Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Wisconsin Afternoon State Sports - 7/7/15

July 7, 2015
Wisconsin Afternoon State Sports

Story Contributions: wheelernews@yahoo.com

The Milwaukee Brewers may be inching up in the National League standings, but they still have the Majors' worst home record.  The Crew is 15-and-27 at Miller Park, after they followed an unbeaten road trip with a two-run defeat in their first game back home last evening.  Until just recently, Milwaukee had the Majors' worst overall record.  They're now the third-worst ahead of Miami and Philadelphia. The Crew is 36-and-49 overall, with a .424 winning percentage. Colorado crept ahead of Milwaukee last night.  The Rockies are now at .427. The Brewers are trying to cut into Atlanta's recent success against them.  The Braves are 4-and-1 this year against the Crew.  Right-hander Tyler Cravy starts for Milwaukee this evening against Atlanta left-hander Manny Banuelos.  Both are making their second career starts.

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Former Brewers' starter Yovani Gallardo will put a streak of 29-and-a-third scoreless innings on the line tonight, when his Texas Rangers host Arizona.  The 29-year-old right-hander has not given up a run since June 10th.  He won his last four decisions before getting a no-decision last Thursday against Baltimore. Gallardo played his first eight Major League seasons in Milwaukee before he was dealt to the Rangers last winter for reliever Corey Knebel.  Gallardo is 7-and-6 with his home-state Rangers, with an E-R-A of two-point-five-six.  

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You never see a triple-header in the Majors -- but two teams in the Northwoods League will play three games on August 3rd.  Two-and-a-half, actually.  The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters will complete a suspended game against the Wisconsin Woodchucks in Wausau, starting with the fifth inning.  Then they'll play two more contests which were rained out last night.  Wisconsin will host a single game tonight against Rapids.  Kenosha hosts Lakeshore.  Eau Claire is home against Rochester.  Green Bay plays at Battle Creek.  La Crosse entertains Kalamazoo.  And Madison is at Willmar.

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Wisconsin golf fans and corporate sponsors are showing record support for the 97th P-G-A Championship to be played in about a month near Sheboygan. Director Jason Mengel says revenues from ticket sales and hospitality booths have already broken the tournament record set in 2004 -- the first year the P-G-A was held at Whistling Straits.  Mengel said over 120 corporate products have been sold for the year's final major -- with business support from Chicago to Green Bay and beyond.  As for tickets, only individual ones remain for the four rounds August 13th-through-16th.  If Jordan Spieth wins the British Open next week, he'll have a chance to become the first to win all four majors in the same year -- known as the "modern Grand Slam."

Wisconsin Afternoon State News #2 - 7/7/15

July 7, 2015
Wisconsin Afternoon State News #2

Story Contributions: wheelernews@yahoo.com

The governor's office has confirmed that Scott Walker provided input in the controversial state budget proposal that would have closed vast numbers of public records.  A spokeswoman told the A-P the intent was encourage a "deliberative process" for policy change.  That was after Senate G-O-P leader Scott Fitzgerald told W-I-S-C T-V in Madison that Walker indeed had a hand in the proposal.  Early last Friday, the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee endorsed a budget with a last-minute plan to close numerous state-and-local government records.  The G-O-P promised to scrap the proposals during the Fourth-of-July weekend.  But Senate G-O-P leader Scott Fitzgerald said today he wants to eventually update the Open Records law. Middleton Democrat Jon Erpenbach said it would only make Wisconsinites more cynical about their government.  Debate on the budget began late this afternoon.

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Milwaukee's fire chief says his personnel will most likely be more vigilant about dangerous situations.  But Mark Rohlfing says he will not change any procedures, after a fire-fighter was grazed in the head while treating a patient. The chief told reporters today that the fire-fighter -- whose name was not disclosed -- didn't know he was shot until after he finished treating his patient. The two were near an ambulance early yesterday morning when gunfire struck the right side of his head, as well as the rescue vehicle.  Rohlfing said he got angry when he learned what happened.  The fire-fighter remains off the job, after he was treated at a hospital and later released.  From the discovery of the shell casings, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said it appeared the shooter was targeting somebody else, and not the rescue unit or the ambulance.

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Two men in northwest Wisconsin are credited with saving the life of an unconscious man as his house was burning.  Fire-fighters from Bass Lake were called to the rural Sawyer County home of Mike Reinert late last night.  When they arrived, they found that Reinert was already pulled from the burning house.  Fire Chief Marvin Mullet said neighbor Brad Runions saw the blaze, called for help, and then went to Reinert's house to try and find him.  Mullet said Runions tried dragging him outside but he needed help -- and another neighbor, identified only as "Adam," provided that help.  The structure was described as an improved mobile home.  It remained standing after the fire, but there was a lot of heat damage.  The fire started around the kitchen stove.

Iowa Afternoon Summary 7/7/15


The Iowa State Penitentiary has removed inmates from a lockdown unit where a maximum-security prisoner was able to escape his cell. A penitentiary spokesperson says 12 prisoners in the unit known as the A-pod have been transferred elsewhere in the prison complex. Authorities are investigating how 25-year-old Justin Kestner escaped early Sunday from his cell on the unit, which features strict security measures and some of the most disruptive inmates in the state. Investigators say Kestner removed screws from an access cover to an enclosed space that has the building's pipes. He then was able to maneuver through the space, go through a vent and onto the building's roof. Kestner used rope constructed from torn bed sheets to descend to an unfenced area.

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The Dubuque City Council has approved a financial incentives package for police officers and firefighters buying homes in the city's downtown area. Council members voted unanimously Monday to create a program providing no-interest, forgivable loans to law enforcement officers and firefighters to buy and rehabilitate the houses. The Officer at Home initiative requires the officer or firefighter to live in the property for at least five years after purchase and get a letter of commitment from an approved lender. Housing and Community Development Director Alvin Nash says the city plans to initially offer up to 120-thousand dollars in home loans. Police department officials believe the program will help with recruitment, and city leaders hope it promotes a sense of security in the downtown area.

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The brother of a man who died after being transferred from a Clarinda mental hospital closed by the state is blaming his death on the move to a private center. Sixty-five-year-old Robert Hanson Junior died July 1st at a Des Moines Hospital. He'd been among fewer than 20 patients in the Clarinda hospital's geriatric program when Governor Terry Branstad closed the center and another mental hospital in Mount Pleasant. Hanson, who suffered brain damage in the 1980s, was moved to a Perry nursing home June 8th. His brother, Tim Hanson, says he became severely dehydrated and was transferred to a Des Moines hospital, where he died. Tim Hanson says the Clarinda nurses offered superior treatment.

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Senate Democrats have joined House Democrats in calling for Iowa lawmakers to return to the capitol for a special session to respond to Governor Terry Branstad's recent budget vetoes. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says there are plans to issue a formal letter to all 50 senators. Democrats in the House issued similar plans Monday. House Speaker Craig Paulsen, a Republicans from Hiawatha, says he doesn’t  believe there is enough support for a special session. Branstad approved nearly seven-point-two billion dollars in ongoing general fund expenses for the current fiscal year. Earlier this month he vetoed much of a one-time spending bill backed by the legislature, which included nearly 56 million dollars for K-through-12 education.

Missouri Afternoon Summary 7/7/15


More rainfall than expected flowed into the Missouri River last month, but the river's reservoirs still have plenty of room because of this year's below-average snowfall. The U-S Army Corps of Engineers says the amount of water released from the dam on the South Dakota-Nebraska border was reduced to minimize flooding. The river's reservoirs are using only 35 percent of the space reserved for flood control storage. It helps that the snowpack above Fort Peck Dam was 72 percent of normal and the snowpack below that dam was 78 percent of normal.

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Heavy rain in southwest Missouri has caused widespread flash flooding in at least one town. The National Weather Service issued flash flood watches through Wednesday evening for much of southern Missouri and southeast Kansas. The weather service says rivers and streams are swollen from recent rain and more heavy rainfall is likely through Wednesday. The Barry County Sheriff's department says crews have had to evacuate some Cassville residents and rescue others because of flooding. The Missouri Department of Transportation says several highways and roads are closed because of flooding around Cassville, a town of about three thousand near the Arkansas border.

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A Columbia man has been arrested on suspicion of choking and hitting girlfriend with a wooden banister. The 37 year old suspect was arrested Sunday on several charges including two counts of second-degree domestic assault and possession of a controlled substance. The victim told police her boyfriend assaulted her during an argument that night. The woman said the suspect struck her with a four-foot-long wooden banister on the shoulder, pushed her to the ground and tried to strangle her. The woman also told officers the suspect threw her cellphone, cracking the windshield of her vehicle. No names have been released.

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The physician-in-chief and scientific director at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh has been named dean of a St. Louis medical school where he used to teach. Washington University School of Medicine says Doctor David Perlmutter will start in December. He spent 15 years as a pediatrics faculty member at Washington University before moving to Pittsburgh.

Nebraska Afternoon Summary 7/7/15


Omaha police are searching for a 12 year old murder suspect. Jarrell Milton is wanted for the shooting death of 31 year old Jamymell (ja-MY-mell) Ray on Monday, June 29th in northeast Omaha. Two suspects were arrested Monday, July 6th and have been identified as 17–year-old Jamar Milton and 15–year-old Shuntayvious (shawn-TAY-VEE-us) Primes-Willis. Both teens were booked for murder. Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine says there are a lot of unanswered questions. All three teens were known gang members and all three had weapons. Another man, 30-year-old Charles Fisher, who was also hit by gunfire, is recovering from his wounds.

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A 25-year-old Lincoln man is accused of trying to have sex with a 13-year-old girl in exchange for trading cards and a D-V-D player. Prosecutors charged Joshua D. Vrana with attempted first-degree sexual assault of a child on Monday. A Nebraska State Patrol investigator received a tip in April about an exchange that occurred on an online dating site in which a user claimed to have a 25-year-old friend wanting to have sex with a 16-year-old user's 12-year-old sister. Investigators identified the user with the friend as Vrana and messaged him on Facebook July 1, pretending to be the 16-year-old.Vrana said he would pay for sex with a 13-year-old girl using trading cards and a D-V-D player. An investigator and Vrana planned to meet that night at a Lincoln public library. Investigators arrested Vrana after spotting him hiding in bushes near the meeting spot.

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Lincoln County authorities say a car that carried two teenagers into the rushing waters of the South Platte River has been recovered with two bodies inside. Rescuers pulled the car from the river this (Tuesday) morning. Investigators say dental records will be used to identify the bodies. Officials have said 17-year-old Alexis Wiezorek and 18-year-old Noah Ramos have been missing since May 18th, when they drove into the river, which had washed out a road on the south side of North Platte. The rushing waters of the river made it difficult for authorities to recover the car before this week.

World/National Afternoon Summary 7/7/15


A man accused in a deadly shooting rampage at an historic black South Carolina church was indicted Tuesday on nine murder charges, three attempted murder charges and a weapon offense. Twenty-one year old Dylann Roof is accused in the June 17th massacre that left nine people dead at Charleston's predominantly black Emanuel A-M-E Episcopal Church. The victims had been taking part in an evening Bible study, and Roof apparently joined them for several minutes before he drew a gun and began shooting. Survivors told police that Roof, who is white, shouted racist epithets during the massacre. Roof reportedly told at least one survivor that he was letting her live so she could tell others what happened. The church's pastor and state senator, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, was among those killed.

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A new report indicates that heroin use is reaching into new communities – addicting more women and middle-class users – as people hooked on prescription painkillers transition to cheaper illegal drugs. The rate of heroin use doubled among women over a decade, according to the study released today (Tuesday) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which compared data from the three-year period between 2002 to 2004 with data from 2011 to 2014. Heroin use also grew by 60 percent among those with annual household incomes of at least 50-thousand dollars. Heroin use grew by 62-point-five percent among those with private insurance, an indication that the users are employed and more financially secure.

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Pope Francis urged Latin Americans Tuesday to channel the same urgency that brought them independence from Spain two centuries ago to spread the faith on a continent where Catholicism is losing souls to other religious movements. The pope used his final Mass in Ecuador to issue an appeal for the missionary church that he has championed. Francis told an estimated half-million people gathered for the Mass that in a world divided by wars, violence and individualism, Catholics should be "builders of unity," bringing together hopes and ideals of their people. Latin America counts 40 percent of the world's Catholics, but the church is losing out to Protestant evangelical churches that have focused their missionary work on the continent's poorest communities with real-life guidance on employment and education.

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World powers seeking a nuclear deal with Iran in Vienna will continue negotiating past a second deadline on Tuesday — after missing a previous one last week. Delegations from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany have been working with Iran to seal an agreement on curbing Iran's disputed nuclear program and lift international sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy. A White House spokesman says the administration is demanding an agreement that "clearly shuts down" any pathway to an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Wisconsin Afternoon State News #1 - 7/7/15

July 7, 2015
Wisconsin Afternoon State News #1

Story Contributions: wheelernews@yahoo.com

An invasive snail spotted six years ago near Shawano has been found in a non-connected stream to the north.  The D-N-R said faucet snails were confirmed in Elton Creek in Langlade County, near the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The snails hold parasites that can kill waterfowl like coots and scaup.  They do not hurt most other wildlife.  An estimated 120-thousand birds have died in the Upper Mississippi River region since 2002. The D-N-R's Bob Wakeman tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that fishing gear or the trout-fishing waders may have caused the snails to appear in Elton Creek.  Boats and other waterfowl may have also spread them.  In 2009, the faucet snail was found in Shawano Lake.  They've also been in the Wolf-and-Mississippi River systems. Other area sites will be checked later this month. State law requires boaters to clean the inside of their crafts once they leave, so invasive species are not spread.  

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A Milwaukee man will not get a chance to escape a life prison sentence for the murders of his parents.  On a 5-to-2 vote today, the State Supreme Court said no to a new trial for 40-year-old Corey Kucharski.  A state appeals court ruled last fall that a new trial is warranted.  The judges said Kucharski was in a psychotic state when he shot Ralph and Pamela Kucharski to death in 2010 -- and his actions could not be explained any other way.  Circuit Judge Jean DiMotto refused to accept Corey's insanity plea.  The Supreme Court said the appellate court was wrong to exercise discretion in the case.  The justices said a new trial would not have a different outcome than what DiMotto ruled. Kucharski's lawyer tells the A-P the Supreme Court was wrong -- and it curtailed the powers of the appellate panel.

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Wisconsin's largest company will help the U-S Census Bureau save energy at its national processing center in Jeffersonville Indiana.  Johnson Controls of suburban Milwaukee has been awarded a 44-and-a-half million dollar contract for upgrades that could save 120-million dollars in energy costs over 22 years. Among other things, Johnson Controls will construct a combined power plant and heating facility that's fueled by natural gas.  Officials said it would eventually provide up to 40-percent of electricity at the large Census Bureau processing site.  The Commerce Department said the contract was the fifth-largest awarded by a civilian government agency since President Obama began his Performance Contracting Challenge four years ago.

Wisconsin Mid-Day State News #2 - 7/7/15

July 7, 2015
Wisconsin Mid-Day State News #2

Story Contributions: wheelernews@yahoo.com

The Wisconsin Senate has approved a six-percent pay raise for state troopers -- and no raises for 31-thousand other state employees over the next two years. The Senate voted unanimously late this morning in favor of a retroactive contract for the troopers' union that includes three-percent hikes in each of the next two years.  The six-percent total will carry over into a new contract that has yet to be negotiated.  Troopers and other Wisconsin police forces are exempt from the state's Act-10 public union bargaining restrictions.  The troopers had not been given a pay hike since 2009, and a 17-percent increase was scrapped this spring as lawmakers thought it was too much.  The compensation plan for the other state workers -- the one with no raises -- was approved 19-to-14.  All Senate Democrats voted no.  Senators are due to take up the new state budget this afternoon.

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A murder case could test the limits of Wisconsin's "Castle Doctrine" law, which presumes that most property owners act reasonably in killing intruders. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the attorney for Levi Acre-Kendall said victim Peter Kelly tried pulling his client out of a friend's car -- and the 19-year-old Acre-Kendall then stabbed the 34-year-old Kelly in self-defense.  It was reported in mid-April, when the two men and their friends argued for hours on both sides of the Saint Croix River.  In a motion to drop a reckless homicide charge, the defense said there was blood evidence in the car of Acre-Kendall's friend, where the defendant retreated. Therefore, the motion said the Castle Doctrine law should apply to the friend's car, as well as to people's homes-and-businesses.  A hearing on several motions is set for next Wednesday in Polk County.  Majority Republicans approved the Castle Doctrine law in 2011.

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An overnight fire at a wood plant in Superior is not nearly as bad as what authorities first reported.  An original damage estimate of a million-dollars was later cut down to 50-thousand, after an exterior conveyor belt caught fire at the Stella-Jones plant.  The belt area was engulfed in flames when fire-fighters arrived, and it took just over an hour to put the blaze out.  No one was hurt. Company division manager Jeff Brantley tells the Duluth News-Tribune the fire looked worse than it was -- and once the belt is replaced, it shouldn't take long for the plant to re-open.  Stella-Jones makes and sells pressure-treated wood products that include railroad ties and utility poles.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Wisconsin Mid-Day State News #1 - 7/7/15

July 7, 2015
Wisconsin Noon State Sports

Story Contributions: wheelernews@yahoo.com

U-S senators will look for answers this week on fighting the bird flu that killed poultry animals in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest this spring.  The Senate Agriculture committee will hold a hearing this afternoon to the examine the effects of the disease, and ways to protect poultry farms.  Tomorrow, the Senate's governmental affairs panel -- chaired by Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson -- will hold a similar hearing.  The U-S-D-A's chief veterinary officer, John Clifford, is scheduled to testify at both proceedings.  Johnson invited five witnesses including Scott Schneider, owner of Jefferson's Nature Link Farm and the president of the Wisconsin Poultry-and-Egg Industries' Association.  The Badger State had ten bird flu cases this spring, resulting in the deaths of one-and-three-quarter million chickens and turkeys.  Neighboring Minnesota and Iowa had many more cases and deaths.

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Smoky air from Canadian wildfires is still moving southeastward through Wisconsin today.  The D-N-R has an air quality alert in effect until three p-m.  A cold front pushed heavy rains and up to five tornadoes through the Badger State yesterday and last night.  Whe the storms cleared, the smoky air fell to the ground and moved in from the northwest.  The D-N-R says the air has particulates known as P-M-two-point-five.  They create unhealthy levels of air for folks with heart-and-respiratory problems, along with elderly and very young people.  If you're looking for someone to blame, get mad at a drought in Saskatchewan.  Dry and hot weather is fueling dozens of wildfires in western and central Canada.  It's the second time this year that Canadian smoke has hurt Wisconsin's air quality.  The first time was early last month.  Also, the National Weather Service has beach hazards warnings out through mid-evening due to strong winds along most of the state's border with Lake Michigan.

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U-S Senate Republican Ron Johnson had about two and three-quarter million dollars in his campaign fund at the end of June.  The man Johnson defeated in 2010, Democrat Russ Feingold, expected to have around two-million dollars in the bank as he tries to win his old job back.  It's one of the main seats targeted by national Democrats, as they try to win back the majority in the Senate next year.  That's why the candidates have started to raise large amounts of money now.  Johnson's campaign said he raised around two-million dollars from April through June.  The Feingold camp raised slightly more, around two-point-two million for the most recent reporting period.  Neither candidate has filed complete finance reports, which are due to the Federal Elections Commission later this month.

Iowa Midday Summary 7/7/15


Avian influenza is the topic of this (Tuesday) afternoon's hearing of a U-S Senate panel and two Iowans are on the witness list, both men who run poultry operations that saw heavy losses. Senator Chuck Grassley says one of the men is in the egg-laying industry, the other raises turkeys, and both will testify about how Iowa's been very hard-hit by bird flu. The Iowans who will testify are: Jim Dean, chairman of United Egg Producers in Sioux Center, and Brad Moline (moe-LEEN), manager and owner of Moline Farms, a turkey production facility in Manson. Grassley says biosecurity was already tight on the Iowa poultry operations, so they'll look for other potential solutions to future bird flu outbreaks. The U-S-D-A has already spent a majority of the money allotted for the bird flu epidemic, much of that on destroying and disposing of the infected birds and the comprehensive clean-up. Iowa's had at least 77 poultry operations hit by bird flu in 18 counties, resulting in the death or euthanizing of more than 31-million birds.

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The council wants more information from staffers and a local company that says its technology can solve Sioux City's odor problems. Co-owner Mike Lally of Enviro E-S-I told City Council members Monday that the technology could cut hydrogen sulfide levels - the rotten egg smell - coming from the city's wastewater treatment plant. Lally wants to replace the city's filter that's part of the treatment of wastewater before it's sent into the Missouri River. Lally says his company would rent the technology to the city for four-thousand dollars a month, but Mayor Bob Scott says he'd rather the city buy the equipment than pay a monthly fee. The City Council asked for more cost information from Lally as well as more information from city staff about Sioux City's wastewater treatment.

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An Iowa man accused of collecting and distributing child pornography has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. Thirty-seven-year-old Corey Steffen of Pleasant Hill also must serve 10 years on probation when he exits prison. Authorities say Steffen was caught in 2012 using the Pleasant Hill Public Library's Internet connection to collect and distribute child porn on his laptop.

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Jury selection continues today (Tuesday) in the trial of a man accused of stabbing another man to death in Clive. Attorneys on Monday began picking jurors in the case of Stephen Jonas. He's accused of killing 21-year-old Zachary Paulsen. His body was found last August on a lot behind Dean Paulsen & Sons Contractors in Clive.

Nebraska Midday Summary 7/7/15


  An initial test on a driver who crashed into a house in Omaha early today (Tuesday) indicates he was impaired at the time. Officers arrived at the scene of the accident at around 4:20 A-M. A woman sleeping inside the home was not hurt in the incident. But police said the house is damaged beyond repair and may have to be condemned. According to an officer at the scene, the initial test for the driver's blood alcohol content showed it was four times the legal driving limit. The driver was taken to a hospital. So far, no injuries have been reported.  

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One month before a Glock pistol was used to kill Omaha police officer Kerrie Orozco (ah-ROSS-coe), a Georgia woman bought it illegally in an Atlanta-area pawn shop. That's the allegation from federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. After the A-T-F completed an emergency trace on the gun, they charged 26-year-old Jalita Johnson for making what officials call a "straw purchase." That's when a buyer purchases a gun for someone else who isn't able to legally own a firearm. Johnson is from Clayton County in the Atlanta metro area. The pistol came from Arrowhead Pawn Shop in Jonesboro, Georgia. The feds say the purchase happened on April 23. Officer Kerrie Orozco was part of the Metro Fugitive Task Force serving a warrant for Marcus Wheeler's arrest on May 21. Wheeler shot Orozco, and she later died. Officers at the scene returned fire, killing Wheeler.

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The man wanted in connection with an early (Tuesday) morning stabbing in Omaha has been taken into custody. Law enforcement officers say the man is suspected of stabbing a woman. The suspect's name has not been released. Initial reports indicate the female victim was in a vehicle when she was stabbed. She jumped out of the vehicle and was able to call for help. Officials say the woman was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center for treatment of potentially critical injuries.

MIssouri Midday Summary 7/7/15


 

 

Remains found in southwest Missouri last month have been identified as those of a Joplin man who was reported missing in September. Investigators consider the cause of 45-year-old Jonny Slater's death as suspicious. His remains were discovered June 3rd near Carterville, eight miles northeast of Joplin. Investigators say medical records were used to make a tentative identification of the remains. The bones have been sent to a forensic laboratory in Texas for D-N-A verification. A surveyor made the discovery in a wooded area on private property to which Slater has no known connections. Slater's friends told police when they reported him missing on September 4th that they had not heard from him for a week.

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Investigators say a man found dead inside a fire-damaged suburban St. Louis home had been shot to death. Firefighters who responded to the fire about 5 A-M Sunday in University City found the body of 33-year-old Jeremy Smith in a bedroom, along with what police believe to be a small amount of narcotics. Police say Smith had been shot in the head. Investigators say Smith had lived there for about three years.

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A Lincoln County man is accused in connection with his second fatal wreck in the past year. Twenty-five-year-old Derrell Edward Dean Hall of Winfield was charged Monday in St. Charles County with involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident. Those counts relate to a wreck early Saturday that killed 44-year-old motorcyclist Jason Julian of St. Charles. Police say Hall was speeding at the time and drove through a stop sign. Hall was previously charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated in connection with an October crash that killed the 22-year-old mother of his child.

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After a push from community activists, the old Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word Convent in Bel-Noir has been saved from demolition. The University of Missouri-St. Louis announced Monday that the planned demolition of the convent has been canceled. A university spokesman said school Chancellor Thomas George decided to cancel the planned summer demolition so that a positive relationship with the community could be maintained. The 1920s-era convent had been slated to be torn down as part of the school's original plan to address a maintenance backlog worth an estimated 300 million dollars. The convent buildings had previously been used for campus housing, the honors college and office space but had been left vacant in recent years.

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Authorities say a St. Louis-area man wrote his own name and address on an envelope he used to send a painkiller to a jailed inmate. Warren County prosecutors have charged Kenneth Dufrenne with felony drug distribution. Investigators say Dufrenne put six squared strips underneath three stamps on an envelope last November.

World/National Midday Summary 7/7/15


 

The South Carolina Senate is scheduled to vote for a final time today (Tuesday) on a bill that would remove the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds, where it has flown either atop the Capitol or on a nearby flagpole for 54 years. The Senate, which voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move Monday following hours of debate, will then send the bill to the House. The bill could be taken up almost immediately -- or technical delays could push back the House debate as late as Friday. The push to remove the flag comes three weeks after a shooting rampage at a predominantly black church left nine people dead, including a state senator, and brought renewed attention to the controversial Southern symbol. Governor Nikki Haley, who called for the flag to be removed in the days following the Charleston tragedy, has indicated she will sign the bill.

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French authorities are investigating the theft of roughly 200 detonators plus grenades and plastic explosives from a military site in southeastern France. The thefts at the site operated by a combination of military services west of Marseille, appeared to have occurred overnight from Sunday to Monday. The break-in comes as France has strengthened its security measures after two deadly attacks by extremists this year. Investigators say the thief or thieves appeared to have cut through a fence to enter the high-security site. France has been on its highest level of alert for terrorism following deadly attacks in January and June.

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Police investigators arrived at the home of Subway pitchman Jared Fogle early today (Tuesday). It could not be immediately confirmed why police were at the home, but it comes nearly two months after the executive director of Fogle's foundation was arrested in Indianapolis on federal child pornography charges. Fogle rose to fame in television commercials for the Subway sandwich chain after losing 235 pounds by eating Subway sandwiches and exercising. He slimmed down from 425 pounds by sticking to a diet of low-calorie Subway sandwiches and walking. In May, Russell Taylor, the former Jared Foundation executive director, was arrested on federal child pornography charges. Fogle started the non-profit Jared Foundation to raise awareness and money to support childhood obesity programs. After Taylor's arrest Fogle issued a statement that said he was "shocked" over the allegations and that the foundation was "severing all ties" with Taylor.

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A Canadian man is facing charges after attaching more than 100 helium-filled balloons to a lawn chair and floating over Calgary, Canada. Calgary Police say Twenty-six year old Daniel Boria took flight on Sunday evening and was arrested after he jumped from the chair and opened a parachute attached to his back. Boria was charged with one count of mischief causing danger to life. Boria devised the stunt as a marketing ploy to gain attention to his all-natural cleaning solution company. He told the Toronto Star newspaper that he spent 12-thousand dollars on helium and planned to skydive onto the Calgary Stampede grounds until bad weather foiled his plans.

Wisconsin Noon State Sports - 7/7/15

July 7, 2015
Wisconsin Noon State Sports

Story Contributions: wheelernews@yahoo.com

Francisco Rodriguez has the National League's eighth-highest number of saves this year with 18.  But none of the top seven have converted all of their save chances like K-Rod has.  And that's possibly why National League manager Bruce Bochy named Rodriguez as Milwaukee's lone representative for next Tuesday night's All-Star Game in Cincinnati.  The 33-year-old Rodriguez has not blown a save since last August.  That was 23 chances ago, and only two Major League closers have longer streaks -- Glen Perkins of Minnesota with 27, and Mark Melancon of Pittsburgh with 25.  It's K-Rod's second straight All-Star invitation, and the sixth of his 14-year big league career. Every team sends at least one player to the All-Star Game -- and the Brewers have the minimum for the first time since 2012, when Ryan Braun was elected to start in the outfield. Last year, the Crew sent four players -- three of whom started for the N-L.

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The Milwaukee Brewers will try to even their home series with Atlanta tonight. The Crew snapped an eight-game winning streak last night with a 5-3 loss to the Braves.  Milwaukee right-hander Tyler Cravy and Atlanta southpaw Manny Banuelos will both make their second Major League starts this evening.  Cravy lost his Brewers' debut on June second at Saint Louis, despite giving up just one run in seven innings.  He struck out six in that game before being sent back to the minors.  Last week, Milwaukee recalled him from Triple-"A" Colorado Springs -- and he pitched two innings of relief last Friday at Cincinnati, giving up a run on three hits and a walk.  Banuelos had a no-decision against Washington in his big league debut last Thursday.  He gave up just two hits and struck out seven, before leaving in the sixth inning with cramps-and-dehydration.

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Brewers' prospect Clint Coulter of Brevard County has been named the offensive player-of-the-week in the upper-Class-"A" Florida State League.  Milwaukee's top draft choice from 2012 batted .385 in seven games last week with five doubles, a homer, six R-B-I's, and six runs scored.  Coulter, a former catcher who's now an outfielder, belted nine homers in April and May. He has cooled off since then, but he still has an .812 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 80 games with Brevard County this season.

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Both Wisconsin teams in the lower-Class-"A" Midwest League have afternoon games today.  The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will host Kane County again, in the wake of a 5-4 Rattlers' victory in eleven innings last night.  The Beloit Snappers are at Cedar Rapids again, on the heels of a 7-5 Snappers' defeat.  Both games were to begin at 12:05 this afternoon.

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Corey Clement has yet to become the Wisconsin Badgers' top running back -- but already, he's in line for a national award.  The junior Clement is among 80 players named to a watch-list for the Maxwell Award, presented each year to the nation's top college football player.  Also, junior linebacker Vince Biegel and senior safety Michael Caputo are candidates for the Bednarik Award, given to the top college defensive player.  Clement had a solid year for the Badgers in 2014, despite playing second-fiddle to Melvin Gordon.  Clement had 949 rushing yards and eleven total touchdowns last season -- and he has almost 15-hundred yards on the ground in his first years with the U-W. Caputo led Wisconsin in total tackles last year with 106, and Biegel led the Badgers in tackles-for-losses with 16-and-a-half.

Wisconsin Morning State News #4 - 7/7/15

July 7, 2015
Wisconsin Morning State News #4

Story Contributions: wheelernews@yahoo.com

Major League Baseball has had more than its share of fan injuries this year.  The latest occurred last night in Milwaukee.  A woman sitting a few rows behind the Brewers' dugout was hit by a line drive from Atlanta's Eury Perez.  The game was held up for almost ten minutes, as medics carried the woman off on a stretcher.  Her face appeared to be covered with a towel, and there was no update on her condition.  It happened in the ninth inning of Milwaukee's 5-to-3 home loss to the Braves.  Several fans have been hurt by foul balls this season -- including Tonya Carpenter, who had life-threatening injuries a month ago when a broken bat flew into the stands in Boston.  She has since gotten better, and is now at a rehab center.  After that incident, Major League Baseball promised to review fan safety at stadiums.  There's talk that stadiums will be forced to extend the nets which protect lower deck fans behind home plate.

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An electric utility has asked the state for the okay to resume building a three-mile segment of a larger transmission line.  X-cel Energy halted the work last month, after a conservancy group found that the line near La Crosse could interfere with nesting by federally-protected birds.  An official of the Mississippi Valley Conservancy saw that poles were installed on a site that protects eleven bird species -- including the threatened Bell's vireo and Henslow's sparrow.  X-cel Energy later confirmed the birds' protected status, and said it mistakenly gave crews the wrong information about the activities which are prohibited at the site.  Now, X-cel wants the state to let it resume construction along two miles where there's no evidence of the protected birds.  The line is part of the Cap-X-2020 transmission facility across much of the Upper Midwest.

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A Milwaukee man has gone back to prison, after he posed as a police officer and threatened to report illegal immigrants to federal authorities.  Fifty-four year old Reinaldo Acosta was given a six-year prison term yesterday, after he served three years for a similar offense in 2006.  The latest incidents took place in 2013.  Authorities said Acosta claimed to be a police officer investigating a drug bust, when he eventually stole 700-dollars from his victim.  A few days later, Acosta threatened to report a second illegal immigrant for possible deportation, when he obtained the person's wallet and I-D.  He reportedly told the victim he was a federal agent investigating a robbery.

Minnesota Morning Sports Summary - 7/7/15

"Minnesota Sports Summary"

Twins Win In Ten Innings

(Minneapolis, MN) -- Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier clubbed a walk-off, two-run home run in the 10th inning to give the Twins a 4-2 victory over the Orioles at Target Field. The game-winner came on a night in which Dozier found out he was not selected to be a member of the American League All-Star team. Dozier has a chance to be voted into the game by fans as the final member of the team. The on-line voting is already underway. Torii Hunter and Aaron Hicks each added a solo shot for Minnesota, which has traded wins and losses over the past seven games. Trevor May improved to 5-and-7 with the relief win. Manny Machado belted a solo homer of his own and Adam Jones went deep as well to tie the game in the sixth. Tommy Hunter suffered the loss for Baltimore. The O's have dropped four of five and six of their last eight overall. The same two teams play tonight at Target Field at 7:10 p.m.

Twins' Perkins Makes ASG As Reserve

(Minneapolis, MN) -- Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins is making his third straight All-Star team. Perkins was named a reserve for the American League in next week's game in Cincinnati. He is a perfect 27-for-27 in save opportunities this season. Perkins earned the save for the American League in last year's Midsummer Classic played at Target Field. Other pitchers on the American League roster are the Rays' Chris Archer and Brad Boxberger, the Yankees' Dellin Betances, the Orioles Zach Britton and Darren O'Day, the Royals' Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera, the A's Sonny Gray, the Mariners' Felix Hernandez, the Astros' Dallas Keuchel (KY-kull), the Tigers' David Price and Chris Sale of the White Sox. Players on the bench for the American League will be Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin, A's catcher Stephen Vogt (VOTE), Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias, Red Sox utilityman Brock Holt, Rangers DH Prince Fielder and outfielders Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, Adam Jones of the Orioles and J.D. Martinez of the Tigers. The National League bench will feature Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu (la-MAY-hew), Giants second baseman Joe Panik, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and outfielders Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, Joc Pederson of the Dodgers, A.J. Pollock of the Diamondbacks and Justin Upton of the Padres. Pitchers on the roster for the Senior Circuit feature the Giants' Madison Bumgarner, the Pirates' Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett and Mark Melancon (mel-ANN-son), the Reds' Aroldis Chapman, the Mets' Jacob deGrom, the Dodgers' Zack Greinke, the Braves' Shelby Miller, the Phillies' Jonathan Papelbon, the Brewers' Francisco Rodriguez, the Nationals' Max Scherzer and the Cardinals' Michael Wacha (WAH-kuh) and Trevor Rosenthal.

Twins' Dozier Up For Fan Vote

(Minneapolis, MN) -- Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is in the running for the final spot on the American League All-Star roster. Dozier joins Boston's Xander Bogaerts, Detroit's Yoenis Cespedes, Kansas City's Mike Moustakas and New York's Brett Gardner as the five American League candidates for the Final Vote. Balloting is open through 3 p.m. on Friday. Twins have already created a #VoteDozier hashtag on Twitter.

Nolasco To Undergo Ankle Surgery; Roster Moves

(Minneapolis, MN) -- The Twins received some bad news pertaining to right-hander Ricky Nolasco. The 32-year-old is scheduled to undergo ankle surgery next Monday. Nolasco was placed on the disabled list June 4th with the ankle injury. He is 5-and-1 with a 5.51 ERA in seven starts this year. Minnesota also placed bullpen arm Ryan Pressley on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain. The Twins reinstated outfielder Shane Robinson off of the Family Emergency List. In addition, the Twins sent lefty reliever Aaron Thompson to Class AAA Rochester and called up Ryan O'Rourke. O'Rourke is looking to make his Major League debut after making 22 relief appearances for the Red Wings this season, posting a 5.40 earned run average. He was a 13th round Twins draft choice in 2010.

Fan Injured At Braves-Brewers Game

(Milwaukee, WI) -- Another fan was injured while attending a baseball game Monday night. A woman needed medical attention after she was hit with a foul ball during a game between the Braves and Brewers in Milwaukee. The contest was delayed for nearly 10 minutes in the ninth inning as the fan was treated. She was stretchered to the stadium's concourse after being helped to her feet. Her condition is unknown. The incident occurred about a month after a woman was struck with a broken bat attending a game at Fenway Park in Boston.

Timberwolves Summer Camp Underway

(Minneapolis, MN) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves began a four-day summer mini-camp yesterday with a pair of workouts at the team's new training facility in downtown Minneapolis. The camp is designed for the team's younger players and prospects and will lead into the NBA Summer League season in Las Vegas from July 10-20. The Wolves summer league team will practice twice again today and two more times tomorrow. The second Wednesday practice is a scrimmage at the Target Center that will be open to the public. There will be a final practice on Thursday in Minneapolis and the team then heads to Las Vegas and takes on the Lakers on Friday, the Bulls on Saturday, and the Jazz on Sunday.

T'Wolves Summer Roster

(Minneapolis, MN) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Summer League roster is now set. Marquee draft picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones headline a group of 13 players expected to play in the Las Vegas-based tournament scheduled to start on Friday. The team is practicing this week in Minneapolis in preparation. In addition to Towns and Jones, the Wolves summer roster includes second-year players Zach LaVine (luh-VEEN) and Adreian Payne. The rest of the roster includes Ivan Aska, Kyle Barone, Lorenzo Brown, Brady Heslip, Othyus Jeffers, Jordan Morgan, Tyler Stone, Sam Thompson, and C.J. Williams. Gorgui Dieng (GOR-gee JENG), Shabazz Muhammad, and Andrew Wiggins will practice with the team in Minneapolis this week, but are not expected to take part in the Las Vegas Summer League. Ryan Saunders will serve as the team's head coach in Vegas. He is the son of Wolves head coach Flip Saunders.

Cavaliers Sign Mo Williams

(Cleveland, OH) -- Mo Williams is heading back to one of his old teams. The Cavaliers have signed Williams to a two-year, 4.3-million-dollar contract with the second-season being a player option. He spent two full seasons with Cleveland before being traded to the Clippers during the 2010-11 campaign. Williams made it to the All-Star Game in 2009 as a member of the Cavs. The 32-year-old averaged 14.2 points and 6.2 assists splitting time with the Timberwolves and Hornets last season.

College Hoops: Big Ten Tops Again

(Undated) -- The Big Ten Conference led the nation in NCAA men's basketball attendance for the 39th consecutive year, highlighted by 11 schools in the top 32. The Golden Gophers averaged 12,188 fans per game, which was No. 29 in the nation. Wisconsin was fifth nationally, followed by Indiana at No. 8, Nebraska at tenth; Michigan State at No. 14, Illinois was 15th, Ohio State finished 16th, followed by No. 20 Iowa, 25th Maryland, No. 28 Michigan and 32nd Purdue.

World Cup Parade May Happen In NYC

(New York, NY) -- New Yorkers may be seeing the women's World Cup winners up close and personal. The city is considering holding a ticker tape parade for the championship team which beat Japan in exciting fashion on Sunday. In congratulating the team for its achievement, Mayor Bill de Blasio's office says the city is exploring the possibility of holding a parade. It would be the first such honor for a women's team. The Yankees were honored for winning the World Series and the Giants got a parade when they won the Super Bowl.

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grimm
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Wisconsin Morning State News #3 - 7/7/15

July 7, 2015
Wisconsin Morning State News #3

Story Contributions: wheelernews@yahoo.com

Now that the rains are gone, Wisconsinites are starting to feel the effects of heavy smoke from wildfires in Alaska and Canada.  The state D-N-R issued an air quality alert until three this afternoon for all of the Badger State. Several monitoring sites in northern and west central Wisconsin registered air levels overnight that are unhealthy for young kids, seniors, and those with heart-and-respiratory problems.  The D-N-R's notice said wildfire smoke has been over Wisconsin for several days, but it has finally come down to the surface.  Rains of up to seven-and-a-third inches prevented the surface pollution yesterday.  But those storms moved out late last night, and the D-N-R says the ground smoke will move southeastward across the state today.  Widths and densities will vary at any given location.  It's worse in neighboring Minnesota, where the Twin Cities and other places have their highest air pollution levels in a decade.

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After the July Fourth firestorm over closing public records, minority Democrats responded yesterday by proposing more scrutiny over the state budget. Assembly Assistant Democratic Leader Katrina Shankland of Stevens Point unveiled a plan to make non-fiscal items get public hearings and committee votes before they go into the budget.  The idea is to end last-minute budget amendments with unpopular items that never get scrutinized.  Both parties have done it for years.  But Republicans have ramped it up -- as evidenced by last week's committee vote to end access to many state-and-local government records by the public and those who sue lawmakers.  The G-O-P plans to remove the measure, but Democrats say it still doesn't solve the issue of leaving the public out of last-minute budget matters.  Minority Leader Peter Barca said the past is gone, and the focus should now be on the future.

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Two people were shot-to-death in Milwaukee this morning.  Media reports said it happened around five a-m.  The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office said it was notified about two deaths, but police had not said anything as of 6:45.  Six other people were murdered in Wisconsin's largest city over the past week -- including a 14-year-old boy shot soon after the city's fireworks show last Friday night.

Minnesota Wire: News 7am Summary

July 7, 2015
Minnesota Wire:  News 7am Summary

>>Discovery of Box-Cutter Makes Release of Terror Suspects Less Likely

(Minneapolis, MN) – A 19-year-old man accused of trying to help the Islamic State has been returned to jail after a box-cutter was found under his bed at the halfway house where he was living.  Abdullah Yusuf had been living there for five months.  Details of the box-cutter came to light during a Monday hearing.  Seven other terror suspects return to court tomorrow seeking release while they wait for their trials to start.  The incident with Yusuf is expected to affect the chances of release for those suspects.

>>Man Accused of Keeping Teen Locked in Trailer for Sex

(St. Paul, MN) – The Ramsey County Atttorney’s Office says a 34-year-old St. Paul man kept a teenage girl locked in a trailer so he could have sex with her.  Paul Isaac Carter faces one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.  A conviction carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.  Police followed up on a tip from the public and they say they watched Carter leave the trailer parked near his house and lock the door with a padlock.  When they conducted a welfare check inside the trailer, they found a 15-year-old Columbia Heights girl who had been reported missing. 

>>Third Republican State Senator Decides to Step Down

(St. Paul, MN) – A third Republican lawmaker has announced he won’t be running for re-election next year.  Senator Branden Petersen made the official announcement Monday.  He had spent one term in the Minnesota House before winning the Senate seat in 2012.  Petersen says he needs to focus on work and spending time with his family.  At just 29 years old, he’s not ruling out a return to politics.  For now, he says he will resume his former career as a car salesman.  Republican Senators Julianne Ortman and Dave Brown have already said they won’t be running for re-election.

>>Four Accused Robbers Arrested After Chase and Crash

(Golden Valley, MN) – New Hope police say four people were arrested for a Monday morning robbery, but not before a high-speed chase and a wreck that ended things.  An officer made the stop of the suspect car and got two of the four occupants out, but the driver took off.  The officer says he secured the two, then started following the car.  He caught up to it at a stoplight at Highway 55 and Winnetka Avenue.  The two people trying to get away had crashed into that stoplight.  Emergency responders had to extricate them from the car.

>>Duluth Sidewalk Days Kick Off Wednesday

(Duluth, MN) – Sidewalk Days returns to downtown Duluth this week, starting tomorrow (Wednesday).  Superior Street will be shut down to all vehicle traffic between Lake and Fifth avenues through Friday to make way for vendors, activities and the thousands of people who will attend.  Drivers should be looking for officers directing traffic.  They should also keep their eyes peeled for pedestrians, posted detours and no-parking signs.  Some of the major events include the 15th annual Classic Car Show and Harley Revue Wednesday, a street dance Friday night and another one the next night.

>>Preschool Program has More Money, But Fewer Students

(St. Paul, MN) – Despite millions of dollars in new spending, state officials say Minnesota’s preschool scholarship program may reach fewer children next year.  That’s because the scholarship cap is being increased to 75-hundred dollars.  About 64 hundred students got at least some aid last year.  Increasing the cap means there will be enough money for scholarships for about 57-hundred this year.  State Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says despite the smaller number of students, there will be a better quality and higher percentage of them who are ready for kindergarten.  Early learning funding is going up by 79 million dollars over the next two years.

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Forbis


Wisconsin Morning State News #2 - 7/7/15

July 7, 2015
Wisconsin Morning State News #2

Story Contributions: wheelernews@yahoo.com

Winning lottery numbers:
Five-Card Cash:  6-spades, 6-hearts, 10-spades, 5-spades, 8-diamonds
Supercash:  11-13-23-28-31-38 - Doubler Yes
Pick-3:  7-2-3
Pick-4:  1-8-5-9
Badger-5:  1-11-12-15-27

Up to five tornadoes in northeast Wisconsin did not trigger the usual power outages.  Wisconsin Public Service, the utility which serves the area, said only one customer was in the dark as of 5:30 this morning.  That was in Green Bay, away from the tornadoes' 50-mile path.  Twisters damaged two homes and numerous farm buildings in Waupaca County -- and power line damage was reported in Oconto County.  No injuries were reported.  Rick Mamrosh of the National Weather Service in Green Bay said the apparent tornadoes were unusual, because they were not accompanied by the normal lightning that often causes power outages.  Southeast Wisconsin was hit the hardest in that department.  Almost 29-hundred We Energies' customers were still in the dark early this morning in the Brookfield, Greendale, Sturtevant, Burlington, and Whitewater areas.  Heavy rains fell in much of Wisconsin last night.

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A Milwaukee fire-fighter appeared to be shot inadvertently while tending to a patient.  Police Chief Ed Flynn said the shots were fired from an alley -- and the target might have been several blocks away, based on where shell casings were found.  The incident occurred just after midnight yesterday, while paramedics were placing a patient in an ambulance in a north side Milwaukee neighborhood. The victim, a 46-year-old fire-fighter, was treated at a hospital and later released with a graze wound to the right side of his head.  Police were still looking for suspects at last word.  The Milwaukee fire union condemned the increasing gun violence, and said the city was in "crisis." Union chief David Sager said fire-fighters are not trained to deal with fights and gunshots they run into -- and they'll continue to be ready to help "all citizens."

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An 87-year-old woman missing in far northern Wisconsin has been found safe. The state Justice Department issued a Silver Alert for Marion Hintz.  The alert said Hintz disappeared sometime after she was waiting for her husband yesterday outside a building in Arbor Vitae in Vilas County.

Wisconsin Morning State News #1 - 7/7/15

July 7, 2015
Wisconsin Morning State News #1

Story Contributions: wheelernews@yahoo.com

Winning lottery numbers:
Five-Card Cash:  6-spades, 6-hearts, 10-spades, 5-spades, 8-diamonds
Supercash:  11-13-23-28-31-38 - Doubler Yes
Pick-3:  7-2-3
Pick-4:  1-8-5-9
Badger-5:  1-11-12-15-27

Tornadoes touched down along a 50-mile stretch of northeast Wisconsin late yesterday afternoon.  No injuries were reported.  The National Weather Service Web site listed three twisters in Waupaca and Shawano counties.  Media spotters reported up to five tornadoes in those two counties plus Oconto.  The Weather Service will inspect damage in all three counties to see what actually happened.  Two homes were damaged, a barn was destroyed, and other farm buildings were damaged in the Waupaca County town of Dupont.  A mother and three children escaped injury when a tornado hit while they were inside.  Trees and power lines fell in Oconto County, and much of Wisconsin had heavy rains. Rhinelander had two-point-three inches of rain last night, after River Falls in far western Wisconsin had seven-and-two-thirds inches earlier in the day.  In Middleton, trees were snapped off in a late night downburst.

(Thanks for help Larry Lee, WSAU, Wausau)

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The Wisconsin Senate will consider the proposed state budget today -- and a cut-back in the prevailing wage might be returned to the package.  Senate President Mary Lazich (lah-zick) said the G-O-P has not rounded up enough votes quite yet -- but it's said to be close.  Majority Republicans have been split on what to do with the 84-year-old minimum wages paid to contractors for highways and other public works projects.  However, there's been growing support in recent days for a plan by Senate Republican Frank Lasee to repeal the prevailing wage for local government projects -- and limit it to the federal wage for state government work.  In those cases, the prevailing wage would apply to projects costing more than 48-thousand dollars for workers in one trade, and 100-thousand for those in two-or-more trades.

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A second scuba-diving death has occurred in the last ten days on Wisconsin's deepest inland lake.  Fifty-nine year old Kerry Jurica of Weston died Sunday after diving exercises in Lake Wazee near Black River Falls.  Jackson County authorities said another diver saw that Jurica was having trouble with his equipment -- and he was unresponsive when the diver pulled him up.  Jurica died later at a medical facility.  The incident remains under investigation, but there's no sign of foul play.  On June 27th, Wendy Fassbender of Lodi died in similar scuba exercises on Lake Wazee.