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11 Dec  
Life lesson
"The couple will continue to teach the class to help teens and pre-teens earn the mandatory certificate they need to drive. Jim said he will use Georgia's accident as a teaching tool to emphasize the necessity of being careful.  "If I can get into an accident, anyone can," said Georgia, an emergency medical technician who always carried a first-aid kit on her sled."
Jacks take down Hurley
"The Jacks jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first half and hung on to defeat the Midgets 53-45 Monday night. This was Drummond's fourth straight win over the Midgets.  Drummond (2-0 overall, 1-0 IC) led 13-6 after one period and 27-14 at intermission. Coach Josh Hanson liked the job his squad did defensively on Hurley."
Asian carp raises fear and loathing on Great Lakes
"The prospect of a carp invasion alarms environmentalists and people whose livelihoods depend on a strong fishing and tourism economy, from charter boat skippers to those who sell bait and tackle, rent personal watercraft and operate lakefront restaurants and motels. The Great Lakes fishing industry alone is valued at $7 billion a year."
LED traffic lights pose hazard in snow storm
"Some Wisconsin communities that have installed high efficiency traffic lights are discovering the energy-saving bulbs are a hazard in a snow storm.  City officials say the LED lights use less electricity and don't give off enough heat to melt ice or snow. So when the snow falls and the wind blows, the traffic lights are obscured."
Bill would relax nuclear ban, expand renewables
"The draft legislation would relax the state’s ban on building nuclear power plants while requiring the state’s utilities to increase the amount of renewable power they generate and increase their investment in energy efficiency.  The draft "is intended to track the recommendations of the (global warming) task force," the four legislators said in a letter Thursday. The task force, appointed by Gov. Jim Doyle, included legislators, utilities, environmental groups and businesses."
Indiana shooting of whooping crane raises worries
"There are 105 birds living in the eastern U.S., with most of the cranes spending the spring, summer and fall in or near the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin.  This is the third shooting of a whooping crane in the eastern U.S. since 2001.  The loss of the 7-year-old female is especially troubling, experts say, because she and her partner have hatched three chicks in the wild - the most of any pair in the eastern flock."
$14.5 million to aid state energy
"Gov. Jim Doyle announced Thursday select Wisconsin industrial firms will receive more than $14.5 million in federal funds to increase energy efficiency and save and create jobs.  Doyle said in a statement several Wisconsin paper companies — along with mining companies and small engine producers — will receive monetary awards to make the manufacturing process more efficient."
DNR's Gozdzialski: Apply water quality standards uniformly
"State law exempts older incorporated cities and villages - the majority of those entities - from the standard, but Gozdzialski said, on other environmental issues, specifically, protecting wetlands, the Legislature had "recognized" the need to apply standards uniformly.  Indeed, the state established minimum standards for wetland protections for unincorporated areas in 1980 and extended them to cities and villages in 1981, and a 1997 DNR Shoreland Management Program Assessment reiterated Gozdzialski's point, observing there were only slight differences between minimum standards in the unincorporated and incorporated areas."
Religious Intensity Remains Powerful Predictor of Politics - Gallup
"Americans' religious intensity continues to be a major predictor of party identification. A new analysis of more than 29,000 interviews Gallup conducted in November finds that Republicans outnumber Democrats by 12 percentage points among Americans who are classified as highly religious, while Democrats outnumber Republicans by 30 points among those who are not religious."
Bill Would Create Agency to Protect Consumers from Big Banks
"The bill would require hedge fund and leveraged buyout managers to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and give the agency the power to require disclosures from those funds to investors. H.R. 4173 also provides for a tough resolution process for failed large financial institutions, preventing the massive taxpayer bailouts we saw over the past year. And it makes credit agencies accountable when they issue misleading ratings on financial products intended to deceive investors."
A Case Of Classic SwiftBoating: How The Right-Wing Noise Machine Manufactured ‘Climategate’  - The Wonk Room
"Polluter-funded climate skeptics, along with their allies in conservative media and the Republican Party, sifted through the e-mails, and quickly cherry picked quotes to falsely accuse climate scientists of concocting climate change science out of whole cloth. The skeptics also propelled the story, dubbed “Climategate,” to the cover of the New York Times and newspapers across the globe."
House Republicans Vote to Let Tax Cuts Expire - Hillbilly Report
"Under current law, the profit-sharing fees, called carried interest, are taxed as capital gains, with a top rate of 15 percent. The House bill would tax the fees as regular income, with a top tax rate of 35 percent, scheduled to rise to 39.6 percent in 2011."

10 Feb

Stormy Kromer Pursuit Registration
"The 7th Annual Iron County Stormy Kromer Pursuit is fast approaching.
Early bird registration for the January 2-3, 2010 race ends next Friday, December 18th.
Register now before the fee increases. Register Online"
Big snow blows into Range
"Although winter does not officially arrive for 11 more days, the Gogebic Range and surrounding areas got a quick reminder of what's to come when more than a foot of snow fell during the 24-hour period to this morning.  Strong winds played a big part in the weather, with snow drifting two to three feet in some areas."
Winter storm blasts region
"Northwest Wisconsin got a full dose of heavy snow brought by the storm, with one reporting station near Washburn accumulating 20.4 inches of snow. The snow was just as heavy on the south shore of Lake Superior, especially on the highlands of the Bayfield peninsula, said the National Weather service, with 17 inches of snow in Bayfield, Cornucopia and Poplar. South Range, in Douglas County, reported 19 inches of snow. Iron County’s Upson reported 18 inches and 24 inches was recorded in Montreal, also in Iron County."
  • Hurley sets sights on fifth straight title
    "Of all the things Hurley have accomplished in its four-year reign atop the Indianhead Conference, last year brought with it a first for the Midgettes.  For the first time since the WIAA started seeding regionals, Hurley broke through to the sectional level. That ended a string of years where despite being the class of the conference, the Midgettes weren’t able to carry that over to an often potent Division 3 field."
  • Midgets could emerge from another competitive race
    "Once again, the Indianhead Conference frontrunners did a superb job of beating themselves up this past season.  No one made it through the season unscathed, with Hurley and Washburn winding up sharing the league title at 13-3. The Midgets caught Washburn for a pair of losses, but third-place Drummond had Hurley’s number, knocking the Midgets off twice."
3 local firms get $3.1 million from state energy fund
"Three Milwaukee area companies have been awarded $3.1 million in federal stimulus funding for energy projects that are projected to create 276 jobs.  The announcement from Gov. Jim Doyle was funding through an energy program designed to provide low-interest loans to companies that invest in energy efficient technologies or renewable energy."
Whooping crane killed by gunshot in Indiana
"Authorities in Indiana are investigating the shooting death of an endangered female whooping crane that produced the only chick hatched in the wild in the eastern United States since birds were reintroduced in 2001.  The shooting took place between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1, when a tracker from the International Crane Foundation discovered the body near the Illinois border in Vermilion County."
Tech: AT&T tops in 3G wireless speeds, study finds
"But while the study does contain good news for AT&T, it does little to invalidate Verizon's attack that AT&T's 3G network is primarily confined to major metropolitan areas and does not extend to most geographical areas in the U.S., Network World reported."
Beware of 'Allstate' prize money letter -- it's a scam
""There was a catch," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain. "She needed to deposit the $4,970.80 check sent by 'Allstate' and then send her personal check to the mailer, so they could get around a non-Canadian residential tax.""
Doyle calls special session for school reform bills
"“The new data is extremely alarming and reiterates the need for drastic changes to the structure of MPS. We cannot continue to do nothing and play politics while our children struggle in an inadequate school system,” Plale said.  Plale is one of the cosponsors of the bill, which would give mayoral control over the choice of superintendant for MPS."
FOX 21
Wisconsin, U.P. taking brunt of winter storm; less snow in Minn.
"The Weather Service forecasts that Northwestern Wisconsin may see storm totals of 12 to 20 inches by Thursday morning, with the heaviest amounts from interior Douglas County to the Bayfield Peninsula to the Gogebic Range.  Twelve to 18 inches of snow are forecast for much of Gogebic and Ontonagon counties in the U.P."
Spanish gov't to change abortion bill - Associated Press
"The Spanish government agreed to changes in its proposed abortion bill that will now require girls aged 16 and 17 to inform one of their parents if they seek to end their pregnancy, an opposition party said Thursday."
Look for Union Label at iPhone App Store
"Under the agreement, writers for apps such as “This Just In” (which delivers 10-15 jokes a day to the iPhone) will get to count their jokes written for the app toward WGAE health insurance and other benefits.  Comedy writers covered by this new agreement work at “The Daily Show,” “The Onion,” “Human Giant” and “Saturday Night Live” and in other comedy media.  iLarious staff voted to join a union because company founder and comedy writer Fred Graver is himself a member of the WGAE and gets how important union representation is to writers."
In 'Crude' Exploitation of Ecuador's Amazon, Chevron-Texaco Leaves a Toxic, Deadly Legacy - Buzz Flash
"Others are born with serious birth defects. Some children die from drinking oil-polluted waters. Those who live to the age of consent are likely to greet adulthood with cancer, 18 being the most common age for a local to be diagnosed with a tumor.  In some ways, this fallout should come as no surprise. Amazon Watch, a nonprofit that has aligned with the plaintiffs, estimates that 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater and 17 million gallons of crude oil have been dumped over 1,700 miles of Ecuadorian rainforest as a consequence of oil exploration there."

09 Dec

Midgettes win thriller
"The Hurley girls basketball stayed undefeated at 3-0 by defeating Ashland in an overtime thriller 53-45 on Tuesday night.  "My stress level is elevated right now," Midgette coach Melissa Oja said. "Ashland is a very tough team. I told the girls they should be cheering right now after beating teams like Northwestern, Ashland and Drummond.""
Copper Peak eyes return to greatness
"Copper Peak officials have begun the physical aspect of bringing International ski flying back to Copper Peak.  Because of that work, there will be no snowmobile hill climb this winter.  Construction on the hillside is under way."
Initiative continues effort to woo new generation of residents
"Will Andresen, community resource development agent for the University of Wisconsin-Extension in Iron County, updated the Ironwood City Commission on the effort Monday at a city workshop at Gogebic Community College.  "Even though we have over 100 involved, we can always use new people," Andresen said."
Vilas County Hopes to Open Snowmobile Trails Next Week 
"Vilas County's target date to open public trails is Tuesday, December 15th. Of course, this depends on the weather.  Dale Mayo, the Snowmobile Program Coordinator, says with Tuesday and Wednesday's predicted snowfall, he's hoping that won't be a problem."
MPS committee approves condom distribution
"The communicable disease prevention program - which passed the Committee on Innovation/School Reform in a 5-0 vote and now will go to the full board - was recommended by the administration to address the high rate of sexually transmitted infections among teenagers.  In response, a good number of teenagers stayed up past their bedtimes in the district office auditorium Wednesday morning to tell the School Board how important it was to have access to contraception."
  • Doyle declares state of emergency for winter storm
    "The declaration is for all of the state's 72 counties. It authorizes the Wisconsin National Guard and state agencies to assist local authorities in any response or recovery efforts related to the storm, according to Doyle's office.  State authorities have opened an emergency operations center in Madison staffed by officials with the state Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin Emergency Management, the state Department of Transportation, the State Patrol, the Department of Natural Resources and the National Weather Service."
  • MPS students get poor marks in national urban test
    "MPS student test results on the 2009 Trial Urban District Assessment released Tuesday were so low - fourth-graders' math scores are in the 24th percentile nationally, and eighth-graders' math scores are in the 20th percentile - that Gov. Jim Doyle said he would call a special legislative session next week to try to change the governance structure of MPS."
Snow forces UW to cancel 1st ever full day of classes
"Chancellor Biddy Martin said many factors contributed to her decision to close school, including the city and county’s weather reports, as well as the governor declaring weather conditions unsafe. All in all, Martin said safety was the main factor in her decision."
Christian Movie Viewers Help 'Blind Side' Beat 'New Moon' - Advertising Age
"When a movie with religious or spiritual themes is about to hit the marketplace, studios often tap Grace Hill to connect the film's message with its network of Christian media outlets or its highly valuable online community of ministry professionals who use relevant clips from new movies to give a pop-culture focus to their video-enabled Sunday sermons.  In the case of "The Blind Side," more than 20,000 churches have downloaded clips about the film's real-life story ..."
Young Workers: Hit Hard, Hitting Back
"In the past 10 years, young workers have suffered disproportionately from the downturn in the economy:
  • One in three young workers is worried about being able to find a job—let alone a full-time job with benefits.
  • Only 31 percent make enough money to cover their bills and put some aside—that is 22 percentage points worse than it was 10 years ago.
  • Nearly half worry about having more debt than they can handle.
  • One in three still lives at home with parents."
Law School Study Finds Evidence Of Cover-Up After Three Alleged Suicides At Guantanamo In 2006 - Huffington Post
"The new study exposes how the NCIS report purports that all three prisoners on the prison's Alpha Block did the following to commit suicide...
  • Stuffed rags down their own throats well past a point which would have induced involuntary gagging.
  • Tied their own feet together.
  • Tied their own hands together.
  • Hung the noose from the metal mesh of the cell wall and/or ceiling.
  • Climbed up on to the sink, put the noose around their necks and release their weight, resulting in death by strangulation."

08 Dec

16-day deer hunt proposal shot down
"That means a 16-day hunt for 2010 is unlikely.  "Given the preliminary harvest numbers for the 2009 nine-day hunt that the DNR released earlier this week, we believe it is appropriate to postpone consideration of alternative herd control measures," said WDNR Secretary Matt Frank."
Speedboys begin season with win over Tigers
"Bessemer started the season with a 77-38 non-conference win over Mercer Monday. The Speedboys jumped to a 29-5 lead at the end of one quarter. "
Wisconsin Hunters Are In An Uproar Over November Gun Deer Hunt
"Wisconsin deer hunters will have to wait until next month to give the Natural Resources Board a piece of their minds.  The board was scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon to review preliminary harvest numbers from the state's 9-day gun hunt... But the board canceled the meeting because of the snow storm bearing down on Wisconsin."
Vilas County Hopes to Open Snowmobile Trails Next Week 
"Vilas County's target date to open public trails is Tuesday, December 15th. Of course, this depends on the weather."
A Deal May Be Reached on Toughening Drunken Driving Laws
"A deal over how to pay for toughening of the state's drunken driving laws has been reached and is expected to pass the Legislature next week.  Under the deal announced Monday, criminals will have to pay higher court fees and more to have their driver's license reinstated if it's been suspended for drunken driving."
Journal Sentinel Inc. cuts 39 jobs
"Journal Sentinel Inc. will again trim its work force, this time cutting 39 jobs, the company said Monday. The reductions, amounting to 3% of total employment at the newspaper firm, primarily will affect circulation field operations and other business departments. No newsroom employees will be cut."
Michigan to file federal suit
"Cox announced Monday he will file a suit in federal court to force the Army Corps and Illinois officials to close the navigation locks that are now the only physical barrier between the giant jumping fish and the Great Lakes - the world's largest freshwater ecosystem.  "Asian carp must be stopped now because we will not have a second chance once they enter Lake Michigan," Cox said in a statement."
Campus Connection: UW-Madison puts Nike on notice
"University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin has decided to give Nike four months to clear up problems of reported workers' rights abuses at two factories that the sports apparel giant subcontracts with in Honduras... Martin said Monday that she hopes to build a coalition of interested schools from the Big Ten Conference and other peer institutions to put pressure on Nike."
OWI proposal may hit Capitol
"According to a joint statement released Monday by Sullivan and Staskunas, the reform will focus primarily on making a fourth OWI offense within a five-year period of a previous offense a felony and installing ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of offenders arrested with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or higher."
Area business owners riled over late 16-day gun season proposal
"An original 16-day gun hunt proposal completed in September called for the season to start two Saturdays before Thanksgiving. After 11 public hearings statewide, an online survey and a mailed survey to 1,000 Wisconsin hunters, all of which returned overwhelming opposition to an early 16-day season, the DNR did an about-face with its new proposal."
US Christian Leaders Slam Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act - Reuters
"“Our Christian faith recognizes violence, harassment and unjust treatment of any human being as a betrayal of Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. As followers of the teachings of Christ, we must express profound dismay at a bill currently before  the Parliament in Uganda. The ‘Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009′ would enforce lifetime prison sentences and in some cases the death penalty for homosexual behavior, as well as punish citizens for not
reporting their gay and lesbian neighbors to the authorities,” it says in part."
Study: Extending Benefits for Jobless Helps Us All - AFL-CIO
"A new study, “Keeping a First Line of Defense for the Jobless,” released today, predicts that 1 million workers will become ineligible for unemployment benefits in January 2010 unless Congress reauthorizes key provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)."
Harshbarger Report Provides Path Forward for Key Community Organizing Group - People for the American Way
""The Harshbarger report provides sorely needed perspective on ACORN. In recent years the group has been accused by its opponents of doing just about everything, and no claim has been too wild to be passed off as fact. If ACORN's antagonists are to be believed, the group stole the 2008 election, is responsible for the housing mortgage meltdown, and will receive billions in federal bailout funds..."The Harshbarger report reveals an organization thatis comingto terms with its shortcomings and hasaplanto address them. It also highlights anorganization that does vital work on behalf of low-income and minority Americans. The group's voter registration efforts, while much maligned by the right, have contributed to significant, legitimate increases in minority voter participation."
Rep. Stupak says his amendment unlikely to prevail - Detroit Free Press
"Stupak, a Menominee Democrat, last month got the House to approve on a close vote his amendment that restricts the public option plan from offering abortion coverage and prohibit insurance plans receiving federal subsidies from providing that coverage as well."

07 Dec

“The unemployment numbers released today are better than expected. If they hold over the next several months, it will mean that we could be at the turning point for job creation. There is still a long way to go, but these numbers mean that we have gone from 700,000 jobs lost per month at the end of the Bush Administration, to 111,000 jobs lost last month, to only 11,000 jobs lost this month."
Hurley's operation Near and Far a success
"Hurley third graders have started their service learning project for the year. They have chosen the theme: adopting from near and far.  They have adopted Logan Dahlbecka and his platoon, which is stationed in Afghanistan."
Midgettes down Northwestern
"In an intense, bruising defensive struggle, the Hurley girls basketball team defeated a good Northwestern team 39-33 at the Hurley K-12 school on Friday.  "I knew it would be a battle," Midgette coach Melissa Oja said. "Northwestern is a very well-coached team with a lot of seniors. I would like to play teams like Northwestern all throughout the year.""
Gary Sherman named to state court of appeals judgeship
""I am pleased to appoint Gary Sherman to the District IV Court of Appeals," Gov. Doyle said.  "Gary is a great legal mind who will bring his broad experience to the bench. I am confident he will be an excellent judge.""
Hearing Wednesday on Legalizing Medical Marijuana
"Under the bill, in order to get medical marijuana the patient would need to have a doctor's prescription and suffer from one of a list of ailments listed in the bill.  The state would keep a registry of both those who can receive and dispense marijuana."
Venison donation dip limits pantries
"Local food pantries receive venison through a state program that allows hunters to donate deer to local meat processors. The processors, which have distributed more than 3.1 million pounds of venison since 2000, butcher the deer and pass it on to charitable organizations.  This year, the pantries plan to fall back on other sources of meat or stretch their budgets, and to spend more on meat than in years past to ensure that needy families receive protein."
Between 8 and 14 inches of snow could fall by midweek
"Parts of Ozaukee and Washington counties received as much as 5 inches of snow overnight and Monday morning.  The snowstorm Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday might double or triple that snowfall total and the Milwaukee area might experience near blizzard conditions."
Kohl, Feingold should call GOP's bluff on public option
"A key Democratic senator, Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, contacted the two Republicans and said he would be delighted to co-sponsor their bill and live by its requirements... Usually senators go out of their way to attract co-sponsors for their amendments, especially co-sponsors from the other party who bring with them the always desirable “bipartisan” label.  But a bemused Brown noted, “They’ve not said yes to allow me to be a co-sponsor.  If they’re smart, the rest of the Democratic caucus — including Wisconsin Democrats Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, both supporters of the public option — will follow Brown’s lead and sign on for the public option.”
LGBT rights ralliers march to Capitol
"Amid shouts of “Hey Obama, let momma marry momma,” a crowd of more than 200 community members marched to the Capitol Saturday to fight for equal rights in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.  According to Char Hanson, march organizer and member of the Madison College Pride Alliance and OutReach, the march was a continuation of the one that took place in Washington, D.C., in October."
Area business owners riled over late 16-day gun season proposal
"Every day the gun season is extended takes away from preparation time of snowmobile trails. Vilas County has a resolution in place prohibiting the opening of trails until after the gun season.  In addition, trails in county, state and national forests are gated until after hunting season to prevent hunters, or anyone else for that matter, from driving onto trails.  The new gun season calls for the current nine-day gun season to expand to 16 days, beginning on the traditional opener, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. In 2010, that date is Nov. 20, bringing the final day of the gun hunt to Dec. 5."
Turnout disappoints organizer of pro-nativity rally in Chambersburg - Chambersburg Public Opinion, Pa.
"Lisa Blackstock said area churches let her down when fewer than 50 people turned out at Saturday's rally supporting the return of the nativity to Chambersburg Memorial Square... Protests began when atheist Carl Silverman, on behalf of PA Nonbelievers, requested permission from Chambersburg Borough Council on Nov. 23 to place an atheist sign on the square next to the crèche.Council responded with a ban on all displays -- except flags and flowers."
U.S. Unions Join Climate Change Talks in Copenhagen - AFL-CIO
"Some 40 union members from the United States are attending as part of a 400-member global union movement delegation led by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).  The union delegation is more than twice the size of our delegations to the 2007 and 2008 climate change meetings. The size of delegation reflects the global union movement’s growing interest and engagement in climate change."
Wal-Mart Settles State Lawsuit Alleging Employee Mistreatment - Daily'Dog
"Responding to claims of employees in Massachusetts that Wal-Mart denied them rest and meal breaks, manipulated time cards and refused to pay overtime, the retailer has agreed to pay $40 million to 87,500 staffers. The state's lawsuit was filed in 2001, and the settlement is a steep increase to the $3 million Wal-Mart originally agreed to pay in a deal with state prosecutors. Each of the staffers will receive between $400 and $2,500, depending on years of service."

04 Dec

Hurley city council election April 6
"The deadline for filing completed nomination papers is Jan. 5, according to city clerk Linda Ryskewecz.  As of Thursday afternoon, Mayor Joe Pinardi and council members Jamie Francis, John Aijala and Donald Richards had taken out nomination papers for the April 6 election."
Big reward offered in wolf poaching probe
"Michigan Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are seeking information related to a recent wolf poaching case in Ontonagon County.  The wolf was killed between Nov. 12 and 16. Its radio collar was found in the Stony Creek Area, east of the old White Pine Mine location.  A reward of up to $6,500 is being offered for information leading to the conviction of the person, or people, responsible for killing the wolf."
Midgets win opener over Tigers
"Hurley opened the season with an 80-31 Indianhead Conference win over a shorthanded Mercer team on Thursday night.  The Midgets jumped out to a 21-4 lead in the first quarter. Hurley led by as many as 53 points in the fourth quarter, 80-27."
Bayfield County DA defends plea arrangements
"On Tuesday, a plea negotiated by Haukaas with defendant Dan Petras eliminating domestic violence modifiers in the case in return for no-contest pleas to a pair of disorderly conduct charges was thrown out by the judge. Anderson said an agreement by Petras to pay $437 in restitution for costs incurred by the county in calling out the Tactical Emergency Response Team to the scene of a domestic disturbance at the Petras residence in September of this year was contrary to state statute."
Wis. Senate leader demands DNR fire deer experts
"Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, D-Weston, said the Department of Natural Resources’ has draconian herd-control policies that have devastated the deer population, leaving hunters empty-handed. The experts who designed the regulations deserve to lose their jobs, he said."
Deer Hunt
"A Central Wisconsin state senator wants conservation officials to fire anyone involved with deer management after hunters killed the fewest deer during Wisconsin's traditional November gun season.  Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, a Weston Democrat, says the Department of Natural Resources' draconian herd control policies have devastated Wisconsin's deer population and left too many hunters empty-handed. "
Man arrested for trespassing on his own land
"The 27-year-old Engelking told workers Wednesday they had no right to be on his property because he hadn't been compensated by the pipeline builder, Enbridge Energy Partners, for an easement.  A Douglas County sheriff's deputy arrived on the scene as the confrontation continued. Engelking says the deputy drew his Taser gun and ordered him to the ground. Engelking was handcuffed, taken to jail and later posted bond."
Asian carp found in Chicago canal during poisoning
"Fish are floating in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in one of the nation's largest ever river poisoning operations - and at least one of those fish is a confirmed Asian carp.  "We got a bighead carp toward the end of the day," John Rogner of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said late Thursday afternoon.  Thousands of gallons of fish poison, called rotenone, was dumped in the canal around 8 p.m. Wednesday in a drastic attempt to destroy every fish in a six-mile stretch of waterway so an electric fish barrier on the canal can be turned off for maintenance."
The Daily
Unemployment, average debt up for UW-Madison graduates
"The report revealed graduates in Wisconsin faced an average of $23,200 in debt, which is up from $18,650 in 2004.  At UW-Madison, 52 percent of 2008 graduates were in debt, and the average amount was $21,250... The report also revealed unemployment rates for college graduates aged 20-24 rose from 7.6 percent in the third quarter of 2008 to 10.6 percent in the first quarter of 2009."
State gets $5 million toward appliance rebates
"On Tuesday, Wisconsin was awarded $5.4 million through a federal stimulus program overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy.  Wisconsin's program is expected to start in early January and will offer mail-in rebates ranging from $25 to $200 on some energy-efficient appliances bought by residential customers."
National abstinence group objects to MPS condom proposal - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
""Passing out condoms in a school setting is a short-sighted attempt to reduce the consequences of teen sexual activity without addressing the real problem," Huber wrote. "It fails to ask the reason teens are having sex in the first place. It ignores the fact that about 60% of teens regret initiating sex.""
Jobs Creation or Deficit Reduction? The Public Has Decided - AFL-CIO
"A poll for Democracy Corps published Nov. 30 found that when given a choice, “voters embrace a bold jobs initiative over a long-term deficit reduction program by two-to-one.” A survey taken by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) earlier this fall revealed the same: The Hart Research Associates poll found that by a margin of 53 percent to 42 percent, the public is more concerned about rising unemployment rates than the rising federal deficit."
Reform or Else - Paul Krugman in NY Times
"That observation in itself should make anyone concerned with fiscal responsibility support this reform. Over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office has concluded, the proposed legislation would reduce, not increase, the budget deficit. And by giving us a chance, finally, to rein in the ever-growing spending of Medicare, it would greatly improve our long-run fiscal prospects."

03 Dec

Worst-case scenario: 'Bridge out' until spring
"Completion of the Poplar-Norrie streets bridge connecting Hurley and Ironwood depends on the weather, according to project managers.  Proffitt said the crew needs two weeks to finish sidewalks, the parapet, curbs, storm sewer, back fill and the approach on the west bank."
Mellen boys open at home Thursday against Butternut
"Nine juniors, three seniors and three sophomores make up Mellen's roster as the Granite Diggers start their season Thursday at home against Butternut."
Extra-judicial plea agreements raise ethical questions
"Clerk of Court Kay Cederberg said a number of cases prosecuted by Haukaas in recent years appear to have involved extra-judicial plea arrangements — plea arrangements made without the knowledge or approval of the trial judge, involving payments of money to Bayfield County that resulted in reducing charges faced by defendants involved. An office within the office of the Wisconsin Attorney General and Bayfield County officials are investigating the matter, said Bayfield County Circuit Court Judge John Anderson."
Plea deal voided by Bayfield County judge
"Saying he believed he had been misled and that an illegal extra-judicial plea agreement had been made by Bayfield County District Attorney Craig Haukaas, Bayfield County Circuit Court Judge John Anderson tossed out the conviction of a Bayfield County man and reinstated the original charges.  In making the ruling, Anderson also ordered that $437 in restitution made to Bayfield County be returned to the defendant, Daniel L. Petras of the Town of Barksdale."
40 Swine Flu Deaths in Wisconsin Since Spring
"The state Department of Health Services reported Wednesday that five people died within the past week. Two were in Douglas County with one each in Oneida, Outagamie and Walworth counties.  Since September 698 people statewide have been hospitalized for swine flu."
Wisconsin Legislature Considers Going Back Into Session In Two Weeks
"Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan's spokeswoman Becky Sweeney said Wednesday that members are being asked to clear their calendars for Dec. 16.  She says what bills will be taken up then have not been determined."
For first time, majority disapprove of Doyle
"Doyle announced in August that he won’t be seeking a third term.
The poll released on Thursday shows that 50 percent disapprove of his job and among likely voters disapproval rises to 58 percent.  A year ago only 37 percent disapproved of Doyle’s job performance."
IRS cuts mileage rates for tax deductions
"The Internal Revenue Service has reduced the standard mileage rates that taxpayers can deduct for business use of motor vehicles next year to 50 cents a mile from 55 cents...  The primary reason for the reduction is significantly lower fuel prices, according to Runzheimer International in Rochester, which works closely with the IRS to set the per-mile rate."
Weakland shredded copies of sex abuse reports, group says
"Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests, according to formerly sealed testimony released Thursday by an advocacy group for victims of abuse."
Poisoning of Chicago canal is working, but no Asian carp found yet
"Thousands of gallons of fish poison, called rotenone, were dumped in the canal around 8 p.m. Wednesday in a drastic attempt to destroy every fish in a 6-mile stretch of waterway so an electric fish barrier on the canal can be turned off for maintenance."
Democrats want to reduce state’s prison population
"This summer, Gov. Jim Doyle made a controversial decision to roll back truth-in-sentencing legislation and let up to 3,000 nonviolent inmates out of prison early to save the state the $29,000 or so it cost to house each of them every year. Fellow Democrats in the Legislature hoped that Doyle would also sign into law measures they introduced to further chip away at the state’s burgeoning prison population, but Doyle vetoed many of them."
First Oneida County H1N1 flu death confirmed by health officials
""The loss of a loved one for anyone is heartbreaking," Linda Conlon, health department director, said. "Our thoughts are with the family and friends during this difficult time."  Out of respect for the family and patient confidentiality laws, the department has not released the individual's sex, age, race or location of residence."
Christian organization says 'Christmas parade' is constitutionally protected - Merced Sun-Star, Ca.
""It's ridiculous that the people of Merced have to think twice about whether it's OK to have a 'Christmas' parade. An overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Christmas and are opposed to any kind of censorship of Christmas," said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum. "City officials shouldn't self-censor the perfectly constitutional name of their town's Christmas parade because of unfounded beliefs spread by groups hostile to our nation's traditions."  The city was handed the parade this year after its longtime sponsors said they didn't have the energy to organize the event."
Workers Give Rite Aid CEO the Raspberry for Union-Busting - AFL-CIO
"A Rite Aid drugstore worker from California and enthusiastic supporters in New York City upstaged a corporate banquet where former first lady Laura Bush came to honor Rite Aid CEO Mary Sammons and other executives at a midtown hotel last night.  Protesters held signs and banners outside, and several went inside attempting to offer Sammons a free plane ticket if she would agree to visit 600 workers at the company’s regional distribution center in Lancaster, Calif., where continuing labor violations have drawn Rite Aid into a bitter nationwide conflict. For more than two years, workers at the distribution center have united in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) trying to achieve better pay and working conditions."
Drug-Makers Paying Off Competitors To Keep Cheap Generics Off Market - TPM
"The vehicle for these deals is patent litigation. When a generic drug is approved to come to market, the maker of the more expensive name-brand drug sues the generic for patent infringement. But instead of a conventional settlement, in which the generic pays the patent-holder to settle the claim that it infringed the patent, the payment goes the other way: the patent-holder pays the maker of the generic, in exchange for a pledge to delay bringing the generic to market."
Judd Gregg Lays Out Maximally Obstructive GOP Game Plan On Health Care - TPM
"Every Republican senator should be familiar with the scope of these rights, which serve to protect our ability to speak on behalf of the millions of Americans who depend on us to be their voice during this historic debate."  Gregg says Republicans should be prepared to filibuster every motion, "with the exception of Conference Reports and Budget Resolutions, most such motions are fully debatable and 60 votes for cloture is needed to cut off extended debate.""

02 Dec

Midgettes down Drummond
"Hurley started the season with a 64-10 rout over Drummond on Tuesday night."
Big snow forecast tonight
"On Tuesday, a spokesman from the National Weather Service in Marquette said the Ironwood area could receive between 6 to 12 inches of lake effect snow during the 24-hour period to Thursday night."
DNR: Hunters killed 29 percent fewer deer
"Hunters killed 195,650 deer during the nine-day season that ended Sunday. That’s down 29 percent from 276,895 deer in 2008, according to the data from the state Department of Natural Resources."
Wisconsin Legislature Considers Going Back Into Session In Two Weeks
"Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan's spokeswoman Becky Sweeney said Wednesday that members are being asked to clear their calendars for Dec. 16.  She says what bills will be taken up then have not been determined."
Northwoods 2009 Deer Hunt Numbers
"The numbers indicate the total number of deer harvested which includes does and bucks.
According to the DNR-here in Oneida County- the total number of deer harvested for the entire season is down 56 percent.
  • In Forest County-the number is down 35 percent.
  • And in Langlade County-the numbers are down 57 percent.
  • Lincoln County reports a decrease of 55 percent.
  • Price County numbers are down 34 percent.
  • Vilas County numbers are alswo down 59 percent.
  • Iron County is down 47-percent."
State board to develop electronic medical records exchange
"The new 14-member body is called WIRED, for the Wisconsin Relay of Electronic Data for Health Board. By June, it will make recommendations on technical infrastructure, oversight and accountability, long-term funding, and a common set of rules to protect patient interests."
Doyle signs measure making Juneteenth Day a holiday
"Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration recognizing the legal end of slavery in the United States. Doyle signed the bill at Northcott Neighborhood Center, 2460 N. 6th St.  The designation means that elections cannot be held on June 19, but the law doesn't affect the number of paid holidays of public employees."
Bleach eliminates non-native crayfish in Germantown pond
""We won't know for sure until next spring," Schumacher said. "But if we refill the pond, stock the living daylights out of it with largemouth bass and, come about May, if we have not trapped any red swamp crayfish, then I will say they are all dead."  Red swamp crayfish are much larger and more aggressive than native Wisconsin crayfish and would easily eliminate the locals if allowed to invade natural water bodies."
China sentences 5 church leaders to labor camp - Associated Press
"Five members of an unregistered Chinese Protestant congregation have been sentenced to two years in a labor camp following a police raid on their church, a monitoring group said Wednesday.  The report comes less than a week after five leaders of the same church in the northern province of Shanxi were sentenced to prison terms of up to seven years on charges including illegal assembly, the toughest punishments against unofficial church leaders in more than three years."
[This is those dollars you spend at WalMart at work. - Bob]
New Report Shows Health Care Reform Will Lower Cost
"This week and next, union members, unemployed workers, faith leaders and community allies of health care reform will join together for roundtable discussions in key states like Indiana, Nebraska and Louisiana. They’ll share real-life stories about their experiences with the nation’s broken health care system and what we need to do to fix it."
Al Franken fallout has GOP fuming - Politico
“Sen. Franken has been proud to partner with both Republicans and Democrats to find common-sense solutions to the problems we face,” said Jess McIntosh, his spokeswoman. “He’s been working hard for Minnesota since he got here five months ago and has already introduced 10 bills — four of which were introduced with Republican co-sponsors, and two already passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support.”
Stop Stupak Day of Action is Today! - Feministing
"I've been consistently impressed by the Stop Stupak Coalition, which formed and organized this Day of Action more quickly than I could have imagined was possible. Today is an important moment for the abortion rights community to make our voices heard. Please take action in whatever ways you can to make sure we don't lose even more ground on abortion access."
[What interests me is, how large will this protest have to be to cause local papers and TV stations to notice that their rep is the target of national attention? - Bob]

01 Dec

Reindeer Games
"Brysen Kitto, 6, of Bessemer, keeps one wary eye on the reindeer and the other on the camera Saturday morning at Stoffel’s Country Store in Kimball, Wis. Kitto’s grandmother, Adele Vandenberg, brought him to Stoffel’s. Shawn Sederholm of Sederholm Game Farm at High Bridge, Wis., is the photographer. He brought three stately reindeer, groomed to sleek picture-perfection, as well as a crew to handle the reindeer and take photo orders. (Diane Montz/Daily Globe photo)"
Audit: WI Cable Rates Rose 21 Percent in Two Years
"That increase came despite a new law passed in December 2007 designed to increase competition and lower rates.  The Legislative Audit Bureau report released Tuesday examined rates charged by cable service providers in 17 Wisconsin communities in both July 2007 and July 2009."
DNR continues to miss own goals for managing CWD
"In one southwestern Wisconsin deer management unit being monitored for CWD, the population goal is about 1,800 deer. Estimates from earlier this year put the herd around 11,500 in that unit.Northeastern Wisconsin has not had a confirmed case of CWD. The CWD Management Zone encompasses much of the lower third of the state."
Basic cable rates increase 21% over two years
"Basic service charges increased more than 21%, and expanded basic charges went up more than 11% over that time.  The audit bureau says the data suggests that competition has not had a substantial impact in reducing charges or slowing their growth. But the bureau cautions that little time has passed since the law went into effect."
Attendance up at state historic sites
"The largest historic site is Old World Wisconsin in Waukesha County, which had a 10% increase in attendance and 20% increase in retail sales.  But Circus World in Baraboo saw a bigger jump, with a more than 17% attendance increase and 22% increase in revenue."
State ad campaign pushes swine flu shots
""We have reached a point in Wisconsin where we are able to return to our original target groups. However, now that we have more of the vaccine, we must focus on making sure everyone who needs to be vaccinated shows up to receive it.""
As home values fall, some states tackle assessment reform
"Overall levy limits are in place, but that doesn't protect property owners from paying on values that don't really exist.  That's not to say strapped property owners can't and haven't appealed their property assessments. Some have even filed lawsuits. But, lacking an egregious assessor error, not many find their appeals successful. A bad economy alone won't do the trick."
Church Still Seeks Changes Before Same-Sex Marriage Vote - NBC Washington
"Local Catholic Church officials met with D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson Monday. The Washington archdiocese wants the Catholic Church exempted from having to pay spousal benefits to any gay employees -- as the church doesn't recognize gay marriage -- and hopes to avoid being forced to handle gay adoptions.  The church warned that its social service arm -- Catholic Charities -- may have to withdraw from millions of dollars in public services to the poor and homeless that it provides if the legislation goes forward."
Wal-Mart's Chinese Suppliers Subjecting Workers To "Illegal And Degrading Conditions"
"The company expects product suppliers to adhere to “rigorous standards,” but according to the report workers were underpaid, sanitation was poor, and overtime was excessive. The report notes that Wal-Mart is kept in the dark about the conditions at the factories due to plant managers falsifying paperwork and strong-arming employees into lying."
CBO: Health Care Reform Will Lower Out-Of-Pocket Burden For Most Consumers - TPM
"According to CBO, average premiums in the individual market would increase 10 to 13 percent because of provisions in the Senate health care bill, but, crucially, most people (about 57 percent) would actually find themselves paying significantly less money for insurance, thanks to federal subsidies for low- and middle-class consumers, than they would under current law."