This Local News - ... (Archives)

Source... Click on the title to read the article at its original source.
30 April  
"“Credit cards play an important role in our economy, but some credit card companies are taking every opportunity to profit at consumers’ expense by sharply increasing interest rates or using the fine print to hide fees or other important conditions,”"
"... some photos that were taken by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. One of the pictures was taken right on the main street of Hurley. These pictures were taken a few weeks ago in the middle of the night. It was very fun because we had to close down the main street and have our Public Works Department wet down the streets for the picture. The other pictures are indicative of Wisconsin’s Gangster Tour." - Don Richards
Reminder: 4-H Dog Clinic
"All 4-H Members and their families are invited to a Dog Clinic with area dog specialist in Conformation, obedience, agility, and training.."
Mercer narrows field to 3 for administrator post
"According to current administrator Jeff Ehrhardt, the finalists are Lawrence Kapugia, who is ending a long run as administrator of the Wakefield-Marenisco School District in June; Roy Jonjak, former administrator at Ladysmith; and Lawrence Black, former administrator at Big Foot Union High School District in Walworth."
Midgettes get 8th win
"The Midgettes improved to 8-2 and hope to play their first home game today against Lakeland between the forecast rain drops.  "That's even kind of unreal for playing here," Hurley manager Jim Kivisto of playing the first 10 games on the road. "Hopefully we'll get it in.""
Midgets take second at Mellen Invitational
"The Hurley golf team finished second to Washburn in the Mellen Invitational on Tuesday. Washburn finished with 172, Hurley had 192, Mellen 209 and Park Falls JV 273. Hurley's Jared Reid finished in a three-way tie for second with Washburn's Shawn Stephenson and Mellen's Colten Thewis."
State investigation of AMS ‘quiet rooms’ to continue
"After visiting the Ashland Middle School last week to investigate its use of seclusion rooms, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has decided it needs to conduct a second visit to the district, Director of Special Education Stephanie Petska said Wednesday."
Earth Day Community Service Project 
"More than 300 students from Northland Pines High School went around Eagle River today to rake yards for the elderly and to do clean-up projects for organizations. The projects give students a break from the books to show the community how thankful they are for their support. "
Payment not required if vehicle repair is unauthorized, court rules
"Automobile repair shops that perform unauthorized work on vehicles are not entitled to be paid for the jobs even if the work satisfactorily fixes the vehicles, the state Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday."
Milwaukee mayor objects to stimulus spending plan
"The projects in the suburbs could begin this summer, helping the state meet its goal of creating jobs quickly.  Barrett says he thinks the test should be whether a project could be done in three years and whether it's in economically distressed area."
Atheists target UK schools - The Daily Telegraph
"The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS) plans to launch a recruitment drive this summer.  Backed by professors Richard Dawkins and AC Grayling, the initiative aims to establish a network of atheist societies in schools to counter the role of Christianity."
Union wants gov't to let customs agents wear masks... Charlotte Observer
" A labor union wants the federal government to let border officers wear masks and other protective gear while checking travelers who might have been exposed to swine flu.  Customs and Border Protection officers carry masks in their pockets and put them on only when they encounter someone with swine flu symptoms."
Tapping your cell phone - You Tube
"13 Investigates explains how your cell phone can be secretly hijacked and used against you - and how to protect yourself. "

29 April


Ready on the Range
"In the event the virus begins to spread rapidly the ICHD would contact state and local partners and open their emergency center, which in Iron County is the Hurley K-12 School, Wick said. If Iron County partners with Gogebic County, Gogebic Community College would act as the emergency location."
Iron County lodges opposition to AB 75
"Current law sets the threshold for a single public works project at $48,000 and a public project involving multiple trades at $234,000. The proposed change in the prevailing wage law would "significantly increase the cost to counties for most highway projects and many public works projects," WCA officials said."
Phillips ruins Midgets' late rally
"Phillips scored a run on a Hurley throwing error in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 9-8 on Tuesday. The Midgets had just come back in the top of the inning from an 8-1 deficit. Hurley scored all seven runs with two outs."
Gypsy moth causes Apostle Islands quarantine
""Since there's no logging on the islands, and we banned the transportation of firewood either to the islands or from the islands, there's really not going to be any impact from the quarantine," said Jim Nepstad, chief of planning for the park."
Program Brings Produce to Wisconsin Schools
"State agriculture officials are working to expand a program that brings local produce to schools in Wisconsin."
Natural Resources Board approves new rule on invasive species
"Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank announced last week the state Natural Resources Board approved a new framework for classifying invasive species and providing preventive measures to control their spread in the state at its meeting in West Bend."
Be Careful Before Opening Your Car Door
"The bill approved by the Senate and Assembly on Tuesday requires drivers to take "due precaution" to ensure opening their doors will not interfere with traffic or endanger any person or vehicle. Violators could be fined $40.  The plan also eliminates a requirement that riders allow three feet between their bike and any vehicle"
Initial stimulus bids come in nearly $9 million lower than expected
"Bids for road projects funded with federal economic stimulus money came in $9 million under estimates Tuesday, which means the state likely can do more stimulus road work than originally anticipated."
Senate approves bill allowing judges to award damages for sex discrimination
"The state Senate voted Tuesday to let Circuit Court judges award punitive damages to victims of sex discrimination who work for businesses and state government agencies with more than 15 employees."
Odd Wisconsin: Harvard probably didn't teach him these 'facts' 
"He concluded that "Mars… is inhabited by a type of beings similar in kind and characteristics with those which existed on the earth in the mammalian era... In her forests and tangled jungles roam mastodons, mammoths, and multitudinous diversified types of life" including cavemen and dinosaurs.  Nearly every page contains equally absurd pronouncements, all clothed in pseudo-scientific rhetoric."
Clear Channel Cutting 590 Radio Jobs -
"Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest owner of U.S. radio stations, said Tuesday it is cutting 590 jobs, including some on-air personalities, in its second round of mass layoffs this year amid pressure from the recession and evaporating advertising budgets.  Clear Channel's parent company, CC Media Holdings Inc., also said it will suspend its 401(k) match for all employees for the rest of the year, starting Friday."
Chrysler makes progress in Fiat talks-memo -
"The U.S. Treasury Department has reached an agreement with Chrysler's largest creditors to cancel $6.9 billion of debt in exchange for $2 billion in cash, Nardelli confirmed in a memo to staff obtained by Reuters."
Pastors push pot for patients - Chicago Tribune
""Medical marijuana is an issue of mercy and compassion,” said the Rev. Bill Pyatt of the First United Methodist Church of Carthage. “It is the job of religious leaders to give voice to those who cannot speak up for themselves. We pray that the Illinois legislature will have the compassion to stop this war on patients.”"

28 April


Mercer parents speak out for Rice
"Two mothers said their children had shown tremendous improvement in Rice's class. They said they were afraid their children would "fall through the cracks" if special needs staffing was cut."
Midgettes pick up road win
"The Midgettes hit the ball hard on Monday.  The Midgettes took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Amanda Brown hit a double and Brittany Czerneski had a single. Caitlin Maki followed with a RBI groundout and Jesse Mackey's single drove in two runs.  Hurley added a run in the third. Judy Nevala doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brown."
Midgets golf team gets early win
"Midgets' senior Jared Reid was the top individual finisher with a 2-under 66 at the conference meet. He also won the Thursday invite and was second behind Prentice's Mycal Raleigh in Medford."
2009 Crop Outlook
"NASS says much of the corn planted so far is the southwest as farmers in northern and west central Wisconsin are still waiting for the soil to warm up. About 6 percent of the state's corn is planted so far."
Walker starts governor campaign by attacking Doyle
"Walker, who planned a series of campaign stops today, will be challenged for the Republican nomination. But in his prepared remarks, the Milwaukee County executive focused only on Doyle, a Democrat widely expected to seek a third four-year term next year."
Statewide test results show math improvement
"The results released by the state Department of Public Instruction on Tuesday showed the continuing performance gap between white and black students narrowed by 5.5 percent in math, although there still were far fewer black students reaching the proficient level."
Swine flu adds further drag on economy, Manpower CEO says
"The leading employment services company in Mexico, Manpower has about 3,500 staff in Mexico with about 35,000 contract workers on assignment daily. With many Mexican workers staying home and their children missing school, Joerres said, swine flu is putting a damper on businesses there already struggling with the global recession."
Educators, lawmakers seek to replace statewide student assessment
"The tests, given to 430,000 Wisconsin students at a cost of $8 million to satisfy state law and the federal No Child Left Behind law, "should be dropped," said Hensgen, "and we should get to a test that would test 21st century skills.""
Residential construction contracts down 47 percent in March
"Residential contracts for future construction in the Madison metro area totaled $15.1 million in March, down 47 percent from the $28.5 million a year ago.  Non-residential totaled $21.1 million, up 62 percent from the $13.1 million a year ago."
After 10 Years and 2,000 Deaths, China Still Presses Its Crusade Against Falun Gong - NY Times
"The drive against the spiritual group has eliminated its leadership, decimated the ranks of faithful and convinced many Chinese that the group is an “evil cult,” as the government contends. But 10 years on, the war on Falun Gong remains unfinished."
First step in GM, Chrysler bankruptcy would be negotiating concessions with workers, dealers, suppliers... Cleveland Live
"If negotiations between the United Auto Workers and the companies broke down, the automakers could ask the court to void their contracts. In some cases, companies have gone into restructuring specifically to break labor unions, said Cleveland State University law professor Thomas Buckley."
How ’07 ABC Interview Tilted a Torture Debate  - NY Times
"During the heated debate in 2007 over the use of waterboarding and other techniques, Mr. Kiriakou’s comments quickly ricocheted around the media. But lost in much of the coverage was the fact that Mr. Kiriakou had no firsthand knowledge of the waterboarding: He was not actually in the secret prison in Thailand where Mr. Zubaydah had been interrogated but in the C.I.A. headquarters in Northern Virginia."
Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate - NY Time
"But a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.  “The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied,” the experts wrote in an internal report compiled for the coalition in 1995."


27 April


John Nichols: GOP Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness
"In case you missed it, John Nichols posted a column today on that you should see. "- Ellis Brachman, Press Secretary
[The article has been posted all day.  I agree, it is something that all Rep Obey's constituents should be aware of. - Bob]
Weber Lake spruced up
"Rocks have been removed from the swimming area, five additional campsites were added to the existing six sites and a new boat ramp and dock was installed.  Last fall, workers from the Iron County Forestry Department initially removed rock from the swimming area using both a backhoe and by hand picking."
Hurley's weekend record 4-0
"Hurley rallied to edge Ashland 4-3, then beat Northwestern of Maple 1-0.  In the win over the Oredockers, the Midgettes fell behind 3-2, but scored two runs in the sixth inning. Jesse Mackey and Hailey Manzanares singled, followed by a sacrifice fly by Judy Nevala and RBI double from Amanda Brown."
Hurley rallies past Mellen
"Hurley took the lead for good with two runs in the fourth before breaking things open in the sixth. Judy Nevala swung the big bat for the Midgettes with a double and a triple."
TARP funds enable banks
"In the first quarter of 2009, Associated Banc-Corp will have spent more than $1 billion in mortgage financing, said Marty Reinhart, a regional CEO for the North Region of Associated Banc-Corp, which includes Marshfield.  "Most of it is in refinancing, but there's a fair amount in new homes and construction," Reinhart said."
State officials monitor flu outbreak elsewhere, stockpile medications
"The state is accepting anti-viral medication from the federal government that - when combined with the state's existing stockpile - would allow it to treat about 550,000 people for swine flu, health officials said."
EPA rates Kohl's No. 1 'green' retailer
"The EPA's National Top Partner lists, released Monday, highlight EPA Green Power Partners that have completed the largest annual voluntary green power purchases through April 7. Green power is electricity that is generated from renewable resources, such as wind and sun. These resources generate electricity with a net zero increase in carbon dioxide emissions."
Fed measure of Midwest manufacturing falls 2.4%
"The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index fell 2.4% in March from February to a seasonally adjusted level of 82.0 points, with the index calibrated for 2002 levels equal to 100. Revised data show the index decreased 0.4% in February to 84.0."
Rural residents without high-speed Internet struggle to keep up
"The couple finally signed up for a wireless modem from Verizon, which in the last year has sought to build nine cell towers in rural Dane County to keep up with growing demand... But wireless service isn’t available everywhere, either, leaving thousands of rural Wisconsin homeowners, entrepreneurs and farmers still clamoring for high-speed Internet service."
Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Big Brother
"Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner is defending his scheme to expand the ability of the government to spy on law-abiding citizens... But the program is also excessively bureaucratic and it's expensive -- REAL ID has already cost the federal government $130 million and Sensenbrenner admits that the price tag will rise if the program continues."
No Word From I.R.S. on Protest by Pastors - Associated Press
"The goal of a Sept. 28 event called Pulpit Freedom Sunday was to start a legal fight and ultimately overturn regulations that prevent places of worship from supporting or opposing candidates for office. But a conservative legal group that organized the effort says the agency has yet to notify the churches of any investigation."
Chrysler gets labor deals in fight for survival - Macon Telegraph
"The smallest of the three major U.S.-based automakers cleared two major hurdles on Sunday in its quest for survival, agreeing on a concession agreement with negotiators for the United Auto Workers and winning ratification of its cost-cutting deal with the Canadian Auto Workers."
GOP Know-Nothings Fought Pandemic Preparedness - The Nation
"When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year's emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans."
In Attempt To Placate The Right Wing, Collins and Specter Endorsed Pandemic Flu Funding Cut - Think Progress
"Rep. David Obey (D-WI) included the pandemic preparation funding in the package because he believed "that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse." ... in attempting to oppose and discredit the economic recovery package, conservatives in the media and Republicans in congress aligned themselves around a strategy that amounted to "snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny." Unfortunately, this "snickering" at funding priorities had very real impacts."

25&26 Apr


Bayfield’s Lori Schneider Takes on Multiple Sclerosis and the “Seven Summits Challenge”
"State Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) will use his website to highlight the travels of Bayfield resident Lori Schneider who is currently at Mt Everest base camp preparing for an attempt to reach the peak"
Slow-no-wake bill passes Legislature
"A bill that establishes a 100-foot slow-no-wake speed buffer from the natural shoreline for all motorboats, has been passed by the Wisconsin Legislature.  Senate Bill 12 was authored by State Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar"
Midgettes pull away in sixth inning
"Hurley broke open a close game with eight runs in the sixth inning of a 10-1 win over Mellen in a non-conference game on Friday.  The Granite Diggers led 1-0 until the Midgettes scored twice in the fourth inning."
Midgets drub Drummond
"Hurley improved to 3-2 with a 10-1 non-conference win over Drummond on Friday. The Midgets took a 7-1 lead in the third inning and they also had a solid effort on the mound and from the defense."
Economic Development Meeting
"He says economic specialists say in economic downturns, future wealth is made.  Kief encourages people to open businesses now and go back to school so that when the economy rebounds, they'll be prepared.  Specialists say they expect economic growth by the end of 2009."
Attorney general Van Hollen says open carry is legal
"Attorney general J.B. Van Hollen surprisingly reversed course Monday on the issue of openly carrying firearms in the state of Wisconsin, issuing a memorandum that the practice is legal and should not be automatically construed by police as disorderly conduct.
Friday, April 24, 2009"
Weston tavern owner joins smoke-free forces
"After his heart attack, doctors examined Kluck and told him he would have to quit smoking if he wanted to regain his health.  When he told them he never had smoked, but had spent his adult life working in smoky bars, the doctors advised him to get out of the tavern business.  So far, he has held onto his bar -- and until recently, he still allowed patrons to smoke.  Kluck and other bar owners are taking on a powerful interest -- The Tavern League of Wisconsin, which remains opposed to any statewide smoking ban."
Pet death spurs coyote monitors
"It's the first time the U.S. Department of Agriculture's wildlife services division has used motion detector cameras to try to monitor coyotes in Wisconsin, wildlife biologist Dan Hirchert said Friday. The strategy is more commonly used to monitor wolves where livestock have been killed, he said."
Officials consider early release for prisoners
""The government can spend an awful lot of money on an awful lot of things, but if we don't spend enough money on public safety, nothing else really matters."  But Van Hollen's remarks ran counter to most of the speakers in a two-day seminar in Madison on Wisconsin's corrections system, which has grown fivefold in the past 30 years."
Help Cheney get back home
"With former Vice President Cheney attacking President Obama and his agenda on national television, we think it’s about time for him to get back home to Wyoming.  We want to send him on a Greyhound bus –– a one-way ticket to Jackson costs $202. Nothing fancy, but it’ll get the job done."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 24 Apr 09
Presbyterians vote against gay clergy - Washington Times
"But the margin of defeat -- the final tally has yet to be determined -- is already guaranteed to be much closer than in previous years. That is encouraging for gay clergy supporters and concerning to opponents, with both sides expecting the issue to be revisited in the future."
Baptisms dip again in S. Baptist churches - Washington Times
"The continued decline in the number of followers reflects a trend in other mainline Protestant churches. Non-denominational churches are gaining and the ranks of those unaffiliated with a church are growing."
Ford may be able to dodge U.S. bailout... Daily News-Sun
"Better-than-expected earnings from Ford raised hopes Friday that the automaker's restructuring and new products may be enough to spare it from a federal bailout, while General Motors received more government help and Chrysler raced to avoid bankruptcy."
Keith Olbermann Offers Sean Hannity $1000 For Every Second He Can Endure Waterboarding - Crooks and Liars
"You'll do it for charity? For the troops families? I'll take you up on that Sean. For every second you last, $1000. Live or on tape provided other networks cameras are there. $1000 a second Sean because this is no game. This is serious stuff. Put your money where your mouth is, and your nose. And I'll double it when you admit you feared for your life. When you admit the horrible truth. Waterboarding, a symbol of the last administration, is torture."
Ex-CIA Official: Agency Brass Lied to Congress About Interrogations - The Public Record
""A CIA employee of two decades, McCarthy became convinced that 'CIA people had lied' in that briefing, as one of her friends said later, not only because the agency had conducted abusive interrogations but also because its policies authorized treatment that she considered cruel, inhumane or degrading," the Washington Post reported."
Kohl introduces resolution remembering WWII incident - - Madison,WI


24 Apr

Jauch Announces Slow-no-wake Bill passes Legislature
“While boating is an important recreational activity that many people enjoy, it can also be very dangerous. This legislation puts into effect a common sense measure that can enhance boating safety,”
County could take 11 parcels on tax liens
" Iron County could take ownership of 11 properties valued at almost $900,000 as soon as Wednesday.  Back taxes, penalties and interest on those properties total $63,622. Owners of the properties have failed to pay property taxes for the past three years."
More northern Wisconsin jobs vanished in March
"Iron County's 13.6 percent jobless rate was the fourth highest in the state. In February, the county ranked 13th at 11.8 percent. A year ago, the jobless rate was 8.8 percent."
Horse on the lam takes police for a ride
"The horse, owned by Sheila and Mike Gregor of Ironwood, was first spotted on Wisconsin 77 and Fifth Avenue in Hurley, according to a 4:39 a.m. Thursday Hurley Police Department report. The horse broke loose from a residence on County C that is being purchased by the Gregors, according to deputies."
WI Tax Collections down 
"The Department of Revenue reported the latest figures for March on Friday. They show a decline in all taxes collected so far this year, except excise taxes.  A 39 percent jump there is due to a $1 increase in the cigarette tax that took effect in January."
State aims to employ banks to check delinquent taxpayers' accounts
"Banks and financial institutions would get a list of delinquent Wisconsin taxpayers, and would have to check whether those customers have account balances that tax collectors could go after, under a change added to the state budget Thursday."
State schools to get $366 million in stimulus aid; Madison gets $11.7M
"The federal dollars must be funneled through two existing programs: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which funds special education and early academic and behavioral programs; and Title I, which targets poor students and parent outreach."
Keep insurance regulation in state hands
""Allowing insurers to pick their regulator, just like AIG did, will negate hard-won consumer rights laws and destroy state-based oversight," Carmen Balber of Consumer Watchdog pointed out. "That web of state insurance laws, which the insurance industry has long decried as complicated and anti-competitive, withstood the test of fire by keeping insurance products and companies stable throughout this financial crisis.""
Amendment Gives Religious Organizations Exemption To Same-Sex Marriage Ruling - Hartford Courant
"Lawmakers endorsed an amendment that allows religious organizations, associations and societies to effectively opt out of the requirements of the law. That means that a group such as the Knights of Columbus would not be required to rent out its function halls for same-sex wedding receptions. Nor would a Catholic priest be obligated to preside over such a union."
Outside View: Chrysler and capitalism - UPI
"If Chrysler went through Chapter 7 liquidation, its bank lenders could walk away with as much as 65 percent of what they are owed because Chrysler has some of the most efficient manufacturing facilities in North America, even if it lacks decent vehicle designs to make in them, and the Jeep trademark is worth a great deal stamped on vehicles and other items, like toys and T-shirts."
Aid for Students, Not Banks  - Higher Ed
"The president’s plan will save taxpayers $94 billion over 10 years by ending pointless subsidies to loan companies and using government funds to lend directly to students. Because loan repayment is guaranteed by the federal government, private lenders assume very little risk under the FFELP and yet are rewarded handsomely -- a subsidy that makes little economic sense"
how payday lenders influence elected officials in Washington - CREW
"CREW found that the payday loan industry doubled its lobbying expenditures from $2,045,000 in the 109th Congress to $4,182,550 in the 110th Congress and doubled its campaign donations over the past three election cycles.  CREW also ranked the top 15 recipients of payday related campaign contributions over the 2008 campaign cycle:"

23 Apr

Giving back
"District administrator Chris Patritto admired a photo of Interstate Falls that was among those Tracyzk donated to the school.  Rather than ordering a print, Patritto wrote out a check to the young photographer and took the framed and matted photo."
Lake Superior project receives grant funding
"The second phase of Iron County's Protecting Lake Superior Resources project is one of 10 northern Coastal Management projects earmarked for grant funding.  Iron County will be awarded $24,500 from the Coastal Management Grant Program, according to a news release from Gov. Jim Doyle."
Spring snow threatens spring sports
"None of the major events have been postponed yet, but the deep snow cover and wet forecast for later this week puts track meets and softball games in jeopardy on both sides of the border.  "That's spring sports in northern Wisconsin," Hurley athletic director Dean Kolpin said."
Doyle says raising gas tax worth considering
"Doyle says he prefers to tax oil companies, rather than consumers, as a way to fund road construction and deal with a $5 billion, two-year budget deficit.  The oil companies would be prohibited from passing the tax on to consumers. But, convenience store owners and others say that would not survive a legal challenge."
Elmbrook Schools Sued over Graduations at Elmbrook Church
"For nine years, the Elmbrook School District has had high school graduations at Elmbrook Church.  Now, an advocacy group is trying to stop them from holding the Brookfield Central and Brookfield East graduations there this year."
Whitewater football coach bans student reporters
"Leipold said no one from the student-run newspaper could call anyone associated with the football program unless he approved. And he said coaches or players will not be allowed to answer questions from student reporters during the 2009 season.  "The door is shut," Leipold said. "Go cover soccer. I have (head coach) Greg Henschel's number. I'm sure that will be fun.""
[I wonder where the athletes' bad attitudes comes from. - Bob]
MPD officers to use rifles instead of shotguns
"The change has been made "in response to what amounts to an arms race with the criminal element," according to the news release.  The rifles will better equip officers to respond to active shooter situations, according to the release."
Anti-abortion activists oppose Wis. board nominees
"Anti-abortion advocates and Republican state senators said Thursday that three of Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's appointees should not be allowed to serve on state boards because they support abortion rights."
Apple pulls plug on 'Baby Shaker' iPhone program 
"The iTunes description included the line, "See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!" Once the iPhone owner finishes shaking the device, the on-screen baby is depicted with large red X's over its eyes."
10 Most Important Obama Faith Moments - Slideshow, US News and World Report
  • Speaking to Muslim World From Turkey
  • Announcing Plans to Give Notre Dame's Commencement Address
  • Lifting Restrictions on Federally-Funded Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Analyst sees bankrupt Chrysler ahead - Boston Globe
"Chrysler, propped up by $4 billion in federal loans, must erase most debt, get a new US labor agreement, and finish the Fiat alliance this month to qualify for as much as $6 billion in additional loans. Without the money, Chrysler officials have said, they probably will seek bankruptcy protection ... Chrysler still must reach an agreement with the United Auto Workers union to reduce US labor costs and pare its contributions to a retiree healthcare fund.
Top bailed-out firms have money for lobbying - Associated Press
"Failed insurance giant American International Group Inc. and banks Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. each reported spending more than $1 million to influence the government as they lived off federal money this year. AIG has gotten some $70 billion from the bailout fund -- including a fresh $30 billion infusion the government reported on Tuesday..."


22 Apr

Happy Earth Day!!!!

Reminder: Poetry Reading by Patrick O'Neill
Laurel Makinen will introduce Patrick O'Neill, published poet and teacher at Gogebic Community College, at a reading of some of his poems at the Ironwood Carnegie Library at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 24th to benefit the Carnegie Library Annual Fund.  Tickets cost $7 and will be available at the door. 
Winter's last stand?
"The winter-like storm began just outside the Hurley area and continued east through the Marquette area, with snowfall throughout the region, the NWS spokesman said.  As the storm continued east, the snow turned to rain just east of the Escanaba-Munising area, the spokesman said.  The Saxon, Wis., area received only three inches of snow, mixed with rain through early Tuesday morning, and no snow was reported in the Ashland or Duluth areas."
Pre-election letter questioned
"A letter with 16 claims involving former town of Pence chairman Dan Swetkovich could be turned over to state election officials for investigation."
Habitat Scam
"In one case, a woman applied for the job through e-mail and was accepted.  She was sent a check and instructed to keep some of the money and wire the remainder to another Habitat for Humanity official."
State poised to lead in 'green' jobs movement, experts say
""Papa had a beautiful quote: 'The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around,'" recalled Tia Nelson, daughter of the former Wisconsin governor and senator. "What he meant is, our economic well-being is dependent on our resource base ... that we can't have a healthy economy without a healthy environment.""
Journal Communications reports small profit
"Journal Communications Inc. (JRN), the parent of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and, on Wednesday posted net earnings of $121,000 in the first quarter of 2009, as reduced advertising spending spread across all of the company's publishing and broadcasting markets.  By comparison, net earnings in the first quarter of last year were $6.7 million."
Citizen scientists help monitor, protect state's natural resources
"Thousands of volunteers are now helping natural resource agencies and organizations in Wisconsin and around the country keep an eye on everything from wildlife populations to water and air quality. Loren Ayers, who coordinates the DNR’s citizen-based monitoring programs, said there has been not only a surge of interest in such volunteer opportunities but a growing willingness on the part of natural resource professionals to embrace the efforts."
Just in time for Earth Day: 'How to' switchgrass guide released 
"Switchgrass is a native prairie grass that has been shown to be a good fuel source for heat or power.  Better Environmental Solutions, an energy and environmental consulting firm, said Wisconsin has enough excess biomass such as switchgrass to replace half the current use of coal in power plants."
Attack on Obey is a badge of honor
"Citizens Against Government Waste dinged Obey for seeking $5 million for improvements at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, including the repair of lighthouses that have traditionally served the boats on Lake Superior; $856,000 for school programs in Chippewa Falls; and $45,000 for improvements to the Carnegie Library in Medford.  Horrors!  Obey has been "outed" as an advocate for parks, schools and libraries.  What next? Motherhood and apple pie?"
UW talks partner benefits
"University of Wisconsin officials told a crowd of community members Tuesday that domestic partner benefit legislation has so far been met with approval in Wisconsin as a result of major change in the national political climate."
Pakistan: Two Christians Acquitted of 'Blasphemy' - Compass Direct
"James Masih, 67, and Buta Masih, 72, were accused of burning pages from the Quran in October 2006 and were also tried under an anti-terrorism law because their actions were deemed to have created fear and panic. In a case that drew crowds of Islamic fanatics, they were convicted on Nov. 25, 2006 of blaspheming Islam’s sacred book.  The pair has claimed from the start that the blasphemy charges were fabricated due to a dispute over a plot of land that a Muslim neighbor wanted James Masih to sell."
Unionized Quebec Wal-Mart workers get 1st contract - The Horn
"Some 200 workers at the store received their union accreditation in January 2005, but called on an arbitrator when contract negotiations with the retail giant stalled.  The new agreement includes a $0.30 per hour wage increase on a yearly basis, for the next two years, for current employees."
CREW to Congress: Revise and strengthen HR 1387, the Electronic Message Preservation Act - Citizens for Reponsibility and Ethics in Washington
"The Bush administration proved that without strong, comprehensive record keeping laws, records that rightfully belong to the American people may be permanently lost, preventing us from fully understanding our nation’s past."

21 Apr


Jauch Applauds State Funding for Northern Coastal Management Projects
“This investment will allow many communities to move forward on projects that protect coastal resources. These are a diverse group of projects in northern Wisconsin that many communities will use to not only determine how they can better protect Lake Superior, but also encourage safe citizen access to this most precious natural resource,”
Transit Projects Approved for the 74th Assembly District
“Three of the transit systems receiving this funding are in the 74th Assembly District”, Sherman said. “There are few options for public transportation in our district, and as in all rural areas, transit is critical for many of our citizens. I am pleased that we have recognized this”.
Hurley School District to survey alumni
"In other business, the school board participated in a demonstration of a hand-held Senteo device that allows students to answer questions on SMART boards, not requiring any paper to conduct tests."
Midgets clean up fielding in rout
""We tend to win a lot of ballgames when we don't commit a lot of errors," Hurley manager Aaron Bender said. "When you're out there in 30-degree weather and snowing -- the first conference game -- it's big to get a win and clean up some fielding mistakes."
Midgettes improve to 3-2
"Hailey Manzanares pitched in her fifth game in four days for the 3-2 Midgettes. She gave up three runs on five hits, struck out seven and walked one in a complete-game effort after throwing 288 pitches over the weekend."
Thiede sparks Hurley
"Thiede went 3-for-4 with a single, double and home run and also picked up the pitching win in Hurley's 14-3 five-inning victory over Solon Springs in the teams' Indianhead Conference baseball opener."
Fire Danger Remains High for Chequamegon Nicolet
"But even after Sunday and Monday's wet weather, the fire danger isn't over with.  Forestry officials say so far this year the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has had 14 small fires--twice as many as this time last year."
Stimuls Money for WI Roads
"Local governments in Wisconsin have submitted more than 1,000 applications to get a slice of the federal stimulus.  The state Department of Transportation said Monday it received 1,034 applications for about $158 million in federal stimulus money."
Open carrying of firearms legal, Van Hollen says
"Openly carrying a gun on the street or in a store will attract plenty of attention, particularly from police, but is perfectly legal, according to an advisory issued Monday by state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.  His memorandum to prosecutors says the mere act of having a gun does not warrant a charge of disorderly conduct, a position that pro-gun advocates have argued in several recent legal cases."
Peregrine falcon pair first to nest in Madison in more than decade
"Since around the first day of spring, a pair of peregrine falcons — the first to nest in Madison since the mid-1990s — have taken up residence in a nesting box on the grounds of Madison Gas & Electric’s Blount Street power plant."
State Web site to list job openings created by stimulus money 
"The Web site at was launched last fall and has some 13,000 jobs posted to it. But state officials can’t say yet how long it will take before stimulus-related jobs show up on it.  "We are now making it the premiere site for job opportunities on recovery projects," said Gov. Jim Doyle..."
Recession makes low tuition high priority
"“There is going to be a shift — maybe even a tectonic shift — in college choice patterns,” said Rick Hesel, Art & Science Group Principal. “When the results come in starting May 1st, the shift will be from private schools to public schools.”  Hesel said statistics will show a turn from four-year colleges to community colleges, along with the general trend towards schools that charge lower tuition."
Promise Keepers evangelical group welcomes women for first time; conference starts in July - Minneapolis Star-Tribune
""It's time for Promise Keepers men to step up and honor women," Raleigh Washington, the group's president, said Monday. "We're going to heal the gender divide that exists in America."
Boehm: It's Only Fair Congress Set Record Straight on Ethanol and Food... USAgNet
""These results of the CBO report came as no surprise to Farm Bureau," said American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman. "With so many fingers in the till between the farmer and consumer, there are numerous factors responsible for higher food prices, including labor expenses, energy costs, financial speculation, increased demand, weather production losses and the weak U.S. dollar.""
Crimes suspected in 20 bailout cases -- for starters - LA Times
"The disclosures reinforce fears that the hastily designed and rapidly changing bailout program run by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve is going to carry a heavy price of fraud against taxpayers -- even as questions grow about its ability to stabilize the nation's financial system."


20 April

Reminder: Poetry Reading by Patrick O'Neill
Patrick O'Neill, published poet and teacher at Gogebic Community College, will be reading some of his poems at the Ironwood Carnegie Library at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 24th to benefit the Carnegie Library Annual Fund.  Tickets cost $7. 
Hurley satisfied with 2-2 weekend at Gladstone
""I'm pretty happy with the way we played against some very talented teams. We were in every game," he said.  The Midgettes beat Marquette 2-1 on Saturday, before losing to Escanaba 3-0 and Gladstone 5-2.  On Friday, Hurley beat Gladstone in eight innings, 4-1."
Roeder, Leinon, Wesenberg win at Park Falls invite
"Three local track athletes took first Thursday at the Park Falls Invitational. Mercer's Nici Roeder threw the discus 105-11 to get the win. B.J. Wesenberg won the long jump (19-5) and Mike Leinon took the high jump (5-10) and the triple jump (40-6.75) for Hurley."
Wisconsin banks fighting misperceptions during meltdown
""The fact is, Wisconsin banks didn't cause the current recession, have money to lend to qualified borrowers and 80 percent are still profitable," he said.  Part of the cause of this misperception, said Bauer, is that some of the public and the media are confusing Main Street depository banks with non-bank subprime lenders and Wall Street investment banks."
Hurley goes 2-2 on U.P. swing
"On Friday, Hurley and Gladstone were tied 1-1 after seven and from there, the international rules of starting an inning with a runner at second were used. Courtney Anderson started at second and she took third on a single by Kayla Windt."
GM Plant Closing For Good
"About 1,200 employees were let go just before Christmas when GM ended SUV production at the plant.  Some 100 workers were retained to finish an order of small- to medium-duty trucks for Isuzu Motors Ltd. "
Some Wis. congressional staffers get bonuses
"The bonuses are paid out of surplus office funds that must be spent or forfeited.  Congressman Tom Petri awarded more than $100,000 in bonus money late last year, including $14,000 paid to one staffer"
Veterans concerned about rock music festival
"Local veterans [Ashwaubenon] are worried that a heavy metal festival planned for May 17 in Aushwaubenon is being held too close to the Brown County Veterans Memorial, and that headbangers in attendance could be disrespectful to their surroundings."
Wisconsin arts get slice of stimulus
"A small slice of federal stimulus money for the Wisconsin Arts Board will be used to preserve jobs at qualifying arts organizations.  Arts Board executive director George Tzougros (ZOO'-grohs) says $318,000 will be distributed in one-time grants of $10,000, $15,000 and $25,000 to help local organizations retain staff."
Feingold: 'Midge Miller defined Wisconsin
"A true reformer, Midge was a role model and a treasured colleague when I served in the Wisconsin State legislature. She always put the people first and made sure their voices were heard. Her lifetime of service inspired so many in Wisconsin and across the country. She will be greatly missed."
Sarah Palin: I Had to 'Walk the Walk' -
""There, just for a fleeting moment, I thought, I knew, nobody knows me here. Nobody would ever know. I thought, wow, it is easy. It could be easy to think maybe of trying to change the circumstances. No one would know. No one would ever know.""
[Hmmm... you mean she practiced "choice"? - Bob]
Eco-friendly jobs prove elusive... SignOn San Diego
"That's the rub of the emerging green economy: Its potential is widely praised, yet real-life opportunities for job seekers have been elusive. There are questions about how many new positions are really being created, and there's no unified timeline for the industry's growth."
How Obama Excused Torture - The Daily Beast
"The evidence is now undeniable. President Barack Obama is flouting his unflagging constitutional obligation enshrined in Article II, Section 3 to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” He is also reneging on his signature campaign promise to restore the rule of law, transparency, and accountability to the White House."
[The question starts to look like, "Who is more guilty, more responsible, the perp that did it or the authorities who didn't prosecute?" - Bob]
Many taxpayers don't condone cheating - Accounting Web
"The vast majority of Americans, 81 percent, say that their personal integrity has a "great deal of influence" on whether they report and pay their taxes honestly – far more than their fear of an audit (36 percent) or information reporting to the IRS by third parties (40 percent)."

18&19 Apr

Hurley health care centers part of study
"Results of a three-year study by NorthStar Economics, Inc., an economic consulting firm from Madison, Wis., shows that the annual economic impact the Villa Maria Health Care Center has on its service area totals $7,572,188. Sky View Nursing Center has an annual economic impact of $2,931,114, the report shows."
Founder of YES! to speak at Conserve
"YES! is Youth for Environmental Sanity. Robbins is 2008 recipient of the Freedom's Flame Award and of the national Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service by an individual age 35 or younger."
Screening set for 'Fireproof'
"Good Shepherd Apostolic Lutheran Church will show the family film, "Fireproof," at 6:30 p.m. Monday.  The film focuses on how to "fireproof" families. It is endorsed by James Dobson of Focus on the Family."
Midgettes open with extra-inning win over Gladstone
""It was nice to come out and get a win to start out the season," Hurley coach Jim Kivisto said. "Hopefully we can get a few more (Saturday) and keep this thing going.""
Dry Conditions Trigger Wildfires
"Precipitation in the area is about 3 inches below normal. The Chippewa, Jump and Flambeau rivers are at historically low levels.  State forestry officials say so far this spring, 425 wildfires have scorched more than 1,400 acres."
State rep uses his 'Hot Air Report' to debunk
""With global warming, the strong believers don't want to discuss the possibility human-produced carbon dioxide isn't the main factor that they think it is," Ott said. "They just want to do something about it."
World's largest passenger plane to participate in Oshkosh event
"The Airbus A380 has a wingspan that's nearly the length of a football field, and can seat 525 people on two large decks.  Only 13 of the planes have been made. One will be on display at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009, which is run by the Experimental Aircraft Association."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 17 Apr 09
Top G.O.P. Consultant Endorses Gay Marriage - NY Times
"“There is a sound conservative argument to be made for same-sex marriage,” Mr. Schmidt plans to say, according to speech excerpts obtained by CNN. “I believe conservatives, more than liberals, insist that rights come with responsibilities. No other exercise of one’s liberty comes with greater responsibilities than marriage.’”"
Secure Enough to Sin, Baghdad Revisits Old Ways - NY Times
"A young woman who said she was 28 but looked 18 sat smoking, and downing soft drinks while her “date” drank Scotch. A university student, she would give her name only as Baida, but she was frank about her nighttime profession. Had something happened to force her into this? “No,” she said. “I go out with men so I can get money.” To support her family? She seemed stunned by the question."
US drawing up national broadband plan - Space Mart
"Median US broadband speeds are less than 5.0 megabits per second (Mbps) -- capable of moving five million bits of data per second -- according to the ITIF, far slower than those of Japan (63 Mbps) and South Korea (49 Mbps)...  Australia earlier this week announced plans to build a 30-billion-dollar government-controlled national broadband network
offering speeds of up to 100 Mbps to 90 percent of homes and businesses and 12 Mbps to the rest."


17 Apr

Weather service to hold storm spotter classes
"The National Weather Service will hold two storm spotter training classes in May.  The first is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, at the Iron County Courthouse in Hurley."
Monday bowling league holds banquet
"The Monday Afternoon Bowling League held its awards banquet after bowling a nine-pin tap at the American Legion Lanes in Hurley on Monday. Unpredictables took first place and Alley Labs was second."
Fielding woes plague for Midgets
"Hurley allowed Tomahawk to score 13 runs on just four hits in a 13-6 non-conference loss Tuesday.  The Midgets gave up just two earned runs."
Local soccer registration set
"Registration for the Range Strikers soccer program will be held at three locations later this month. Parents may register at any location from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Signup will be at A.D. Johnston High School on April 27, Sleight School in Ironwood on April 28 and the Hurley Senior Center on April 29."
Purple Loosestrife Workshop
"The Vilas County Invasive Species Coordinator says a particular type of beetle exclusively eats purple loosestrife, so getting as many of them released in the area would help the problem.  Ted Ritter, the Vilas County Invasive Species Coordinator, says "We need to get the community involved in raising these beetles and releasing them in those stands to keep those populations under control."  Ritter says purple loosestrife is curently in Oneida, Vilas, and Iron counties."
Doyle Approval Rating at All-Time Low
"The St. Norbert College Survey Center Poll sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio released Friday shows that only 45 percent of respondents are very or somewhat satisfied with Doyle.  That is the lowest numbers for the Democratic governor since 54 percent said they were satisfied in the fall of 2007."
Workers making greater use of health benefits, survey shows
"People are making greater use of their health benefits because of the risk of losing their job and health insurance in the economic downturn, according to a recent survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans."
Some state workers earned more than $50,000 in overtime
"Twenty-five state employees earned more than $50,000 in overtime last year, including a nurse clinician at Mendota Mental Health Institute who earned $97,800 in overtime payments on top of regular pay, a report released Friday says."
On Campus: University of Wisconsin-Madison ranked No. 6 in Playboy party school list 
"UW-Madison lost its top spot in Playboy Magazine’s rankings of top party schools but still made the top 10, hitting the No. 6 spot in this year’s poll.  Playboy doesn’t put out the list every year and UW-Madison was ranked No. 1 in 2006, the last time Playboy came out with the rankings."
New guidelines proposed for stem cell research  - Journal Sentinel
"Embryos made for the purpose of scientific research would not be eligible for NIH-funded research. Nor would embryos created by removing the nucleus from an egg and inserting into it the nucleus of a more developed cell, the technique used to clone Dolly the sheep."
Wal-Mart will keep fighting 'card-check' labor union proposal... Asbury Park Press
"The measure probably won’t go anywhere in Congress after key members in both parties said they would oppose it, said Ray Bracy, senior vice president of Wal-Mart’s U.S. government relations. Still, the Employee Free Choice Act remains a top priority for organized labor in Congress.  “It’s an all-hands-on-deck approach,” Bracy said this week in an interview in Washington. “We have not declared victory.”"
10 Republican Lies for Tax Day
"And while three-quarters of Americans support President Obama's proposal to roll back the Bush tax cuts for those earning over $250,000 to their Clinton-era levels, it turns out that affluent voters, too, chose Barack Obama over John McCain."
Pretty Exciting - TPM
"High-speed rail won't solve all of our transportation problems or free us from our dependence on oil, foreign or domestic, but it's an important element in a broader revitalization of America's infrastructure."
[Map of High Speed Rail Connections - Bob]
Did Milton Bradley have the stupidest first home plate appearance ever? - Chicago Sun Times
"Milton Bradley pulled his gimpy groin off the bench for a pinch-hitting appearance in the Cubs/Cardinals tilt Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field... acted out and got tossed for his efforts, but what was the hurry?"

16 Apr

Memorial Weekend ATV Rally
"Pre-registration for the event is encouraged. For an $8.00 fee, those who pre-register for the event by May 3, 2009 will receive a Memorial Weekend Poker Run sheet, as well as an Official Limited Edition event bandana and a free Iron County ATV map."
  • ATV Map Available Online
    The current ATV map is now available online on our ATV page on our website. You can still request a map from our office, but in the meantime, take a glance at it online.
  • We're On Twitter
    It's the age of social networking and the Iron County Development Zone is doing their best to keep up. We are now on Twitter. Everyday we'll post "tweets" on whats new and happening in our county. Jump on board and be one of our followers!
  • ATV Trails Still Closed
    The ATV trails are still closed for spring break-up. Trails will open on a trail-by-trail basis as conditions dry up and have been inspected for washouts and grade integrity.
Big changes at Little Finland
"The gift shop stocks a variety of Toikka birds. The collectible glass birds are individually hand-blown so no two are alike, Nevala said. There is a selection of Iittala glassware, Alvar Aalto vases and locally handmade rag rugs.  The ladies auxiliary took advantage of the closed months. In addition to the new look at the gift shop, new cupboards, a microwave and stove were added to the kitchen and the walls and ceiling were repainted."
Sewer rate hike could be on Montreal horizon
"Montreal residents could see a sewer rate increase of $20-$30 per month by 2013 if the city's estimated $2.3 million sewer rehabilitation project is financed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development."
Mercer likely to trim roadwork plans
"He said roads listed for 2009 "are going to be worked on." The town will try to do as much as it can, Kichak said. Until now, the town has paved about three miles of road each year, according to Kichak. It has 153 miles of road."
Doyle approves $2.27 million for Merrill airport projects
"Doyle provided $56,908 in state funds to help complete the projects; Merrill is contributing $56,909, and the Federal Aviation Administration is providing $2,162,500, according to a news release.  The largest project will replace the aging septic system and water well currently in use at the airport and extending the water main and sanitary sewer to the terminal area..."
With earnings down, Harley to cut more jobs
""While we are mildly encouraged by the fact that the U.S. retail sales rate declined less in the first quarter than in the prior two quarters, we remain cautious and continue to expect 2009 to be an extremely challenging business environment," said Jim Ziemer, president and chief executive officer."
Spending stimulus money to help unemployed OK'd
"More than $38 million in federal stimulus money will be headed toward efforts to help unemployed Wisconsin workers.  The Legislature's budget committee on Thursday approved spending the money on programs to help young, adult and disabled workers get the skills they need to find work. That includes tutoring programs, job search assistance, referrals to support services and skill training."
Man attacks Uncle Sam 
"Uncle Sam came under attack while standing on a sidewalk, getting spat on and punched.  The attacker, Cody King, 17, Sun Prairie, was cited for disorderly conduct."
Budget brawl to start today
"Among the most controversial issues are a proposed statewide smoking ban, benefits for domestic partners of state employees along with the creation of a statewide registry where same-sex couples can register with Wisconsin counties to get the same legal benefits currently available to heterosexual couples, and a plan to release nonviolent criminals from prison."
'Is Christianity the one true religion?' - Baptist Press
"A 2008 Pew Forum survey found that 65 percent of Americans believe many religions lead to eternal life -- and that 52 percent of American Christians believe salvation can be found in at least some non-Christian religions."
Make concessions, Canadian auto union told... Red Orbit
"Clement said in a discussion with Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, the Italian said Fiat would drop its partnership with Chrysler if its labor costs in Canada and the United States weren't pared back.  Clement said if the Fiat deal isn't struck Chrysler will receive no federal loans."
Enter Ron Paul - TPM
"Man, this is just getting better and better. Ron Paul is now suggesting what he, I guess, thinks is a libertarian solution to the growing piracy problem. Have Congress get into the idea of issuing "letters of marque and reprisal," which as Paul notes is actually a power expressly granted in the US constitution."
‘Grassroots’ Chicago tea party organized with the help of the right-wing Heartland Institute. - Think Progress
"O’HARA: I work at a free-market think tank, the Heartland Institute here in Chicago. In my spare time, on weekends and nights, leading up to the Feburary 27 tea parties, my good friend J. P. Freire…at the American Spectator invited me and asked me if I could help get some momentum behind a tea party in front of the White House. I did and we had over 300 people show up. … Ever since then you’ve had thousands come out. "

15 Apr

Paw-fect ending for Mercer shop
"The award was one of 10 given statewide to schools, libraries and communities that have pursued programs and activities to keep rural traditions strong.  Swanson helped create the shop and oversees the senior students involved with it."
Hurley puts off County D extension project
"The extension of County Trunk D was put on the back burner Tuesday while the Hurley City Council looks for more funds to complete the project.  The council agreed the water and well projects are more important at this time."
Montreal adopts comprehensive plan
"The city of Montreal now has a policy in place to protect its natural resources, provide parks and recreation, safe sidewalks and streets and economic development."
Voice of the Dome ... for a Day
"Erspamer was asked to do public address announcing at the Metrodome, where the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings play. Erspamer said he prefers the smaller WJMS studio in Ironwood."
Bad River community, school district address 'quiet rooms'
"Under state guidelines, students are only supposed to be involuntarily placed into seclusion rooms if they are posing a physical threat to themselves or others. Principal Brian Anderson recently acknowledged that, up until just recently, the rooms have been used by some staff members in non-crisis situations as a form of punishment, although he had no records on the nature or frequency of their use."
Conserve School Gets Support from J.B. Van Hollen
"[Attorney Michael] Leizerman says this is very exciting for parents, students and alumni because Van Hollen has asked the court to appoint a custodian of the trust fund."
Number of Wis. illegal immigrants stable
"The Pew Hispanic Center study estimates there are about 85,000 illegal immigrants in Wisconsin, about the same level as in 2005. The center’s study shows rapid growth in the number of illegal immigrants in the 1990s."
Number of blacks in state prisons for drug crimes drops
"Though the number of people serving time in state prisons across the United States for drug offenses remains at a record high, the number of African-American inmates serving time for those offenses declined substantially during the first half of this decade while the number of white prisoners increased, according to a study released Tuesday."
UW School of Medicine and Public Health to end program that trains lab techs
"The Clinical Laboratory Sciences program will train existing students until they finish the four-year undergraduate curriculum but will no longer enroll new students, said Dr. Robert Golden, medical school dean. The program, which started in 1925, has about 80 students."
Losing your religion? You’re not alone. - Badger Herald
"The results of the recent American Religious Identification Survey revealed the number of people claiming no religion in Wisconsin is up to 15 percent, up from 6 percent in 1990 and consistent with the rest of the country."
Bankruptcy wouldn't be catastrophic: Mark Zandi -  Windsor Star
""I think bankruptcy, or some resolution to this saga, will actually do more to help sales," Mr. Zandi said.""There is an inherent view that one of the strengths of the U.S. economy is the willingness to let companies and households that make mistakes to go through the bankruptcy process, that that is ultimately therapeutic.""
 You Are Being Lied to About Pirates - Information Clearing House
"The words of one pirate from that lost age - a young British man called William Scott - should echo into this new age of piracy. Just before he was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, he said: "What I did was to keep me from perishing. I was forced to go a-pirating to live.""
Limbaugh's Dirty Little Secret of Radio "Success"
"So, a local talk station got Rush's show for zilch. In exchange, Premiere took for itself much of the local station's available advertising time (roughly 15 minutes an hour) and packed the show with national ads it had already pre-sold."


14 Apr

Wildfire season starts early
"A two-acre plot of burned grass next to the Saxon, Wis., cemetery is a sign that fire season has arrived early in northern Wisconsin.  Although there's still snow in the woods and frost in the ground, some areas have dried out quickly and there's been little precipitation this spring.
Project takes aim at invasive plant
"A workshop in Hurley Friday is one of two aimed at encouraging volunteers to become involved in a project to combat the invasive perennial plant purple loosestrife.  The free workshop will be conducted by Brock Woods from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Hurley K-12 School."
State DCI takes over Mercer stabbing probe
"The incident resulted in two Mercer men being transported to the Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff with injuries sustained in the beer bottle and knife fight at a residence on County J in Mercer."
Icy adventure
"This young bear was spotted on the ice about 7:45 a.m. Sunday by the Madeline Island Ferry Line crew. The bear floated from Madeline Island to near Basswood to the mainland. At about 5:30 p.m. it made a run for the mainland over the ice, dragging itself up onto the breakwater at about 5:45 p.m."
DNR spring hearing quick and quiet in Ashland County
"Variations in size, bag and location limits on some Ashland County waterways, the controversial Earn-a-Buck program and other issues drew little or no comment from Ashland County residents during Monday's Department of Natural Resources spring hearings."
Senator Jim Holperin Says Political Robocalls Invade Privacy
"Senator Holperin says it's especially frusturating for people at the end of a campaign.  He tells Newswatch 12, "There's typically very little good reason for them, they're last minute strategies that campaigns use because it's cheap and it's easy and the way that they're done just tends to honk off a lot of people.""
Wisconsin town's surplus tops $21 million
"Paris has generated millions of dollars from fees paid by Waste Management's landfill and revenue from a small power plant in the community.  With more than $21 million in the bank, Paris doesn't levy any town property taxes and even helps residents with their Kenosha County property taxes."
Michigan awards tax breaks to car battery makers
"Some plant locations aren't finalized.  But Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions says it plans to open a plant in Holland, Mich.  And A123 Systems Inc. of Watertown, Mass., plans to start a plant in Livonia."
Governors call for transportation initiative
"The rail would also create a passenger rail system, which would provide service to Chicago as well as other locations in the Midwest.  Multimodal connections would also be used to connect passengers to communities, buses and highways while focusing on reliability and on-time performance."
'Spirituality for Kids' class draws fire - LA Times
"The spirituality program was created in 2001 by Karen Berg, who leads the Los Angeles kabbalah center with her husband, Rabbi Philip Berg. Kabbalah is an ancient form of Jewish mysticism, but critics of the Berg center say it departs from many traditional practices."
State man's fight against energy giant shows gap  - Capital Times
"What is clear, and what Nanstad has found out the hard way, is that corporations have a decided advantage when an employee claims retaliation in Wisconsin. While state workers enjoy a broad whistleblower protection statute, those employed by private companies have a mishmash of statutory and common law provisions that are often difficult to apply, and which make attorneys hesitant to take private-sector cases."
Homeland Security Warns of Rise in Right-Wing Extremism - Faux News
""Right-wing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning," the assessment reads."
[I don't understand this.  Where does Faux News get off warning of the travesty that its own talking heads are feeding to us? - Bob]

13 Apr

Spring fire season begins in northern Wisconsin
"He [Department of Natural Resources wildfire specialist Tom Piikkila] noted that several large brush and forest fires have already broken out downstate, and the Chequamegon Bay region hasn't been spared, either. This week alone has seen a total of four small, but significant fires. One fire occurred just south of Ashland, while another burned some four acres just south of Marengo. A pair of fires were extinguished this week in the city of Mellen."
Medford edges by Hurley
"Hurley struck for six runs in the fifth, wipping out a 4-2 deficit. But Medford got three back in the bottom part of the inning to make it 8-7, tied it in the sixth and then scored the winning run on a two-out passed ball in the seventh.  “We’re pretty young and after our starters we don’t have a lot of depth in some key positions,” said Hurley coach Aaron Bender."
What gives Chequamegon clay its color?
"Once the water hits the ground, its progress over the forest floor was slowed by twigs, branches and leaves. Following the cutover, wildfires were common and the protective layer of forest floor was removed. As a result, water ran off faster and in greater amounts than previously (more "flashy") and our streams became deeply incised. Log transport down streams further scoured and widened the streambeds."
National Library Week
"There are about 400 public libraries in the state of Wisconsin, and this week, each one is being recognized.  Today marks the beginning of National Library Week."
New Proposal Looks to Prohibit Robocalls
"Some lawmakers want to prohibit political campaigns from using automated phone calls to reach voters on the state's ``Do Not Call'' registry.  Campaigns and some other groups are exempt from the ``Do Not Call'' list restrictions."
Manufacturing plant construction plans proceed
"The facility, which will add at least 400 jobs, will produce wind energy components.  "We're taking a rather integrated approach to wind that's different than many other employers," said Sam Fairchild, chief executive officer of Energy Composites."
Economy cuts into child support payments
""I'd say I notice people asking for stipulations that they need temporary suspensions because their income is cut off because of layoffs," said Phoebe Mix, Brown County court commissioner.  The state is seeing more child support collections coming through unemployment compensation as people lose jobs."
Underground economy thriving, UW economist says
"Unreported income in the U.S. has likely ballooned to as much as $2.25 trillion, creating a ratio of unreported income to reported adjusted gross income that is approaching the peak levels of the World War II era, the university said Monday."
Senior drivers can get 'CarFit' free  
"The program, developed by AARP and AAA, is designed to help mature drivers adapt to factors that affect their driving and to make changes in their vehicles to make the car fit better."
Lac du Flambeau signs gaming compact with state
"Under the agreement, the tribe will pay the state nearly $3.7 million to cover payments for the last five years, a supplemental payment of $500,000 and continuing annual payments over the next 25 years.  "The Lac du Flambeau is pleased to have worked out this agreement with the State of Wisconsin ..."
Bill Berkowitz: Why do Sarah Palin's bizarre religious beliefs continue to get a pass from the mainstream media? - Buzz Flash
"The Palin "stories connected [her] to a religious movement that relatively few Americans know even exists, which looks acts and holds theological beliefs, even a basic outlook on life, that is very different from what secular and liberal America might think or envision as coming from the 'religious right,'" Wilson pointed out."
Dobson concedes that the far right has ‘lost’ the culture war. - Think Progress
"Attributing the right’s recent failures to the “internet” and the election of Bill Clinton, Dobson said, “Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost.” He added that the nation is now “absolutely awash in evil“:"
How 3 retailing icons got caught in battle over union ballots - The State
"Three high-profile companies, Starbucks, Costco and Whole Foods, are caught in a crossfire in a nasty fight over legislation that would make it easier for unions to organize.  "We pissed everyone off," Jim Sinegal, Costco's chief executive, said in an interview. "It's pretty tough. To get both sides shooting at you, you either have to be a duck or inept.""
Krugman: Republican Hypocrisy On Spending Is 'Wonderful' To Watch - TPM
"What's so wonderful is watching Republican congressmen saying, "But this will cost jobs!" The very same Republican congressmen who were denouncing the stimulus, saying government spending never creates jobs, but cutting defense spending costs jobs. It's wonderful."
Lobbying on Taxes Paid Off for Pfizer, HP, Kansas Study Says - Bloomberg News
"The study found that firms saved $220 in U.S. income taxes for every $1 they spent on lobbying for the 2004 measure. It looked at 476 companies that brought back more than $298 billion, including Pfizer and Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett-Packard."



11&12 Apr

"Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) announced today that Wisconsin will receive over $12 million in Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to help provide grants to local communities to support employment, food, housing, and healthcare efforts serving those hardest hit by the recession."
Running with the sap
"For four to six weeks each spring, the Cattelinos collect clear maple sap and boil it down to rich, thick amber maple syrup.  On days when the sap is running -- warming 40-degree days that follow cold 20-degree nights -- four helpers collect sap in big stainless steel tank pulled behind an old green tractor."
Midgets edged in Dome
"Hurley coach Aaron Bender said he saw "good and bad" things from his team in the opener.  Hurley was ahead 8-4 when starter Dylan Laurin left the mound because of a high pitch count. Daulton Levra came in to face four batters and when Terry Pallin ended the inning on the mound for the Midgets, it was tied at 8-8."
DNR Testing For VHS
"The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is testing more than 70 state lakes and rivers for a deadly fish virus.  It's also expanding efforts to look at susceptible species inthe Lake Winnebago system."
State Treasurer encourages families to invest refunds
"The state’s official 529 college savings plan, managed by Wells Fargo Funds Management offers an annual deduction of state tax income up to $3,000 per child and tax-free earnings when used for higher education expenses, including tuition, room and board and books."
Food prices in Wisconsin fall 3% through March
"Food prices in Wisconsin dropped by 3.6% in the first three months of the year from the previous quarter, according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau's survey of 20 basic food items in 26 communities across the state.  The average cost of the items totaled $55.85 in the first quarter, compared with $57.91 in the fourth quarter of 2008. It was the second straight quarterly decrease. Prices in Wisconsin declined by 2% in the fourth quarter."
Wind turbines, radar battle in southern Wis.
"National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Ravinsky says a new energy wind farm in east-central Dodge County is interfering with the Weather Surveillance Doppler Radar at the Sullivan office in eastern Jefferson County. He says visual noise from the 36 wind turbines at Butler Ridge could distort severe weather and reduce the effectiveness of storm warnings."
Break up banks that are 'too big to fail'
""The only reason these banks can get away with blackmailing the taxpayers into covering their losses is because they've been allowed to become too big," said Steve Burns, program coordinator of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. "Any effort at real financial reform has to start with Congress using its antitrust powers to break up the biggest banks.""
Machinists leader blasts Florida Rep. Connie Mack for anti-labor remarks - Examiner
""Rep. Mack's comments display the kind of knee-jerk partisan demagoguery that we've come to expect from Fox News commentators or Rush Limbaugh," said Buffenbarger. "The UAW deserves credit for standing up for its members, who have been unfairly scapegoated for years by people like Rep. Mack.""
More fuzzy math? How GOP estimates carbon tax impact - McClatchy
"Republicans' main attack is a claim that climate legislation will cost U.S. households $3,100 a year. They got the number by doing some additional math based on a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, and they're sticking with it, even though John Reilly, an MIT economist and the author of the study, told them that they misinterpreted his work and that their number is wrong."
Glenn Beck and the rise of Fox News' militia media - Media Matters
"FYI, weeks before his deadline shooting spree, Poplawski uploaded a video clip of Beck ominously referencing the FEMA camps on Fox News... But look at the very next two lines of his monologue: "There are enemies both foreign and domestic in America tonight. Call it fear mongering or call it the truth."

10 Apr

Illegal Aliens Complain About Water Quality
"Most people of the Wisconsin North woods understand that water in a former mining community will have a high iron content.  Unfortunately, undocumented alien residents at Haven North, the housing on the banks of Lake Michelle,  have complained about the hard water.".
Forests of upper Midwest topic of biomass conference
"His studies and others have indicated that once a stand or stands are set up in the proper rotation, they show the same growth levels if harvest occurs anytime within the first five to 10 years.  That could result in a more rapid output of merchantable timber, but Berguson also said it depends on the market. If demand is not there for large-diameter timber, it's hardly worth the cost of growing it, he said. At the same time, steady procurement for smaller diameter pine means more turnover and a more frequent source of income."
Great Lakes unit wins Park Service award
"The Ashland-based Great Lakes Network is part of the National Park Service's Inventory and Monitoring Program, and is basically a research arm of the Park Service, conducting more common, long-term biological projects that park officials don't have staff, time or money to conduct."
Residents could lose power, heat next week
"But this isn't Florida, and more than 20 years ago, Wisconsin lawmakers recognized that it's not a good idea for utility companies to literally leave their customers in cold by disconnecting in the middle of winter."
Daily Globe wins public service award
"The series, "Our Kids -- Their Future" was awarded second place in the contest's Public Service Division... The Globe award marks the third public service honor the newspaper has received in the last five years."
Burn Ban
"Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Eau Claire, Jackson and Rusk counties are included in the ban. Area fire chiefs in Dunn County have issued a similar ban.  DNR forestry leader Randy Schott in Black River Falls says low humidity will create an even higher danger this weekend."
Earn-A-Buck Moratorium
"Thursday DNR Secretary Matt Frank said the moratorium on the Earn-A-Buck program would be in effect all over the state this season--except in the chronic wasting disease zone in southern Wisconsin."
Coyote Population On The Rise
"Ron Eckstein says "When it comes to animals, wild animals or any kind, dogs are the biggest threat to people because there are many instances of attacks and bites by dogs in Wisconsin."  Eckstein says coyotes are scared of people.  If you see one, he suggests you scare it by making noise."
Dead man elected to Poynette village board
"Village Clerk Sue Finstad says it appears many people in the village about 30 miles north of Madison voted for him as a tribute. She said Friday that several voters asked her what would happen if they voted for him even though he had died three days earlier."
Head of state's child welfare department recognized by federal agency
""At DCF, protecting children will always be our highest priority. This isn't a just a mission statement. Every day children must be safer, healthier and stronger because of the work we do."  The Commissioner's Awards were given out as part of the 17th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect."
Trees find new life at The Wood Cycle
""A good urban log may have a value of $50 up to $200 if I purchase them, or may cost the landowner $150 or more if I pick them up and saw them for the customer. The log value is not much compared to the cost of removing an urban tree, but it’s a great alternative to making firewood," Morrison said."
Firms Scammed Black Churches Out of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, Suit Says
"D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles, in a 16-page affidavit, alleges that agents for the companies offered the churches free computer kiosks to enhance their outreach. What the churches actually received was inexpensive computer equipment that often did not work. The kiosks, located in church foyers, were to serve as electronic bulletin boards for announcements and community activities and would pay for themselves through paid advertisements."
Americas Top 10 Public Works Projects... American Heritage
"A founder of the Whig Party, Clay championed his “American System,” which aimed to tie the nation together with canals and roads. He believed that such “internal improvements,” financed by high tariffs, would advance economic growth."
Making Banking Boring - NY Times
"Part of the problem is that boring banking would mean poorer bankers, and the financial industry still has a lot of friends in high places. But it’s also a matter of ideology: Despite everything that has happened, most people in positions of power still associate fancy finance with economic progress."

09 Apr


HURLEY CITY COUNCIL - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

  • Board of Public Works – 5:45 P.M.

  • Police, Fire & License Committee

  • Finance Committee

  • Parks & Recreation Committee

  • Public Hearing – 6:30 P.M.

  • City Council Meeting
    Immediately following the Public Hearing

"“One of the great successes in public health is how vaccines have reduced infectious diseases,” said Obey, who as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee was a lead author of President Obama’s economic recovery plan and strong supporter of increased immunization efforts. “Routine immunization has wiped out smallpox; nearly eliminated polio; and minimized the number of people who suffer the devastating effects of measles, meningitis, and other preventable illnesses.”"
Obey: Universal single-payer health care not in the cards
"Obey said the focus of energies for health care reform should instead be whatever method can be forged to ensure that universal health care — in whatever form possible — is established this year."
Iron County pays off decades-old debt to state
"It's taken about 75 years, but Iron County is no longer indebted to the Department of Natural Resources and its Variable Acreage Loan program, said county board chairman Dennis DeRosso.  Iron County submitted a pay-off check of $230,654 to the state Monday."
College in a Recession
"From the 2007-2008 school year to the 2008-2009 school year, Northcentral Technical College has seen a 13 percent increase in enrollment.  Kimmie Kretz is the Enrollment Advisor at NTC, and she says, "The students are able to come back to school, and they are also able to take classes in a variety of different areas, and a variety of different formats.""
Wis. high court asked to review gay marriage vote
"The Wisconsin Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether the state’s ban on gay marriage was properly put to voters.  Political science instructor William McConkey claims the referendum illegally put two issues to voters at the same time. A Dane County judge dismissed the case last year and McConkey appealed to the District 4 Court of Appeals
Doyle Budget Would Raise Property Taxes
"The analysis released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau found that Doyle's budget plan would result in property taxes increasing 3.2 percent this year on a home valued at $167,000.  The increase would be 4.5 percent next year."
Major puppy mill bill introduced
"A release from the Wisconsin Humane Society says: "The bill would protect dogs from the suffering they currently experience in puppy mills and consumers would be protected from unknowingly purchasing dogs from puppy mills, who are known to suffer from hereditary illnesses and defects. The Wisconsin Humane Society is encouraging people to contact their legislators to encourage their representatives to co-sponsor the Smith-Kreitlow bill."
Wis. Democratic Party launches ad attacking Walker
"The Wisconsin Democratic Party is launching a television ad attacking Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker for "flip flopping" on accepting federal stimulus money.  The ad escalates the 2010 governor's race, in which the Republican Walker is expected to be a candidate. The ad will run on one station in Milwaukee starting Sunday."
Black bears spotted already in southern Wisconsin 
"It's a little early for black bears to be in the southern part of the state. They normally come down in June during the breeding season, when male bears leave their traditional breeding territories and travel long distances to find new ground."
Obama's Faith-Based Office Gets Down to Work - Time magazine
"But perhaps the loudest message the White House sent about religion this week took place without the President in attendance. Over the course of two days, the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships gathered more than 60 religious leaders (and a handful of secular non-profits) at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for the first in what director Joshua Dubois says will be a series of briefings. The White House also released the complete list of members of the advisory council of religious and secular leaders who will provide Obama with advice and feedback."
US Import Prices Tumble Ex-Oil, Signaling Disinflation -
"However, the increase was well below expectations and prices excluding oil fell for an eighth-straight month including declines in consumer and capital goods, an indication that the global economic recession continues to take pressure off U.S. inflation."
Texas GOP State Rep. Asks Asians To Adopt Names "Easier For Americans To Deal With" - TPM
""Can't you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers," said Brown, "if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that's easier for Americans to deal with?"  Um, the difficulty as it was explained here is that many Asian-Americans do just exactly that -- and that's the problem when it comes to Voter ID."

08 Apr

Wisconsin chief justice wins re-election
"Abrahamson, nationally known as an influential state judge, waged an aggressive and largely positive campaign that touted her experience and integrity to defeat Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Randy Koschnick, based on preliminary results."
Evers declared winner in Dept. of Public Instruction race
"Evers has 34 years experience working in Wisconsin schools, including the past eight as deputy state superintendent. Fernandez, a virtual schools advocate who has never worked in a school, based her campaign on being an outsider, or ‘‘mom on a mission,’’..."
New chairman for Pence
"There was an upset in one of the four towns that had contested races for chairman.  In Pence, James Maffesanti defeated incumbent chairman Daniel Swetkovich by 11 votes, 65-54.  Maffesanti was not available for comment."
AB75's impact will be slight in Iron County
"If the bill is signed by Gov. Jim Doyle, Iron County will share in a 1 percent statewide cut in state aid for 2010. County clerk Mike Saari said the proposed 2.6 percent cut in general state aid for Iron County, from $126,238 to $123,000, would not have a significant impact on the county."
Gypsy moth invasion imminent
"Iron County is on the fringe of a quarantined area for gypsy moths that covers roughly the entire eastern half of the state, including Vilas, Oneida, Lincoln, Forest and Florence counties in the far north."
Hurley sets June 1 deadline for tile project
"Replacement of the tile at the main entrance to the K-12 school allows individuals, groups and businesses to become involved in the fund-raising project."
Hurley chamber to host webinars
"The online series meets monthly. The webinar lasts one hour, followed by a live question-and-answer session with specialists on each topic. Participants will attend each webinar from their home or office."
Windt selected to play in Wisconsin All-Star game
"Kayla Windt has one more game to play representing Hurley.  The Midgette senior was selected to play in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association 2009 Girls All Star Game on June 20 at Madison Area Technical College in Madison."
Voter Fraud
"He is charged with making a false statement to obtain an absentee ballot, a misdemeanor.  The complaint says Wroblewski turned himself in to prosecutors after the election. A poll worker who was aware that Jacqueline Wroblewski had died questioned the ballot."
[Balance this against the repeated Republican rants about voter fraud and their draconian measures (costing millions of dollars) to prevent it. - Bob]
Casino Deal
"The deal signed Wednesday ends a five-year stalemate during which the northern Wisconsin tribe did not pay the state anything for the casino it operates in Lac du Flambeau. It was the only one of 11 tribes in Wisconsin not making payments to the state."
Wisconsin reaches casino deal with Lac du Flambeau
"The deal announced Wednesday by the state Department of Administration requires the tribe to pay $3.7 million in back payments, or roughly $740,000 for each of the past five years, and make supplemental annual payments of $500,000 for the next decade."
Conference to study state's energy future
"Planning for Wisconsin's energy future will be the subject of a conference sponsored by the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison later this month.  Emerging federal and state energy policies, opportunities to develop more homegrown energy sources such as biomass, wind and solar and job creation will be among the topics addressed."
Election analysis: What the big wins by Abrahamson, Evers mean
""We see that when WMC doesn't get in, with all the outside money and negative ads, when we have a race where the qualifications of the candidates and the issues are considered, the progressives win easily in Wisconsin," said Soglin.  The victory in the Supreme Court race was particularly sweet."
Osteens: Obama doing great job, loves the Lord -
" Joel Osteen: Well, I think he's doing a great job. I'm impressed with his skill, his calmness, his just strength under pressure. These are tough times for him. 
King: And you, Victoria?
Victoria Osteen: I've been really impressed. In fact, I've been impressed [with] the first lady. She stepped up, and she's done a remarkable job."
French workers release 4 managers in factory - Boston Globe
"Hostage-taking has become a popular negotiating tactic among frustrated French workers in recent weeks.  In the past month, employees at French plants belonging to Sony, Caterpillar, 3M and German auto-parts maker Continental have held bosses in response to proposed job cuts and plant closures."
The 'Defense Spending Cuts' Meme Grows - TPM
"But while there is some evidence that there is early opposition within the Pentagon to some specific cuts, Gates has, once again, proposed a budget whose bottom line is higher than last year's.  That's not stopping Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee from piling on, though."


07 Apr

Wisconsin snomo fatalities down 2
"Wisconsin went through the entire month of March without a snowmobile fatality and ended the 2008-09 season with two fewer deaths than last winter."
Charges filed after weekend chase
"A 38-year-old Fifield, Wis., man was cited for operating while intoxicated, fourth offense, after leading police on a 27-minute high-speed chase from Mercer to Hurley Sunday."
State Job Climate
"The business leaders who spoke today brought up many issues they're facing right now from taxes that are too high to the lack of health insurance for many employees. Better employee training was one of the most talked about issues."
Firm offers free résumé printing
"With unemployment at levels not seen in decades, Proven Direct, a marketing and printing company in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley, is offering free résumé printing to the first 1,000 jobseekers placing their orders electronically at"
Too many cars, and they're not on the road
""You had a huge number of cars being sold," Rattner said, "so I don't think it is prudent to assume the sale levels are going to back to those levels."  What drove sales so high in the first place?  In short, the same confluence of confidence and easy cash that fueled the housing boom."
Vermont legalizes gay marriage with veto override - Assoc Press
"The Legislature voted Tuesday to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.  The vote came nine years after Vermont adopted its first-in-the-nation civil unions law."
Card Check Legislation Divisive, Senator Says  - The Morning News
""Business have never proposed a compromise on this except for something so far-fetched it should have been reported in the funny papers," he said.  If Lincoln and other senators want "a compromise, call the AFL-CIO national leadership and try to broker one," Hughes said. "They are elected to represent us too. We're just like the chamber."  "Step up to the plate," he said."
Extremism in the News - ADL
"Poplawski bought into the SHTF/TEOTWAKI conspiracy theories hook, line and sinker, even posting a link to Stormfront of a YouTube video featuring talk show host Glenn Beck talking about FEMA camps with Congressman Ron Paul.  When the city of Pittsburgh got a Homeland Security grant to add surveillance cameras to protect downtown bridges, Poplawski told Stormfronters that it was "ramping up the police state." "

06 Apr

Hurley FACT testifies before finance committee
""I am glad that I was able to talk to the committee about the dangers of secondhand smoke and how funding for tobacco prevention and control programs can positively impact youth smoking rates.  I really felt my testimony made a difference," Shelley Binz, of Montreal, said."
[Why, with this kind of an active/effective youth program, would Iron Co. want to hire extra people to run stings at gas stations? - Bob]
Earmarked for the northland
"The $410 million omnibus spending bill, which allocates funding to more than 10 departments, passed Congress in early March — several months after the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year — and was signed into law by President Barack Obama."
Doyle announces $302,575 in county forest road aid
"The 2009 fiscal year funds are being distributed through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s County Forest Road Aids program and will help improve over 900 miles of public roads within county forests in Wisconsin."
Veteran Teachers
"The program gives veterans a $5,000 stipend to help them obtain teaching certification in return for three years of teaching in a ``high-need'' school.  In 2005, the federal government defined ``high need'' in a way that excluded many rural and small communities from the program and focused efforts on poor, urban areas.
DNR Needs Help Finding Cougar 
"DNR officials tried placing a radio collar on the cougar in Washburn County in early March.  They say the radio collar would give them the chance to learn more about the animal, it's movements, and habitat selection."
Seat-belt use in U.S. climbs, but not in Wisconsin
"Seat belt use in 2008 nationwide climbed to 83%, an all-time high, according to the Associated Press.  Fourteen states and the District of Columbia had rates of 90% or better.  In Wisconsin, 74.2% wore their seats belts, a drop of 1.1% in 2007."
Wisconsin farmers plan more corn, less peas, beans
"The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service says Wisconsin farmers plan to plant 90,700 contract acres of sweet corn for processing. That's 2 percent more than last year.  They plan to plant 75,300 contract acres of snap beans for processing, down 7 percent from last year.  Green peas for processing are expected to drop 1 percent to 40,400 acres, and cucumbers for processing into pickles are expected to drop 10 percent to 6,400 acres."
Wis. maple syrup makers report good crop, prices
"Joe Polak is a third-generation maple syrup producer and co-owner of Maple Hollow in Merrill. He says the sap has run and run this spring, giving him one of the best crops he's had in a long time.  Early prices have been high in New England, with one Vermont store selling syrup for more than $80 per gallon."
Group works to build green, multi-generation housing on reservations 
""There are whole subdivisions like that, and there are long waiting lists for 'chicken coops' on some reservations," said architect Lou Host-Jablonski of Madison's Design Coalition, who has made it his mission to bring affordable, green, multi-generational housing to the reservations. And, just as importantly, he wants to teach tribal members how to build the houses themselves in order to create vocations."
Supporters march for troops
"“A lot of people have believed the myth that war powers only belong at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,” Scoth said. “We want to bring people back to thinking of war as a local issue. This is not an issue that is about getting the right president; it’s about getting the right system.”"
Colorado-based ministry gave $20K for ad against Hawaii same-sex union legislation - The Honolulu Advertiser
"The ads, combined with appeals by evangelical and Catholic churches, helped bring thousands of red-clad demonstrators to the Capitol for a rally the Sunday before the Senate Judiciary and Government Operations Committee held a hearing on the bill in late February.  The large number of demonstrators at the rally, and the hundreds more who packed the state Capitol auditorium for the hearing, gave many senators pause. The committee deadlocked on the bill and an attempt to recall it from committee and bring it to the Senate floor failed last month."
Farm Workers’ Rights, 70 Years Overdue  - NY Times
"That inequality is a perverse holdover from the Jim Crow era. Segregationist Southern Democrats in Congress could not abide giving African-Americans, who then made up most of the farm and domestic labor force, an equal footing in the workplace with whites. President Roosevelt’s compromise simply wrote workers in those industries out of the New Deal."
The silence surrounding Sri Lanka - Boston Globe
"What we are witnessing - or, rather, what is happening in Sri Lanka and is being so effectively hidden from public scrutiny - is a brazen, openly racist war. The impunity with which the Sri Lankan government is able to commit these crimes unveils the deeply ingrained racist prejudice that is precisely what led to the marginalization and alienation of the Tamils of Sri Lanka in the first place. That racism has a long history, involving social ostracization, economic blockades, pogroms, and torture. The brutal nature of the decades-long civil war, which started as a peaceful, nonviolent protest, has its roots here."

04&05 Apr

The Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time - Museum of Hoaxes
"As judged by notoriety, creativity, and number of people duped Click here for a list of some of this year's hoaxes."
[I had NO CATEGORY that made this coverage local to WC, but couldn't resist... this is just too good a use of bandwidth. - Bob]
Safety instructor to ride again
"On March 12, Georgia and Jim Piilola decided to head out to the trails for what they thought would be the last snowmobile ride of the season -- they were right, but the reason had nothing to do with the weather."
Prayer Death Parents Request Personal Items
"Attorneys for Dale and Leilani Neumann say the couple haven't been able to get their personal property back despite repeated requests. Authorities seized journals, computers and other items after their 11-year-old daughter died March 23, 2008, from untreated diabetes."
Wildlife groups say gray wolf delisting premature
"The Humane Society of the United States and other wildlife protection groups say they will challenge a decision by the federal government to remove the gray wolf from protections of the Endangered Species Act."
Assisted Living CEO compensation dropped 21%
"Laurie Bebo, president and chief executive officer of Assisted Living Concepts Inc. (ALC), received total compensation of $487,289 last year, a drop of 21% from $618,653 in 2007, according to a proxy statement filed Friday with securities regulators. Bebo received no bonus or stock options but her base salary rose 2.5% to $410,000."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 3 Apr 09
Bill Lets Moms-To-Be Kill To Save Baby - KOCO, Oklahoma City
"Oklahoma already has a law allowing a person to use force to protect himself or another person from someone else. The new bill includes an unborn child as "another" person. Oklahoma has also had a law covering the murder of unborn babies since 2005."
'Personhood' bill defeated in North Dakota Senate - Yahoo News
"Senators voted 29-16 Friday to reject legislation that sought to define as a human being "any organism with the genome of homo sapiens." The "personhood" status would include a developing embryo from the moment of conception, whether inside or outside the womb.  A handful of states are considering similar proposals, and the measure generated an intense lobbying campaign from abortion opponents and people who favor abortion rights."
Shut Out: How the Cost of Higher Education Is Dividing Our Country(2)...
"Over the past 30 years, the average cost of college tuition, fees, and room and board has increased nearly 100%, from $7,857 in 1977-1978 to $15,665 in 2007-2008 (in constant 2006-2007 dollars). Median household income, on the other hand, has risen a mere 18% over that same period, from about $42,500 to just over $50,000. College costs, in other words, have gone up at more than five times the rate of incomes."
Norm Coleman Won't Say Whether He's Been Interviewed By FBI - AlterNet
"As Norm Coleman struggles in what appears to be a losing battle to reclaim his Senate seat, and as faint rumors spread that he could replace Michael Steele as RNC Chair, a cloud of ethics scandal continues to gather over his head.  On Thursday, the former Minnesota Senator refused to say whether or not the FBI had contacted him over allegations that he and his wife had accepted (and failed to report) $75,000 in payments from a longtime benefactor."
Duckworth swearing-in for VA job put on hold - Army Times
"Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, ranking Republican on the committee, objected to allowing a vote on Duckworth’s nomination but will allow a Thursday vote to confirm Scott Gould to take the No. 2 post at the VA, as deputy secretary.  Duckworth, who has been Illinois veterans’ affairs chief, is nominated to become assistant VA secretary for intergovernmental affairs,..."


03 Apr

"“Helping kids succeed in life is probably the most fundamental, long term economic stimulus possible,” Obey said. “And in this time of Wall Street corporate failures getting six figure bonuses, I’m glad to see people working in Head Start to help kids get ahead in life getting a raise too.”"
Airport gripes to fly next week
"The chairman of the Gogebic-Iron Airport Board has challenged area residents to show up at a public information meeting Wednesday to register their gripes about air service here.  "There are a lot of horror stories," Joe Bonovetz told the Gogebic Community College board at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday."
Mercer to debate room tax
"A 4.5 percent room tax paid by overnight visitors could raise thousands of dollars to promote Mercer tourism, proponents say. Those opposed to the room tax say the timing is wrong in the current economy."
Smithsonian Exhibit Could Hit The Northwoods
"The Wisconsin Humanities Council is giving grants to six rural communities in the Badger state to host the Smithsonian Exhibition "Key Ingredients: American By Food."  The exhibit will feature the diverse food found in the Northwoods."
Man Sentenced For Karaoke Assault 
"Police were called to a River Falls tavern Nov. 4 where two men were fighting outside. One man told officers he had been singing karaoke that night at another bar and Drinkwine criticized his singing ability. "
Wis. governor’s welfare proposals draw criticism
"Doyle has proposed loosening the time limit on benefits, giving mothers of newborns up to 24 weeks of paid leave, easing penalties for infractions and allowing recipients to spend more time in school.  Republican state Rep. Robin Vos of Caledonia says Doyle’s proposals could take the state back to where it was before welfare reform and encourage people to “stay on the dole.”"
State official sees hopeful signs in jobless data
"For instance, applications filed in Wisconsin last week were 54% higher than in the same week of 2008, but that's down from 82% three weeks ago and 108% five weeks ago.  "I would say that is encouraging. We'll have to see how that holds," said Roberta Gassman Thursday after an address at the annual conference of the Metro Milwaukee Society of Human Resources."
Politics blog: Iowa court ruling may allow Wisconsin's same-sex couples to marry there
""The unanimous decision in Iowa recognizes the importance of allowing someone in a caring, committed relationship to care for and be responsible for their partner," said Glenn Carlson, executive director of Fair Wisconsin. " We don't allow marriage in WI, but we believe Wisconsinites share a commitment to fairness and decency. ""
New Berlin Moves Graduation Over Lawsuit Threat
"New Berlin's Superintendent says the decision to move graduation is a direct result of the suit.  Superintendent Paul Kritzer says the district can't afford the litigation it would take to fight the group.  In a letter to the organization, Kritzer says, "The Board believes monies spent on litigation, however successful, is money not spent on children.""
Washington state court backs FedEx contractor model... Portland Tribune
"A class action suit against the company's FedEx Ground unit involving 320 workers in the state sought damages for nonpayment of overtime and the reimbursement of uniform expenses.  FedEx Ground has long battled critics, including the Teamsters labor union, who claim the company's 15,000 workers are employees rather than entrepreneurs."
April Fools: Ann Coulter falls for fake Obama NASCAR story - Media Matters
"Coulter wrote, "If Obama can tell GM and Chrysler that their participation in NASCAR is an 'unnecessary expenditure,' isn't having public schools force students to follow Muslim rituals, recite Islamic prayers and plan 'jihads' also an 'unnecessary expenditure'?" Car and Driver originally posted an April 1 story online -- since removed -- with the headline, "Obama Orders Chevrolet and Dodge Out Of NASCAR,"..."

02 Apr

MyHurley Triples bandwidth Quota in March
"Your site has exceeded its bandwidth quota in the period beginning on 2009-03-01.  Your quota is set to 1048576000 bytes ( 1000.0 MB ), and your site has consumed 2163082487 bytes ( 2062.876 MB ) beyond that quota."
Reminder: 10th Annual WJMS/WIMI Spring Home Sport and Recreation Expo
Paving the road to health
"The health fair is a spin-off of the ongoing Kick Butts Day, an annual program presented to sixth through eighth grade students by the Tobacco-Free Iron County Community Coalition.  "We decided, let's do the whole school," said Zona Wick, Iron County Health Department director. "It's a work in progress.""
  • Hurley, Washburn recognized for sportsmanship
    "The Hurley and Washburn boys basketball teams were noted for their sportsmanship in a Feb. 5 game at Washburn. Officials report examples of exemplary sportsmanship to the WIAA Bulletin. The Midgets won 35-29 and went on to share the Indianhead Conference title with the Castle Guards."
  • Midgettes take third at Northland Pines
    "The Hurley Midgettes took third and the Midgets were sixth in an indoor track meet at Northland Pines on Tuesday... With two indoor meets complete, Hurley waits until April 16 for its next meet, which is at Park Falls."
Top 10 Consumer Complaints
"Wisconsin's Top Ten list of complaints is out and violations of the No Call list are number one again. It's topped the list since the No Call list was put into place in 2003.  Number two is Landlord-Tenant issues, followed by telephone company billing issues, home improvement, and satellite dish company billing issues."
Federal stimulus money for schools released
"The money is part of more than $1 billion from the Department of Education in Title I funds, which are targeted for low-income and special needs students.  Half of the money was released Wednesday to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. It will distribute that money later to 371 districts statewide. The DPI is expected to receive the rest of the money by Sept. 30, Feingold's office said."
Tax hike could help smokers quit
"Over the past five years, the company's stores have experienced a decline in sales, McHugh said, possibly from a combination of rising taxes, clean air legislation, increasing "social consciousness" about the dangers of smoking, and possibly people buying their cigarettes on the Internet or American Indian reservations."
Wrong-way GPS directs driver to snowmobile trail
"A motorist relying on a GPS navigation unit found out the hard way that technology is not always the answer...  going from the White Lake area to Laona through heavily wooded Langlade County Tuesday when the best routing from the GPS sent her onto a road that forked into a snowmobile trail.
[Any locals with GPS units that have instructed them "to go where no man has gone before" are invited to send email including unit, model number and poor advice to . I will post such.  - Bob]
Wis. share of guaranteed housing loans at $155M
"Vice President Biden and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has started disbursing the first wave of the $10 billion in loans provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The goal is to boost home ownership opportunities in rural America, while also spurring the economy and job creation."
Three days of events will support bill on proper federal activation of state Guard  
""This wouldn’t affect the current deployment to Iraq," Black said Wednesday. "It will be valuable to establish an orderly process so that anytime our brave men and women are deployed to an overseas conflict, that it’s done properly."  Some 3,200 Wisconsin National Guard members are now training before spending a year in Iraq."
Doyle pushes health plan
"Currently, Wisconsin is the second in the nation in terms of providing health care to their citizens. As part of his BadgerCare initiative, the state was able to expand coverage to 100,000 people in the state who did not have health insurance last year. Of those, 70,000 were children, Doyle added."
On divisive issue of gay clergy, two churches weigh softer stance - Christian Science Monitor
"The church council of the largest Lutheran body in the US, the 5-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), decided this week to send such a recommendation to its national assembly. The proposal would take effect if supported by majority vote at the assembly's biennial meeting in August."
American Airlines union goes viral against execs - Lexington Herald Leader
"Unions at American Airlines have picketed, worn buttons and rented billboards to protest what they consider unseemly management bonuses. Now they're using an interactive Web site game to skewer their CEO.  The Transport Workers Union, which represents mechanics, bag handlers and other ground workers at American, said Thursday it is launching a new campaign to protest stock-based compensation for several hundred management employees later this month."
Health Critic Brings a Past and a Wallet - NY Times
"Once lauded for building Columbia/HCA into the largest health care company in the world, Mr. Scott was ousted by his own board of directors in 1997 amid the nation’s biggest health care fraud scandal. The company’s guilty plea and payment of $1.7 billion to settle charges including the overbilling of state and federal health programs was taken as a repudiation of Mr. Scott’s relentless bottom-line approach."

01 Apr

Phone eNews - Michigan Expelled from the Union
"This item was called in to Phone eNews by Mich Governor Granholm who said, "It's a deal as long as Wisconsin has to take Ironwood.""
[Happy April Fools Day! - Bob]
Reminder: 10th Annual WJMS/WIMI Spring Home Sport and Recreation Expo


Children of Wisconsin Works
"Gov. Jim Doyle's proposed budget drops a
requirement that children of Wisconsin Works recipients attend school... Supporters of Doyle's plan say the requirement made more sense years ago when parents received welfare benefits for a longer period of time."
Madison Partners With Leading Wind Energy Firm
"The agreement announced Wednesday calls for Denmark-based Vestas to sponsor as many as 10 graduate and undergraduate engineering students working on wind technology projects. The company also will provide visiting research fellows and start a small research-and-development facility near the engineering campus to transfer research into the marketplace."
Rep. Dave Obey still fighting, after 40 years
""David can be volatile," said Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the House majority leader who has served with Obey for 29 years. "Crossing Dave Obey is not something one does without trepidation."  But for every comment about Obey's quick temper and feistiness, there are remarks about his intellect, his legislative savvy and his empathy for the downtrodden."
Energy Composites plant to create 400 jobs
"Energy Composites Corp., the parent company of Advanced Fiberglass Technologies, 4400 Commerce Drive, will produce blades for wind turbines as part of its planned $15 million company expansion, Chief Executive Officer Sam Fairchild said.  "We have (the plant) almost designed now," Fairchild said. "We want to be (as) streamlined as possible and employ as many people as possible.""
Teachers unions contribute heavily to Evers' campaign
"Teachers unions have contributed nearly $700,000 so far to help Tony Evers' campaign for superintendent of public instruction while his opponent, Rose Fernandez, has gotten her biggest financial boost from the state."
Opponents of oil tax launch ads
""Let's call the oil franchise tax what it really is - a hidden tax on hardworking families, not on big oil companies," says one of the ads by the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association."
[Reality Check:  If the oil companies thought they could get away with passing the tax on to the consumer, would they spend from their profits to prevent it? - Bob]
Court: Wisconsin was right to deny man a handgun
"Joseph E. Koll, Jr., 50, of Princeton, was convicted of disorderly conduct in 1998. Some nine years later, in 2007, Koll tried to buy a handgun. The Justice Department denied his request, citing federal law that bars handgun sales to domestic abusers."
Election Matters blog: Republicans for Falk
"But former first lady Sue Ann Thompson, the wife of "Mr. Republican" Tommy Thompson, is backing Falk... Ann Peckham, who has long battled to keep alive the moderate wing of the local, state and national GOP is also on Falk's list."
Facing Tough Washington Climate, Abortion Foes Move Debate Online - Wall Street Journal
""When you're out of political power, you start thinking about new ways to do things," said Brian Burch, president of "How do we continue to be relevant?"  His answer: Create provocative online content and rely on the power of viral networking to spread it widely."
Shareholder agreement reached with McDonald's on pesticide-use reduction... AgProfessional
"This agreement led to the withdrawal of a shareholder resolution filed by the Bard College Endowment, Newground Social Investment, and the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund. This was the first shareholder resolution focused on environmental and worker health issues ever to be filed by a college or university endowment. "
Judge Must Release Woman Sentenced to Jail for Being Poor, ACLU Says in Court Papers
"In December 2008, Ms. Nowlin’s 16-year-old son was sentenced to the Bay Pines Center and Ms. Nowlin was ordered to pay $104 per month for his lodging. At the time of this order, Ms. Nowlin was homeless and working part-time with a friend after being laid off from her job. She told the court that she was unable to pay the ordered amount, however the judge found her in contempt for failing to pay. In addition, Ms. Nowlin’s requests for a court appointed attorney were denied."