Local News - ... (Archives)

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31 Jan & 01 Feb

Don't Fade Away

There is only One day left to the 50th Anniversary of Buddy Holly's fateful night in Hurley, ... the one that caused him to take a short plane ride to a crash in cornfield in Iowa. 

  2.5 Gigs of Bandwidth in January
"Your site myhurley.net has exceeded its bandwidth quota in the period beginning on 2009-01-01.  Your quota is set to 1048576000 bytes ( 1000.0 MB ), and your site has consumed 1650494712 bytes ( 1574.034 MB ) beyond that quota."
Area has connection to 'the day the music died'
"About 48 hours earlier, an old bus carrying the three singers and fellow musicians broke down on U.S. 51 in the Pine Lake, Wis., area. Various published accounts listed the temperature that night and early morning at between minus 24 and minus 35 degrees.  Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the famous group's unscheduled stopover in this area."
Midgets slam B-G
"The Hurley Midgets defeated Butternut-Glidden 72-49 Friday at the Hurley K-12 School ...  Daulton Levra had a game-high 22 points for the Midgets."
Mercer edges Mellen in OT thriller
"Mercer's Matt Klopatek hit a pair of free throws with 20 seconds left to tie the game at 65-65 and Mellen took a timeout with 13 seconds remaining. The Tigers pressed and Ranallo got a steal and raced in for a layup as the clock wound down."
"Big Bay Sloop" gets national historic recognition"The Wisconsin Historical Society calls her "The Big Bay Sloop," after the type of vessel she is and her final resting place, some 300 yards east of Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island."
Better Relationship Between School & Lawmakers
"Martin has invited all 132 lawmakers and guests to her official residence for an informal reception on Monday, the first such meeting of its kind in years.  Martin also sent lawmakers notes of congratulation after they won election last year and even had her lobbyist deliver Christmas cards to their Capitol offices."
Detail in Koschnick's 'bloody shirt' campaign issue emerges
"But what Koschnick hasn't said on the campaign trail is that, as the presiding judge in the case, he refused to admit as evidence blood-stained shoes taken from Knapp’s bedroom during a second police search authorized by his brother."
Economic crisis imperils state dairy farms, group warns
"Dairy farmers are facing their worst crisis since the Great Depression, the National Family Farm Coalition, a trade group with Wisconsin members, said in a news release.  "These are the worst economic conditions we have ever faced, and they are impacting all farmers - whether you milk 50 cows or 5,000 cows," said Paul Rozwadowski, ..."
Snowmobiler gets 5 citations in 57 ducks' deaths
"The man reported his involvement after news reports that the ducks were killed Jan. 13 at the mouth of the Fond du Lac River. He was issued four snowmobile violation citations and one natural resource violation citation. No criminal charges were filed because the incident was ruled an accident."
Prudent budgeting, fuller rainy day fund could have prepared Wisconsin for crisis
"Over the last 15 years, leaders from both political parties, often at voters' urging, have avoided the hard choices between taxing more and spending less on priorities such as education and health care.  Instead, they've pushed today's bills off until tomorrow, creating some of the shakiest budgets in the nation and jeopardizing future commitments to safe roads, good schools and aid to the poor, according to a Wisconsin State Journal review of past budget practices."
Wisconsin becomes nation's No. 2 vegetable grower
"The National Agricultural Statistics Service says Wisconsin is the leader in growing snap peas for processing, producing 40 percent of the nation's crop with nearly 327,000 tons in 2008.  It moved into second place in production of sweet corn for processing, with nearly 652,000 tons last year."
Business Beat: A 'generational' shift in the economy
"Put another way, suppose your child was born in 1998 and on their birthday you put $10,000 away for college. Today, your kid is eight years from leaving home and that $10,000 is worth just $7,800, if invested in an S&P 500 index fund."
Protesters clash over UW/Meriter hospitals
"About 60 abortion rights protesters met the much larger, and mostly silent, anti-abortion demonstrators outside the surgery center Saturday with shouted slogans.  "Whose clinic? Our clinic. Whose rights? Our rights!" the smaller group shouted as the opposing demonstration moved up Regent Street to its intersection at Park Street."
Progressive Faith Groups Now Trying to Shift Debate - Washington Post
"While the progressive groups are emphasizing social justice, many also are urging Obama to help reduce abortions. The fight over the issue has always been complex and is likely to become even more so. While many liberal groups say they want abortions reduced, other antiabortion groups remain adamant about seeking a prohibition."
Angela Davis: Prisons perpetuate oppression of minorities -  Union Leader
"Around the world, the same thing is happening as people who were once unashamedly beat down continue to live below others both socially and economically. While blacks and other minorities are over-represented in American prisons, in Australia, it is aborigines, she said."
House GOP’s Stimulus Plan Would Actually Raise Taxes For Many Americans - The Plum Line
"However, we confirmed with the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation that 26 million people would still be forced to pay the AMT this year under the GOP bill. Essentially, their tax bill would give with one hand and take away with the other, leaving 26 million families without the tax cut they promised in their bill."

30 Jan

2 Days to the 50th Anniversary ...
Map of the Tour From Hell
"But as the temperature plunged to around 30 below and the wind howled, fate intervened. The southbound bus creaked to a stop as it struggled up an incline on Hwy. 51 about 10 miles south of Hurley.  Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, Waylon Jennings, Dion and the others were stranded on a remote highway in the northern Wisconsin forest."
Prep High School Basketball Reminder:
Tonight, Friday, 30 Sept 2009 at 6:15 PM, the boys basketball game with Chassel at Wakefield-Marinesco will be broadcast on WJMS, AM 590.
Foreclosure figures may slow stimulus to Iron County
"Iron County Board of Supervisors chairman Dennis DeRosso said Iron County's good report may result in state officials determining that Iron County doesn't need a stimulus payment."
Special Board of Health meeting set for Monday
"The Iron County Board of Health will meet Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Iron County Courthouse at Hurley.  The special meeting is scheduled to discuss the proposed budget for the $56,056 grant funding for the Tobacco Free-Iron County Community Coalition."
[Background information can be found at Smoke Free Iron County. - Bob]
Midgettes improve to 10-0 in Indianhead Conference
"Hurley (13-0, 10-0 Indianhead Conference) exploded in the first quarter to lead the Cardinals 25-2 and led 41-8 at halftime.  Brittany Czerneski led the Midgettes with 19 points. Jeanna Aijala scored 14 points and Ale Kohegyi added 12."
DTV Deadline
"House Republicans defeated a bill to postpone the switch to digital.  That means the switch will still happen on February 17th and people here in the Northwoods are preparing."
2,000 local jobs lost in year
""In some respects, central Wisconsin is doing better than other parts of the state, but there's still a lot of folks that have been dramatically impacted by what's going on."  The Wausau area has lost about 2,000 jobs in the past year, and unemployment in Marathon County rose to 5.3 percent in December."
Lawmakers move ahead with requests to audit child-care program
"The newspaper's four-month investigation - which focused on the five counties with the most subsidy cases - found that county workers don't adequately verify parents' employment and sometimes approve funding based on bogus jobs. That enables parents and providers to easily con the system.  Regulators, meanwhile, seldom revoke a provider's license, and no parents have been charged criminally with fraud."
Opponent accuses Wisconsin Supreme Court chief justice of making law
"Koschnick and Abrahamson are sparring for a 10-year term on Wisconsin’s highest court. Koschnick, a Jefferson County circuit judge, faces a formidable opponent in Abrahamson, who has won election to the court three times since 1976. She’s entering her 33rd year on the court and 12th as chief justice.  Abrahamson played up her experience, saying she has written more than 350 Supreme Court opinions and participated in some 3,500 decisions."
Wisconsin natives tend to not leave
"According to the Pew Research Center study “American Mobility: Who Moves? Who Stays Put? Where’s Home?” people from Wisconsin are some of the country’s most immobile citizens and are likely to spend their life in one community, often remaining in one of the state’s many small towns."
Toned-down atheist bus ad OK'd for Italy - Ansa.it
"The original message, canned after protests from Catholics and Muslims, was The Bad News Is God Doesn't Exist, The Good News Is You Don't Need Him.  The new message, OK'd by advertising licensing agency IGP Decaux, is: The Good News Is There Are Millions of Atheists In Italy; The Excellent News Is They Believe In Freedom Of Expression."
Obama to issue pro-labor executive orders... CNN Money
"Reaching out to organized labor, the president also issued three executive orders designed to "level the playing field for workers and the unions that represent their interests," Obama said.  "I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem. To me, it's part of the solution," he added. "You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement.""
GOP Claims to Create 6.2 Million Jobs With Their Stimulus -- Using Some Questionable Math - TPM
"... it looked at the effects of tax increases on the economy as a whole and found a negative effect of 2.2% - 3% on GDP.  The Republican analysis simply flipped those numbers to positive and applied them to the GOP-backed tax cuts, then multiplied the result by a broad job creation estimate used in a recent paper from Romer and Jared Bernstein, an economic adviser to the vice president."
29 Jan 3 Days to the 50th Anniversary ...
"Turning south on U.S. 51 shortly after midnight, Feb. 1, the bus approached a hill fifteen miles south of Hurley when disaster struck. The bus died.  “We didn’t know enough to be afraid, or what a mid-winter night by the side of the road meant,” Dion said in his autobiography."
"Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1). As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Seventh District Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) is the lead sponsor of this essential economic recovery bill that is intended to save or create three to four million jobs and help stabilize the economy and restore public confidence."
These are tough times We are taking the first responsible steps
“These are very difficult times,” Sherman said. “Plants are closing and people are being laid off, home mortgage foreclosures are at an all time high and tax revenues are down, just when we most need the money to help people. The Governor and the new Democratic majority in the State Legislature are moving quickly to address the problems and offer assistance to our citizens.”
Sherman interview re: forestry industry
"Rep. Sherman held his first Forestry Committee hearing as Chair last Wednesday, January 21st, with testimony offered by invited guests from the forest products industry.  Wisconsin Eye, which tapes and broadcasts proceedings of the Wisconsin Legislature, interviewed Sherman the day before.  We thought you might be interested, so we are providing you with the link to the interview." - Nora Tribys, Office of Rep. Gary Sherman, 74th Assembly District
Iron County lakes to be tested for water quality
"The county board on Tuesday authorized the land and water conservation department to submit an application to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for a $2,000 grant to purchase water quality equipment."
State of the State Address
"He also focused on the state's $5.4 billion budget deficit, saying Republicans and Democrats need to work together.  He said, "what isn't needed will be cut."  Doyle says his priorities are good schools, affordable and available health care and police and fire protection."
Greenheck cuts 155 more jobs
"“Our order intake has continued to erode, requiring us to adjust the size of our workforce,” Krueger said. The employees losing their jobs had been with the company for about two years and they have the least seniority. Most worked second or third shift."
Schlitz again being brewed, bottled in Milwaukee
"Pabst last year revived the old formula for Schlitz, which Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. changed in the 1970s - a factor that led to that company's demise in 1982. Pabst dubbed it "Classic 1960s formula," and made it available in bottles. That marked the first time Schlitz was sold in bottles in several years."
Oshkosh reports quarterly loss of $20.6 million
"The manufacturer of trucks and emergency vehicles for military, commercial and industrial markets said it is negotiating with its banks and expects to have an amended credit agreement in late February or March 2009. However, the company said it expects to incur fees and higher interest costs as a result."
Web site aims to help buyers find local food
"The Web site, www.ifmwi.org, gives information on how large-volume buyers such as hospitals, universities, corporations and hotels can find local growers.  The coalition has teamed up with Badgerland Produce Co-op Auction in Montello since 2007, with local producers selling more than 19,000 pounds of produce to institutions that first year"
House approves aid for students
"According to Huang, the bill would increase the tuition tax credit from $1,800 to $2,300.  Huang added a family of four with two college-aged students would need to earn more than $26,000 per year to receive partial credit and over $43,000 to receive full credit from the old law."
Police in India charge 10 men with raping nun
"Police in eastern India have charged 10 men with gang raping a Catholic nun during weeks of anti-Christian violence last year, an official said Thursday.  The violence between Hindus and Christians in Orissa state followed the killing of a Hindu religious leader in August. Police blamed Maoist rebels, but conservative Hindu groups blamed Christian residents and set fire to a Christian orphanage.  The state government said 32 people died in the clashes that followed. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India said at least 40 Christians were killed."
Union membership up in 2008... Mix 98.1
"Union members accounted for 12.4 percent of employed wage and salary workers in 2008, up from 12.1 percent in 2007, said the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.  That increase meant the number of workers belonging to a union rose by 428,000 to 16.1 million, said the annual report.  There was a slight upturn in the union membership rate in 2007, to 12.1 percent from the 2006 level of 12.0 percent."
fiscal responsibility and bipartisanship - Media Matters
"Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, proposed the amendment, "AMT One-Year Patch," during the committee's January 27 markup of the recovery bill. The amendment provides a "one-year 'patch' for 2009 to keep the number of individual AMT payers [the] same as 2008" by increasing tax exemption amounts for individuals and joint filers."
28 Jan 4 Days to the 50th Anniversary ...
This site has pictures from the Duluth performance... the day before the bus ride thru a blizzard in Hurley that caused the fateful plane ride.
Hurley supermarket becomes Super One Foods Wednesday
"The name has changed, but it'll be business as usual, according to assistant store manager Coleen Koivisto, who had been interim store manager at Copps since July."
Hurley can't solve Drummond -- again
"The Drummond Lumberjacks completed a season sweep of the Hurley Midgets, posting a 54-50 Indianhead Conference win Tuesday.  The Midgets (8-3, 6-2) got 20 points from Daulton Levra in the loss."
Jury service scam still circulating
"The caller, posing as a federal employee, threatens prosecution or a fine for skipping jury duty. They often ask for Social Security numbers or other personally identifying information."
Dem lawmakers hope to push phosphorus ban through Legislature 
""It's not true," he said, noting that generally there is plenty of phosphorus in Wisconsin soil and, except in a few instances, adding more has no benefit to plants. He said the statewide ban would include exemptions for new lawns where grass root systems have yet to develop, and in yards that have deficient levels of phosphorus."
President's action shelves wolf delisting for now
""Once the population recovered, the effort started," Wydeven said. "It's been 11 years now since then and right now we're not real sure what's going to happen ... nobody seems to know," he said.  While Wydeven said he thought something like the freeze was a possibility, he also said he was hoping the decision to write the administrative rule and get it through was a possibility."
Attenborough reveals creationist hate mail for not crediting God - Guardian
"Telling the magazine that he was asked why he did not give "credit" to God, Attenborough added: "They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator.""
Why We Need Stronger Unions, and How to Get Them - TPM
"Although America and its economy need unions, it's become nearly impossible for employees to form one. The Hart poll I cited tells us that 57 million workers would want to be in a union if they could have one. But those who try to form a union, according to researchers at MIT, have only about a 1 in 5 chance of successfully doing so."
ACLU tests Obama with request for secret Bush-era memos - McClatchy
" The American Civil Liberties Union asked the Obama administration on Wednesday to release Justice Department memos that provided the legal underpinning for harsh interrogations, eavesdropping and secret prisons.  For years, the Bush administration refused to release them, citing national security, attorney-client privilege and the need to protect the government's deliberative process."
27 Jan


Midgettes ranked, roll
"The Hurley Midgettes, newly minted as the No. 9 team in the Wisconsin Associated Press Division 3 poll, improved to 12-0 on the season Monday night with a 102-30 win over Indianhead Conference rival Bayfield."
State funds energy assessments for bay region
"Municipalities around the Chequamegon Bay region have been awarded state funding for energy independence assessments as part of a pilot program for Gov. Jim Doyle's 25x25 plan.  Doyle has set a non-binding goal for communities around the state to generate 25 percent of their energy and 25 percent of their transportation fuel from renewable sources by 2025."
Feingold Votes No On Geithner
"Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold is one of only
three Democrats who voted against Timothy Geithner when he was confirmed as treasury secretary. "
Paper Mill Fined Thousands after 2008 Explosion
"Packaging Corp. of America in Tomahawk was cited for four "serious" violations, including poor ventilation for flammable gases.  In a report dated January 21, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also found that some employees lacked proper training for exposure to hazardous chemicals."
Committee recommends $1 million for dairy academy
"Proponents of the academy — a farm that would be a partnership between Northcentral Technical College and the academy’s board — presented a business plan showing the potential for a profit of more than $10,000 by 2012.
Assembly passes bills aimed at helping Wisconsin firms
"The state Department of Administration and local governments to try to purchase at least 20% of materials and supplies from Wisconsin vendors. The bill also requires that in each fiscal year, the percentage of the total amount spent on Wisconsin-based businesses may not be lower than in the past fiscal year."
Recession threatens booming wind power industry
"The wind power industry added 8,358 megawatts of new generating capacity last year, but the American Wind Energy Association said this afternoon that financing for new projects and orders for turbine components slowed by the end of the year.  "It is clear that the economic and financial downturn have begun to take a serious toll on new wind development," said Denise Bode, the association's chief executive. "We are already seeing layoffs in the area where wind's promise is greatest for our economy: the wind power manufacturing sector.""
Army awards $132 million contract to Oshkosh Corp.
"Oshkosh Defense said Tuesday the contract is worth more than $132 million. The announcement follows three other contracts in recent months worth a total of about $384 million for trucks and armor upgrades."
UW responds to senator's inquiry into medical
"University of Wisconsin System President Kevin Reilly and UW-Madison Chancellor Carolyn "Biddy" Martin made those comments in a letter sent Monday to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.  "A task force was established for this purpose, with the goal of identifying, managing and eliminating conflicts of interest in clinical care," the letter stated."
Haggard's wife: He told me of struggles years ago - Associated Press
"Haggard, 52, resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., after the male prostitute went public. Haggard confessed to "sexual immorality."  The scandal widened in recent days with disclosures that Haggard also admitted to an "inappropriate" relationship with a church volunteer, Grant Haas, who was 22 at the time."
Bailout Recipients Hosted Call To Defeat Key Labor Bill - Huffington Post
""This is the demise of a civilization," said Marcus. "This is how a civilization disappears. I am sitting here as an elder statesman and I'm watching this happen and I don't believe it." ... Donations of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars were needed, it was argued, to prevent America from turning "into France.""
Watch the Banned Super Bowl Ad Here - E&P Pub
"A sexy ad from, all of all sources, animal rights activist PETA, has been banned by NBC from Super Bowl airing due to the hot girl-on-veggie action."
[Will this, like the Go Daddy ad of last year go viral and get more play because of the ban than it would have received if accepted? - Bob]

26 Jan

Mercer hall of fame to accept nominations
"The hall of fame recognizes former students, faculty and friends who have, as a result of their association with Mercer School, made significant contributions to society.  Nominees must be graduates of Mercer School."
Midgets knock off Mercer
"The Hurley Midgets knocked off the Mercer Tigers 66-53 in a tightly contested Indianhead Conference match Friday.  "I thought we held our poise the entire game," Hurley coach Gary Giancola said. "We weren't pleased with our defense for three quarters. Our defense was soft and very passive. On offense, we were as good as we have been all year.""
Midgettes rout Tigers 65-19
"Hurley (11-0, 7-0) jumped to a 18-6 first-quarter lead and had a 33-15 advantage at the break. The Midgettes then outscored the Tigers (3-8, 2-7) 20-0 in the third period to put the game away.  Jesse Mackey scored 14 points to lead Hurley. Brittany Czerneski and Jeanna Aijala had 12 points each for the Midgettes and Kayla Windt added 11. Nici Roeder led Mercer with eight points."
State budget woes mean delays in Family Care, BadgerCare expansion
"Ripples from the state budget crisis have impacted a pair of state and federally funded human services programs in Wisconsin, delaying for two months the expansion of Wisconsin's Family Care Program to the 11 counties of the Northwest and halting "until further notice" the expansion of the BadgerCare Plus program to childless adults."
Video game stolen at gunpoint after it was listed for sale online
"An 18-year-old Milwaukee man who advertised his video game system for sale at the online classifieds site Craigslist lost it at gunpoint Saturday to the would-be buyer, Milwaukee Police said today."
Utility says regulators required lobbying
"Language in a PSC decision setting electrical rates for customers of Wisconsin Public Service Corp. tells the utility it should support the task force proposal to expand the amount of renewable energy used in Wisconsin by 2025."
Hospitals as charities and businesses
"Nonprofit hospitals need operating margins of 3 percent to 5 percent each year to keep their facilities in shape, health-care experts say.  In the five years ending in 2007, the average margin for hospitals nationally was 4 percent. In Wisconsin, the figure ranged from 6 percent to 8 percent."
Give appointment powers topowers to the people
"In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution gave the citizens of this country the power to finally elect their senators. They should have the same power in the case of unexpected mid-term vacancies, so that the Senate is as responsive as possible to the will of the people."
Graham Staines' widow pained by Orissa violence - IBN Live (India)
"It's been ten years since the Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons were burnt alive by fundamentalists.  His widow 57-year-old Gladys Staines had the heart to forgive the killers of her husband and two minor sons. But once again, faced with fundamentalist violence in Orissa's Kandhamal district, she finds it difficult to fathom the reason behind the killings."
Beijing holds secret talks with banned churches as 100 million defy party rules - Times OnLine
"The discussions, which were held in an office in Beijing, were the first time that members of the Government and stalwarts of the outlawed “house churches” had sat down as negotiators rather than foes, The Times has learnt."
Anti-worker front group rigs poll to contradict huge majority support for Employee Free Choice Act  - Examiner.com
"In fact, in a Hart Research Associates survey of 1,007 adults in December 2008, 73 percent favored the Employee Free Choice Act after hearing descriptions of its three main provisions... 61% favor the provision which “establishes binding arbitration in cases where a company and a newly certified union cannot agree on a contract after three months of negotiating"
GM, Ford, Chrysler Lost About 988 Auto Dealers During 2008  - Bloomberg
"About 2,500 U.S. auto dealers may close in 2009, or more than 10 percent of the nation's car and light-truck retailers, consulting firm Grant Thornton LLP wrote in a report Jan. 21."
Legal Jeopardy For American Torturers Here and Abroad? - FindLaw
"More than 140 countries may potentially exercise jurisdiction over former members of the Bush Administration for violations of the 1984 Torture Convention and the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including the standards reflected in their Common Article 3. Whether they do so, and how they might do so, turns on a range of factors, including their domestic procedural rules. In the United Kingdom, one criminal investigation is already underway, in relation to the alleged treatment of Binyam Mohammed, a Guantanamo detainee who is a British resident. I doubt it will be the last."

24&25 Jan

  • Midgets knock off Mercer
    "I thought we held our poise the entire game," Hurley coach Gary Giancola said. "We weren't pleased with our defense for three quarters. Our defense was soft and very passive. On offense, we were as good as we have been all year."
  • Midgettes rout Tigers 65-19
    "Hurley (11-0, 7-0) jumped to a 18-6 first-quarter lead and had a 33-15 advantage at the break. The Midgettes then outscored the Tigers (3-8, 2-7) 20-0 in the third period to put the game away."
DNR Wardens and Snowmobile Safety
"Department of Natural Resources Wardens act as the police of the snowmobile trails here in Winter.  Tim Ebert, a game warden with the Woodruff D-N-R service says he and his team patrol the snowmobile trails and look for folks who are not operating their snowmobiles safely."
Men Involved in Deer Killings Waive Hearing
"Twenty four year old Rory Kuenzi and his 23 year old brother Robby Kuenzi face charges of mistreatment of animals resulting in death, as does the third man, 23 year old Nicholas Hermes, who's due in court next week.  All three are from Weyauwega."
Attorney general won't say whether open carry is legal
"In a brief signed by Doyle, the Department of Justice argued against the exemption, citing the ability of citizens to already possess and carry an open weapon: "The State argues that even under the strictest enforcement of the [concealed carry] statute, a person lawfully in possession of a firearm will always retain the ability to keep the firearm in the open - holding the weapon in the open, keeping the weapon in a visible holster, displaying the weapon on the wall, or otherwise placing the weapon in plain view," the court stated in summing up the DOJ's brief."
Sales taxes declining
"Some of the change has to do with recording problems that occurred when the state converted to a new system, but there’s no doubt less sales tax revenue is coming in, said Kristi Kordus, county finance director."
Wolves policy under review
"Obama's administration last week ordered a halt to changes in regulations that would remove gray wolves from the endangered species list.  The move won praise from some animal and environmental advocates who hope wolves will remain protected in Wisconsin and elsewhere. But farmers and ranchers in the Wausau area and Northwoods aren't pleased."
Charity Care, Day 1: Do Wisconsin hospitals provide enough free care to compensate for their tax breaks?
"The issue of so-called "charity care" is likely to take on more relevance this year in the state and the nation as unemployment soars and tax revenues plummet. Hospital administrators say the sagging economy has already increased their charity care and reduced their earnings, but some public officials say they may try to require nonprofit hospitals to contribute more to the community to justify their tax breaks."
American Superconductor gets multimillion dollar Chinese wind order
""China's wind industry continues to move forward at an aggressive pace through the global economic downturn, and further growth is projected for the next decade," Du Jinsong, general manager of CSR-ZELRI's wind power business unit, said in a statement. "AMSC Windtec's wind turbine designs, localization and supply chain support and proven power electronics allowed us to quickly enter this rapid growth market and aid in meeting China's objective to increase electricity supply while also reducing carbon emissions.""
UW Clinic’s new abortion policy fuels debate
"... the Madison Surgery Center is moving toward offering second-trimester abortions.  This new service is being considered after the retirement of Dennis Christensen, who provided second-trimester abortions at Madison’s Planned Parenthood. With his retirement at the end of December, there are no area facilities that provide this service."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 23 Jan 09
Church emphasizes shared beliefs as congregations merge - Beacon News
"While English-speakers and Spanish-speakers kept to their own sides of the bilingual liturgy at the start of the service, by the time the Eucharist was celebrated most people were responding in both languages.  "That's exactly what we were hoping for," Garfias said. "Language has always been seen as a wall between people, and it's our call as Christians to turn that wall sideways and make it a table we can all meet at, as the bishop said in the sermon. "
Girls team shows remorse after 100-0 win - San Francisco Chronicle
""I think the bad judgment was in the full-court press and the three-point shots," said Renee Peloza, whose daughter plays for Dallas Academy. "At some point, they should have backed off." ... The academy boasts of its small class sizes and specializes in teaching students struggling with "learning differences," such as short attention spans or dyslexia."
DIOCESE OF SCRANTON Teachers rally for unionization... Times Leader
"More than 200 supporters, many from regional union locals, joined a noon rally outside Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino’s residence to mark the one-year anniversary of the fight to unionize local Catholic school teachers. Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers President Michael Milz handed out green and black arm bands."
Rep. Tammy Baldwin Asks Colleagues to Hold Bush Gang Accountable - After Downing Street
"I invite my colleagues to join me in calling on President Obama to reverse the damaging and illegal actions taken by the Bush/Cheney Administration and to collaborate with Congress to proactively prevent any further abuses of executive branch power."
Former French President Chirac hospitalised after mauling - Mail OnLine, Britain
"The 76-year-old statesman was savaged by his white Maltese dog - which suffers from frenzied fits and is being treated with anti-depressants.  The animal, named Sumo, had become increasingly violent over the past years and was prone to making 'vicious, unprovoked attacks', Chirac's wife Bernadette said."

23 Jan

State budget woes mean delays in Family Care, BadgerCare expansion
"Ripples from the state budget crisis have impacted a pair of state and federally funded human services programs in Wisconsin, delaying for two months the expansion of Wisconsin's Family Care Program to the 11 counties of the Northwest and halting "until further notice" the expansion of the BadgerCare Plus program to childless adults."
Forest Service delays start of Cayuga logging project
"Until the end of February, the agency will review all of its proposed projects, mainly on the Chequamegon side of the CNNF, to determine whether they would affect the environmental impact analysis the Forest Service conducted for the Cayuga project, located northeast of Clam Lake in the CNNF's Great Divide District."
Hurley police investigate tire slashings
"An Alden Drive, Hurley man reported a tire slashed on his truck on Monday night while it was parked behind a Silver Street bar, between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, according to a Wednesday HPD report."
  • Midgets knock off Mercer
    "I thought we held our poise the entire game," Hurley coach Gary Giancola said. "We weren't pleased with our defense for three quarters. Our defense was soft and very passive. On offense, we were as good as we have been all year."
  • Midgettes rout Tigers 65-19
    "Hurley (11-0, 7-0) jumped to a 18-6 first-quarter lead and had a 33-15 advantage at the break. The Midgettes then outscored the Tigers (3-8, 2-7) 20-0 in the third period to put the game away."
Telemarketers to get cell numbers
"Those who have cell phones can expect a barrage of unsolicited sale calls -- and they'll be charged for the calls.  To eliminate unwanted sales pitches, call 888-382-1222 and get on the national "do not call" list. You must call from the cell phone whose number you want blocked. "
Harley Davidson Cutting 1,100 Jobs
""These will be difficult actions, but we believe it is critical to create an environment to allow us to operate as a strong term employer over the long-term future," said Harley-Davidson CEO Jim Ziemer in a conference call to investors."
Report: Air quality significantly improved in Marshfield bars
"Tom Gilbertson, owner of Mr. G's Saloon, 136 S. Central Ave., said no matter what the report says, it's not going to help draw people into the bar. He said former customers go to bars on the outskirts of city limits where they can smoke.  "It's good for me I guess because I don't smoke," Gilbertson said, "but not for our business.""
The following, voted in favor of $350 Billion to Bu$h to give to his cronies with no restrictions, but voted against the second $350 to Obama who has promised accountability.
Evolution Disclaimer Proposed for Miss. Textbooks - The Christian Post
"The proposal, if enacted, would require the State Board of Education to include the 200-word disclaimer on the inside front cover of textbooks that include evolution topics... "This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things. No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered a theory,".."
In Texas, a Line in the Curriculum Revives Evolution Debate - NY Times
"The debate here has far-reaching consequences; Texas is one of the nation’s biggest buyers of textbooks, and publishers are reluctant to produce different versions of the same material... “It’s an attempt to bring false weaknesses into the classroom in an attempt to get students to reject evolution.”"
Hoffa Hails Designation of Wilma Liebman as Chairman of the NLRB... NewsBlaze
""American workers desperately need the NLRB to restore balance and fairness in the workplace. Wilma is the right person to lead the board on that mission.  "She understands that the NLRB's role is to protect the rights of employees who want to join a union - a responsibility the Bush-dominated board abandoned during the past eight years."
Controversial CBO Report On Stimulus Turns Out Not To Exist
"Reports of a recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, showing that the vast majority of the money in the stimulus package won't be spent until after 2010, have Democrats on the defensive and the GOP calling for a pullback in wasteful spending.  Funny thing is, there is no such report.  "We did not issue any report, any analysis or any study," a CBO aide told the Huffington Post."
The Clear Channel bloodbath - Liberal Talk Radio
"Considering that even music-oriented radio stations are filling afternoon and evening shifts with syndicated programming, that doesn't bode well for the local guy. The big corporations will see this as an opportunity to program stations from regional or even national offices. Look at all of this as a trend toward the national homogenization of radio."

22 Jan

Visitors should leave their guns at home
"The recent change of a 25-year-old federal policy that now allows concealed weapons in national parks and other federal wilderness areas is trumped in Wisconsin by a 137-year-old law prohibiting concealed carry of weapons."
Assembly committee hears forest industry concerns
"Northwoods loggers and forest managers told an Assembly committee Wednesday that they need help to protect timber industry jobs and the future of forestry from deer, loss of productive acreage and uncompetitive policies of state agencies.  State Rep. Gary Sherman, D-Port Wing, who now chairs the Assembly's Forestry Committee, held the first of at least three meetings to hear first-hand from industry representatives what state government should do about the problems facing an industry that fears decline."
Wisconsin man sets new fly rod musky record
"Wisconsin wildlife officials say the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum has notified Brad Bohen the 51.25-inch musky he caught in October was a record for a released fish on a 36-pound tippet."
Cash flow affects water flow
"Ironwood residents paid a monthy charge of $11.13 for water. In Ironwood Township, residents paid $29.50 per month for water; Bessemer, $17.90; Wakefield, $3; and Ontonagon, $22.  In Hurley, water customers paid a monthly charge of $8."
Tribe Awarded Grant Worth More Than $1 Million
"Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Surperior Chippewa Indians have a big reason to celebrate, 1.2 million dollars worth of grants to be exact.  Emerson Coy, the Director of Planning and Development for the Lac Du Flambeau Tribe, says "We're really excited to get this amount of money."  The money comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. Close to 1 million is going toward revamping the tribe's water system."
Some Want Scholarships Included in WI Covenant
"UW-Madison researchers say the state should expand the Wisconsin Covenant program to include scholarships for low-income students.  Researchers say the Covenant, as currently designed, may not make college much more affordable for those who need the most help.  Governor Jim Doyle started the program in 2006."
Limbaugh teaching civics in Green Bay?
""My students were shocked, angered, and saddened by the interruption." ... "The radio was tuned to WTAQ News Radio, which during that time slot, broadcast the ceremonies through the Rush Limbaugh show," Brooker said. "During the time, Limbaugh provided commentary. Once realizing the form of the commentary through which the ceremonies were being broadcast, the station was turned to another broadcast of the inauguration."
Former justice's case raises ethical issues with state high court
"Flamm and others said serving with Wilcox would not in itself require justices to step aside. But if any of them were personally close to Wilcox - or felt strong animosity toward him - he or she would have an obligation to get off the case, Flamm said.  State judicial ethics rules say judges must not hear a case if a person who knows all the facts could reasonably question their impartiality."
WPL likely to file emergency rate request
"The chief executive of WPL's parent, Alliant Energy, projected WPL's sales will drop 6.4 percent this year, or $30 million. Because of that, Alliant CEO Bill Harvey says they "will likely file an emergency rate case" to the Public Service Commission.  Just last month, the Madison utility agreed to hold electric rates steady in 2009 and reduce natural gas rates by $4 million. Harvey says the rate settlement was based on 2007 figures."
Air quality alert issued for Wisconsin 
"Fine particle pollution is microscopic dust, soot, liquid droplets and smoke particles that are 2.5 microns or smaller, primarily coming from combustion sources such as power plants, factories and industrial sources, vehicle exhaust and outdoor fires.  The DNR said actions that could be taken to reduce fine particle pollution include reducing driving, not leaving vehicles idling, postponing activities that use equipment with small engines, minimizing outdoor wood fires, and conserving electricity."
ACLU to sue Twin Cities charter school that caters to Muslims - Minnesota Star Tribune
"The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed suit Wednesday against a publicly funded charter school alleging that it is promoting the Muslim religion and is leasing school space from a religious organization without following state law."
Support Employee Free Choice Act... Daily Illini
"Currently, employers often don't accept a union when there is majority support. Between showing majority support in the form of authorization cards and an election, employers often mount intimidation campaigns, using threats to thwart the will of the majority. There is no punishment for employers' violations of the law. Although employers are required to bargain in good faith, there is no punishment for failing to do so, and a first contract can be delayed indefinitely."
false comparison of inauguration costs - Media Matters
"Similarly, Brent Bozell wrote in a column: "For the record, the 'lavish' Bush inaugural cost $43 million. Final tallies are not complete, but according to some sources, like the Guardian newspaper, the Obama inaugural will cost more than $150 million." But the comparison is a false one, as the Bush figure excludes security, transportation, and other incidental costs...  With security, transportation, and other expenses incurred by federal, state, and local governments, which reportedly reached $115.5 million in 2005, the cost of Bush's inaugural events that year was $157 million."


21 Jan

  Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov
"Welcome to the new WhiteHouse.gov. I'm Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House and one of the people who will be contributing to the blog ...  One of the first changes is the White House's new website, which will serve as a place for the President and his administration to connect with the rest of the nation and the world."
Fishing heats up Saxon Harbor ice
"When Scott Peterson of Hurley landed a 32-inch, 14-pound, four-ounce brown trout through the ice on Friday, that was enough to send anglers scrambling for their ice fishing gear.  Throughout the weekend, dozens of ice shacks and tents dotted the ice at the harbor and there were just as many anglers out Tuesday on a beautiful, sun-filled winter day."
Midgettes chop Loggers
"In an important game for regional tournament seeding, the Hurley Midgettes made a good case for themselves, beating Phillips 71-38 Tuesday.  The Midgettes remain perfect at 10-0."
Defense paves way for Hurley
"The Hurley Midgettes needed to turn up the defense against Phillips in the second half of Tuesday's girls non-conference basketball game.  That's exactly what the Midgettes did. Hurley went on a 16-0 run in the third quarter to break open a tight game en route to a 71-38 win over the Loggers."
Northwoods Business Climate
"Newswatch 12's James Fillmore reports on how the Northwoods continues to see business growth despite the state of our nation's economy.  This sign says it all, "This store is not empty, it's full of potential." However, the intimidatingly poor, national economy is leaving some businesses in the Northwoods vacant.
Some, but not all."
'Open-carry' becoming central gun-rights issue
"Ostensibly, Wisconsin is an open-carry state, meaning there is no law against a law-abiding citizen openly carrying a legal firearm. Theoretically, at least, one could strap on a holster and pistol and go buy groceries, or plant trees in one's own yard, whether or not such an action might be wise."
Gray wolf delisted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife
"After the ink dries on the Federal Register in a little more than one month, the gray wolf will again be off the endangered species list and back to being managed by the state.  That's because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week delisted the gray wolf in Wisconsin, the rest of the Western Great Lakes region, as well as protions of the Northern Rocky Mountain region."
State unemployment claims up 62% so far this year
"The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development reported this morning that 81,816 workers filed initial applications for unemployment through last Saturday, up from 50,440 the year before.  So far this year, continued claims from those who have been out of work for longer periods are 53% ahead of the same time in 2008."
Wisconsin man sets new fly rod musky record
"Wisconsin wildlife officials say the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum has notified Brad Bohen the 51.25-inch musky he caught in October was a record for a released fish on a 36-pound tippet."
Experts say bone-chilling cold and global warming are not mutually exclusive 
"The National Climate Data Center says that nine of the top 10 warmest years on record have been since 1995, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that 2008 tied with 2001 as the eighth-warmest year on record.  "I'm sure this cold snap is making a few people question the concept of a warming climate, but the long-term trend is toward fewer extremely cold days in southern Wisconsin," said Stephen Vavrus, a climatologist at UW-Madison."
Religion today - Associated Press
"The Nashville-based United Methodist Church has a total of 44,842 clergy, and about 10,000 are female — or 23 percent. Yet just 85 women lead those largest churches, compared to 1,082 men in those positions.  The project aims to research leadership styles of women who head these large churches and encourage more female leaders by building a mentoring program for women with potential to serve large congregations."
Workers assail Wal-Mart closing at Canada top court... Yahoo! Canada
"The Jonquiere store was the first in Canada or the United States to receive union certification, and Wal-Mart successfully argued in lower courts that it could not be forced to keep its stores open.  Without discussing the merits of unions, Wal-Mart argued that closing a store was "good and sufficient reason" to lay workers off.  But the workers' lawyers told the Supreme Court that this violated their freedom of association."
A day to remember - Garrison Keillor - Chricago Tribune
"They saw it on a screen in front of the Capitol and it was actually happening on the other side. The Bushes went up the stairs, turned, waved and disappeared into the cabin of the Marine helicopter, and people started to cheer in earnest. It was the most genuine, spontaneous, universal moment of the day. It was like watching the ice go out on the river."
The Pundits Who Had Not A Clue Two Years Ago - Huffington Post
"...Now, it is one thing to have a last name that sounds like Osama and a middle name, Hussein, that is probably less than helpful. But an outfit that reminds people of a charter member of the axis of evil, why, this could leave his presidential hopes hanging by a thread. Or is that threads?" CNN Senior Analyst Jeff Greenfield, "The Situation Room," CNN, Dec. 11, 2006."


20 Jan



Deficit predicted in 2009-10 for Hurley schools
"Hurley faces uncertainty in state aid after the 2008-09 school year in which the district saw its first tax levy decrease since 2002 because of a state offered declining enrollment exemption, a 2 percent bump in equalized state aid and the disbursement of interest earned on a Qualified Zone Academy Bond."
Hurley Virtual Charter School to begin in February
"The Hurley School Board learned Monday the Hurley K-12 Virtual Charter School pilot program implemented two years ago is ready to open its virtual doors to any student in the state beginning in February."
Midgettes remain perfect
"The Hurley Midgettes barely broke a sweat while improving to 9-0 on the season Monday night with a 90-12 win over the Drummond Lumberjills."
New "phishing" warning given
"The Bayfield County Sheriff's Department and a pair of Wisconsin financial organizations,  Marshfield Savings Bank and its associated Forward Financial Bank, have issued warnings that another "phishing" scam has hit the area."
DuPont continues cleanup efforts at Barksdale facility
"According to Senior Site Director Bradley S. Nave of DuPont Engineering's Corporate Remediation Group, the company is continuing to conduct environmental investigations at the three sites that were associated with the company's explosives production and processing activities."
"Trekkin For Troops" Man Raises Thousands
"Michael Osnoe says he raised around $6,300 during his walk.  Osnoe walked over 22 days and averaged 15 miles a day totaling more than 250 miles."
Still no word on what made dozens ill at Wal-Mart
"Four days after nearly 50 people became ill after being overcome by an odor at a Wal-Mart in Germantown, authorities are still unsure of the substance that caused the odor.  Police Chief Chief Peter Hoell said today that experts who have analyzed the substance "haven't figured out yet exactly what it is.""
Kohler Co. lays off 188 more employees
"Cristina said that the production layoffs are "indefinite" and those workers might eventually be recalled, but the administrative cuts are permanent.  The company is Sheboygan County's largest employer with more than 7,000 local workers, but has laid off nearly 400 employees in four cuts since October."
Defense of cop killer issue in Supreme Court race 
"Former public defender Randy Koschnick might be best known for representing one of Wisconsin's most notorious criminals: cop killer Ted Oswald.  And fairly or not, that 1990s case could haunt Koschnick in his race against Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson for a 10-year seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court."
N.H.'s gay Episcopal bishop to meet evangelical pastor - Foster's Daily Democrat, N.H.
"At some point today, New Hampshire's Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson will come face to face with the Rev. Rick Warren, who will be delivering the invocation at the presidential swearing-in ceremony.  The two have never met, Robinson said, and they couldn't be farther apart on some things."
A solution to the coming 'card check' battle - CNN Money
"Simply put, EFCA would streamline the process by which employees could decide to join a union. In most cases, a simple majority of signed cards would suffice; no need for a full-blown election sanctioned by the National Labor Relations Board.  The bill's supporters (mostly Democrats) say it goes a long way toward restoring balance and fairness in an arena where employers routinely use bully tactics to crush unions."
Zimbabwe Is Dying - NY Times
" What’s documented in the Physicians for Human Rights report is evidence of a shocking medical and human rights disaster that warrants a much wider public spotlight, and an intensified effort to mount an international humanitarian intervention.  Some organizations are already on the case, including Doctors Without Borders and Unicef. But Zimbabwe is dying, and much more is needed."

19 Jan

A quick sports change to pass along...
"This Thursday (1/22) WJMS will now be broadcasting the Houghton @ Ironwood Boys Basketball Game.  "This Thursday night tune into WJMS as two of the top teams in the West PAC Conference meet in Ironwood. The Red Devils host Houghton in boys basketball. Pre-game at 6:15 with Sports Director Gary Aho." - Bill Swift, Program Manager WIMI
Political reaction to Saxon snowplowing fees
"-In a community in which there is usually little competition for town offices, all three board members face opposition this spring as the fur has hit the fan over higher snowplowing fees."
Kohl representative to make Hurley stop
"U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., announced that his regional representative, Marjorie Bunce, will be in Hurley Wednesday, Jan. 28, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. to meet with constituents at the Iron County Courthouse.  No appointment is necessary."
Junior Duck Stamp Contest 
"Students from kindergarten through 12th grade can submit artwork featuring an array of species, whistling, dabbling, diving and sea ducks as well as swans and geese. "
Lawmaker, church battle Wisconsin faith-healing law
"Their bill aims to eliminate a provision in the state's child abuse and neglect statute that exempts parents from prosecution who provide treatment through prayer. It also would create an "affirmative defense" for parents who make a reasonable attempt to provide medical care for the child, while still protecting the right to practice religion as one chooses."
Tell 'em to just say 'no'
"Rejecting the raise would help close a record state budget gap. If every lawmaker turned down his or her scheduled pay hike, it would save more than $660,000 over the 2009-2010 legislative session.  That's real money. And lawmakers would be leading by example in accepting some self-sacrifice."
Frigid weather good news for long underwear retailer
"Because of the influx of new residents each year, particularly at the university, the store sees its share of new customers each winter, Knudsen said. They're happy to find it, she said, especially if they're from warm states or countries.  "There'll be someone who comes in with a friend from Arizona and says, 'This is their first winter,'" Knudsen said. "And I say 'Oh ... I'll take you to the heavyweight then.'""
Vatican Wary Of New Administration - National Public Radio
"In a letter from Europe, NPR's Senior European Correspondent Sylvia Poggioli reports that Vatican officials are bracing for a sharp shift in relations under an Obama administration that will be openly pro-choice."
I Have a Dream speech given at union rally - Examiner.com
"Northern Virginia hotel workers will rally tonight as an official part of President-elect Obama’s National Day of Service... The rally honors workers in the memory of Martin Luther King who gave his “I have a dream” speech at a rally in support of sanitation workers organizing to improve their lives in Memphis."
U.S. execution breached international law: World Court - Reuters
""The United States continues to be under an obligation to fully implement it," said the International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court.  The proceedings go back to 2003, when Mexico brought a case against the United States, arguing that 51 of its citizens sentenced to die in U.S. jails had not been informed of their right to consular assistance."
Montana Group Seeks Native Status For Walleye
""We firmly believe that walleye were here all the time," said Bob Gilbert, executive director and lobbyist for Walleyes Unlimited of Montana. The family fishing organization influenced the bill and will feed legislators fried walleye on the eve of Thursday's hearing.  Designating walleye a Montana native would be like legislating that the sun rises in the west, says Trout Unlimited, a national conservation group."

17 &18 Jan

The Obey Update
  • American Recovery & Reinvestment
  • Kicking Off The 111th Congress
upcoming sports schedule for WJMS
  • Monday night (Jan. 19) two Gogebic Range rivals face off as the Bessemer Speed Girls host Ironwood in a non-conference match-up. Pre-game with Gary Aho at 6:50.
  • Tuesday night (Jan. 20) the Phillips girls travel to Hurley. Last year Hurley got the better of Phillips in the first round of the playoffs and this game will feature two teams who are very familiar with one another. Pre-game at 7:15.
  • Thursday night (Jan. 22) the Bessemer Speed Boys host the Wakefield-Marenisco Cardinals in a Porcupine Mountain Conference match-up. The last time these two teams met was in the Holiday Tournament with the Speed Boys edging past the Cardinals. Pre-game at 6:50.

[The Thursday night game has been changed to Houghton @ Ironwood ... Pre-game at 6:15 with Sports Director Gary Aho. - Bob]

Use of Iron County tobacco money in limbo
"Once again Friday, the Iron County Board of Supervisors' finance committee failed to act on a proposal to use $56,056 in state funds for tobacco prevention to increase the salary of Tobacco-Free Iron County Community Coalition Coordinator Karen Hagemann."
[Much of the background on this can be found at Smoke Free Iron County. - Bob]
Snowmobile Derby
"For folks at the Eagle River Derby it's ideal to have seats in one of the heated boxes on these cold days, because the folks who were out on the hill were sure feeling this year's cold temperatures"
City gets 'F' for air quality
"Despite poor marks from a health advocacy organization, the Wausau City Council appears unlikely to revisit the city's smoke-free ordinance soon.  The city's ordinance bans smoking in restaurants, but exempts bars. Wausau is one of 21 communities throughout Wisconsin that earned the American Lung Association's failing grade for clean indoor air."
[Notice how anything short of an absolute ban results in an "F"... no compromise allowed.  Somehow that seems extreme. - Bob]
First drunken driving offense shouldn't be crime, Van Hollen says
"Wisconsin is the only state that treats first-offense drunken driving as a forfeiture - and that law should "absolutely not" be changed to make it a crime, said Van Hollen.  "There are a great number of people - people I know personally - who have first offenses," Van Hollen said. "I don't consider them criminals, and I wouldn't want them to be tagged that way for the rest of their lives for having made what can legitimately be called a mistake.""
DPI cuts off another small voucher school
"The reason? "We have received information that your school located at 3201 N. 40th St. in Milwaukee has not been in operation for some time," a letter from Tricia Collins, DPI's administrator for the voucher program to the school's administrator, Arlene Hardy, began.  The school had received payment so far this year for two 4-year-old kindergarten students and three 5-year-old kindergartners, totaling $13,874.70, according to the DPI."
Antismoker allegedly punches man outside tavern 
"Reyes later told police he responded to Arneson by saying, "Why don't you leave her alone, she can smoke if she wants to."  That apparently greatly upset Arneson, who walked over to Reyes and punched him in the face with a close fist, knocking him to the ground, the criminal complaint against Arneson says.  "While Reyes was on the ground and unable to defend himself, Arneson punched him several more times," the complaint says."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 16 Jan 09
Freedom from Religion Foundation blasts tech colleges for Good Friday holiday - Journal Sentinel
"The group, which advocates separation between church and state, lodged a complaint today against the Wisconsin Technical College System, saying 15 of the 16 schools, including Milwaukee Area Technical College, are violating a court order by having Good Friday as a holiday.  The 1996 court order found that a Wisconsin law designating Good Friday as a half-holiday violated the First Amendment."
Lawsuits filed over Bush rule on health care workers - CNN
"Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of his state, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island ... He said the regulation "intentionally shrouds" abortion in "new and unnecessary ambiguity," encouraging individuals to define it and to "deny virtually all forms of contraceptions, even emergency contraception to rape victims."
Obama likely to give labor far more teeth... San Antonio Business Journal
"Once a duty to bargain exists, another provision would allow either party to demand interest arbitration after a certain period of unfruitful bargaining — thus allowing an arbitrator to decide issues such as wage rates. EFCA passed the House in 2007 but was blocked in the Senate by a Republican filibuster."
GOP Must Defeat Job-Creating Stimulus Because It Will Ruin GOP’s Election Chances
"Though he offers standard conservative arguments against the plan — including a screed against the growth of “big government” — Blackwell seemed most concerned about the political benefit Democrats might see from successfully boosting the economy."
US Airways Flight 1549 Crash Lands in Hudson River - Raw Video
"Here is amazing raw video from various surveillance cameras of the US Airways Flight 1549 crash landing into the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. All 155 passengers aboard the plane survived in what is being called "Miracle on the Hudson." "

16 Jan

upcoming sports schedule for WJMS
"This Sunday the NFL Playoffs continue on WJMS with Westwood One's coverage of the Conference Championship Games. The double-header kicks off with the NFL Preview at 1:30 PM. Followed by the NFC Championship Game: Philly @ Arizona. Then in Game 2 the AFC Champion will be decided between Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Don't miss a minute of action as we find out who earns the right to play in Tampa Bay on Super Bowl Sunday!"
Iron County plans to sell land to Whitecap
"Iron County Board of Supervisors chairman Dennis DeRosso said Thursday that the county will use the money to purchase a parcel in the town of Pence from the state. "
Midgettes knock off another top conference team
"The Hurley Midgettes missed 16 free throws and teamed up with the host Washburn Castle Guards for 69 turnovers in a quiet, cold gym, but still came away with a 58-26 Indianhead Conference win on Tuesday."

Judge sides with Forest Service on logging project
"Judge Lynn Adelman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin ruled on Tuesday the agency fulfilled its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the Twenty-mile Project, which includes harvesting on 8,800 acres within the 26,200-acre project boundary northwest of Clam Lake."

Man admits involvement in duck killings
"The state Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that the man, who is in his early 30s and from the Fond du Lac area, has been interviewed by a warden, but the investigation into the incident is still going on."
Nearly 50 People Treated in Wal-Mart Incident
"In Germantown, police plan to review surveillance video in an attempt to find out who is responsible for releasing a chemical believed to have made 47 people sick Thursday.  Twenty-five people were taken by ambulance to area hospitals and 22 others went on their own to the hospital to be treated for respiratory problems and other health effects."
Column: Hatley native compelled to make better life for kids
"But the upside is high enough that the system is worth pursuing, Nemke said. The byproducts from the digestion system are cleaner than raw manure, but nutrients remain intact and it is spread on fields. It also is used as mulch.  The process also captures and breaks down gasses that can worsen a greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, Nemke said."
State unveils new program to file taxes electronically
"Like the Internal Revenue Service, the state is promoting electronic tax filing as a quicker way of getting tax refunds. State officials estimate that refunds can get deposited in taxpayer bank accounts in as few as five business days through electronic filing, compared to eight to 12 weeks with traditional paper returns."
New motorcycles strive for low cost, high mileage
"Scooter-maker Vectrix Corp. unveiled two electric models, while Italy's Piaggio & C. SpA showed off its new Vespa GTS 300, which can reach 80 mph with a 278-cubic-centimeter engine that's the biggest in Vespa's line of trendy scooters. Honda Motor Co., Ducati and Kawasaki also displayed new bikes."
Star Tribune files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
"Minnesota's largest newspaper will try to use bankruptcy to restructure its debt and lower its labor costs.  Chris Harte, the paper's publisher, said the filing would have no impact on home delivery, advertising, newsgathering or any other aspects of the paper's operatiStar Tribune files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy ons."
Presbyterian splits lack Episcopalian litigiousness - The Modesto Bee. Ca
"There are similarities between the denominations: Both have had more than 100 churches leave the national churches, mainly over differences about the authority of Scripture and the ordination of gay clergy. Both national churches claim more than 2 million members.  But there are differences: The Fresno and Clovis churches have asked to be reassigned to the more conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church, based in Livonia, Mich."
Global Energy Investment Benchmarking Analysis - Forbes.com
"The major advantages of the United States are the openness of the industry, availability of advanced infrastructure leading to low costs, and the availability of skilled labor and capital. The United States current position as the best investment destination is not sustainable for a long period, as the country is already facing a lot of competition from the rest of the oil and gas-producing world."
Rachel renews - Liberal Talk Radio
"As it looks, Maddow's show will feed in mornings (for an hour) and Ron Reagan expands his show to 6-9P ET. Evidently, this will compliment her busy schedule, with the MSNBC show taking priority."
Lithuanian Firm Hires Witch To Hunt Debt Dodgers - CBS News
""Our new employee will help them to understand the situation, reconsider what is right and wrong and act accordingly," he said... Lobaciuviene, who describes herself as "Lithuania's leading witch," is renowned in the former Soviet republic of 3.4 million people for providing such "magical" services as predicting the future and casting spells."

15 Jan

"Seventh District Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) today unveiled details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009, which is intended to help stabilize the economy and restore public confidence."
[Even if you usually don't click to read the actual pols' press releases, this one includes a summary of what the recovery money is spent for and is worth everyone's time to read closely. - Bob]
Healthcare Coverage for nation’s UNINSURED children
"Seventh District Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) said that he supported the SCHIP Reauthorization bill, which passed the House today, because it reauthorizes and improves the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which provides health coverage for uninsured children. This is legislation that President Bush vetoed twice in the 110th Congress."
County panel to review proposed use of windfall
"The Iron County Finance Committee will be asked Friday to address a proposed budget on the use of a $56,056 windfall in state funding for tobacco prevention and control in Iron County."
Obey: Stimulus package unlikely until mid-February
"Area communities that seek funding under a stimulus package will be closely watching the developments in Washington, D.C.  Obey told reporters in a conference call last week that the House Appropriations Committee has been working on a stimulus plan every day since Obama was elected."
Woman charged with filing false sexual assault report
"Tamra Elizabeth Coyne faces three felony counts each of false imprisonment and false swearing. She was remanded to the Iron County Jail Wednesday in lieu of a $20,000 cash bond set in Iron County Circuit Court."
Mercer to host ski and snowshoe event
"The MECCACross Country Ski Club of Mercer is holding a ski and snowshoe event, called Candlelight Tour under a Winter Moon, on the MECCA Trail.  The event will take place on Jan. 31 from 6 to 9 p.m.  There will be a heated log cabin, hot beverages and a candlelit tracked trail. "
Hurley overpowers Castle Guards to stay unbeaten
"The Midgettes kept their unbeaten record intact, using their depth and balance to overpower Washburn. They cruised on to a 58-26 victory over the Castle Guards in Indianhead Conference girls basketball action."
Ducks are run down by snowmobiler
"Protogere said the open water is created by warm-water discharge from the waste-water treatment plant and, occasionally, snowmobile drivers skip over the water.  "From what we see at the scene, it appears that two passes were made," Protogere said."
Sleepwalker who froze to death prescribed Ambien
"A friend says Timothy Brueggeman once drove his pickup truck into a tree without waking up.  Brueggeman was found about 190 yards from his rural Hayward home late Tuesday morning — hours after the temperature plunged to 16 below zero."
State's Focus on Energy program honored
"The state Focus on Energy program was honored for its biogas digestion program, which provides technical assistance and financing for farmers looking to develop anaerobic digesters that convert cow manure into energy."
Home foreclosures up 81% in U.S., 62% in Wisconsin 
"RealtyTrac released its 2008 foreclosure numbers Thursday, showing 3.1 million foreclosure notices were filed in 2008 on 2.3 million properties, with one out of every 54 housing units in the United States getting at least one foreclosure filing during the year."

On the Spot Blues Band to hold fund-raiser
"The show, to be held at the Irish Times in Laurium, will run from 4 p.m. to midnight. Many local musicians will be there, said Joey Utzman, the band's drummer.  "It'll be kind of an open-mic atmosphere," he said.  The band will play for an hour during the day; there will also be prizes raffled off."

Inaugural Prayers Through History -- The Ultimate Archive - BeliefNet
"Here are the texts of invocations and benedictions at presidential inaugurals since 1937 when the practice began. I'm still searching for the full texts for some of the earlier ones, and will update this space as I get them. "
Letters: Organized labor has made life better... Sheboygan-Press
"After a long and brutal fight this profane corporate assault on our children came to a merciful end and America established a national conscience that was just and true. None of this would have happened without the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women of organized labor."
A Cry for Help from Rural Alaska. Is Anyone Listening? - Mudflats
"The weather has been unusually cold, and prices of heating oil and gasoline have been astronomical.  Add to that a disastrous collapsing salmon fishery in Bristol Bay that left residents in that area heading in to winter with less than usual, and you have the makings for a humanitarian disaster."
Lake Superior State University 2009 List of Banished Words
"Lake Superior State University "maverick" word-watchers, fresh from the holiday "staycation" but without an economic "bailout" even after a "desperate search," have issued their 34th annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. This year's list may be more "green" than any of the previous lists and includes words and phrases that people from "Wall Street to Main Street" say they love "not so much" and wish to have erased from their "carbon footprint.""


14 Jan

Area boys basketball
"Hurley (7-2 overall, 5-1 IC) was staggered early by Mellen’s intense full-court pressure as the Granite Diggers went up 12-5 through one quarter and forced Hurley into 18 turnovers."
Montreal home destroyed in Monday evening fire
"It took firefighters from the Montreal Fire Department almost six hours to extinguish a fire on Nevada Avenue in Montreal Monday evening.  Fire destroyed the house owned by Dan Moncher.  No one was in the house at the time of the blaze."
Trial date set for pair in Hurley stabbing
"A Feb. 10 joint trial was set Monday in Iron County Circuit Court for Leslie Ann Bradley, 40, of Hurley, and James E. Thomas, 37, of Racine, both charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide."
Midgettes knock off another top conference team
"The Hurley Midgettes missed 16 free throws and teamed up with the host Washburn Castle Guards for 69 turnovers in a quiet, cold gym, but still came away with a 58-26 Indianhead Conference win on Tuesday."
Tribal Casino application is turned down
"Tribal spokesman Joe Hunt says they still hope the project will go forward.  He cited their ongoing lawsuit against the government and the possibility that the
administration of President-elect Barack Obama will see things differently."
Vets exposed to incorrect drug doses
"The Veterans Administration has acknowledged that patients at some of its medical centers, including the Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Medical Center, were given incorrect doses of drugs because of medical errors."
Church, lawmaker seek to clarify faith healing statute
""An affirmative defense says you can't be prosecuted if the court says you made a reasonable attempt to provide medical care," Peterson said. "It gives them an out if they provided medical care and the prosecution can't prove they're criminally negligent."  Just what constitutes "reasonable care" would be left to judges to determine, Peterson said."
Government to announce decision on gray wolves
" The U.S. Department of Interior is planning an announcement about removing gray wolves in the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies regions from the federal endangered species list... The department has tried previously to remove wolves in both regions from the endangered list and return management authority to the states. But the efforts have been overruled by courts."
Making waves: Complaints prompt The Mic 92.1 to bring back 'Thom Hartmann' 
""I don't want to support a station with a host like Dave Ramsey," she said. "It's the worst business decision you could have made. Why would you inflict this guy on us? He has all the Fox talking points.""
State foreclosures up again 
"With figures supplied by all of Wisconsin's counties except Portage, the figures tracked by the court director show Wisconsin with a hike of more than 20 percent in foreclosure filings for the second year in a row."
Report: Senior Saudi cleric OKs girls to marry - Newsweek
""It is wrong to say it's not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger," Sheik Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh, the country's grand mufti, was quoted as saying.
Quantcast.  "A female who is 10 or 12 is marriageable and those who think she's too young are wrong and are being unfair to her," he said during a Monday lecture, according to the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper."
Toyota union to demand 4,000 yen wage hike for 2009 business year - TradingMarkets
"Union officials say the planned demand reflects a price increase in the past year. But rough going is expected during labor-management talks given Toyota is expected to see the first operating loss in the year ending on March 31 due to the global recession.  The union is considering seeking 1.8 million yen in annual bonus for the 2009 business year, down sharply from an all-time high of 2.53 million yen paid for the current year, the sources said."
Judge: Copy of disputed documents goes to Obama - Yahoo News
"A federal judge says the incoming administration of Barack Obama must be given copies of documents the Bush White House has been withholding from Congress on the firings of nine U.S. attorneys."
Dad, Son Arrested After Cutting Line At Wal-Mart
"Kirby said Pluhar refused when asked to wait his turn. Pluhar's father, 61-year-old Edward R. Pluhar Sr., then asked Kirby if he wanted to step outside. That's when Kirby told the men he was a police officer."

13 Jan

"The Iron County Finance Committee will meet on Friday, January 16, 2009 at 8:00 AM at the Iron County Courthouse, Hurley, Wisconsin. The meeting is open to the public per Chapter 19, sub Chapter V, Wisconsin Statutes. (Open Meeting Law)"
Wisconsin-Minnesota Agreement will Serve as Model of Budget Cooperation
"I applaud the effort by Governors Doyle and Pawlenty to seek cooperative agreements to improve government efficiency and reduce costs to state governments. Their commitment to shared services underscores a basic principle that borders don’t have to be barriers and state leaders may use the economic crisis as an opportunity to look outside the box to help government maintain essential services while reducing costs to taxpayers."
Gogebic Range assists Ironwood in time of need
"Fire department members from across the Montreal River in Hurley and Montreal, led by chiefs Darrell Petrusha and Cookie Laguna, helped flush hydrants and open valves Saturday to get the water flowing again."
Midgets edge Granite Diggers
"They were down 11 points, 31-20, and were missing inside-man Dylan Laurin, who had just injured his ankle.  But the Midgets turned it around with a 20-8 run to take the lead and closed it out for a 53-51 Indianhead Conference win over Mellen (3-3 IC)."

Wisconsin sportsmen to ponder end of earn-a-buck
"The Wisconsin Conservation Congress plans to ask people at its annual April hearings whether the state Department of Natural Resources should do away with the regulations or scale them back. The congress’ questionnaire says hunters are sick of the restrictions, a reduced kill during November’s gun hunt shows the program has worked and too many areas have been under the restrictions for too long."

Heat bills soar with sinking temperatures
"If the temperature goes down and it's 20 percent colder than last year, the heating bills will be 20 percent more," said Todd Steffen, a WPSC spokesman. "It's a very close correlation between the two."
Panel denies Gableman bid to bar Judicial Commission from continuing case
"The Judicial Commission filed allegations against Gableman in October claiming he knowingly lied in a campaign ad last spring. A three-judge panel is now reviewing the allegations; the panel will forward its findings to the Supreme Court to decide what punishment, if any, Gableman should face."
Conservationists take EPA back to court on ballast water
" They note that ballast tank flushing is already required for ships entering the Great Lakes, but it isn't effective enough to protect the lakes or the nation's coastal waters.  The Great Lakes are now home to more than 180 invasive species, and the overwhelming majority of invasions in the past few decades have arrived as stowaways in ship-steadying ballast tanks."
Wisconsin, Minnesota look for savings together
"For instance, they could share purchasing of things like road salt, heavy equipment, software and institutional food. They also might share some fixed assets, like a helicopter service for natural resources work.  The governors haven't said how much money might be saved."
Another 400 jobs lost in Beloit, Eau Claire 
"The economy has claimed another 400 jobs in Wisconsin.  Alcoa Wheel Products in Beloit is shutting its doors starting in March, putting 300 employees out of work, while Hutchinson Technology in Eau Claire is laying off 100 employees, also beginning in March."
Officials ordered to stop prayer at schools - Pensacola News Journal
"Rodgers' order prohibits employees from:
  • Promoting prayer at school-sponsored events, including graduation.
  • Planning or financing religious baccalaureate services.
  • Promoting religious beliefs to students in class or during school-sponsored events and activities.
  • Holding school-sponsored events at churches."
China's trade slump worsens in December... The Sun News
"The global plunge in demand for Chinese goods has forced thousands of Chinese factories to close and freshly unemployed migrants to stream from coastal manufacturing regions back to their rural hometowns. Labor protests have occurred in some areas. The government is pressing companies to avoid more job cuts."
U.S.: Bush Foreign Policy Legacy Short of Disastrous  - IPS-Inter Press Service
"Already last spring, nearly two thirds of 109 professional historians polled by the 'History News Network' rated Bush the worst president in the nation's history, while another 35 percent said he was among the ten worst of the 42 who preceded him.  And that was six months before the mid-September financial crisis that most economists agree will turn out to be the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930's!"

12 Jan

Live Sports Broadcasts from WJMS
This weeks live broadcasts of local prep games include:
  • MON. 1/12 7:15 BOYS – MELLEN @ HURLEY
  • THURS. 1/15 6:15 BOYS – L’ANSE @ IRONWOOD
Obey: No stimulus until mid-Feb.
"Every month the package is delayed means thousands jobs lost, Obey said.  He warned that even a stimulus package that could be $700 billion or as much as $1 trillion “is not going to be a miracle.” According to information he has received from economists, even with the stimulus package, unemployment rates are likely to climb to 9 percent in the next year."
Ironwood Water system restored
"Service was restored late Saturday after city workers were on the job for more than 30 hours straight to replace a 4-foot section of steel water pipe.  All Ironwood schools are closed today because of the water boil and until water-quality test results are received by the city."
Dogwood scholarship applications open
"Applications are being accepted for the sixth Dogwood Run/Walk Scholarship until March 27.  Scholarships of up to $300 each will be awarded to a female and male high school senior. All eligible students must send a letter explaining why he or she should receive a Dogwood scholarship."
Midgettes dominate Mellen
"The Hurley Midgettes played two of the top teams in the Indianhead Conference this week.  They beat them by a combined 65 points, a 67-32 win at Butternut-Glidden (6-1 IC) Tuesday and a 72-42 home victory over Mellen (4-2) Friday."
City of Ironwood Boil Water Advisory
"Officials from the Department of Public Safety in Ironwood say they will continue to test the water and will let residents know when the advisory is cancelled."
Cheese Prices
"About 80 percent of the state's milk is used to produce cheese, so cheese prices largely determine milk prices paid to farmers.  The price of cheese has lost about 40 percent of its value in the last 30 days."
End of Earn-a-Buck?
"It's designed as a population-control measure, but many hunters despise it because it forces them to pass up trophy kills.  Preliminary totals indicate hunters killed 19 percent fewer deer during November's gun hunt, leading many to conclude the deer population has shrunk."
Doyle: Quad Layoffs Example of Strong Businesses Hurting
"Doyle called the layoffs at the Sussex-based company the "ripple" of the souring economy with less advertising leading to smaller publications and the need for fewer printers.  Doyle said Monday that he recently spoke with Quad/Graphics top executives who said the company will be in a good position when the economy rebounds."
Snowmobilers round up and run over deer
"Dremel believes three or four snowmobiles were involved in what amounted to a roundup of deer in a farm field. Dremel says one deer was left tied to a tree and choked itself to death. Another deer had broken legs and was euthanized."
US stem cell bank has acquired all 21 lines
"The National Institutes of Health established the bank at the WiCell Research Institute in 2005 to obtain, study and distribute the 21 lines to researchers. All six providers of those lines were invited to deposit their cells into the bank after it was established."
Ex-UW prof gets nuke safety post 
"A former UW-Madison professor has been named vice chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards... The committee advises the Nuclear Regulatory Commission independently from the NRC staff on the safety aspects of nuclear facilities and the adequacy of safety standards."
Who Would Jesus Smack Down? - Mark Driscoll, a Pastor with a Macho Conception of Christ - New York Times
"Conservatives call Driscoll “the cussing pastor” and wish that he’d trade in his fashionably distressed jeans and taste for indie rock for a suit and tie and placid choral arrangements. Liberals wince at his hellfire theology and insistence that women submit to their husbands. But what is new about Driscoll is that he has resurrected a particular strain of fire and brimstone, one that most Americans assume died out with the Puritans: Calvinism, a theology that makes Pat Robertson seem warm and fuzzy."
REPUBLICAN APPOINTEES REJECT CHAMBERS APPEAL - Public Empolyees for Environmental Responsibility
"“This ruling sets an impossible burden for civil servants who blow the whistle on dangers to public safety and cannot be allowed to stand,” stated PEER Senior Counsel Paula Dinerstein. “This case has been dragging on for more than five years and illustrates just how broken our system for protecting federal whistleblowers has become.”"
Toxic coal ash waste piles up in 32 states - Associated Press
"AP's analysis found that in 2005, the most recent year data is available, 721 power plants generating at least 100 megawatts of electricity produced 95.8 million tons of coal ash. About 20 percent -- or nearly 20 million tons -- ended up in surface ponds. The remainder ends up in landfills, or is sold for use in concrete, among other uses."

10&11 Jan

Ashland selected as site of 2010 outdoor writer conference
"Curt Hicken, executive director of AGLOW said, "Ashland has everything we are looking for. Ashland offers lodging, conference space, and an abundance of outdoor recreational experiences. The Ashland Chamber put together a solid bid and was incredibly enthusiastic throughout the bidding process.""
Wolves hold their ground as management shifts
"State, federal and tribal agencies celebrated the recovery of the gray wolf in the western Great Lakes in 2007, when the species was removed from the endangered species list. By that time, the population had increased to more than 500 wolves after no breeding wolves could be found anywhere in the state in 1960."
Development efforts continue in Bayfield County
"A summary of BCEDC's activities indicates that the organization has assisted business firms who have added or projected adding an additional 34 jobs to the Bayfield County economy"
Emergency causes Hurley to switch water source
"Hurley purchases water from Ironwood as a primary source.  At noon on Friday, Hurley Mayor Joe Pinardi said the city would get its water from Montreal until the problem in Ironwood was corrected."
Hurley Area Chamber names new officers
"Barb Halverson of Whitecap Mountain Ski Resort is the new president of the Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce.  Other officers are Donald Richards, Haven North Condominiums, vice president; and Lori Lorendo, White Cross Pharmacy, secretary-treasurer."
Midgettes dominate Mellen
"The Hurley Midgettes played two of the top teams in the Indianhead Conference this week.  They beat them by a combined 65 points, a 67-32 win at Butternut-Glidden (6-1 IC) Tuesday and a 72-42 home victory over Mellen (4-2) Friday."
Mercer girls drop Bayfield with big first quarter
"The Mercer Tigers jumped out to a 17-6 first-quarter lead and never looked back en route to a 58-46 Indianhead Conference win over the Bayfield Trollers on Friday."
Forest Management Plan Sees Some Changes
"Recently, forest officials have come under fire for their Travel Management proposal to give citations to anyone operating on a closed road.  Following an appeal by the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, the two groups came to a settlement to offer education rather than a citation in MOST cases."
DTV Transition
"The DNR is concerned those old televisions could be illegally dumped and wind up in a landfill where they pose an environmental risk."
Obey calls for bold action
""I think the unemployment numbers today demonstrated more than ever how urgent it is for Congress to move quickly to pass a very robust economic package," Obey said during a conference call with state media members."
Hearing on Milwaukee sick-day lawsuit rescheduled
"The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce is suing the City of Milwaukee over a referendum passed by voters in November. The referendum requires Milwaukee businesses to provide paid sick days to employees beginning Feb. 10."
Minocqua real estate firm files for Chapter 11
"A real estate investment group based in Minocqua has filed to reorganize its finances under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Jackson Green LLC has $27 million in assets and more than $120 million in liabilities, according to its filing Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court's Western Wisconsin District."
Wisconsin cities ramp up eagle watching
"Hundreds of bald eagles typically gather along each river every winter to feed on fish in open water below dams. The Department of Natural Resources says the rivers offer some of the best eagle watching spots in the country and early ice-up on both rivers this year has led to high concentrations of birds."
Feingold, Baldwin resurrect bill that would aid cranes 
"The bill passed the House of Representatives and Senate Environment and Public Works committee last year but stalled before Senate action.  The bipartisan bill would establish a grant program to fund international and domestic crane conservation projects and encourage the U.S. Department of Interior to seek input from individuals and organizations actively involved in crane conservation."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 9 Jan 09
Episcopal Diocese claims $20 million in schism fight - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"In papers filed yesterday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, the Episcopal Diocese argued that the Anglican group stipulated in October 2005 that if it were to leave the church, all property and assets held by the "Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America ... shall continue to be so held ... regardless of whether some or even a majority of the parishes in the Diocese might decide not to remain in the Episcopal Church of the United States of America.""
House approves bills for equal pay... Washington Times
"House Democrats put their beefed up majority to work Friday to pass two bills that ease limits on pay discrimination lawsuits, the first pieces of legislation passed this session, and also for pet liberal causes pushed by President-elect Barack Obama in the campaign."
Mythbusting the Obama Recovery Package - Campaign for America's Future
"As usual, the conservatives have absolutely no conscience about what they did to create this mess. If they did, they'd all be holed up in their gated communities or on their private islands, embarrassed into silence at best and terrified of peasant uprisings at worst. Instead, they're jetting into D.C. en masse in a last-ditch attempt to head the country off—or at least make sure that any money that does get spent ends up, as it always has, in their pockets."
George The Lobster Gets New Lease On Life At 140
"Caught off Newfoundland, Canada, George lived in the tank for about 10 days. He was to be released Saturday near Kennebunkport, Maine, in an area where lobster trapping is forbidden.  The lobster was to make the trip to Maine in a plastic foam cooler, surrounded by seaweed, cold packs and wet newspapers."

09 Jan

Hurley Girls Basketball
The Midgettes basketball game against Mellon on Friday, Jan 9th will be broadcast live on WJMS, 590 AM beginning with a pre-game program scheduled for 7:15.  Future scheduled broadcasts include:
  • MON. 1/12 7:15 BOYS – MELLEN @ HURLEY
  • THURS. 1/15 6:15 BOYS – L’ANSE @ IRONWOOD
Wisconsin Public Radio gets OK to build new Ashland station
"The new station will broadcast at a frequency of 90.9 megahertz on the FM band and will transmit with 23,000 watts of power, creating a far stronger signal than the less-than 100 watts currently coming from their translator station at 102.9 FM.
Grant to Mercer Fire Department to exceed $100,000
"Fire chief Steve Altman said the money would provide air packs, jackets, pants, boots and helmets to protect firefighters if they have to enter a burning building.  He received notification of the grant on Wednesday via a phone call from U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis."
Tigers fall to Washburn
"The Washburn Castle Guards defeated the Mercer Tigers 77-54 Thursday to improve to 6-0 in Indianhead Conference play."
Large water leak discovered in Ironwood
"Public restrooms are being made available at IPSD and at the Ironwood Memorial Building at 213 S. Marquette St.  The American Red Cross is providing bottled water to some nursing homes and public housing residents.  City officials do not have an estimate at this time when service will be restored."
City of Ironwood residents without water
"The majority of residents in Ironwood are without water this morning after a water main break.  The city's water system is also crtically low.  The city is asking residents to conserve as much water as possible at this time.  If you live in the city of Ironwood and are in emergency need of water, you can go to the Ironwood Public Safety building, and bring a container with you."
Mementos sent to USS Green Bay
"A truckload of Packerland memorabilia is on its way to California to become a permanent part of the USS Green Bay, docked in San Diego.  The Navy ship will be commissioned January 24 in Long Beach, California.  Its flight deck is named Lambeau Field."
Our View: Give Healthy Wisconsin a fair chance
"At this point, it would be better to analyze the plan based on what's in it versus what the bogeyman says it will do. And right now, we're not really sure what's in it. The plan hasn't been presented."
State retirees' pension checks to be reduced
"The Core Fund, a diversified portfolio that holds most of the Wisconsin Retirement System's funds, ended 2008 with a preliminary return of minus-26.2 percent and a market value of $57.8 billion — its lowest level in five years, the state Investment Board said Thursday.  Because of the drop, 146,000 public employee retirees are likely to see their pension benefits shrink 2.5 percent to 3 percent, according to initial estimates from the Department of Employee Trust Funds."
Newly unemployed often can't afford to continue health insurance
"The average monthly unemployment benefit in Wisconsin in 2008 was $1,172. The average health insurance premium was $1,095 for a family and $400 for an individual. That leaves just $77 for a family and $672 for a lone adult to cover all other basic living expenses including rent or mortgage payments, heat and utilities, food, and clothing."
DNR to hunters: Hand over your guns on demand
"Simply asked, can law enforcement take a person's legally carried firearm without any probable cause that a crime is being committed? Must a hunter in the field surrender his firearm just because a conservation warden tells him to?"
Church adopts Hooters, both adopt Hurricane Ike victims - Associated Baptist Press
"What could bring together the members of a Houston Baptist church and employees of a restaurant known as much for its buxom, midriff-baring waitresses as for its food?  God's love -- and sharing it with neighbors in need, including hurricane victims."
Christians demand proof for atheist ad claims in Britain - AFP
""There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world.  "But there is scant evidence on the other side, so I think the advertisers are really going to struggle to show their claim is not an exaggeration or inaccurate, as the ASA code puts it," he added."
ACLU Calls Swift Passage of Pay Equity Bills Strong Steps to Help Protect Wages - Common Dreams
"“In these tough economic times, unjust employers should not be immunized from wrongdoing when they deny employees their rightful wages or profit from years of discrimination – as long as they keep the discrimination secret for a few months,” said Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU legislative counsel. “Pay equity has to be a priority for Congress."
Former FEMA director among evacuated - Daily Camera
"Brown was heavily criticized for FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina and resigned afterward. He was ridiculed after Bush publicly praised him, saying he did a "a heck of a job," while thousands desperately waited for help."

08 Jan

This Nation Asks for Action, and Action Now
"Today, Seventh District Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, questioned a panel of economists at a House Steering and Policy Committee forum on the need for an economic recovery and job creation bill. While some have called for delay in consideration of such a bill, the experts could not have been clearer. As FDR said, “This nation asks for action, and action now.”"
Midgettes thump B/G to remain unbeaten
"The Midgettes jumped out to a big lead early over Butternut/Glidden, striking for 20 points in the opening quarter. Later, they salted matters away with a huge fourth quarter for a 66-32 win in their girls basketball game."
Hurley martial arts center members compete
"Brayden Averitt, Ironwood, received third place in junior intermediate forms; Don Richards, Hurley, placed second and third in adult brown belt forms and sparring; and Dennis Jurmu, Hurley, placed third in the adult beginner forms and was a finalist in sparring."
Midgettes only unbeaten in IC; Mercer falls
"The Midgettes (6-0, 4-0) started strong, taking a 20-7 lead after one period, and put B-G (5-2, 5-1) away with a dominant 27-10 finishing kick in the fourth quarter."
New Snowmobile Trail is Open
"Giving businesses the help they need, while providing snowmobilers with a well-groomed and scenic route is exactly the goal of this new trail.  The Sokoagan Chippewa Tribe foot the 40 thousand dollar bill for the new trail, and used 5 thousand dollars from room tax revenues at the Mole Lake Casino and Lodge.  The casino's hosting a pro vintage race next month."
Problems plague some users of 511 phone line for road conditions
"For instance, the system has been confusing Rock and Sauk County and other similar-sounding locations, according to Chris Quesnell, a DOT traffic engineer in Milwaukee. Background noise and a failure to enunciate clearly compound some of the glitches, he said."
McCain, Feingold take aim at pork-barrel spending
"David Obey, who is helping to draft the package as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, also promises an earmark-free bill.  "I can certainly refuse to bring a bill to the floor if it has earmarks, and that's what I will do," the Wausau Democrat said Wednesday on National Public Radio."
Study: More species invasions in Great Lakes
"The National Center for Environmental Assessment issued the warning in a study released this week. It identified 30 nonnative species that pose a medium or high risk of reaching the lakes and 28 others that already have a foothold and could disperse widely.  Among them are fish such as the tench ("doctor fish"), the monkey goby and the blueback herring."
State Supreme Court considers: How much money can a business owner take from a company?
"But Bob Kasieta, of Kasieta Legal Group in Madison, representing Milwaukee receiver Michael Polsky, told the justices that Virnich and Moores put only $150,000 of their own money into the business and "reaped benefits" of $12.5 million, calling that "self-dealing to the Nth degree."  He likened the case to Enron, WorldCom and Bernard Madoff's alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.  "They're asking this court to say that in Wisconsin, corporate looting is legal," Kasieta said."
Microsoft's Windows 7 'beta' set to debut
""I believe Windows will remain at the center of people's technological solar system," Ballmer said. "We're putting in all the right ingredients: simplicity, reliability and speed, and we're working hard to get it right and to get it ready.""
Feingold Reintroducing E4 Initiative
"The E4 initiative - dubbed E4 because of its focus on economy, employment, education and energy - is also consistent with President-elect Obama's larger efforts, and the efforts of the new Congress, to stimulate the economy through massive job creation.  The E4 legislative package includes bills introduced last fall, as well as a new bill to help boost green-collar job creation by funding energy efficiency projects."
The Amish Flock from Farms to Small Businesses - New York Times
"The Amish move into the world of commerce has been more out of necessity than desire. Over the last 16 years, the Amish population in the United States — mostly in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana — has nearly doubled, to 230,000, and the decreasing availability and increasing cost of farmland has forced many of these agrarian families, especially the younger generation, to gravitate to small business as their main source of income."
Wagoner: No need to cut benefits to retirees... Chicago Tribune
""I'm confident that we'll come together and get the kind of changes that we need," Wagoner said.  Gettelfinger said the union will ensure that "what we do is done in the best interest of our members as well as our retirees.""
What's the Big Secret? - TPM
"The companies now managing the buy-back are in many cases the same outfits that helped saddle these companies up with these crappy investments in the first place. And they're the companies likely to be doing business with these companies again once this TARP thing is over."

07 Jan

Calling all artists
"The exhibition takes place next month at M & I Bank, but its organizers want to remind anyone interested that entries will be accepted in less than one month. Even though the exhibition has run for more than 30 years, the organizers said they continue to see new faces."
Trail deaths now at 13 in Wisconsin
"That compares with nine deaths at this point a year ago and 10 around this time two winters ago.  The rash of accidents has DNR officials concerned."
Challenger Submits Required Petition
"Just one challenger submitted the required
petitions to appear on the ballot for state Supreme Court in April, facing longtime Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson... Abrahamson is entering her 33rd year on the Supreme Court and has been chief justice since 1996.
State cuts off payments to voucher school
"An order issued by the state Department of Public Instruction said officials were notified Nov. 25 by the school's insurance company that the school's insurance had been canceled. The insurance is a requirement under state law... The state paid the school $124,707 in September and November.  The phone number listed for the school was disconnected as of this afternoon, and it appeared the school had stopped operating."
Merge reacquires China operations
"..As we have discussed on our two prior earnings calls, we believe in the growth of our core business on an international scale and therefore terminated the planned divesture of our European operations in June. Now with the reacquisition of our China Operations, we feel that we are well positioned to execute on our global strategy," said Justin Dearborn, CEO of Merge."
How does a Wisconsin resident measure up against the average non-Badger?
"How do we measure up against the average American non-Badger?  The answers can be found in the 2009 edition of the U.S. Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States."
State grants aid transport programs for people with disabilities 
"A DOT news release said the grants will support new public transportation services and alternatives for individuals with disabilities and will promote coordination between specialized and public transportation statewide."
New Orleans police clear out two Uptown Catholic churches
"Robidoux could go inside if she agreed to accept a civil summons for criminal trespass and forgo the spectacle of arrest and handcuffs before gathering media.  Robidoux agreed, entered the church and accepted the summons. The others were not cited, and after a brief joint prayer before a statue of Mary that included Lambert and the protesters, all five left peacefully."
Workers fight back against Employee Free Choice Act opponents - Examiner.com
"Opponents of the Act, who oppose the right to organize, are spending millions of dollars to block passage, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spending 10 million dollars alone. Even Barbara Comstock of the Workforce Fairness Institute admits that one million workers would exercise their right to organize and join the SEIU if obstacles are removed through passage of the EFCA."
Republic Windows Workers Fight To Reopen Factory - Progress Illinois
"As we noted this morning, the workers are asking the NLRB to seek an injunction forcing Gillman to return the machinery to the Chicago plant.  Fried further explained that their ultimate goal is to recruit new owners and reopen the factory under "competent management":"
20 Forgotten Bush Scandals - The Daily Beast
"Does the name Jeff Gannon ring a bell? Boxgate? What about the anti-prostitution AIDS tsar who purchased the services of—wait for it—the D.C. Madam? The Daily Beast has put together 20 of Bush’s greatest forgotten scandals."
"March of the Dead" Demonstration on Capitol Hill - You Tube
"The "March of the Dead" participants wore around their necks the names of those killed in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Israeli Occupied Gaza. The U.S. Congress has repeatedly voted hundreds of billions of dollars to support those two wars. Check out: http://www.nationalpriorities.org/cos..."

06 Jan

Fleshing out the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan
"Tomorrow marks the first day of the 111th Congress, and as things kick off in Washington this week we are continuing to work with the incoming Administration to flesh out the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan."
Fundamental Campaign Finance Reform
“We’re swearing in a new Congress, a new President, and it’s time to swear in a new campaign finance system to restore the public’s faith in our government,” Obey said. “That’s why we introduced the Let The People Decide Clean Campaign Act today.”
Tile project to benefit Hurley school projects
"Replacement of the tile at the main entry of the K-12 school will allow individuals, groups and businesses to become involved in the fundraising.  For a minimum donation of $250 per 12-by-12-inch square, individuals will provide funds for technology needs, elementary textbooks and supplies, a wireless mobile computer laboratory, a baseball dug-out and track renovations."
Northwoods legislator helps reduce state deficit
"Monday, Jauch said he accepted the pay raise that boosts the salaries of Wisconsin lawmakers to $49,943 a year, but said he has helped to reduce the state's deficit of more than $5.4 billion in another way -- returning $125,000 to the state treasury by not filling two positions that opened on his staff last year."
Kimball man bound over on kidnapping charge
"Judge Anders P. Tingstad denied a request for bond reduction during Monday's preliminary hearing in District Court and Rantanen remains in the Gogebic County Jail on $250,000 cash bond. No date has been set for his arraignment in Circuit Court, according to Gogebic County prosecutor Richard Adams."
Gambling help hotline sees increase
"The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling says it's 24-hour hotline received at least 12,000 calls last year a 28 percent increase over the previous year.  The council's executive director, Rose Gruber, says the poor economy may be one reason for the increase."
World Championship Snowmobile Derby Preps
"We're just four days away from one of the Northwoods biggest annual events: the World Championship Snowmobile Derby.  Track organizers say they're ready for the big event... On Friday, the Vintage Snowmobile races kick off the event, while the world championships take place next weekend."
Group protests UW plan to perform abortions
"UW Health spokeswoman Lisa Brunette says its gynecologists plan to begin performing the abortions at the Madison Surgery Center.  She says the December retirement of Dr. Dennis Christensen has left no area clinic that performs such abortions and physicians believe there is a public health responsibility to do so."
State power shift begins
"Details of a state job-stimulus package are still being worked out, but Decker said he wanted to generate additional money that could help the economy by closing what he called loopholes used by businesses. The state package would be "intertwined with what the federal government is doing," Decker said."
Senator pushing for Amber-like alert for elderly
"It's called Silver Alert and it operates much like the Amber Alert for endangered children.  The emergency alert system would broadcast relevant information about the missing person on radio and TV and also display it on electronic highway signs."
State Legislature begins under Democratic control
""We face a budget deficit of historic proportions," newly elected Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan, D-Janesville, said in his first speech. He urged a bipartisan approach to solving the state's problems, saying the budget can't be fixed without collaboration between political rivals.  "There is room for innovative ideas from all members of this body as we work to turn things around," Sheridan said."

It’s That Time of the Year - Right Wing Watch
"Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, announced at his staff's annual prayer retreat that God told him Americans would embrace socialism in 2009 "in order to relieve their pain" and that the economy would rebound under an Obama administration.  "The Lord said the economy of your nation will recover," Robertson told ..."

Bump announces workforce competitiveness grants... Boston Globe
"Referring to older workers, low-wage workers, low-income individuals, disabled citizens, vulnerable youth, and the unemployed, Bump said in a statement, “Our goal is to help these populations gain access to employment, education, and the skills necessary to move forward along a career path leading to economic self-sufficiency.""

Metals pollute waters near US coal ash spill - Reuters
"The environmental group's tests, which took place on December 27, showed higher levels of the pollutants of arsenic, mercury and lead than reported by the TVA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Arsenic levels from the Kingston power plant canal, for example, tested at nearly 300 times the allowable limits in drinking water. A sample from two miles downstream revealed arsenic at about 30 times the limit."

Bush ‘seriously considering’ pardon of Iraq war vet who killed unarmed Iraqi civilian. - Think Progress
"In Feb. 2008, a military judge convicted Sgt. Evan Vela, a 24-year-old U.S. Army sniper, “and sentenced him to 10 years in prison for killing an Iraqi civilian who wandered into the hiding place where six soldiers were sleeping.” Vela, who was sentenced to a dishonorable discharge, was found guilty of planting an AK-47 on the dead Iraqi man’s body and of lying to military investigators about the shooting."

05 Jan

Legislative Taks
"One of the major tasks of the new state Legislature will be balancing a state budget that's expected to have a record shortfall of $5.4 billion by mid-2011.  Governor Doyle says he wants to avoid raising taxes but everything is on the table to solve the problem. "
Follow our reporters on Twitter
"The Journal Sentinel's watchdog team has joined the revolution on Twitter, the social networking site.  You can get information about their stories @js_watchdog... That's in addition to our other Twitter feeds about sports, politics, opinion and the arts. You can see them all at this link, but here are some of the highlights.
Let state's watchdog speak
"State lawmakers should respond by making it a top priority this spring to free up the watchdog Government Accountability Board to explain more about its probes into potential violations.  At stake is not only the public's ability to evaluate the board's work but also the ability of lobbyists, fundraisers and politicians to understand where and how the board draws lines between legal and illegal behavior."
Five running for state schools chief 
"The five come from a variety of backgrounds -- one is a school superintendent, two are college professors, one is a virtual schools leader, and another is the deputy superintendent."
Virginity pledges don't mean much, study says - CNN
"Five years after the initial survey the study subjects were aged 20 to 23. Eighty-two percent of pledge takers denied (or forgot) they had ever taken such a vow. Overall pledge takers were no different from non-pledge takers in terms of their premarital sex, anal and oral sexual practices, and their probability of having a sexually transmitted disease."
Alternatives to Layoffs... Human Resources Executive
"As soon as business picked up, the companies wanted to bring those temporarily furloughed workers back as fast as possible, the same workers into the same jobs.  Rehiring took place, based on seniority, in part to make sure that the most experienced workers stayed with the company. The benefits from this, of course, were that the company could get going again really fast, and the costs of hiring new workers and training them were eliminated as were the learning-curve problems of waiting for the performance of new hires to get up to speed. "
Crawford souvenir shops now ‘deeply’ discounting their Bush gear. - Think Progress
"... he has spent nearly 500 days in Crawford during his presidency. Bush’s presence there over the last eight years had boosted the small Texas town’s tourism industry. But as one of the most unpopular presidents in modern history leaves office, the local souvenir shops “are starting to deeply discount” their Bush-related products:"

03&04 Jan

Bob's Birthday
Easter Island ... only colder
"This 11-foot-tall Moai statue made of snow is on display on Wisconsin 77 at the home of Jacob Vellejo in Hurley. Vallejo said it’s “an alternative to the traditional snowman I usually make.”"
Iron mining heritage trail proposed for area
"Last month, Supercynski contacted officials from several area planning commissions and other local governmental entities promoting the idea for the trail, which would extend from the Plumer Mine in Montreal, Wis., to Sunday Lake Mine in Wakefield. The proposed 20-mile stretch of non-motorized trail would "link, preserve and interpret the unique aspects of this heritage for the enjoyment of all," Supercynski said."
2009 Stormy Kromer field to be larger than 2008
"Klein expects even more to register at the race. Racers can compete in one or both of the events.  "A lot of racers wait to see what the weather is going to be like," Klein said. "The forecast is for colder weather. The trails are very skiable and they should be in real good conditions.""
Falling recycled-material prices traced to China
"The price for type 1 plastic, which comes from beverage bottles, plummeted from $320 a ton this summer to $10 a ton, Johnson said. Aluminum dropped from a summer high of $1.05 a pound to its current price of 48 cents a pound. Paper of all varieties also crashed.  "We were all sitting there with our jaws on the floor going, 'What are we going to do?'" Johnson said."
Pipeline builder to pay state $1.1 million for violations
"Enbridge Energy Partners, owners of a 321-mile oil pipeline in Wisconsin, will pay $1.1 million to settle state officials' allegations that the company broke numerous environmental laws during construction in 2007 and 2008."
Patrick Cudahy bacon bit product recalled
"The recall applies to the Cudahy-based company's 10-pound cases of "Golden Crisp Applewood Smoked Pre-cooked Bacon Toppings" and "John Morrell Applewood Smoked Pre-cooked Bacon Toppings."  Officials said the products might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal illness."
Wis. foreclosures hit record high
"There were more than 25,000 foreclosure actions started in Wisconsin last year. Philip Crawford, founder of the Madison-based ForeclosureAlarm.com, says that's up nearly 22 percent from the previous record last year."
Report: State may lose 65,000 jobs in 2009
"Wisconsin will lose a stunning 65,000 jobs this year — four times as many as in 2008 — and state unemployment will reach 8 percent for the first time in 25 years amid a global recession, according to projections in a new state economic report."
Trumpeter swan and osprey numbers grow in Wisconsin
"From no breeding pairs at all in 1986, the trumpeter swan has now repopulated Wisconsin with 126 breeding pairs in 20 counties — far above the established recovery goal of at least 20 such pairs by 2000. And the osprey, reduced to fewer than 100 pairs in the early 1970s by the insecticide DDT, now has established a statewide population of more than 400 pairs, well beyond the recovery goal of 300."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 2 Jan 08
Catholic paper fights Malaysia gov't language curb - Associated Press
"The ministry has said the language curb would be in effect until a court rules on a dispute between the Herald and the government over the use of the word "Allah" as a Malay-language translation for "God." The Herald has sought a court order to challenge the government's ban last year on its use of "Allah." A hearing is scheduled for next month.  The government has said the use of the word could confuse Muslims, while the Herald insists "Allah" has been used for centuries to mean "God" in Malay."
St Francis de la Sissies
"... a rare mute monk order from Molalla, Oregon performing the Hallelujah Chorus."
Wal-Mart workers in Canada organize  - Examiner.com
"Less than two months after closing a tire and lube shop in Gatineau to get rid of a union, Wal-Mart is now faced with a certification order for 150 employees in the adjacent retail store − located across the Ottawa River from Canada's capital.  Employees at the store signed union cards 3 1/2 years ago when the tire and lube shop was unionized. However, certification was delayed while Wal-Mart, using its bottomless financial and legal resources, exhausted all means available to avoid a union."
Raids may have aided Smithfield union vote... Hampton Roads Daily Press
"Organizers fought for 16 years to unionize workers at the world's largest pork plant.  But immigration raids might have finally sealed the union's victory last month, when the approximately 5,000 workers at Smithfield Foods' Tar Heel, N.C., plant voted in a union election. The 2007 raids purged the plant of illegal Hispanic workers and left a majority of native workers more likely to support unionization."
Homeless Veterans’ Disgrace - New America Media
"On any given night 200,000 U.S. veterans sleep homeless on the streets of America. One out of every four people -and one out of every three men -sleeping in a car, in front of a shop door, or under a freeway overpass has worn a military uniform... In the six months leading up to March 31st of this year, nearly 1,500 veterans died waiting to learn if their disability claims would be approved by the government."
Statement in response to Israeli Ground Invasion of Gaza- J Street
"Without an immediate end to the present violence, hundreds more will die and be injured in the coming days and weeks, including innocent civilians on both sides.  Anger against Israel, the United States and moderate Arab regimes will continue to rise – on the West Bank, inside Israel, throughout the Middle East and around the world. The primary beneficiaries of a delayed ceasefire will likely be the very forces in the region that the United States and Israel are interested in containing: Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas itself."

02 Jan

Ferry halts service early
"Left without ferry service, La Pointe locals' access to the grocery stores, medical services and social scenes of the mainland is limited. They must now cross the lake in one of the windsleds operated by brothers Arnie and Ron Nelson. The windsled will start their regular route times on Monday, but unlike the ferries, which can carry vehicles, the windsleds can only transport people and cargo."
Governor Doyle on the economy
"Doyle has presented President-elect Barack Obama's staff with a list of $3.7 billion worth of roads, building and other public works projects that the governor says could start in Wisconsin within four months."
Is Doyle telling the truth on state budget deficit?
""We predicted the slumping economy would leave us $28 billion in revenues as we prepared for our 2009-11 biennial budget," Doyle testified. "But after what happened this fall, we now predict only $25 billion in revenues over the two-year period. The projected drop in revenue, combined with expected needed increases in programs such as unemployment and Medicaid, leaves us facing our largest budget gap ever - $5.4 billion over the next two years, or 17 percent of our biennial budget.""
Oshkosh awarded $7.2 million defense contract
"Oshkosh Corp. (OSK) has been awarded a $7.2 million contract for engines, transmissions and transfer cases for U.S. military trucks... The contract is for support of heavy and medium tactical trucks for the Pentagon and other government agencies. Work is expected to be finished by the end of 2009."
Motorists' habits spur call for gas tax increases
"The 15-member National Commission on Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing is the second group in a year to call for increasing the current 18.4 cents a gallon federal tax on gasoline and the 24.4 cents a gallon tax on diesel. State fuel taxes vary from state to state."
Humanist parents create congregation - Washington Post
"They are not religious, so they don't go to church. But they are searching for values and rituals to use in raising their children, as well as for a community of like-minded people to offer support."
Green Zone Handed Off With Little Fanfare - Washington Post
"The handover of the Green Zone from U.S. to Iraqi control Thursday presented such a powerful symbol of the waning American presence in Iraq that it would have been nearly impossible for both sides not to mark it with a formal ceremony.  They did, but the ceremony wasn't much. A podium was set up in the middle of a dirty street. Five small balloons and some tinsel decorated a seating area. The American ambassador and the top commander of U.S. troops didn't show up. Neither did Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki."
My American Legislative Priority New Year Resolution - Mid-Atlantic States Labor
"It is becoming a regular theme in the Corporate Media that Obama and the Democratic Party should “govern from the center” and turn away from fundamental governmental change. This is pure nonsense and exactly the opposite of both what the voters were seeking in the 2008 elections and what the current, multiple crises demand."
01 Jan  
Senator Decker & Drunk Driving Law Changes
"Weston Democrat Russ Decker tells the Wisconsin State Journal someone who gets caught driving drunk three times over 40 years isn't a felon.  In Wisconsin, drunk driving becomes a felony after the fifth offense. Decker also says he doesn't think police should be able to set up sobriety checkpoints."
Lifelong Boy Scout always was prepared
"Kluetz, who lived in Rhinelander, joined the scouts in 1955 while growing up in Merrill and found role models in the organization when his father died. As he grew up, Kluetz maintained membership and offered help to younger generations -- as a troop leader, member of the scout council and general handyman at the lodges."
[Look, on the day after "amateur night," it is no trick to find a story about some unfortunate mope that did something dumb last night... and I decided that some space for a guy who did good things deserves some space instead.  I never met the man, but thank him for his efforts. - Bob]
Elm Grove church first in Wisconsin to break from Episcopalians
"Wednesday's announcement by St. Edmund's Episcopal Church comes less than a month after a group of breakaway dioceses and parishes announced that they were forming a new, more theologically conservative North American province. Those churches have been angered by the liberal views of the U.S. Episcopalian and Canadian Anglican churches."
UPDATE: Bishop disappointed with church joining Episcopal split
Elm Grove church to join Episcopalian break
River tests promising following train collision
"Environmental officials said Tuesday the samples also contained diesel-range organics but in concentrations that decreased significantly downstream. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says that suggests that efforts to trap and contain the leaking fuel were effective."
Local DIYers reclaim old junk and turn it into functional, useful stuff
""If you're not able to change it in whatever way you think is appropriate for your life, you're not really invested in it. You're just paying to use it," said Bollig, a Sun Prairie resident who recently launched madcitymakers.com to unify the scattered assortment of locals who fix, invent and re-invent."

Uncle Jay Explains:
Year-end! 12-22-08

New Lang Syne 2008
Thank God It's Over


Gideons celebrate 100 years of Bible distribution - Associated Press
"Nearly 76.9 million Gideon Scriptures were given out in nearly 85 languages in 187 countries last year. Close to 1.5 billion Scriptures have been distributed since 1908, when the Gideons first began to place Bibles in hotel rooms."
Industry shutdowns are top stories of 2008... Shelbyville Times-Gazette
"The shutdown of local manufacturing facilities was the top local story of 2008, according to a poll of Times-Gazette staff members.  The second-biggest story was the decision by another local factory to grant its employees a Muslim holiday instead of a traditional U.S. holiday."
2008 Dukes Winners - TPM
"The awards are named in honor of Congressman-turned-inmate Randy "Duke" Cunningham. It's been a heady few years for Muckraking, what with the meta-Abramoff scandal and so much more. But here at TPM we still believe that Duke is the iconic modern scandal. Few so well combine outlandish corruption, national security, sex, and sheer cartoonish ridiculousness."
Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted ... - MSNBC
[This one is funny folks.  It seems the only way for a Republican to make the list is multiple indictments but a Dem would be placed under consideration if he once met somebody that has done a slow roll past a stop sign and only avoided arrest because nobody was there to see it.  Please note that Ted Stevens is STILL a senator. - Bob]