yesterday.  Supporters want him impeached for allowing some same-sex couples to file joint Missouri tax returns, for taking too long to call special elections to fill vacant seats in the Legislature, and for refusing to fire those involved in the Revenue Department’s decision to scan personal documents into a computer system from driver's license applicants. 


Greene County prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against a woman accused of using anti-freeze to kill her husband and son.  Fifty-two-year-old Diane Staudte was charged with first-degree murder last June.  Her 24-year-old daughter, Rachel, is also charged in the crime, but no decision on the death penalty has been made in her case.  Investigators believe the two women put the anti-freeze in the drinks given to 61-year-old Mark Staudte and 26-year-old Shaun Staudte.  A second daughter survived. 


St. Louis workers make it to their jobs a little earlier than the average U-S employee.  The group FiveThirtyEight says its informal, online survey shows the median time a worker shows up is 7:55 a-m.  In St. Louis, workers are a little quicker, showing up five minutes earlier, at 7:50 a-m.  People can’t wait to starting mowing that lawn and booting up the computer in Houston, Phoenix and Riverside, California.  Their median start time for work is 7:45.  The latest arriving?  New York City workers say they get into the office at 8:20.


Low-cost, no-frills Spirit Airlines will start serving travelers in Kansas City August 7th.  Airport officials say there will be five flights each day to Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Las Vegas and Houston.  Spirit cuts services to offer the lower fares.  Its jets have more seats than most airlines, they don’t recline and passengers could have to pay additional fees to check bags and get access to other amenities.  No free drinks are offered.  Air travel analysts say the increased competition from Sprint could force other airlines to cut prices at Kansas City International.


The son of William Rousan’s murder victim says he gets no real satisfaction from Wednesday morning’s execution.  Rousan had been convicted of murdering Grace and Charles Lewis in 1993.  Michael Lewis told reporters the lethal injection didn’t restore the moments he lost with his parents or restore the grandparents his sons never got to know.  He did say he thinks the time from sentencing to execution is too long.  He says his parents would hope their attacker made peace with Jesus before he died.

Iowa Morning Summary - 4/24/14

The news of a data breach was alarming enough.  Now, Iowa State University is saying almost 49-thousand people could have had their personal information compromised.  Former and current students are being warned.  In additional to the original exposure of the Social Security numbers for almost 30-thousand students, I-S-U says hackers may have accessed the student university ID numbers of another 19-thousand.  There is no evidence any of the files were accessed, copied or used for illegal reasons. 


Des Moines police arrest a 17-year-old father in the death of his baby boy.  Officers were called to an apartment where the baby had been found unresponsive by a friend of the family.  The four-month-old boy had been left with Drew James Wheeler-Smith by the mother, while she ran an errand.  The child was taken to Blank Children’s Hospital where he died.  Wheeler is charged with neglect of a dependent person.  Police say the results of an autopsy could lead to additional charges.


A state Senate committee  approved a bill Wednesday night  that would let the parents of children with a severe form of epilepsy go out of state to get an oil-based form of medical marijuana for their children.  Those who pushed for the bill say the oil does not contain the properties that make someone high, but does provide relief to those who suffer seizures. State Drug Czar, Steve Lukan (LOO-kun), isn't sold and suggests some "very potent forms" of marijuana might be brought into the state if the bill becomes law.


A witness in the manslaughter trial for Des Moines Dr. Daniel Baldi says Baldi’s treatment of at least one of his patients was reckless and extreme.  Minnesota pain-management Dr. Stephen R. Wagner was on the stand Wednesday.  The defense challenged his appearance, saying they hadn’t received proper notice.  The judge disagreed and rejected a request for dismissal.  Baldi faces nine counts of involuntary manslaughter.  He’s accused over-prescribing painkillers to nine patients who died.

Morning Kickers - April 24th


An Indiana cat that went missing five years ago has been reunited with its owner! The ten-year-old cat, named Charlie, landed at an animal shelter where workers were able to identify the feline thanks to an implanted microchip. The cat has since been reunited with its owner. Microchips, which are roughly the size of a grain of rice, transmit information across radio waves.
A potato-packing suspect attempted to rob two Rhode Island businesses. The man was allegedly hoping to pass a potato off as a gun during the two unsuccessful robbery attempts earlier this week. The first business employee he attempted to rob chased him off with a baseball bat, and the second gave him a counterfeit 20-dollar bill. Police are on the lookout for the failed, spud-wielding robber.
Two 10-year-olds were caught selling their grandparents' pot at a Colorado school. The boys had pilfered from their grandparents' legally purchased pot supply and then sold the drugs to a handful of classmates at school. None of the students suffered ill-effects from the drugs, and the students have since been disciplined by the school district. Colorado approved the possession and use of small amounts of cannabis by adults for recreational purposes in 2012.

Entertainment News - April 24th


Jodie Foster quietly married her girlfriend Alexandra Hedison over the weekend. Foster and Hedison, a photographer and actress, had been dating for almost a year. Foster, who is notoriously private about her personal life, has not revealed any additional details about the nuptials. Foster delivered what many consider a coming-out speech during the 2013 Golden Globes.
Barbie is expanding her empire. Sony is partnering with Mattel to develop a live-action comedy about the iconic doll. Few details have been released other than the story will follow Barbie through her more than 150 roles, ranging from mermaid and princess to astronaut and president. Jenny Bicks, who worked on "Sex and the City," is working on a script.
The upcoming "How I Met Your Mother" spin-off has cast Meg Ryan. Ryan will serve as the narrator in C-B-S' "How I Met Your Dad" pilot. Similar to how Bob Saget provided the voice for Future Ted in "How I Met Your Mother," Ryan will supply the voice of future Sally. Sally, the show's lead character, will be played by Greta Gerwig in flashback scenes. The pilot currently does not have a set air date.

Today in History for April 24th


April 24, 2014

On this day,

1986- Wallis Simpson, the woman King Edward the Eight gave up the British throne for, dies at the age of 89.

1984- Singer Jerry Lee Lewis heads to the altar for the sixth time.  Lewis marries 22-year-old Kerrie McCarver.

1980- Eight U-S soldiers die in an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran.

1977- Talking Heads begins its first tour, accompanying the Ramones.

1970- The People's Republic of China becomes the fifth nation to ever launch its own satellite.

1963- 15-year-old Little Peggy March becomes the youngest woman to ever hit the top of the charts with "I Will Follow Him."

1961- Bob Dylan pockets a fifty for playing harmonica during Harry Belafonte's recording of "Midnight Special."

1916- Irish nationalists stage an uprising in Dublin.  The group seizes several buildings and declares an Irish republic, but the uprising soon collapses.

1915- Ottoman Turks kill scores of Armenians.  The day has since been remembered as Armenian Martyrs Day.

1898- Spain declares war on the U-S

1847- The Mormon battalion of the Army establishes Fort Moore to overlook the pueblo of Los Angeles.

1800- The Library of Congress is established.


1985- Courtnee Draper

1981- Singer Kelly Clarkson

1972- Baseball player Chipper Jones.

1965- Comedian Cedric the Entertainer

1953- Actor Eric Bogosian

1948- Basketball coach-former player Rudy Tomjanovich, coach of the Houston Rockets

1942- Entertainer Barbra Streisand.

1940- Author Sue Grafton

1934- Actress Shirley MacLaine.

1905- America's first official poet laureate Robert Warren, All the King's Men.

1766- Robert Thomas- Founded and edited The Farmer's Almanac.

1743- Edmund Cartwright, English cleric who invented the power loom.

Wheeler News - Morning National Sports - 4/24/14

Wheeler News Service - Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Morning National Sports


The NFL released its regular-season schedule on Wednesday. It will open with the Super Bowl 48 champion Seattle Seahawks hosting the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, September 4, at what's sure to be a raucous CenturyLink Field celebrating the franchise's first title.  Kickoff weekend features 13 games on September 7, with the first Sunday prime-time matchup pitting Peyton Manning against a familiar foe as he leads the reigning AFC-champion Denver Broncos opposite the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Thanksgiving games pit division rivals against each other. The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions get things started with an NFC North clash, the reigning NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles visit the Dallas Cowboys,  and the Seahawks collide with the San Francisco 49ers in a rematch of last year's NFC title game at new Levi's Stadium. The participants in last season's AFC championship game -- the Broncos and Patriots -- square off in a Week 9 showdown in Foxborough. The league made a change in its flex scheduling, where times of games can be changed for Sunday night matchups, moving it up from Week 11 all the way to Week 5. Super Bowl-49 is scheduled for February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona, at University of Phoenix Stadium.


Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Best-of-7)
Columbus 4, Pittsburgh 3, OT (Series tied, 2-2)

Western Conference Quarterfinals 
Dallas 4, Anaheim 2 (Series tied, 2-2)
Chicago 4, St. Louis 3, OT (Series tied, 2-2)

The Stanley Cup playoffs continued Wednesday with three games. In the Eastern Conference, the Columbus Blue Jackets scored four unanswered goals to stun the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime, 4-3, tying the series at 2-2. In the West, the Dallas Stars downed the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 to even the series at two games apiece while the Chicago Blackhawks also knotted their series at 2-2 with a 4-3 overtime-win over the St. Louis Blues.

The San Jose Sharks can complete their sweep of the Los Angeles Kings tonight, while the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche both look to build on their 2-1 series leads. The Bruins shut out the Red Wings in Detroit in Game 3 after splitting two in Boston. The Avalanche were also held scoreless in Game 3 as the Minnesota Wild pulled out an overtime victory.

Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon and Tampa Bay teammates Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat have been named the finalists for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. MacKinnon led all first-year players with 63 points and 39 assists, while tying for the top spot with 24 goals. Johnson set a Lightning rookie record with 24 goals, tying MacKinnon for the most in the NHL by a rookie this season. Palat was second among rookie scorers with 23 goals, 36 assists and 59 points.


Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (Best-of-7)
Miami 101, Charlotte 97 (Miami leads, 2-0)

Western Conference Quarterfinals
Dallas 113, San Antonio 92 (Series tied, 1-1)
Portland 112, Houston 105 (Portland leads, 2-0)

The NBA playoffs continued Wednesday with a trio of games. In the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat held off the Charlotte Bobcats, 101-97, to take a 2-0 series lead. In the West, the Dallas Mavericks cruised past last season's Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs, 113-92, to even the series at 1-1. In the nightcap, LaMarcus Aldridge turned in another monster night as the Portland Trail Blazers took a 2-0 series lead after beating the Houston Rockets 112-105.

A trio of Game-Threes are on tap for tonight, with each series even at a game apiece. The East's top seed, the Indiana Pacers, bounced back from a loss in the series opener to down the Hawks on Tuesday prior to the series shifting to Atlanta. Oklahoma City, the West's Number-2 seed, dropped Game 2 against the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this week, while the Golden State Warriors suffered through a 40-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers after taking Game 1 at Staples Center.

Phoenix's Goran Dragic was named the NBA's Most Improved Player on Wednesday. Dragic received 65 first-place votes and 408 points from a panel of 126 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Indiana's Lance Stephenson finished second with 158 points, while New Orleans' Anthony Davis was third with 155 points. Dragic, a five-year veteran, entered the season with a career scoring average of 9.5 points and for the 2013-14 campaign averaged a career-best 20.3 points with 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game to help the Suns to a 48-34 record -- a 23-win improvement from the season prior.


National League
Arizona 7, Chicago Cubs 5
Atlanta 3, Miami 1
New York Mets 3, St. Louis 2
Cincinnati 5, Pittsburgh 2
San Francisco 12, Colorado 10 (11 innings)
Milwaukee 5, San Diego 2
Los Angeles 5, Philadelphia 2

American League
Minnesota 6, Tampa Bay 4 (12 innings)
Chicago White Sox 6, Detroit 4
Seattle 5, Houston 3
Texas 3, Oakland 0
Baltimore 10, Toronto 8
Cleveland 5, Kansas City 3
Boston 5, New York Yankees 1

Washington 5, Angels of Anaheim 4

New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda is likely to get a lengthy suspension due to the use of a foreign substance. Pineda was ejected in the bottom of the second inning of Wednesday's game against the Boston Red Sox after being found to have was appeared to be pine tar on the side of his neck. With two out and Grady Sizemore batting in the bottom of the second, home plate umpire Gerry Davis was requested by Red Sox manager John Farrell to check the right-hander for illegal materials on his body. Davis touched a brownish substance on the right side of the pitcher's neck and immediately tossed him from the game. Pineda was involved in some controversy during a game against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium earlier this month after television cameras showed the hurler with a brown substance on his right palm. No protests were made by Farrell during that game, in which Pineda held Boston to one run over six innings in a 4-1 Yankees win. The 25-year-old told reporters afterward that the material was simply dirt that had gotten stuck to his hand.


Kentucky forward Alex Poythress has decided to return for his junior season with the Wildcats. Poythress averaged 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 40 games this past season, helping the Wildcats reach the NCAA Tournament championship game. He started 31 of 33 games as a freshman and averaged 11.2 points with 6.0 rebounds. Willie Cauley-Stein and Marcus Lee have also announced their intentions to return next season, while the Wildcats have already lost Julius Randle and James Young to the NBA Draft. 


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wheeler News - Afternoon State News #2 - 4/23/14

Wheeler News Service - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - Afternoon State News #2

===Stations: Local unemployment rates for your coverage area can be found at: ===

Editor on Duty: Thom Gerretsen (715) 389-2373
Story Contributions:

Here are the details:

U-S Senate Republican Rand Paul -- who's considering a run for the White House in 2016 -- paid a visit to Milwaukee today to see how private school choice is going.  He said the tax-funded vouchers for low-income kids give more parents the power to choose a religious education for their youngsters.  Paul, of Kentucky, met with parents, teachers, and school choice advocates at Saint Anthony School in Milwaukee.  It's the largest K-to-12 Catholic high school in the nation with enrollments of over 15-hundred at several locations in Milwaukee.  He stressed the choices that the voucher program offers, in comparison with the public schools, and he said quote, "Competition makes us all better."  The city's Hispanics for School Choice helped set up Paul's visit -- which comes a day after he endorsed private school choice at a forum in Chicago.


Wisconsin U-S Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin came out today in favor of a minimum wage hike that would keep going up with inflation, without Congress voting on it again.  Appearing at a forum at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Baldwin disputed Republican claims that a higher minimum wage would be a job-killer.  She admitted there were studies which had different conclusions -- but she said more money in workers' pockets would stimulate an economy that's been quote, "sputtering back to life since the recession."  Baldwin also spoke up for Obama-care.  She defended the Affordable Care Act in spite of numerous start-up problems.  Baldwin predicted that the law would be viewed more favorably in five years.  She also expressed concerns that Wisconsin has not embraced the program as much as other states have.


Unemployment rates dropped in all 12 of Wisconsin's metro areas over the past month.  State labor officials released local jobless figures for March -- and the actual unadjusted rates fell in all but six of the state's 72 counties compared to February.  All but three cities also saw their unemployment rates decline.  Racine and Menomonee Falls had slight increases, while Mount Pleasant in Racine County had no change.  The statewide adjusted rate fell to five-point-nine percent in March, the lowest since the Great Recession began in earnest in November of 2008.  County jobless rates ranged from four-point-four percent in Dane County at Madison to 13-point-one in Iron County in the far north.  The extremes for city unemployment were both in Racine County, ranging from three-point-six percent in Caledonia to 11-point-eight in the city of Racine.


World / National Afternoon Summary - 4/23/14

President Obama holds a summit meeting with the Japanese prime minister Thursday.  Air Force One landed earlier today as the president begins a visit almost a week long to four U-S allies in the region.  The trip was scheduled to assure Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines that their national welfare matters to Washington.




Western Australia police report a piece of metal found on the coast has been turned in and it may be connected to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  Police say it has been turned over to the searchers handling the operation in the south Indian Ocean.  They say the piece of sheet metal had rivets and could have been a part of the missing jet.  Engineers will determine if that is the case.




The U-S Department of Commerce reports a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 384-thousand new homes were sold in March.  New home sales are said to be falling well short of projections and the figures represent an eight-month low.  Sales were off significantly in the West, Midwest and South, but they did show a rebound in the Northeast.  That part of the country may see growth because sales were slowed in previous months by winter storms.




Two American astronauts at the International Space Station took a spacewalk today to replace a dead computer.  Rick Mastracchio (muh-STRAK-ee-oh) and Steve Swanson fixed the computer which serves as a critical backup to onboard operations.  It failed almost two weeks ago.  The main computer has been working fine, but NASA didn't want to wait. 




Vandals have forced a part of the National Civil Rights Museum to be closed.  Memphis police report two second-floor windows were broken at the old Lorraine Motel Tuesday night.  Officers found the vandal sleeping inside Room 306.  Forty-six years ago, Martin Luther King was assassinated while standing on the balcony outside room 308.