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30 Oct  
“This is a welcome turn of events. The economy has been in recession for over a year and a half and the impact on jobs has been devastating. After months of economic shrinkage, we have now had a welcome turn in the road. The economic stimulus package has played a major role in bringing that about."
Flu vaccines 'trickling in'
"The H1N1 flu virus and flu activity in general is wide-spread throughout Michigan and Wisconsin, according to local health departments and Grand View Health System, but the severity of the flu remains mild.  "The good news is that most people who get H1N1 will be sick for several days but recover nicely at home," a GVHS news release said."
$400K goal set for Mercer library project
"The project will add a children's room, quiet study area, meeting room, increased shelving and seating.  The Mercer Library Board contracted with architect Gary Sobek of Hazelhurst to develop initial plans for the expansion. A donation from the Friends of the Library paid for those plans."
Mercer committee seeks parental input
"A committee revising policies about school-sanctioned student trips is looking for input from parents.  The Mercer School District's policy committee is working on separate policies governing the senior class trip and other school field trips."
  • Hurley, Ontonagon march on in playoffs
    "After thumping Thorp on Tuesday, Hurley will take its eight-game winning streak and sparkling 9-1 record on the road to face Flambeau Saturday at 4 p.m."
  • Levra named GWC's best offensive back
    "Hurley senior Daulton Levra was named the Great Western Conference's Offensive Back of the Year and the Return Specialist at this week's meeting. Five other Midgets earned a spot on the all-conference team. "
H1N1 influenza hits full force in bay area amid vaccine shortages
"While regional health care providers are struggling to obtain enough H1N1 flu vaccine to vaccinate even the highest priority populations, such as health care and emergency services personnel, pregnant women and persons who provide care for infants less than 6 months of age, the number of people coming down with the H1N1 flu is spiking up to levels not normally seen until much later in the flu season"
Midgets brace for another meeting with Flambeau
"The Hurley football team doesn't have too many good memories about its playoff trips to Tony to meet the Flambeau Falcons.  But this time, as Hurley assistant coach Greg Rigoni pointed out, the Midgets don't have to put up with Jim Leonhard. Of course, the Midgets will have to deal with his brother Tyler."
Local groups hoping for Great Lakes funding
With millions of dollars for Great Lakes environmental projects closer to reality, local municipalities, non-profits and other entities are already organizing on how to best tap into the money.
Sean Duffy Makes Campaign Stop in Northwoods
"Duffy says he also wants to protect the free market and small businesses.  He also says he is not in favor of a government takeover of healthcare and believes their are common sense approaches that will reduce cost and increase access."
Senate won't boost liquor tax to pay for drunken-driving measure
"An effort to strengthen the state's drunken driving law will not include an increase in the liquor tax.  Instead, state senators will look to raising the fee for suspended and revoked driver's licenses to help pay for the tougher laws, said Sen. Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa), the lead Senate sponsor of the bill."
E-mail on bank failure is likely from scammers, FDIC warns
"According to the FDIC, the e-mails state: "You have received this message because you are a holder of a FDIC-insured bank account. Recently FDIC has officially named the bank you have opened your account with as a failed bank, thus, taking control of its assets."  The e-mails ask recipients to "visit the official FDIC web-site" by clicking on a link that appears to be related to the FDIC but directs recipients to a fraudulent Web site. Links on that site that appear to open forms actually are believed to cause unknown software to be downloaded."
  • Doyle orders bill explained
    "According to a statement released by Doyle’s office Thursday, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance wanted clarification for the new law passed in the 2009-11 biennium budget that expands health insurance coverage so those under the age of 27 will now be eligible for coverage through their parents’ health insurance."
  • Governor wants alternative fuels
    "Doyle also said that while the state had previously set a goal to generate 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2010, he would like to increase the goal to 25 percent by the year 2025."
Evangelical leader Dobson leaving radio show that elevated him to national prominence - Associated Press
"Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger says Dobson will go off the air at the end of February. He said Friday it was a mutual decision of Dobson and the board, and that more details are forthcoming."
Manufacturing Crucial for Building New Economy
"Speaking this morning at the Building the New Economy conference in Washington, D.C., AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the global economic collapse requires us to think of long-term strategies to rebuild and restructure our economy, with a revitalized manufacturing sector at its core."
Jane Hamsher: House Health Care Bill: A Death Sentence For My Fellow Breast Cancer Survivors - Democratic Underground
"But thanks to Representatives Anna Eshoo and Joe Barton, there will be no generic versions of these drugs. At least not for 12 years, if the House health care bill announced today passes. And because of an “evergreening” clause that grants drug companies a continued monopoly if they make slight changes to the drug (like creating a once-a-day dose where the original product was three times per day), they will never become generics. Instead of the Waxman-Deal amendment that granted much more reasonable terms to biologic patent holders, Speaker Pelosi chose the Eshoo-Barton amendment. And we could all be paying for that choice for the rest of our lives."

29 Oct

BusinessNorth.com - Duluth,MN Flu vaccines arriving up north, but in small numbers
"In Iron County, Health Officer Zona Wick says Hurley schools have nearly a 20% absentee rate with physician confirmed cases of H1n1 but they aren’t closing schools yet. Wick says the sporadic shipments of vaccine have caused a lot of confusion.  “First came the seasonal and they told us to go out there and provide seasonal vaccine early so that we can be ready for the H1N1. So, they sent us a little bit of seasonal vaccine and then they say ‘Whoops there’s a shortage seasonal’. Now, they’ve kind of done that with the H1N1 vaccine. It’s been very difficult health departments to plan. It’s been very difficult for the community to understand what’s going on.”"
$475 Million effort to clean up the great lakes
"Seventh District Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) announced that yesterday, the House and Senate Conference Committee for the FY2010 Interior Appropriations bill, “Approved an historic $475 million down payment for the restoration of the Great Lakes.” The legislation, which the House and Senate will soon vote on for final approval, would fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) which was requested by the President and shepherded through Congress by Obey who chairs the House Appropriations Committee."
Copperwood drill tests favorable
"Test drilling results at a proposed Copperwood copper mine north of Ironwood have been favorable, and two key management employees have been hired to work on the project.  Bill Williams, vice president of corporate development for Orvana Minerals Corp., of Toronto, said this week drilling has been completed in the 82-hole program and the company has received analyses for the first 23 holes."
Sherman seeking appellate court judgeship
"Representative Gary Sherman, D-Port Wing, has thrown his hat into the applicant ring for a judgeship vacancy on the Fourth District Court of Appeals.  The 74th Assembly District Democrat and lawyer said the position would be "the kind of work I enjoy.""
State school aid cuts force major belt-tightening at area schools
"For many districts, the difference between anticipated state aids and the amount they get after student population levels are set early in the school year have come as a deep shock, with cuts ranging from about 1.5 percent for the Glidden School District (now merged with the Park Falls District to form the Chequamegon School District) to 15.15 percent for the Bayfield, Drummond, Hayward Community and South Shore school districts."
DNR Announces Winning License Plate Design
"The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says a prairie scene with a badger and meadowlark is the winning design in an online survey for a new license plate to raise money for endangered species in the state.  The agency proposed four designs for the plate and the badger received 68 percent of the more than 23,000 votes cast. "
DNR Is Looking For Wolf Watchers 
"The Department of Natural Resources is planning training sessions in November and December for volunteers willing to locate and count gray wolves and other carnivores.  The trackers will have to conduct at least three surveys in blocks of central and northern Wisconsin forests."
Event blends youthful voices
"The singers, representing 22 high schools, will work with Dr. Karle Erickson, recently retired artistic director and conductor of World Voices and former conductor of the Gustavus Adolphus Choir... Wisconsin high schools sending singers to participate in Chorfest include Ashland, Bayfield, Bruce, Chetek, Hurley, Luck, Medford, New Auburn, Northwestern, Rice Lake, Solon Springs, Spooner, Superior, St. Croix Falls, Turtle Lake and Weyerhaeuser"
State high court says campaign donations can't force recusals
"A deeply divided state Supreme Court adopted a rule Wednesday that says endorsements, campaign contributions and independently run ads in themselves are not enough to force a judge off of a case.  The court adopted the proposal on a 4-3 vote, with those in the majority saying the rule was essential to clarifying policies at a time when justices increasingly face charges of bias. The dissenters said the court was only further clouding the issue."
State swine flu deaths rise to 14
""These are unfortunate events, not surprising or unexpected," said Paul A. Biedrzycki, director of disease control and environmental health for the Health Department. "We anticipate there will be additional deaths in the coming weeks and months as the second wave of H1N1 pandemic unfolds in the city and regionally.""
Radio emergency plan gets push
"He identified a parking lot that was buried in snow, and saw a county snowplow only 100 yards away. But he couldn't get the driver's attention. His radio was not compatible with the ones used by the Dane County Highway Department... The county, at a cost of more than $30 million, has embarked on a plan to solve that problem. It involves a complete revamp of the county's emergency radio system that will make every radio, from those carried by water utility employees to those installed in fire trucks, interoperable - that is, they'll be able to speak to one another."
Change smoke alarms, not just batteries with time change this weekend
""A working smoke detector can increase a person's chances of surviving a fire by providing the extra time that is needed to safely escape," Wirth said in a statement. "Nationally, more than 90 percent of all homes have smoke detectors, but it is estimated that one-third of those don't work because of old or missing batteries.""
PART II OF III: Post-college: Many stuck in health care limbo
"Kicked off of his parents’ Humana health insurance plan at 18, Hutter is used to weathering occasional storms of sickness without doctor care or prescription medicine. He said he remembers looking up health insurance plans a long time ago and writing them off as impossibilities, knowing his school loans would only cover the barest of basics."
When pastors' silent suffering turns tragic - USA Today
"Those who counsel pastors say Christian culture, especially Southern evangelicalism, creates the perfect environment for depression. Pastors suffer in silence, unwilling or unable to seek help or even talk about it. Sometimes they leave the ministry. Occasionally the result is the unthinkable.  Experts say clergy suicide is a rare outcome to a common problem."
Baseball Stars Knock It Out of the Park for Employee Free Choice
"All Americans should have the same opportunity we’ve had—to be able to join a union without being fired and to negotiate with their employers without being penalized. Today, our country is facing some tough times. Health care costs are skyrocketing. Families are losing homes. Savings and retirement income are disappearing overnight.  Now more than ever, we need a strong union movement to protect our jobs, our pensions, and our future."
Call 'Em Out: Sarah Palin - Dem Rapid Response
"Palin has taken to Facebook to spread the "death panels" lie and claim that reform will raise costs for families. Independent fact checks and even the conservative Tax Foundation refuted her claims.  So Sarah Palin, we're calling you out."

28 Oct

Obey-Oberstar Broker Air Quality Deal to Keep Great Lakes Ships Afloat
"Wisconsin and Minnesota’s two senior Members of Congress have brokered a deal that will keep new clean air rules from devastating shipping on the Great Lakes. At the same time the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin implementing new rules aimed at reducing sulfur emissions throughout the United States, including the Great Lakes region."
Hurley council examines budget increase of 4 %
"The Hurley City Council heard from city department heads about their budgets for 2010 on Tuesday, before discussing next year's budget for the city. The council will vote on the budget at its Nov. 10 meeting.  The budget of $2,083,789 is a 4 percent increase over the 2009 budget of $2,000,080."
Pierpont wins Mercer school recall election
"Longtime resident Deanna Pierpont won a seat on the Mercer School Board in a recall election Tuesday.  Pierpont got 342 votes; former school board member Karl Anderson received 289."
Midgets rout Thorp
"But the Midgets' fortunes changed and they scored three touchdowns late in the second quarter with a multitude of big plays for a 32-6 win in the WIAA Division 6 playoff opener Tuesday.  The Midgets (9-1) will go to Flambeau (10-0) on Saturday. Flambeau beat Boyceville 34-6 Tuesday."
Ashland approves residency requirement, hiring policy
"The council first passed a requirement that all new city employees move to the city as a condition of their employment, and an ordinance amendment that also requires current city employees who live within the city to maintain residence in Ashland or lose their jobs."
Snowmobile Trail Maintenance 
"Newswatch 12's James Fillmore went on a ride with one of the trail groomers to see just what it takes to get the trails ready for the big season."
Suspected H1N1 pandemic forces closure of LdF, North Lakeland through Nov. 1
"In the wake of President Barack Obama's Saturday, Oct. 24 declaration of a national H1N1 swine flu national emergency, fast-rising rates of student and staff absenteeism with flu-like illnesses, including likely pandemic levels of swine flu infection, spurred Vilas County public health officer Gina Egan's Monday, Oct. 26 issuance of six-day school closure orders for two Lakeland area 4K-8 school districts..."
Doyle announces bill to let mayor take over MPS
"The plan would not just give the mayor the ability to fire and hire the MPS superintendent, according to a handout drafted by the governor and legislators. It also would move authority over budget and fiscal issues, curriculum, facility decisions and collective bargaining from the School Board to the superintendent."
Assembly passes 'puppy mill' bill
"Wisconsin is one of the few states with virtually no regulation or an inspection program for the humane care of dogs or their offspring, according to backers of the legislation. The state also lacks regulatory authority in many cases to shut down puppy mills, they say.  The legislation would provide regulations, set standards and require licensing by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for breeders who sell 25 or more dogs during a year."
Tech: Facebook to keep profiles of the dead
"Facebook will "memorialize" profiles of the dead if their friends or family request it, although such accounts will be different from regular Facebook profiles.  For example, the site will remove any contact information and bar people from logging in. The person's profile also won't appear in the "suggestions" section of Facebook, and only the deceased person's confirmed friends will be able to find them in a search."
Breach exposes SSN numbers
"The breach was discovered Aug. 31 when the Office of Campus Information Security installed new monitoring software. A letter notifying the individuals whose information was compromised was not sent until nearly a month and half later — on Oct. 12."
Loan program to see switch
"The Congressional Budget Office estimates the switch from FFEL to Direct Federal Lending will save the government a net $79.8 billion over the next 10 years.  Goodman said many colleges and universities are already beginning to switch to the Direct Loan Program because it is more efficient."
Abortion opponents sue Milwaukee, police over treatment at protests
"The eight plaintiffs say they regularly pray, sing, hold signs, hand out pamphlets and engage in "non-threatening sidewalk counseling" in the vicinity of two east side clinics that perform abortions. The lawsuit states they are aware of and observe the restrictions imposed in a 1993 court injunction regarding abortion protests in Milwaukee."
Mich. Democrat: Pelosi 'not happy with me' - The Hill
The Energy and Commerce subcommittee chairman said he has been working with Democratic leaders on a compromise, but they haven't been able to strike a deal. Stupak pointed out that he and Democratic leaders have a fundamental disagreement on whether health plans that receive subsidies from the government should be allowed to provide coverage options on abortions."
[Two important items should be noted:  1) This deals with whether private companies will be allowed to cover abortions... no abortions will be allowed in the public program.  2)  Stupak rents a room at the "church" on C street associated with several recent Republican sex scandals. - Bob]
Report: Unbalanced Immigration Enforcement Hurts All Workers’ Rights
"According to a new report released today, the federal government’s immigration enforcement in recent years—including a heavy reliance on raids and often inadequately trained enforcement agents—has severely undermined efforts to protect workers’ rights, which in turn harms both immigrant and native-born workers alike."
Bush Administration Only Spent An Hour On Afghanistan Report - Air America
"They did present him with a report at the very end of the Bush administration, but I have it from reliable sources that the principals in the Bush administration spent one hour on that report before they handed it off to Obama."

27 Oct

  • Hurley playoff game changed to 6 p.m.
    "No. 4 seed Hurley (8-1) will host Thorp (7-2) tonight at 6 in the WIAA Division 6 opening-round playoff football game.  Thorp requested the earlier time due to the three-hour travel distance.  Tonight's game will be at Veterans Memorial Field."
  • Midgets hope home game translates into playoff win
    "Hurley worked all season to get a home playoff game. Now the Midgets are hoping it pays off. "
  • [Readers are reminded that the play by play will be on WJMS AM 590 starting with a pregame show at 5:45. - Bob}
Hurley hikes tax levy
"The Hurley School District's tax levy will increase, but not as much as its top administrator recommended.  The Hurley school board approved a motion to levy a $3,670,926 tax, or $9.56 per $1,000 dollars of property valuation, during its annual meeting Monday."
Mercer School District approves levy, budget
"The budget of $3,058,759 is an 11.8 percent increase over the 2008-09 budget of $3,420,033.  The tax levy of $2,078,576 is a 2.1 percent increase -- $42,951 -- over the prior school year."
Juggler With the Yellow Shoes
"Mercer School celebrated Red Ribbon Week Oct. 19-22, with anti-drug education and prevention activities for students. Students attended various assemblies including, an all-school presentation of Rich Wieber’s Bicycle Stunt Show."
Lawton Talks About Her Decision
"Lawton told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Tuesday that she dropped out of the race on Monday after speaking with her husband and two adult children.  She says she is in good health and that she was not lobbied by the White House, Gov. Jim Doyle or any other potential candidates to drop out."
Lawton’s exit increases pressure on Barrett
"Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton's surprise decision Monday not to run for governor leaves Democrats with no major announced candidate for the state's highest office and shines the spotlight even more brightly on the biggest of the unannounced candidates, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett."
Wet weather hampers corn and soybean harvesting
"Corn moisture is in the 25-30 percent range statewide. Typically, farmers like to harvest when corn is in the 22-25 percent moisture range, according to a Purdue University grain quality fact sheet.  A Green Lake farmer said some late-planted corn will never dry out. "For many farmers, the harvest season is getting to be a bigger mess by the day," the farmer said."
Barred From Field, Religious Signs Move to Stands - NY Times
"That eight-year-old tradition ended last month after a parent expressed concern that it could prompt a First Amendment lawsuit. Church and state were not sufficiently separate, the school district agreed, and the banners came down... Startled and dismayed by the district’s policy, this town of 9,600 people has taken up the cause — and the signs — of the cheerleaders. Calling themselves Warriors for Christ, a twist on the school’s Warriors nickname, fans have held rallies at churches and a local polo field and sold more than 1,600 T-shirts bearing passages from Deuteronomy and Timothy. "
Some UAW Ford Locals Vote Against Concessions, Margin is 92 Percent Against At Missouri Plant  - Workers Independent News
"The agreement would offer $1000 bonuses to workers based on hitting quality and productivity objectives. It also agrees to continuing work at the plant. Ford is seeking the concessions so the company will be on parity with similar agreements reached between the United Auto Workers and Ford’s U.S. competition."
Rep. Paul Broun Proposes Bill That Would Privatize Medicare - Think Progress
"In an attempt to reclaim the right’s rich tradition of opposing Medicare, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) has proposed legislation that would roll back the Medicare system and replace it with a system of vouchers that seniors could use to purchase private insurance:"
Limbaugh falls for Obama thesis hoax - but is in no Rush to apologize - Daily News
"Limbaugh sounded off Friday on a supposed report that Time magazine reporter Joe Klein had unearthed Obama's college thesis, titled "Aristocracy Reborn," in which he sounded off on the nation's Founding Fathers and the Constitution and the distribution of wealth.  The only problem - the report was pure fiction.  The original post with the fabricated details about Obama's college thesis was written as a satire on a humor blog. An obscure blogger, Michael Leeden, mistakenly picked it BYup, reporting the satirical post as fact, and then Limbaugh ran with it on his national radio show Friday.Leeden has since apologized.  Limbaugh?  Not so much."

26 Oct

  • Midgets hope home game translates into playoff win
    "The Midgets (8-1) host Thorp (7-2) Tuesday night in a WIAA Division 6 opening-round playoff game at Veterans Memorial Field. The game is set for 7 p.m., but Thorp has requested a change to 6 p.m. That will happen if the officials can get here in time, Hurley coach Scott Erickson said."
  • Hurley to host Thorp Tuesday in opening round
    "The Hurley football team received the home playoff game it desired Friday, but it took some work to get it. The No. 4 seed Midgets (8-1, 6-1) will start the WIAA Division 6 playoffs against Thorp (7-2, 7-2) at Veterans Memorial Field in a rematch of last year's opening round game, a 43-20 Thorp win."


WIAA releases football playoff brackets
"High school football's second season begins this Tuesday.  The WIAA announces pairings and sites for all playoff games... Division six has Edgar as a #1 seed.  The Wildcats host Newman.  Iola-Scandinavia at Coleman, Lena/St Thomas Aquinas at Pacelli at 4pm, Gillett at Wild Rose, Thorp at Hurley."
On the trail of archeological thieves
"Zeman said the Apostle staff’s goal is protecting pieces of the past for visitors in the future.  “We’ve got tribal history and artifacts, some of the European settlers and the fishing camps, the logging — we’ve got a very, very rich heritage,” he said. “This way, we were able to bring the training to us, because our mission is to protect all of that.”"
WI Justice Department Official Takes Own Life
"A high-ranking official in the Wisconsin Justice Department has committed suicide.  According to an obituary in the Wisconsin State Journal newspaper, Craig Klyve, director of the agency's Bureau of Investigative Services, took his own life on Friday. He was 52."
Lawton Bails Out of WI Governor's Race
"Lawton released an e-mail to supporters on Monday saying that she will not run because of "very personal reasons."  The message did not go into further detail and her campaign spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment."
Lawton will not run for governor
""My good friends. You know better than any my confidence in Wisconsin people, and in our resilience in a time of crisis, and in our capacity to innovate new ways to shape a better future for our state.  "My deep commitment to our state is second only to my commitment to my family. For very personal reasons, I will not pursue the Democratic nomination for governor in 2010."
Journal Sentinel circulation down for six months
"More than a third of the Sunday decline and nearly 15% of the daily decline came as Journal Sentinel Inc. opted to eliminate delivery programs that produce little or no circulation revenue, Hugh McGarry, senior vice president of sales and marketing, said. Price increases also affected circulation, he said."
Bill would rewrite rules for sex ed
"It requires school districts that teach sex ed do so in a medically accurate, age-appropriate way, including providing information about abstinence and contraceptives.  Supporters say the bill updates the main elements of what a sexual education program must include if offered by a school district and does away with abstinence-only policies.  Opponents argue that contraception should not be taught in schools.
Faith No More - Slate
"Wilson isn't one of those evasive Christians who mumble apologetically about how some of the Bible stories are really just "metaphors." He is willing to maintain very staunchly that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and that his sacrifice redeems our state of sin, which in turn is the outcome of our rebellion against God. He doesn't waffle when asked why God allows so much evil and suffering—of course he "allows" it since it is the inescapable state of rebellious sinners. I much prefer this sincerity to the vague and Python-esque witterings of the interfaith and ecumenical groups who barely respect their own traditions and who look upon faith as just another word for community organizing."
Maine Union Members Tell Snowe to Support a Public Option, and More Health Care News - AFL-CIO
"When Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) suggested she would block health care reform if it included a public option, Maine workers took action: The Maine AFL-CIO put its convention on hold so attendees could call her and tell her that a public option is essential to make reform work. (Recent polls in Maine suggest Mainers strongly support a public option.)"
Limbaugh falls for Obama thesis hoax - but is in no Rush to apologize - Daily News
"Limbaugh sounded off Friday on a supposed report that Time magazine reporter Joe Klein had unearthed Obama's college thesis, titled "Aristocracy Reborn," in which he sounded off on the nation's Founding Fathers and the Constitution and the distribution of wealth.  The only problem - the report was pure fiction.  The original post with the fabricated details about Obama's college thesis was written as a satire on a humor blog. An obscure blogger, Michael Leeden, mistakenly picked it BYup, reporting the satirical post as fact, and then Limbaugh ran with it on his national radio show Friday.Leeden has since apologized.  Limbaugh?  Not so much."



23 Oct

Know the Difference between a Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms - Daily Press, Hampton Roads, VA
This provides a chart of comparing the symptoms of a cold to the flu.  It is concise and cogent... definitely worth the time needed to look at it.  Thanks to my wife Sharon for sending this (as a viral email). 
Spooked Seniors
"Senior diners, from left, Toivo Sipponen, Elsie Sipponen and Helena Luoma listen to accordion music while they wait for lunch to be served Tuesday in Hurley at the Aging Unit of Iron County’s annual Halloween party. Luoma, 97, said she hoped to snag the best costume award with her ghost get-up. The award includes bragging rights and two free meals at the senior center, which hosts a themed party every third Tuesday of the month."
  • Midgets down Panthers
    "Hurley completed the regular season 8-1 after a 45-0 win over Ewen-Trout Creek Thursday. The Midgets improved to 6-1 in the Great Western Conference and will learn their playoff draw today.
  • Midgettes aim for state meet berth at sectional
    "The Hurley girls cross country team looks to overcome an unexpected challenge at the WIAA Division 3 sectional tournament in Bruce today at 4 p.m."
Increasing Beer Tax
"Swearingen says "The proposal going on right now by the Legislature in Madison is actually a 400 percent increase in the price of beer in the tax and that will have a huge negative impact on my bottom line."  But not everyone agrees with Swearingen. Supporters of the new beer tax say it will help pay for programs that will fight the state's alarming rates of problem drinking."
Opposition Emerging to a 16-day Deer Hunt
"The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says opposition to a 16-day deer hunt has emerged during the first five hearings to find out what hunters think about the idea.  Deer ecologist Keith Warnke says nearly 650 people attended those sessions and bow hunters strongly oppose the change."
Lac du Flambeau School Closes Due To High Flu-Related Absentee Rate
"According to the Health Department, the district has 19% or one out of five students experiencing H1N1 flu-like symptoms. All co-curricular activities are canceled in conjunction with this school closure."
Hospital: Stay home to fight flu
"Riverview Hospital is seeing up to 70 cases a day of people with flu symptoms, said Melissa deGoede, director of emergency services. People who don't need medical attention risk long waits and more exposure to viruses by going to the emergency room, she said. People going to the emergency room exhibiting flulike symptoms are asked to wear a mask to reduce the risk of spreading the virus."
State firm accused of not giving Iraq war veteran his job back
"Federal officials contend that Mort's Concrete Inc. of Rio violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which requires workers who leave their civilian jobs to serve in the military be promptly re-employed in the same job or a comparable position when they return."
Wisconsin ranks 11th in energy efficiency scorecard
"The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy had ranked Wisconsin ninth in the nation last year in a state-by-state scorecard of how well states are promoting energy efficiency.  The annual scorecard is significant because studies by the National Academy of Sciences and McKinsey & Co., among others, continue to stress the importance of energy efficiency as the most cost-effective way to address greenhouse gas emissions, while helping energy customers either cut costs or offset rising energy prices."
400,000 former Anglicans worldwide seek immediate unity with Rome - The Times
"Leaders of more than 400,000 Anglicans who quit over women priests are to seek immediate unity with Rome under the apostolic constitution announced by Pope Benedict XVI. They will be among the first to take up an option allowing Anglicans to join an “ordinariate” that brings them into full communion with Roman Catholics while retaining elements of their Anglican identity."
Hundreds Protest as Health Insurance Lobby Plots to Kill Reform
"AHIP, whose top honchos, including its head, Karen Ignagni, are meeting at the Capital Hilton to plot their assault against health care reform, refused to meet with any of the seven families who traveled here to tell how they were denied needed health care despite having insurance coverage."
GOP Reps File Request With Sergeant At Arms For Muslim 'Intern Spy' Investigation - TPM
"The lawmakers charged at a press conference last week that Muslim "intern spies" from CAIR may have infiltrated national security committees on the Hill... Several Democrats have denounced what one called a "slander against democracy and religious freedom.""
Bill Maher On The Year In Ridiculous Republicans - Huffington Post
"On ""Real Time" Friday night, Bill Maher decided to end his show by mocking all the Republicans who have become prime targets for jokes now that George Bush is no longer front and center. "It turns out there were plenty of ridiculous Republicans behind him that we just couldn't see," Maher said. "His stupid star doth shone too brightly."

22 Oct

"Seventh District Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) announced that starting today over 185,000 servicemembers who have had their enlistments involuntarily extended since 2001 can now apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay. The 2009 Supplemental Appropriations Bill which Obey, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and John Murtha (D-PA), Chairman of the Defense Subcommittee, shepherded through the House provides $734 million to retroactively pay servicemembers and veterans $500 for every month they served under the stop-loss orders since September 11, 2001."
No H1N1 outbreak in local schools -- yet
"This week schools in Bessemer, Wakefield, Mercer and Hurley have had normal absentee rates, which means about 90 percent or more children are in school... and the Hurley K-12 School has a lower absentee rate than the same time last year, Leola Maslanka, school secretary said."
Deadline extended for drought loan applications
"The SBA said Monday is the filing deadline for the federal disaster small business loans for drought conditions that existed from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31 in 2008.  On Wednesday, the SBA said the loans are also available for continuing drought conditions from March 1 of this year. The deadline for applying for this year's drought damages is May 25, according to Michael Lampton, of the SBA's Atlanta office."
Hunters pan 16-day gun deer season plan at Ashland DNR hearing
"Past efforts to expand the hunt onto a 16-day framework have met concerted resistance from hunters, and the depth of feeling about the hunt was again evident Wednesday night as a formal Department of Natural Resources hearing about proposed changes in the deer hunting season took place at the AmericInn in Ashland."
Longer Deer Hunting Season?
"The Wisconsin DNR hosted a public hearing Wednesday night to find out if hunters are open to an extended gun deer hunting season. Currently the gun deer season starts the Saturday before Thanksgiving and runs for nine days.  But that along with bow, muzzleloader and other seasons could be changed.  There are 11 changes being considered for the 2010 deer hunting season.  All are alternatives to Earn-a-Buck which was abolished in April of this year."
Doyle backs taking DNA sample when suspects are arrested
"Gov. Jim Doyle threw his support behind a bill Wednesday that would require people to submit a DNA sample when arrested on felonies, rather than when convicted.  "The bigger the database, the more powerful DNA is as a tool," Doyle said at a Capitol news conference."
Gableman participates in disputed Supreme Court case
"The case over sentencing credits and two unrelated cases have exposed bitter divides among the justices on the issue of whether Gableman can sit on the cases.  Assistant State Public Defender Ellen Henak last month asked Gableman to recuse himself because of comments he made in his campaign and in the defense of the ethics complaint that she said showed bias against criminal defendants."
State communities jumping on clean energy bandwagon
"More than 80 communities in Wisconsin have pledged to work toward Gov. Jim Doyle's goal of having a quarter of the state's electricity and transportation fueled by renewable resources by 2025.  The "25x25" resolution has passed in 82 municipalities and is moving toward passage in 22 more, according to a status report from the state's Office of Energy Independence."
Primate fossil called only a distant relative - The Associated Press
"The scientists who formally announced the finding said they weren't claiming Darwinius was a direct ancestor of monkeys, apes and humans. But they did argue that it belongs in the same major evolutionary grouping, and that it showed what an actual ancestor of that era might have looked like.  The new analysis says Darwinius does not belong in the same primate category as monkeys, apes and humans. Instead, the analysis concluded, it falls into the other major grouping, which includes lemurs."
New state-by-state jobs and unemployment numbers  - AFL-CIO
"Nationally, the economy lost 5.2 percent of all jobs since December 2007. In many states, the story is even more grim: Arizona has lost 10 percent of its jobs, Michigan has lost 9.8 percent and Nevada has lost 8.5 percent."
Conservatives roar; Republicans tremble - Politico
"But some Republicans worry the party could squander an opportunity to capitalize on voters’ concerns about Obama and the Democratic Congress because they come off looking shallow, sharply partisan or just plain odd to persuadable voters.  Warning of the influence of the Fox host, who recently accused Obama of racism against whites, George W. Bush White House veteran Peter Wehner wrote last month: “Beck seems to be a roiling mix of fear, resentment and anger — the antithesis of Ronald Reagan.”"
Republican House Seat May Be in Danger - NY Times
"Republicans have been divided. Party officials tapped Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, who supports gay rights and abortion rights, as their candidate. The state Conservative Party was deeply disappointed in the pick, and has selected an alternative candidate, Douglas L. Hoffman, a managing partner of an upstate accounting firm.  The Siena poll showed Mr. Owens [Democrat]  with 33 percent of the vote, compared with 29 percent for Ms. Scozzafava and 23 percent for Mr. Hoffman."

21 Oct

Cumberland ends Midgettes' season
"Cumberland rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat Hurley 3-2 in the opening round of the WIAA Division 3 volleyball tournament Tuesday.
Shop With a Cop fundraiser set
"The second annual Shop With a Cop Bowl Off is set for Nov. 7 at Larry's Lucky Strikes in Ironwood."
[You can see activities, pictures and sponsors of last year's activity at the WIMI website. - Bob]
Public hearing tonight on alternative deer season proposal
"The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will hold public hearings on proposed revisions to Chapter NR 10, Wisconsin Administrative Code, relating to the seasons for hunting deer."
Puppy Mill Bill To Go To Vote Wednesday
"A proposal that would regulate dog breeders operating in Wisconsin is gaining momentum in the Legislature after more than a decade of going nowhere.  The measure has already passed a Senate committee and is awaiting debate."
Doyle to push for additional math, science at conference
"Gov. Jim Doyle will promote his effort to make mandatory for high school graduation a third year of math and a third year of science Wednesday at the sySTEMnow conference in Milwaukee.  "It's all about pipeline building. We need the skilled workforce going forward," said Van Walling, executive director of Engineers & Scientists of Milwaukee, which organizes the conference. "There are no longer the opportunities in the kind of manufacturing jobs that existed here 20 to 30 years ago.""
State Senate approves ban on texting while driving
"Lawmakers pushing the bill said texting while driving was especially dangerous because people were looking more at their cell phone than at the road.  Several studies have found that drivers of all ages who are texting or talking on their phones are as distracted as drunken drivers.  The bill would follow a national trend of legislation that cracks down on drivers' cell-phone use."
Snow could settle Friday in North Woods
"North central Wisconsin is expected to receive its first major snowstorm of the season Friday, with six inches of snow or more falling in areas north of Wausau, according to the National Weather Service office in Green Bay.  The snow should mix with rain during the day and become pure snowfall Friday night and Saturday morning. Forecasters warn the wet snow could cause tree limbs to break and power outages."
On Campus roundup: Bill would allow tech colleges to avoid referendums on new dorms
"The state Assembly Colleges and Universities committee will hear about a bill today that would allow state technical colleges to build residence halls without going to referendum.Currently, state technical colleges must get approval from voters in order to build or lease a facility that costs more than $1.5 million."
Depressed moms don't get adequate treatment, UW-Madison study says
"More than 65 percent of mothers didn't get adequate treatment for depression -- with black, Hispanic and other minority mothers among the least likely to get adequate treatment.  The insured were three times more likely to get adequate treatment than the uninsured."
Evangelicals and abortion - The Guardian, U.K.
"Concern though about unsafe abortions has been prominent again this week, with a report from the Guttmacher Institute, Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress, arguing that too many women around the world are still undergoing unsafe abortions, largely because it still remains illegal in 32 countries. They report that unsafe abortion causes 70,000 deaths each year, with 5 million women treated annually for complications, and are calling for an expansion of legal access to abortion."
Goldman Sachs’s Griffiths Says Inequality Helps All (Update1) - Bloomberg
"“We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity and opportunity for all,” Brian Griffiths, who was a special adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, ...  Goldman Sachs Group Inc., based in New York, set aside $16.7 billion for compensation and benefits in the first nine months of 2009, up 46 percent from a year earlier and enough to pay each worker $527,192 for the period."
More than 1 million people hurt by the bad economy are at risk of losing their unemployment insurance (UI) by the end of the year, - AFL_CIO
"During the toughest economic crisis in more than a generation, 7,000 people every day are seeing their UI expiring—and it’s due to the petty obstructionism of two senators who are blocking the needed extension of UI benefits.  This afternoon, 14 senators from across the country joined together to urge swift passage of a UI extension, to give workers access to the system they’ve paid into and to keep families and communities economically secure."
Report finds massive hidden energy costs, mostly from coal
"First, note that the report did not attempt to quantify the damage to ecosystems and agriculture wrought by climate change. It did not attempt to quantify the national security costs of securing energy supplies. It did not attempt to quantify the land-use costs of biofuels. It didn’t attempt to quantify the costs of mercury pollution, which as Bill Chameides documents, are substantial. It didn’t attempt to quantify the impact on taxpayers that subsidies to the coal industry impose.  So a huge chunk of costs were written out, meaning the results are extremely small-c conservative. Nonetheless, the NRC found that hidden costs amounted to $120 billion in 2005."
CBO finds Dem bill with public option reduces deficit - CNN
"CBO also found that the Democrats' bill reduces the deficit in the first 10 years.  This new CBO estimate, which aides caution is not final, is significantly less than the $1.1 trillion price tag of the original House bill that passed out of three committees this summer. More importantly, it comes under the $900 billion cap set by President Obama in his joint address to Congress last month."

20 Oct

  • Westward -- maybe
    "The travel would be much longer and the competition probably wouldn't be as stellar for Hurley.  The plan being considered by the WIAA takes all Wisconsin high school football teams out of conferences and into districts."
  • No. 5 seed Hurley plays at Cumberland
    "The No. 5 seed Hurley Midgettes will travel to No. 4 Cumberland for the opening round of the WIAA Division 3 volleyball tournament on Tuesday."
  • State Senate To Consider Bullying Bill
    "All Wisconsin schools would be required to
    adopt policies banning bullying and requiring the reporting of all bullying incidents to the state under a bill before the state Senate."
  • Proposal Would Regulate Life Jacket Use
    "The Wisconsin state Senate is considering a
    proposal that would require children under age 12 to wear a life jacket when on board boats 26-feet or smaller.  Wisconsin and Virginia are the only states without such a requirement now."
Small business lending up sharply in September
"Government-backed business lending soared in Wisconsin in September, with banks and other lenders extending just over $80 million.  The total more than doubled the amount lent in September 2008, and continued a generally upward march that began after Wisconsin lending backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration hit a dismal $13.9 million in February."
Counties say state cuts could limit snow plowing
"In an appeal aimed at pressuring the state to back off funding reductions averaging 10%, the county officials warn that plowing and other maintenance might lead to more accidents.  "We have serious concerns that the safety of our state highways will be compromised if this cut is implemented," public works officials from the counties say in a letter sent Monday to state transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi. Officials from Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Washington, Kenosha and Walworth counties signed the letter."
Democrat announces bid to run against Sensenbrenner
"Democrat Todd Kolosso, a Menomonee Falls developer, said he is running for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by Republican Jim Sensenbrenner. Sensenbrenner, of Menomonee Falls, announced in August that he is seeking re-election in 2010 to represent Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District."
Stimulus money could mean more school hours in Madison
"Governors and educators across the country are waiting for the U.S. Department of Education to release "Race to the Top" guidelines this fall. States will then be on a fast track to apply for funds, said Doyle, whose other priorities for Wisconsin include overhauling student testing, making student test scores a factor in teacher evaluations, creating new data systems to track student and teacher performance, and changing the state aid funding formula so districts have more flexibility under caps limiting how many tax dollars they can collect."
Poll shows support for public option
"If a public plan were run by the states and available only to those who lack affordable private options, support for it jumps to 76 percent. Under those circumstances, even a majority of Republicans, 56 percent, would be in favor of it, about double their level of support without such a limitation."
Doyle announces educational reforms for state
"The $5 billion in Race to the Top funds, created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is to be divvied out to states that show improvements in their educational system.  However, Wisconsin is one of only a handful of states that was initially ineligible for the money, due to a state law saying student test scores cannot be at all tied to teacher evaluations."
Fear Not: What does virtual rumor-mongering say about Christians? - Associated Baptist Press
"So, why are Christians so willing to believe unsubstantiated rumors? And more troubling, why are Christians, who should hold the highest standards of truth-telling, so eager to spread such rumors -- and even downright libels? "
Nurses Will Strike for Flu Safety
"Some 16,000 registered nurses, members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), are concerned that hospitals across California and Nevada aren’t doing enough to prepare for H1N1 flu, including adopting new safety standards put forth by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) and guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  They’re demanding proper equipment and procedures to treat patients with H1N1 symptoms and make sure that nurses and other patients don’t get sick."
Has Right Wing News Doomed The Republican Party? - Square State Net
"All of this leads to the conclusion the Republicans have become victims of the very thing which allowed their ascendancy in the first place the Echo Chamber. They have trained their base to need more and more hyperbolic accusations and demons to be satisfied. This has lead them to have to say and support things which those outside of their base find increasingly crazy."

19 Oct

On the Passing of Jay Johnson
“I was very sorry to hear of the death of Jay Johnson. He was a well-liked and well-respected colleague. He was a solid newsman before he was elected to Congress and he was a fine and decent representative of Wisconsin during the two years he served in the House of Representatives. My sympathies go out to his family.”
  • No. 5 seed Hurley plays at Cumberland
    "The No. 5 seed Hurley Midgettes will travel to No. 4 Cumberland for the opening round of the WIAA Division 3 volleyball tournament on Tuesday."
  • Midgets rout Gladiators
    "Hurley won its sixth straight game by using a high-octane offensive attack to double up Ontonagon 56-28 on Friday at Veterans Memorial Field."
Daily Press to go online-only on Tuesdays
"The change is part of a move to enhance the newspaper’s multi-media presence and at the same time cut some of the cost associated with producing a print newspaper. The Press will be produced and delivered by carrier or postal service the remaining five days of publication, Wed.-Sat., and Mondays."
Plane Crash  
"According to the Iron County Sheriff's Department, the accident happened at the Iron County Airport around 3:30.  The pilot, 73-year-old Herb Gottelt of Mount Prospect, Illinois, was making a local flight with his son."
Senate Considers Bill That Would Ban Text Messaging While Driving 
"Wisconsin would become the 10th state to ban texting by young drivers should the measure pass... The Senate measure would make a violation subject to fines between $20 and $400, the same penalties as inattentive driving."
Republican challengers turn up heat
"Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) has raised $8.7 million since his last election in 2004 and has $3.1 million on hand for his 2010 re-election bid."
Are restaurants in Wisconsin required to put cheese on apple pie?
""The 1935 Laws of Wis., ch. 106 came close; it required serving a small amount of cheese and butter with meals in restaurants (effective from June 1935 to March 1937).  "And, by the way, that was the first Wisconsin law with a sunset provision, i.e. a legislated ending time."
UW cash 3rd in nation
"According to statistics compiled by the National Science Foundation, a $41 million jump in expenditures from the fiscal years 2007 to 2008 brought UW’s total to $881 million, making it the third largest research enterprise in the country for the second year in a row. Johns Hopkins University and the University of California at San Francisco were the only schools to beat UW in the ranking."
A Bitter Rift Divides Atheists - NPR
""It's really a national debate among people with a secular orientation about how far do we want to go in promoting a secular society through emphasizing the 'new atheism,' " Jordan says. "And some are very much for it, and some are opposed to it on the grounds that they feel this is largely a religious country, and if it's pushed the wrong way, this is going to insult many of the religious people who should be shown respect even if we don't agree with them on all issues.""
Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah) are blocking the extension of unemployment insurance
"Because of the actions of two Republican senators, every day this month 7,000 jobless workers have lost their unemployment insurance (UI) coverage. Each day these two Republicans continue to stand in the way of Senate passage of a UI extension, 7,000 more workers will run out of benefits.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has tried twice to bring the UI measure to a vote on the Senate floor. First Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), then Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) blocked action."
Settlement of 20-Year-Old Anti-Union Hiring Cases Shows Need for Employee Choice
"In a case that clearly illustrates the need for real labor law reform, four construction unions have reached a settlement with Fluor Daniel over the company’s practice of discriminating against union organizers who apply for work. It took nearly 20 years for the cases to be resolved and some of the original workers in the cases have died. "
Screams, Flames Among Horrors of Botched US Executions - Common Dreams
"Last month, Romell Brown became only the second man to leave a US execution chamber alive, after 18 failed attempts to administer the lethal injection.  Authorities in Ohio decided to halt his execution after officials spent two hours trying to inject him with lethal chemicals."

16 Oct

Bridge out till end of November
"Contamination was found on the Michigan side of the construction site in early September. Engineers speculated then it could have been from a coal gasification plant up river that closed decades ago."
Employment program provides stimulus bright spot
"Steve Terry, executive director of the Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program (NWCEP), said Wednesday that about $1.5 million awarded to the program resulted in some 300 summer jobs for youth, and provided funding to train hundreds more workers throughout the region."
Northern Wisconsin must dial 10 digits
"The move is designed to help customers in the 715 area code prepare for the region’s new 534 area code. The new code goes into effect for new phones and services in the region in August and will exist side-by-side with 715."
A New Program That Helps Farmers Is Underway
"The state Agriculture Department says it is now accepting requests from farmers and local governments to have land designated as an agriculture enterprise area.  The request requires at least five eligible farmers and support from all local governments within the proposed zone."
Wisconsin Unemployment Improves for Fourth Straight Month
"Dan Kuzlik, Oneida County UW Extension, says "People need to work, they need to put food on their table, they need to pay their rent, they need to pay their mortgage and jobs are the key thing."  The state unemployment rate is now 7.7 percent. That's well ahead of the national average of 9.5 percent, which improved only 0.1 percentage points from the previous month."
Loud Commercials
"Greg Buzzell, the Chief Engineer at WJFW, says "I notice it more if you're listening to a national channel on satellite or cable because a lot of the national channles do no compressor-limiting and their levels are all over because they have no control in the chain to match the levels."  Buzzell says there is a task force working to get a uniform level that would put an end to irritating loud commercials"
[To fight commercial overdrive, I often just hit the mute button.  If we all told them we did it, perhaps they would change their behavior. - Bob]
Depressed teacher can sue school district
"A federal appeals court has restored a lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin teacher who claims her district failed to accommodate her seasonal affective disorder by providing her a classroom with natural light.  First-grade teacher Renae Ekstrand sued the Somerset School District, claiming the district's refusal to place her in a new classroom violated the Americans with Disabilities Act."
Assembly Dems not likely to support liquor tax hike
"However, she added that Assembly Democrats have not ruled out the idea.  Earlier Thursday, Sheridan said: "That (liquor tax) was just introduced. We're taking a look at this. The bottom line is we want to pass drunk driving legislation and we're looking at all our options as we go forward. I think the people have made it clear they want us to tighten up the laws in that area.""
Wisconsin, Manitoba sign cooperation agreement
"The economic growth agreement signed Thursday morning between Wisconsin and Manitoba encourages joint research and development in a range of areas, including life sciences, energy and water treatment... Wisconsin and the Canadian province already have a $900 million trade relationship, and the agreement should build on that, according to a news release from the office of Gov. Jim Doyle.
Harley may someday build motorcycles overseas
"By 2014, more than 40% of the company's sales will be outside the United States, Harley executives said Thursday.  Starting next year, the company will begin adding 100 to 150 dealerships in Europe and other foreign markets."
A migration delayed, but for young whooping cranes the journey's about to begin
"Nothing ever goes exactly as planned on a class trip, so a few delays from the class of 2009's flight to Florida should be expected. One student, for example, keeps getting left behind. Another got in a fight and had to be sent back in a crate, and another keeps getting lost.  Meanwhile, the chaperones are getting a little anxious.  This is a class of 20 young whooping cranes that will be flying under and around the wings of four ultralight aircraft to refuges in Florida."
GOP: Budget changes will cause auto insurance premiums to jump
"One of the most substantial changes to the law will be the boost of minimum liability insurance limits on Jan. 1, 2010 - they will increase from $25,000 to $50,000 per person, from $50,000 to $100,000 per incident and from $10,000 to $15,000 for property damage - and a so-called stacking provision on Nov. 1 that will double coverage limits for each vehicle covered by a two-vehicle policy and triple them for policies covering three or more vehicles."
Thou shalt not fleece: 'cruel' scammers target Christians - Sydney Morning Herald
"Online romance scammers are trawling Christian websites in search of lonely hearts and generous souls to "suck the life out of".  Law enforcers say an increasing number of Australians are falling victim to romance fraud, with an insidious new religious flavour that appeals to values of faith.  "They go into Christian chat rooms and a lot of the time when they ask for money, there's a Christian element to the [scammer's] story," Queensland police Fraud Squad chief Detective Inspector Brian Hay said."
U.S. Senate ‘has the right to ask questions’ of TV evangelists - BibleBeltBlogger
"Aided by the Trinity Foundation, a Dallas group that investigates alleged misdeeds of televangelists, the committee is looking into whether Copeland and the other pastors illegally steered donations to their churches into their private bank accounts. Shielded by their nonprofit charitable status, churches are allowed to largely steer clear of the Internal Revenue Service.  “There’s more fraud committed in the name of God than anything else in America,” said Ole Anthony, founder of the Trinity Foundation. “This is a $2.5 billion industry that’s untaxed and unregulated.”"
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 15 Oct 09
Proposed Health Care ‘Excise Tax’ a Tax on the Middle Class - AFL-CIO
"The Senate Finance Committee’s 40 percent excise tax on so-called “Cadillac” health care plans would hit 37 percent of family health insurance plans and 41 percent of single plans by 2019, according to an analysis of the committee’s original health care reform bill conducted by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).  By 2015, according to this analysis, the excise tax would slam 24 million households, growing to 39 million households by 2019. Nearly one-third of middle-class households making between $50,000 and $100,000 would be affected by 2019."
Republican Base Voters Living In Another World - TPM
"...Conservative Republicans fully embrace the 'socialism' attacks on Obama and believe it is the best, most accurate framework for describing him and his agenda. Independents largely dismiss these attacks as the kind of overblown partisan rhetoric that obscures the facts and only serves to cheapen the political discourse.""
[I reassures me greatly that my TeaBagger friends are pretty much exonerated of charges of racism.  - Bob]

15 Oct

Fall cleanup set in Montreal
"The city of Montreal will begin picking up fall yard debris on Friday, with the cleanup continuing through Nov. 25.  Residents are asked to place yard debris in separate piles along the roadway."
Hurley faces a stern test at home
"Hurley (6-1) clinched a WIAA playoff spot for the 12th consecutive season last week and will take on a tough opponent in Ontonagon (5-2), a win away from a playoff berth."
Ashland to retain attorneys for possible Superfund litigation
"Xcel Energy and its subsidiary, Northern States Power-Wisconsin, is currently the only entity listed as a responsible party for manufactured gas plants along the city's waterfront that resulted in the pervasive coal tar that exists at the site. But Northern States Power has consistently claimed that city operations, including a treatment plant near the Ashland Marina, have caused some of the contamination that exists at the site."
Wisconsin H1N1 Report
"The department says outpatient visits for influenza-like illness increased in four of the five regions in the state, except northern Wisconsin. Of all the circulating influenza viruses in the state, 99% have been confirmed as H1N1.  Since September 1st, there have been 26 hospitalizations. There have also been 9 H1N1-related deaths statewide since this spring."
Dial the Area Code for Local Calls
"State telecommunications regulators want
phone customers in northern Wisconsin to start adding the area code to local calls beginning Saturday.  The move is designed to help customers in the 715 area code prepare for the region's new 534 area code.  The new code goes into effect for new phones and services in the region in August and will exist side-by-side with 715."
Stimulus creates, saves 137 university jobs, UW says
"Earlier this week the state reported that nearly 8,300 jobs were either created or saved thanks to the stimulus. That report did not include totals from the university system or federal money that was awarded directly to local communities, private businesses and others.Gov. Jim Doyle said Thursday he believes the impact of the stimulus is much broader than the reports show."
Harley drops two lines, income plummets
"In a news release, Harley said it would discontinue its Buell brand, based in East Troy, and divest the Italian MV Agusta brand. The Buell decision will result in the loss of about 80 manufacturing jobs in East Troy and about 100 salaried positions."
Police destroy 8,000 pot plants in wildlife refuge
"State Justice Department officials said a hunter directed authorities to the area, where they discovered 12 separate grow sites and four separate camps and work sites.  Police, state and federal agents raided the area Tuesday morning. A large amount of marijuana already had been harvested and it appeared the operation had been abandoned."
State lawmakers are writing fewer bills now than 30 years ago, says report
"The report by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute finds that the average age of Wisconsin's lawmakers has increased by more than 12 years since 1977 - more than state citizens as a whole have aged. The report also found that lawmakers are writing fewer bills now than they were 30 years ago."
But how does GOP win with 1% of vote?
"For instance, while the right's radio and cable hosts have loyal audiences, they speak to highly partisan audiences that like living in an echo chamber. That's the nature of the game. Most liberal talk-radio and cable television programs focus on their side's faithful - although it is notable that some progressive hosts, such as Ed Schultz (a prairie populist who made his name in Fargo) and Stephanie Miller (the daughter of Barry Goldwater's vice presidential running-mate) bust out of the echo chamber to take unscreened calls and actually debate conservative listeners.  But whether we're talking about talk-radio and cable on the right or the left, it's important to remember that the vast majority of Americans are getting their information from other sources."
LdF board considers withdrawal from airport commission
"Harrold said withdrawal from the agreement would not relieve the town of Lac du Flambeau of any liability which arose from Lakeland Airport/Noble F. Lee Memorial Field between Oct. 17, 1989, and the town's date of effective withdrawal from the Lakeland Airport Commission, 180 days after tendering written notice... It was noted by Harrold that Lac du Flambeau would forfeit "any assets or funds that were contributed by the town to the airport" in a withdrawal from the Lakeland Airport Commission.
Faith-Based Discrimination - NY Times
"His February executive order revamping the White House office for religion-based and neighborhood programs left untouched a 2002 presidential directive authorizing religious-oriented programs that receive federal financing to hire and fire on religious grounds.  Also left untouched was a constitutionally suspect 2007 memo concluding that the government cannot order religious groups not to discriminate as a condition of federal financing — even in programs like Head Start, where religious discrimination is outlawed."
David vs. Goliath: The Fight Begins for Reform of the Financial Industry - AFL_CIO
"The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners, surveyed 900 likely voters in 77 “Blue Dog” or conservative Democratic districts and those in politically competitive Democratic districts.  More than two-thirds of voters in all the districts support creating the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) to “create and enforce a strong set of rules to require fair, affordable, understandable and transparent financial products like bank loans, mortgages and credit cards for families and small businesses.”"

14 Oct

Midgets outlast Trollers
"The Trollers and Midgets hooked up in a two-hour marathon, with Butternut rallying for a 30-28, 12-25, 21-25, 25-3, 15-11 victory in Indianhead Conference play."
Road work for Hurley water plant starts
"Completion of the access road, constructed by A-1 Excavating of Bloomer, Wis., at a cost of $178,173, will allow for the bids for the plant itself to go out as planned Dec. 17. Construction on the plant would start when weather permits."
Local Calls Need Area Code Starting Saturday
"State telecommunications regulators want
phone customers in northern Wisconsin to start adding the area code to local calls beginning Saturday.  The move is designed to help customers in the 715 area code prepare for the region's new 534 area code."
Medford Public Schools Close Because of H1N1
"The District's web site says, due to the high number of student absenteeism because of the H1N1 virus, the District will be cancelling school and all activities."
Wisconsin math test scores high, but racial gap is among widest
"The math results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed little change from the last time math scores for those age groups were released two years ago. But, over time, both the rate of students deemed proficient as well as their overall scores have risen steadily in the state."
Bill to raise beer tax draws big crowd
"Brewers and other opponents also came out in force for the Assembly Public Safety Committee's hearing on the beer tax. Hundreds of people interested in the issue filled a Capitol hearing room and lined the halls outside the room.  The Senate is expected soon to approve an increase in the liquor tax, but has shown little support for increasing the beer tax. Assembly leaders have been cold to raising either tax."
The cost of clean air
"Under the voluntary "Green Power Tomorrow" program, more than 12,000 MGE customers - nearly 10 percent of its total customer base - pay on average a premium of about $6 per month to get their electricity from such nonpolluting sources as wind.  "It's been a very reasonable way to reduce our carbon footprint," says Tom Yager, 37, a stay-at-home father of two who lives in Seminole Forest. "It's also helped us track how much electricity we're using and find ways to cut back.""
Rev. Moon performs biggest mass wedding in decade - Associeated Press
"But the self-proclaimed "Messiah" returned to the altar Wednesday to bless tens of thousands of newlyweds in a special ceremony that also honored his 50th wedding anniversary.  In Moon's church, marriage and family are core to spirituality. Since the early years of his religious leadership, he has paired off couples who believe he is blessed with divine insight."
Women and People of Color Down for the Count in Jobless Recovery
"For example, in September 2009, the white unemployment rate reached a high of 9 percent. However, the African American unemployment rate was more than 70 percent higher-15.4 percent... At the same time, Hispanic Americans have experienced the greatest percentage increase in their unemployment rate. The Hispanic unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in December 2007. It more than doubled to reach 12.7 percent in September of this year."
Rush Limbaugh Is A Racist - Barve New Films
"Sign the petition: http://rushisaracist.com FORWARD THIS VIDEO TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY! Professional sports has always served to unite Americans across class, creed and race."

13 Oct

Ashland School Board kills staff free-speech policy
"Citing opposition among district staff and members of the public, as well as their own opposition, the Ashland School Board on Monday eliminated a provision in its district policies on freedom of speech in non-school settings."
Hurley woman charged with using boyfriend's checks
"A 49-year-old Hurley woman faces 16 felony counts of forgery stemming from incidents from June 3 to July 31 in which she allegedly wrote checks on her boyfriend's account at a local bank."
Eagle Bluff annual meeting Wednesday
"The annual membership meeting for the Eagle Bluff Golf Club will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the clubhouse."
Backers Ready to Make Case for WI Beer Tax Hike
"Supporters of a plan to raise Wisconsin's beer tax for the first time in 40 years are ready to make their case to lawmakers.  Rep. Terese Berceau told supporters of her plan Tuesday it's time for lawmakers to stand up to the state's powerful beer industry by raising the tax to fight a culture of excessive drinking."
WI DNR Endangered Species Plates
"The Wisconsin Department of NaturalResources says an online survey will let residents decide on a newlicense plate to raise money for endangered species in the state.  The DNR is offering four designs for the new plate. The first design features an Eastern Bluebird. The second one is a Great Blue Heron."
Taxes took about 12% of state, local income, report says
"The alliance says the percentage of personal income claimed by taxes in Wisconsin is 12th highest nationwide. However, when looking at it based on the amount of taxes paid per person, Wisconsin ranks 20th. Based on taxes as a percentage of personal income, Wisconsin was ninth highest for property taxes, 12th for income, 24th for corporate and 33rd for sales."
Woman gets probation for voter registration fraud
"Lewis was the fourth former Milwaukee registrar to face charges stemming from the 2008 election and the only one employed by ACORN. Of three others employed by the Community Voters Project, two pleaded guilty and one remains at large.  The two politically liberal groups say they caught much of the fraud and turned in the suspects, who represent a small percentage of paid registrars."
[In spite of what Faux News would have you believe, there is still not a confirmed case where one of these registrations resulted in somebody actually casting a fraudulent vote.  Acorn remains the victim of these crimes, not the perp. - Bob]
Bill would allow Stewardship funds to fight invasive species
"Under current law, the DNR administers a financial assistance program through which it confers cost-sharing grants on public and private entities for invasive species control projects. The grants can be given to lake districts, qualified lake associations, and nonprofit conservation organizations. "
Church-state debate: Religious groups slated for Illinois grants - Chicago Tribune
"The sleek new Catholic high school nearing completion on Chicago's West Side boasts a chapel, modern library and computer labs.  And thanks to the recently passed public works bill, Christ the King Jesuit College Prep on West Jackson Boulevard also boasts a half-million-dollar state grant."
Lies, Damned Lies and a Health Insurance Industry Report Condemning Reform - AFL-CIO
"Washington Post economics columnist Ezra Klein says the so-called “analysis” follows in the “hallowed” tradition of the tobacco and energy industries.
     The health insurance industry has commissioned a report
     projecting doom and despair for those who seek to
reform its business practices."
Republican Senate Sex Scandals Point Back to Secretive Conservative Christian "Family" - Alternet
"It’s taken a hit. That became evident to me this summer as a number of congressmen did every thing they could to distance themselves from the Family. This was especially true of conservative Democrats. Rep. Bart Stupak, who’s lived at C Street for seven years, enjoying maid service provided by Christian college girls, counseling younger Family members, and getting discounted rent, now tells the Michigan press that he had no idea where he was; despite boasting to the LA Times in 2002 that the activities of C Street were secret."

See also:

Rainbows Over DC: Gay Rights March - TPM
"Gay rights supporters rallied to demand that President Obama keep his promise to end discrimination against gays and let them serve openly in the military. Some estimates put the crowd at "tens of thousands,""
[If the pictures are indicative, even without 24/7 promotion by Faux News, this was a larger crowd that the paltry 60-70K of the Teabaggers on Sept. 11th.  Why has it been almost blacked out on corporate media? - Bob]

12 Oct

Hurley starts fast in 35-0 victory over Castle Guards
"The Midgets rolled up 29 points in the first quarter and coasted to a 35-0 win. The victory clinches a WIAA playoff berth for the Midgets (6-1 overall, 4-1 GWC). The Guards are now 2-5 overall and 1-4 in the GWC."
Frosty Pumpkin Run
"The overnight snow that clung to the ground on Saturday morning didn't deter all-terrain vehicle riders from hitting the trails this weekend during Iron County's seventh annual Pumpkin Run."
Increasing Beer Tax
"A state legislative committee will hold a public hearing Tuesday on a proposal to increase Wisconsin's beer tax for the first time since 1969.  The tax is the third lowest in the country and past attempts to raise it have met with significant opposition."
House passes Kagen-Kind bill to help veterans
"The House on Thursday approved the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009 that includes a provision authored by Kagen, D-Appleton, and U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, to extend for a year the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers who are in the military overseas."
Army orders $408.5 million worth of Oshkosh trucks
"It's the fourth order under a contract the company received in June and brings the total number of M-ATV trucks to 5,219 and the value of the contract to $2.76 billion.  Oshkosh says it is ramping up to build 1,000 of the Army trucks per month and will continue production at that level until at least March."
Tech: Charter last again in customer rating survey
"Charter in 2008 finished tied with industry giant Comcast for last place among cable and satellite TV providers in the widely watched University of Michigan American Customer Satisfaction Index.  And in late 2007, Charter was rated worst among national providers in customer service by national research firm Forrester Research Inc."
Bill would boost public-access channels
"The bill would make sure federal cable regulations apply equally to all companies competing for cable customers. It would allow PEG stations to use public fees for any station purpose, not just capital or facilities expenses. It also would require that cable companies not bury PEG stations on their lineups, but place them on channels equivalent to the treatment of standard commercial broadcast channels."
Grad school to reform
"The majority of graduate school problems and concerns stem from the fact that under the current structure, the dean of the graduate school, Martin Cadwallader, is responsible for both the graduate education enterprise and the university’s research enterprise at the same time, UW-Madison Provost Paul DeLuca Jr. said."
Abortion Foes Tell of Their Journey to the Streets - New York Times
"A martyr to some, an irritant to others, Mr. Pouillon in death has become a blessing of sorts for the loosely acquainted activists who knew him as a friend: proof that abortion doctors are not the only ones under duress, proof that protests matter, and a spark for more action."
Mike's Blog #1: 'Pilots on Food Stamps'
"He then showed me his pay stub. He took home $405 this week. My life was completely and totally in his hands for the past hour and he's paid less than the kid who delivers my pizza.  I told the guys that I have a whole section in my new movie about how pilots are treated (using pilots as only one example of how people's wages have been slashed and the middle class decimated). In the movie I interview a pilot for a major airline who made $17,000 last year. For four months he was eligible -- and received -- food stamps."
Gingrich Named Porn Fan of the Year by Scorned Dinner Date - Washington City Paper
"Vivas was contacted last month by American Solutions for Winning the Future, Gingrich’s D.C.-based PAC, and was told the former Republican Revolutionary wanted to honor her as the group’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” for 2009.  At that time, Gingrich associate Joe Gaylord wrote to Vivas that “Newt’s Business Defense and Advisory Council” wanted to “dine privately” with her on the evening of Oct. 7 at the “historic Capitol Hill Club” in “recognition of the risks you take to create jobs and stimulate the economy.”"
Landowners in Honduras hired Colombian paramilitaries, UN says - Guardian
"Honduran landowners have reportedly hired former Colombian paramilitaries as mercenaries to protect them against possible violence stemming from government tensions, a UN panel said today.  The UN working group on mercenaries said that it has received reports that some 40 former members of United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia, or AUC. The US government classifies the AUC as a terrorist organisation."

09 Oct

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize
-  does more for world peace in 10 days
   than Bu$h did in eight years.
HURLEY CITY COUNCIL - Tuesday, October 13, 2009
  • Board of Public Works – 6:00 P.M.
    (Richards, Aijala, Lanctoe)
  • Police, Fire & License Committee
    (Bruneau, Mussatti, Francis)
  • Finance Committee
    (Mussatti, Richards, Bruneau)
  • City Council Meeting - 6:30 P.M.
House Passage of Veterans Health Care Reform
"This bill authorizes the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department medical care programs to budget for veterans’ needs one year in advance giving them more time to plan and to provide the most efficient and effective health care delivery to our Veterans."
Could it be love? [HQ] - Ken Nikula - FaceBook
"Looks like a love story...I saw a few deer looking intently at something, and it turned out to be this eagle ... He [the eagle] flew up in a tree when a second deer approached, (no video for that) and just sat still for quiet a while. So I went outside to feed the fish, and that spooked him, and he left."
Finance committee: Overtime only in emergencies
"There'll be no overtime except for emergencies for Iron County forestry and highway department employees, the finance committee agreed on Thursday.  Emergency overtime is "solely at the discretion of the highway commissioner or forest administrator" in their respective departments, said county clerk Mike Saari."
  • Midgettes top Tigers
    "In a battle of Iron County rivals on Thursday night, Hurley played an impressive brand of volleyball and swept Mercer 25-18, 25-14, 25-17.  The victory kept Hurley undefeated in the Indianhead Conference at 6-0 and 13-9 overall."
  • Hurley runners win at Washburn
    "The Hurley girls cross country team won an invitational at Washburn on Thursday. The Castle Guards were second and Solon Springs was third. Caitlin Maki led Hurley with a seventh-place finish in 19:35."
Incumbents swept out of office in LdF tribal election
"Opponents of the Lac du Flambeau tribal government apparently got their wish Tuesday when two incumbent members of the tribal council and the incumbent treasurer and secretary were all voted out of office as the result of a controversial tribal election."
Pawlenty Congratulates Obama on Nobel Award
"Pawlenty said the "appropriate response is to say congratulations" no matter what the circumstance for the selection is."
[This is an appropriate response... but I suspect that those who applauded Chicago's Olympic bill losing will now whine about Obama winning.  How anti-Smerican! - Bob]
Wisconsin Senate To Debate Drinking Bill
"Under current law, children of any age can drink in a bar if they're with their parents and the adult gives consent and the bartender is willing to serve them.  A state Senate committee on Tuesday passed a bill that would set the minimum age at 18. "
Bank buys Al Capone's Wisconsin hideout
"The one-time gangster's house is built of stone with 18-inch thick walls and protected with guard towers, just in case G-men or goons with machine guns inside violin cases come calling."
Progress on unemployment extensions
"The offices of U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development confirmed Friday that Wisconsin workers exhausting their unemployment insurance benefits would qualify for up to the full 20 weeks extension proposed by the upper house.  The Senate has to vote and the extension and then square it with a proposal passed earlier by the House of Representatives."
Group proposes opening renewable energy site
"DF-1 Associates is a group of Racine-area businessmen involved in restaurant grease recycling. They're hoping to reopen the methane digester and fuel it with restaurant garbage and waste from food-processing plants. The company would make money by hauling away the waste from restaurants and food processors and selling electricity generated from the digester."
Public asked to weigh in on new license plates
"Wisconsin will continue selling license plates with the iconic gray wolf, as it has since 1995.  But four other license plates are under consideration that feature an Eastern bluebird, great blue heron, red-headed woodpecker and, of course, the American badger."
State Capitol to carry solar panels
"The roof of the west wing of the state Capitol will be used for the 48 panels that will produce over 11,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, said Senate President Fred Risser, D-Madison, chairman of the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board. The board voted unanimously Monday to approve the demonstration project, which is expected to be completed by November will be paid for by Madison Gas and Electric Co."
Tech: Those hacked Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo accounts
"According to Network World, there's evidence of yet more abuse that entails attackers exploiting that information to hack into compromised accounts over the last few days to send spam aimed at stealing credit cards.  But it may be more than simply stolen passwords to worry about.  For details, the entire story is here."
University of Wisconsin Colleges, Wisconsin-Extension receives diversity award
"The award is given out to state agencies or UW campuses “for their strong commitment to the recruitment, retention and promotion of a diverse, classified workforce as measured by the creation of programs, initiatives and practices,” according to the statement."
Church of England moves to heal row over women bishops - Reuters
"Along with homosexual bishops and same-sex marriages, the ordination of women is among the most divisive issues facing the Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members worldwide.  While Anglicans in the United States, Canada and Australia already have women bishops, conservatives in many other parts of the Communion still strongly oppose them."
Trumka to UMWA: Keep Fighting - AFL-CIO
"AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka traveled to West Virginia yesterday to celebrate a new term for Mine Workers (UMWA) President Cecil Roberts and Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Kane and to recognize the contributions of the union where he got his start.  rumka talked about the crippling effects of the economic crisis and the need for a strong, energetic union movement to turn it around not just for individual workers and their families, but for the whole country."
State Scorecard 2009  - The Commonwealth Fund
"This interactive U.S. map draws from The Commonwealth Fund State Scorecard, 2009. Use the map to view state-specific rankings and results compared to benchmarks, and to view the number of lives and dollars each state could save by achieving benchmark levels of performance."
It's Not the Prosecutors' Committee, it's the Judiciary Committee - Daily Kos
"Even as recently as 10 days ago, I hoped to be able to support a reauthorization bill introduced by Sen. Leahy that, while narrower than the JUSTICE Act that Senator Durbin and I have championed, did contain several important and necessary protections for the privacy of innocent Americans."
GOP Allegedly Caters to Underage Students With Free Booze - Buzz Flash
"Brewer also held a press conference calling for an investigation into the weekend, specifically calling out Republican members involved in law enforcement such as Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and two Republican candidates vying for his job, which will be vacated in Cox's run for governor.  "It's hypocritical for the Republican Party -- the alleged party of family values -- to tolerate, condone, even encourage this type of illegal activity," Brewer said during the presser."
A historian's account of Democrats and Bush-era war crimes - Salon
"There are many reasons why the reaction to things such as what I describe in today's post from progressive groups (as distinct from the very vocal civil liberties groups) has been so muted and acquiescent -- e.g., a tribal refusal to criticize one's own, a gut belief that someone as good and just as Barack Obama couldn't possibly really be continuing Bush/Cheney policies and complicitly helping to suppress their war crimes, the anger that one provokes from one's own "allies" with such criticism, etc. -- but the organized co-option process which Hayes and Hamsher document, accompanied by the fear of losing access and funding, is a very significant factor."

08 Oct

Hurley administrators talk single campus in Ontonagon
"Hurley superintendent Chris Patritto and principal Jeff Gulan explained their district's move to a single campus and answered numerous questions from the approximately 50 parents in attendance."
Local harbor projects included in House's 2010 budget
"Energy and water appropriations for the 2010 budget includes funding for a number of local projects, Rep. Dave Obey announced Tuesday.  The 2010 budget still requires approval from the Senate and President Barack Obama, but so far, it includes Obey's request of $4 million for the Northern Wisconsin Environmental Assistance Program for water and sewer projects in the northland."
Honoring Sgt. Ryan Adams
"Mayor Johns says "It's part of living in a community. We lost a member, and this is a serious, terrible thing to happen in a community. That family needs all the support they can get, and it's our responsibility to give it to them."  Mayor Johns says if you happen to be driving and the processional comes past you, you should pull over and stop your vehicle, and then safely get out of your car to pay respect."
Test results: Carbon capture works at Wisconsin coal plant
"Using chilled ammonia to capture carbon dioxide from the smokestack of a coal-fired power plant in southeastern Wisconsin was successful in grabbing 90% of the greenhouse gas, We Energies and two partners announced Thursday.  The Wisconsin test, at the Pleasant Prairie Power Plant in Kenosha County, was conducted to evaluate a chilled-ammonia technology developed by the French company Alstom."
Bill would expand after-school meals in state
"The overall spending measure also includes $350 million in aid for dairy farmers struggling because of milk surpluses that have driven down farmers' incomes.  Kohl and Rep. David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, fought to include the funding in the bill. Farmers would receive $290 million in direct payments under the legislation."
Bill to curb payday loans dealt setbacks
"A plan to cap rates for payday lenders faces major setbacks in the Legislature as lawmakers look at other ways of regulating the industry that has lobbied and spent heavily to avoid regulation.  Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) said recently that the bill to cap lending rates at 36% goes "too far," and he assigned the bill to a committee of lawmakers skeptical of the plan."
Capone's North Woods hideout to be auctioned off today
"A bank foreclosed on the 407-acre wooded site, and a sheriff's sale takes place on the steps of the Sawyer County Courthouse in Hayward... Legend claims that shipments of bootlegged alcohol were flown to the Wisconsin hideout on planes that landed on the property's 37-acre lake. The booze was then loaded onto trucks bound for Chicago."
UW-Madison slips to No. 61 in World University Rankings
"This time, the University of Wisconsin-Madison checked in at No. 61 (tied with University of Auckland) in the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings. That's a drop of six spots from last year, when UW-Madison was ranked 55th.  Among Big Ten Conference institutions, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (No. 19) and Northwestern University (No. 32) ranked higher than UW-Madison."
New bill would require access to mediation to prevent foreclosures
"Last month, the couple became the first homeowners in Milwaukee County to avoid foreclosure by sitting down with their lender and a mediator as part of a new Marquette University Law School program.  "We were able to talk it out," Murssal says. "The mediator was there listening to our side and to what the lender was saying. We were able to tell them the reason we fell behind.""
Obama should consult Afghan war critics like Feingold
"But where are Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who have emerged as outspoken advocates for a rethink of the occupation and, in Feingold's case, a flexible exit strategy? Feingold, a member of the Intelligence Committee who has spent more time than most members in southern Asia, knows the territory well. And he would bring an alternative point of view to what is, after all, being billed as a frank and open discussion of strategy."
Plain Talk: Profiteers squeezing dairy farmers
"Thanks to the efforts of Wisconsin's senior senator, Herb Kohl, and Congressman Dave Obey of Wausau, some help is on the way. A compromise was reached last week to send aid to qualifying dairy farmers and to buy up some surplus cheese in hopes of raising prices. But that's just temporary aid."
Pastor Who Wants Guns In Church Steps Down - WLKY Louisville
""We want to fortify religious institutions, whatever they are -- synagogues, churches, schools, religious schools," Pagano said. "The armed citizen is the first line of defense.""
[What kind of tank would Jesus drive to Wednesday night Bible Study? - Bob]
AT&T Workers, Flight Attendants and Writers Win Union Victories
"More than 300 workers at AT&T Mobility have chosen a voice with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in the past five weeks, providing more proof that workers want the Employee Free Choice Act. If enacted, the bill would give workers the option of choosing whether to join a union through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) process or via majority sign-up or “card-check.” AT&T workers used the majority verification process to join CWA. "

REPORT: ‘We Will Overthrow The Government’ — Calls For Violence Repeatedly Stoked By Conservative Voices - Think Progress
"The Southern Policy Law Center has documented a steady rise in militia activity, and today reported on a new ominous YouTube video warning President Obama: “If you stay…‘We, The People’ will systematically dismantle you, destroy you and reclaim what is rightfully ours.”"
[To reasonable people who don't take the lunatic far right fringe  seriously, please keep in mind that they take themselves seriously. - Bob]


07 Oct

Mud pervades fall color
"Trail conditions are in "pretty good shape" for the four-day event, which begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, said Iron County ATV Association President Scott Santini.  Fall colors are nearing their peak, according to Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Jessica Bolich."
Union to discuss forgoing raise
"The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents the highway and forestry departments, on Monday, did not agree to forgo a previously negotiated 50 cents per hour per employee wage increase.  Instead, the bargaining unit agreed to discuss the matter with the county."
Midgettes drill Drummond; stay unbeaten in Indianhead
"The Hurley Midgettes swept the Drummond Lumberjills Tuesday night in Indianhead Conference volleyball play, 25-16, 25-14, 25-20."
What's up with the weeds?
"City of Ashland officials and others may not know the cause of seaweed lining the shore of  Ashland's side of Chequamegon Bay, but they do know it's a rare sight.  "We've got guys who've worked here 20, 30 years and they've never seen this before," Ashland Public Works Director Ray Hyde said Tuesday."
Lac du Flambeau Tribal Election Results
"The Lac du Flambeau tribe’s general election was held Tuesday, October 6th for the positions of Secretary, Treasurer, and four Council seats. "
Prayer Death Couple Sentenced to 10 Years Probation
"A judge has sentenced a Wisconsin couple to 10 years probation and 30 days a year in jail for the next six years for praying instead of seeking medical care for their dying 11-year-old daughter, but the jail term was stayed pending appeals."
New Plan to Combat Emerald Ash Borer in The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
"The defensive plan is called "SLAM" and stands for Slow Ash Mortality.  It involves taking certain steps like cutting and sanitizing infested ash trees and those trees within 50 feet of an infestation.  Also, creating what are called "sink" trees to lure nearby EAB and sanitize them before new broods develop.  And finally, setting up trap trees to lure the pest and help verify if it is contained."
Judge upholds law regulating managed forest lands
"A Dane County judge has upheld a new law that bans owners of private land enrolled in a state managed forest program from leasing the land for hunting. But the judge says a portion of the law that immediately scrapped existing leases was unconstitutional.  Court records say the Legislature passed the managed forest lands law in 1985, allowing landowners to either open the property to the public for recreational activities or close it to public access. The property tax break is less for land that is closed."
Wisconsin Dells closes schools until Monday due to flu-like symptoms
"The Wisconsin district joined an early wave of school closings in half a dozen other states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Tuesday, the CDC reported 38 school closings in Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas, affecting about 10,700 students and almost 800 teachers. On the same day, 10 schools reopened in four states after closures due to flu."
Senate panel backs liquor tax increase to pay for drunken driving bill
"The bill would make some fourth offenses felonies and cost as much as $73.7 million a year - more than five times what Assembly members thought the measure would cost when they unanimously voted for it last month.  To help pay those costs, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday recommended raising the tax on hard liquor 50 cents a liter."
Flu cases drop at UW for third straight week
"The weekly status report from University Health Services (UHS) showed students coming in to the health clinic with flu-like symptoms was almost cut in half in the fifth week of the fall semester (Sept. 27-Oct. 3), with only 58 students evaluated, down from 94 the previous week.  The 58 cases was the least seen on campus since school started Sept. 2."
Campus Connection: UW-Madison earns ‘B' on green report card
""Surprising the skeptics, most schools we surveyed did not let financial reversals undermine their green commitments," Mark Orlowski, executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, said in a press release. "New financial realities encouraged saving money by adopting environmentally friendly innovations.""
Africa bishops speak of Obama in religious terms - Associated Press
"He acknowledged that Obama has earned the wrath of many conservative American bishops because of his support for abortion rights... "We are definitely aware of it," Palmer-Buckle said. "But we feel it our duty to meet him and find out what are the things that unite us more than divide us."
Join today’s National Call-in Day for Health Care Reform. - AFT-CIO
"Tell your senators the bill must control costs, include a strong public option, not tax benefits, make employers pay their fair share and hold insurance companies accountable. Don’t wait. Call now. Click here."
Fox News's Shep Smith: 'Every Vote Against The Public Option Is A Vote For The Insurance Companies' - TPM
"The likelihood of a bill without a strong public option "has been an enormous win for the insurance industry," Smith said. "But I wonder what happens to the American people when we come out with legislation which requires everyone to have insurance ... but does not give a public option. Therefore, millions more people will have to buy insurance from the very corporations that are overcharging us. ... It seems like we, the people, are the ones getting the shaft here.""

06 Oct

Hurley turns back Ashland
"The Hurley Midgettes defeated Ashland Monday night in JV volleyball action.  Hurley topped the Oredockers 25-23, 25-17, 18-25."
Hiller out as Mercer school board member
"Controversy has surrounded both Hiller, who has served on the board for more than five years, and Schoeneman, since they chaperoned the trip. In June, the board and Schoeneman reached an agreement on "non-negotiable disciplinary actions" which allowed her to keep her teaching position with the district.  After that, district residents raised questions about Hiller's alleged role in the matter. They were so concerned that they created the petition, gathered enough signatures and forced the ordering of the recall vote"
Doyle Headed to Jobs and Energy Forum
"Governor Jim Doyle will join governors from across the Midwest for a Jobs and Energy Forum in Detroit this week... The Midwest Governors Association released on Wednesday details of agreements designed to help attract investment in clean energy and train workers."
BadgerCare Plus Core policy to stop taking applications
"The program, with money budgeted for about 54,000 participants, has received 60,000 applications since it began on July 15. Gov. Jim Doyle announced Monday that the state will form a waiting list for additional applicants."
Liquor tax hike would pay for drunken driving bill
"A bill the Assembly unanimously passed last month to crack down on drunken driving would cost as much as $70.9 million a year - more than five times what the lead sponsor of the measure had estimated.  Senators who are now considering the bill plan to help pay for the measure with a 50-cents-per-liter increase in the tax on hard liquor, according to the office of Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Weston)."
State reports first fall swine flu death
"Wisconsin Department of Health Services spokesman Seth Boffeli said eight others have died in the state from the swine flu, but those were in the spring or summer.  Boffeli said he expects the vaccines, in nasal mist form, will get to hospitals and clinics Tuesday or Wednesday."
Opponents target Walker's Twitter account, campaign says
"Something or someone seems to be attacking the Twitter accounts of Republicans.  On Monday, news spread that the Twitter account of former President George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove's Twitter account got suspended and later restored."
Conservapedia Launches Effort to Translate the Bible Into Conservativespeak - U.S. News & World Report
"There's a verse in the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus enters a synagogue on the Sabbath and finds a man with a withered hand. "And they watched him," according to the King James version of the Bible, referring to those in the temple, "whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him."  But a new—and still evolving—conservative translation of the Bible prefers a more populist, Glenn Beckish take: "The intellectuals watched Jesus to see if he might catch and accuse him of healing on the Sabbath."
Union-Busting Hotel Ordered to Rehire Fired Workers, Return to Bargaining
"Last week in Hawaii, a federal judge ordered the Pacific Beach Hotel to rehire at least seven workers fired during contract negotiations. The illegal firings were part of 15 findings of unfair labor practices by the hotel. Hotel management’s behavior here is another sign that we need to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, to restore the freedom to bargain to all workers."
Apple Leaves U.S. Chamber Over Its Climate Position - Washington Post
"In a letter to the Chamber's president, Apple Vice President Catherine Novelli wrote, "Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the Chamber at odds with us in this effort." As a result, Novelli said, "we have decided to resign our membership effective immediately."  The Chamber of Commerce, which says it represents more than 3 million businesses, has been one of the strongest critics of legislation aimed at reducing U.S. emissions."
National Lawyers Guild and Other Human Rights Groups Issue Open Letter to Eric Holder - Buzz Flash
"Seventeen human rights and civil rights organizations and 45 prominent lawyers and civic leaders have sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder last week urging him to appoint a special independent prosecutor to investigate and prosecute Bush officials and lawyers involved in setting illegal interrogation policies.  Holder had expanded the mandate of Justice Department lawyer John Durham to include a preliminary investigation but limited Durham's focus to a handful of interrogators who exceeded the limits set by the "torture memos.""
Canada ranks fourth in quality of life  - The Globe and Mail
"Norway was followed by Australia and Iceland on the overall list, which drew on statistics dating from 2007, before Iceland was hit hard by the global economic crisis. Afghanistan and Sierra Leone rounded out the bottom of the ranking. The United States was in 13th place."
[Will the far right Republican partisans applaud this like they did the failed American Olympic bid? - Bob]

05 Oct

"The Ironwood Community Based Outpatient Clinic is providing flu shots on Thursday, October 29, 2009 from 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and on Friday, October 30, 2009 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. All enrolled veterans are encouraged to come and receive their flu shot; no appointment is necessary. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness which can cause mild to severe illness. The best way to prevent the flu is to receive a flu vaccination every year. Flu shots are not just for people with chronic medical conditions but are recommended for everyone."
Another day off is within reach! - Phil Corriveau, WPR Director
"More programming and less on-air fundraising is a good thing. Pledge now and let's take another day off!   Wow. Seven hundred listeners pledged early and we are now taking one day off the fall pledge drive, which was originally scheduled for 12 days. That’s amazing … and let’s not stop there! Another day off is within reach so pledge now. At this writing, we are just 286 pledges away from taking off one more day.  It’s your turn. Give right now and together we’ll shorten the fall pledge drive."
School funding flexibility measure proposed
"State Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, is co-authoring a bill to provide greater flexibility to school boards to make budget cuts without jeopardizing longer term funding options.  An effort to maximize the funding tools available to school districts facing difficult funding decisions, the bill is expected to receive a committee hearing in both the Senate and Assembly next week."
Jobless rates improve across north
"The 8.2 percent unemployment rate for July increased to 8.3 percent in August, according to the latest figures supplied by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development."
  • Story Time
    "Hurley varsity football player Taylor Koski reads to Jacob Yurchak Thursday, Sept. 24 at the Hurley School. Hurley varsity football players team up with Lindsay Stafford’s pre-kindergarten students for a special reading time as a service learning project. "
  • Midgets sink Vikings
    "Hurley won a wet, wild Great Western Conference game 40-22 over Baraga on Friday night."
Wolf Awareness Week set
"The Discovery Center in Manitowish Waters has planned educational activities for Oct. 11-17 to celebrate Wolf Awareness Week with Timber Wolf Alliance.  Join a wolf howling excursion on Monday from 7-10 p.m."
Rains wash out Red Clay Classic's first day of racing
"The campgrounds at the ABC Raceway were awash after a night and morning of steady rainfall, which was, ironically enough, falling after a prolonged drought that had lasted much of the late summer and early fall in the bay area."
Neumann's To Be Sentenced Tuesday
"Central Wisconsin parents convicted of reckless homicide for praying for their dying daughter to heal instead of rushing her to a doctor return to court Tuesday for sentencing.  Dale and Leilani Neumann were convicted of second-degree reckless homicide in the Easter 2008 death of their 11-year-old daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes."
Experts: China key to Wisconsin exports market
""It's an important and emerging economic superpower," said Randy Cray, director of the Central Wisconsin Economic Research Bureau at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. "This is one of the reasons why I think we need to increase our exports to the rest of the world.  "Exports have been improving -- becoming less negative. Our imports are falling a lot faster than our exports are falling, therefore the gap is closing.""
BadgerCare Plus to suspend some enrollments
"People who apply after noon Friday will be put on a waiting list that could quickly rise to 20,000 people, Doyle said at St. Mary's Hospital.  Doyle is asking his aides to develop within 45 days a bare-bones insurance plan for people on the waiting list."
Wisconsin doesn't understand health care plan
"In addition to these findings, 98 percent of respondents cited problems with the current health care system. Nearly half said reducing costs is the single biggest problem to be solved by health care reform, while 26 percent said covering all Americans and 16 percent said increasing quality are the greatest concerns."
Sen. Pat Kreitlow: Wisconsin leading the way on biofuels
"Energy policy was a hot topic when gas prices went north of $4 a gallon, but relatively lower prices today should not make us lose focus on how to prevent the energy crises of tomorrow. We are still shipping an obscene amount of our money to countries that don't like us very much and have the power to deal our economy another serious blow."
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 02 Oct 09
Court refuses to get involved in church dispute - Associated Press
"California courts have ruled that, while St. James had the right to split off from the larger church, the congregation could not take parish property with it, even though the parish has held the deed to the church for decades.  The Episcopal Church has argued that its rules bar anyone from walking away with denomination property, which often includes large endowments and land worth millions of dollars."
Red Cross Workers Fight for Safe Blood, Fair Contract
"Around the country, several bargaining units are in the same situation. They say the Red Cross is seeking to replace nurses with unlicensed supervisors, force employees to work unrealistic schedules, make workers bear the increased costs of an inferior health care plan and turn blood collection into an assembly line process."

Congressman Alan Grayson Says Don't Get Sick - Brave New Films
"Show Alan Grayson that we've got his back! "

Domestic violence as pre-existing condition? 8 states still allow it - McClatchy
"Eight states and the District of Columbia don't have laws that specifically bar insurance companies from using domestic violence as a pre-existing condition to deny health coverage, according to a study from the National Women's Law Center."


02 Oct

Stimulus funds aiding airport terminal effort
"The Gogebic-Iron County Airport received $200,000 in federal stimulus funds (no local or state match required) for its ongoing $1.3 million terminal project, according to airport manager Duane DuRay.  "The stimulus money for the airport is a new avenue of funding for our long-needed terminal building," DuRay said."
  • Midgettes take IC cross country meet
    "The Hurley girls won the second Indianhead Conference cross country meet of the year on Thursday. The Midgettes are two-for-two in Indianhead races.
  • Hurley sweeps Bayfield
    "Hurley quickly dispatched Bayfield 25-20, 25-20, 25-14 Thursday night. The Midgettes improved to 6-8 overall and 4-0 in the Indianhead Conference."
Wisconsin Solar Tour Preview
"This weekend you can check out some homes and businesses that are using this type of technology.  The Wisconsin Solar Tour goal is to show new people how beneficial going "green" can be for your home or business."
New Health Center
"A new multi-million dollar health center makes its debut in one Northwoods community.  About 100 people came to the Grand Opening of the New Peter Christensen Health Center in Lac du Flambeau Thursday."
More households qualify for energy aid this winter
"The state anticipates nearly 256,000 families will be eligible this winter because of the changes. Specifically, income requirements for the program are different this year – and will be capped at 60% of the state’s median income rather than 150% of the federal poverty level.  For a single person, that means anyone earning up to $23,435 a year is eligible this winter, compared with $15,600 last winter."
1,200 invasive crayfish captured in Germantown pond
"The feisty crustaceans reproduce up to four times a year, which might explain why so many of the Louisiana red swamp crayfish have been caught in a single body of water, according to Heidi Bunk, a biologist for the DNR.  But Bunk also said the few dozen traps set in other ponds in the area and in the Menominee River have not detected any more of the crayfish."
Camping a popular recession vacation
"When the economy gets tough, vacationing Americans apparently tighten the belts and head for the great outdoors.  That's one take on new figures showing that campgrounds and RV park revenues this year largely kept pace with 2008.  The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds is reporting that many of the largest campgrounds had increased visitors."
Kohl, Obey come to aid of dairy farmers
"Kohl, the Milwaukee Democrat who chairs the Senate's Agriculture Appropriations Panel, and Obey, the Wausau Democrat who chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee, were the key players in an intense struggle to assure that the measure would include $60 million for cheese and dairy product purchases for food banks and other nutrition programs, and $290 million for direct support to dairy farmers."
UW sees drop in crime on campus
"According to the report, robberies on campus in 2008 fell 80 percent from the previous year, from five to one reported case; burglaries fell 66 percent, from 167 to 56; assaults fell 56 percent, from nine to four; and total reported sex offenses fell 19 percent, from 16 to 13 incidents.  Kari Sasso, a lieutenant with the UW Police Department, said 2008 rep-resented an “all-time low” for crime on campus."
NiiJii - allowing Native communities to stay strong through art
"Several successful programs in Lac du Flambeau were created with seed money from NiiJii, including the Intercultural Leadership Initiative which brings together students from Lac du Flambeau and surrounding area schools.  Other accomplishments include helping establish the Minobimaadiziwin Wellness Center in Lac du Flambeau, funding improvements on 46 miles of road, and creating or retaining 2,388 jobs in the three communities they serve."
State GOP lawmakers want nuclear ban repealed
"As the state Legislature gets set this fall to debate the recommendations of Gov. Jim Doyle's Global Climate Change Task Force, three lawmakers this week called the group's work incomplete and urged a repeal of the state's moratorium on nuclear power plants.  The governor's task force, co-chaired by Tia Nelson, the daughter of Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, finalized its recommendations last year. The group called for amending but not repealing the statutory nuclear moratorium, as well as for requiring utilities to produce 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2013 and 25 percent by 2025."
[You can't imagine how happy I was to find this was not a proposal for SW Wisconsin to develop its own weapons to be aimed at Iraq... or Madison. - Bob]
Fossils Shed New Light on Human Past - Wall Street Journal
"The creatures were still evolving the ability to walk upright, with a big toe better suited for grasping branches than stepping smartly along, an analysis of their anatomy shows. They made their home in the woods, not on the open savannah grasslands long considered the main arena of human development. Yet their upright posture, distinctive pelvis and other toes suggest they walked easily enough. Most important, they showed no sign they walked on their knuckles, as contemporary chimps and apes do."
  • Few Jobs for Young Workers Part of a Long-Term Trend
    "If you’re under age 25 and looking for a job, you’re going to have a much tougher time than your older brother or sister did in 1999. Then, 60 percent of 16-24-year-olds had a job. Today, just 48 percent do, the lowest rate of young worker employment since World War II."
  • Bad Climate Change Bill Could Cost 4 Million U.S. Jobs
    "A new report says the legislation should include a system of rebates and allowances to help U.S. companies make the transition to lower carbon emissions and a tariff system, or border adjustments, to penalize countries that fail to regulate greenhouse gases in the production of goods."
Detroit: Too broke to bury their dead - CNN Money.com
"Inside the Wayne County morgue in midtown Detroit, 67 bodies are piled up, unclaimed, in the freezing temperatures. Neither the families nor the county can afford to bury the corpses. So they stack up inside the freezer."

01 Oct


Wish Sharon a Happy Birthday.  She is 39 again.

Online Emergency Help for Student Veterans
"“Many veterans have had to wait for educational benefits and that’s not right,” said Obey. “Veterans should not be asked to sacrifice just to get through the VA bureaucracy.” Starting tomorrow, Friday, October 2, 2009 emergency aid will be available online."
  Northern Lawmakers Propose School Board Funding Flexibility Measure
"Northern Wisconsin Legislators Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) and Representative Gary Sherman (D-Port Wing) are authoring a bill to provide greater flexibility to school boards to make difficult budgetary cuts without threatening longer term funding options. The bill is an effort to maximize the funding tools available to school districts facing difficult funding decisions."
pledge now - Phil Corriveau
"Wow. Seven hundred listeners pledged early and we are now taking one day off the fall pledge drive, which was originally scheduled for 12 days. That’s amazing … and let’s not stop there! Another day off is within reach so pledge now. At this writing, we are just 286 pledges away from taking off one more day.  It’s your turn. Give right now and together we’ll shorten the fall pledge drive. 
Staffing cuts possible at Iron County departments
"There'll be a reduction in the workforce in both the Iron County Sheriff's Department and the highway and forestry departments if their bargaining units do not agree to forego a 50-cent-per-hour raise scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1."
Patritto takes Hurley levy discussion to county board
"Preliminary figures show that based on state-imposed limits the amount the Hurley District is allowed to receive in state aid and local property taxes totals $6,626,370.  Of that amount, state aid is projected at $3,130,255, Patritto said. The remainder, $3,981,115, will have to be raised through local property taxes (the district tax levy). That results in property owners being assessed $9.93 per $1,000 valuation, Patritto said."
Mercer firefighters hold second golf event
"Seventeen teams enjoyed the balmy fall weather for the Mercer Fire Department's second annual golf scramble at Tahoe Lynx Golf Course. Three teams scored top honors."
Microsoft settlement brings technology windfall to area schools
"A number of school districts in the Cooperative Education Service Agency #12 (CESA-12) area are the beneficiaries of part of an estimated $75 million dollar settlement between the State of Wisconsin and software giant Microsoft.  The two parties reached the court-approved settlement ending a class action lawsuit involving consumers, businesses and governments."
WI Governor's Visit
"Governor Doyle spoke with faculty and staff at Nicolet college in Rhinelander about a new educational intiative set forth by President Obama.  The goal of this initiative is to make sure five million additional community college students graduate by the year 2020."
State slogan, 'Live like you mean it,' under review
"The Department of Tourism has temporarily sidelined the new state slogan, "Live like you mean it," as officials review whether to continue its use.  The phrase and accompanying logo showing a silhouetted figure doing a cartwheel across letters spelling out Wisconsin are missing from the department's fall ad campaign and its main Web site, travelwisconsin.com... The department spent $57,000 developing the logo and slogan, which were unveiled in March."
Free ride program for tavern patrons sees increase in ridership
""The SafeRide program saw the jump in riders go from 45,562 in 2007-2008 to 53,859 in 2008-2009, an increase of 8,297, according to a news release from the Tavern League of Wisconsin, which works with the state Department of Transportation to administer the program.  According to the release, more than 1,600 taverns participated in the program during that time, providing rides that cost $454,447 at an average of $8.44 per ride."
Lawmakers outraged by state contracting costs
"Lawmakers expressed outrage Wednesday that the state Department of Transportation wouldn't explain why it relies heavily on costly engineering consultants, with one leader accusing Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi of dodging legislators.  The Legislature's Joint Audit Committee held a hearing Wednesday on a May report that found the department outsourced 125 construction engineering projects over 16 months even though it found it would be cheaper to use state workers."
State’s car dealers get $70 million in Clunkers cash
"More than 15,000 new cars rolled off their lots through the federal subsidy program.  The Car Allowance Rebate System -- unofficially, Cash for Clunkers -- has parked nearly $70 million in payouts and more than 15,000 jalopies in Wisconsin, though regulatory entities will continue monitoring their final journey to the state's 257 authorized salvage yards."
Appleton Post Crescent Otto, Helen J.
"Helen J. Otto, age 89, Neenah, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, September 26, 2009, at her home. She was born on May 12, 1920, and raised near Hurley, Wisconsin; daughter of the late William Jack and Jane Helen (Williams) Truan."
Ky. church ordains sex offender as minister- Associated Press
"A tiny Louisville church's newest minister is a gifted music leader and popular among its three dozen members.  Mark Hourigan is also a sex offender. Almost a decade ago, long before he joined the flock at the City of Refuge Worship Center, he was convicted of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in central Kentucky. Hourigan served a five-year sentence and the 41-year-old was placed on Kentucky's sex offender registry for the rest of his life."
A Senate vote on health care reform may come in as little as two weeks and union members across the country are joining a new letter and phone blitz
"It’s critical working families speak up and provide a loud counter voice to the health insurance industry’s money and influence. Congress needs to hear from people who can tell their lawmakers about their personal struggles with a broken health care system and why we need real health care reform."
Fossil fuel subsidies and climate change - PRI
""On an annual basis, globally, there are at least $250 billion dollars in global fossil fuel subsides, and some people will think that number is closer to $400 billion."  Kretzman says most of the subsidies go into keeping the prices low for consumers, especially for those in developing nations. However, there are also subsidies for the production side. He says a recent study shows $70 billion dollars going to the fossil fuel industry on an annual basis -- much higher than the amount of subsidies for renewables:"