Legislation would put process in nonpartisan hands
When it comes to parking in La Crosse's municipal ramps, what's old is new again. Just months after removing the often malfunctioning and vandalized parking gates in favor of free...
MADISON, Wis. (AP) Scientists say the long winter hasn't been easy on owls in Wisconsin, including three rare species that have migrated from the boreal forest north of the U.S. border.
The state Department of Natural Resources says every few years the small rodent population crashes and the owls move south in search of food. So, Wisconsin has become a temporary home for three species not normally seen here the northern hawk owl, the great gray owl and the boreal owl. The DNR says they've been spotted in Door, Ashland and Douglas counties and as far south as Racine and Kenosha counties.
DNR research scientist Ryan Brady says the long winter and unfamiliar landscape of highways and other risk factors have taken a toll on the rare visitors.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The number of flu-related deaths continues to rise in Minnesota. The state Department of Health says four additional flu deaths were confirmed last week, bringing the number of people who have died after contracting the flu to 184.
Health officials say 18 people were hospitalized with the flu from March 17 to 23.
No nursing homes or schools reported confirmed outbreaks of the flu in the last week. Since the start of the season, 149 outbreaks of influenza in long-term care facilities have been reported and 483 outbreaks in schools.
CASHTON, Wis. (AP) An Illinois man accused of stealing 21 tons of Wisconsin cheese has been arrested in New Jersey. New Jersey authorities say the 34-year-old man from Plainfield, Ill., was arrested Tuesday afternoon.
Police Lt. Stephen Jones said Wednesday the man was driving a refrigerated truck carrying 42,000 pounds of Muenster cheese. Jones says the cheese company, K&K Cheese in Cashton, Wis., valued the cargo at $200,000. New Jersey state patrol Detective Oliver Sissman says the suspect used false paperwork to obtain the cheese.
Company spokesman Kevin Everhart says K&K can't guarantee the cheese hasn't been tampered with so it didn't ask for the product back. Jones says if the cheese passes inspections by health authorities it will be donated to charity. The man was apparently going to sell the cheese on the East Coast black market.
Is Winona jumping the gun on trying to keep the frac sand industry in line?
Just two weeks after a sand mining moratorium expired in Winona, the city planning commission is talking about doing its own monitoring of air quality at mining sites. Assistant city planner Carlos Espinosa says a special study group may have to decide whether monitoring should be done by the state, instead of the city. The Winona City Council may have the final decision on that proposal. Espinosa tells us that Chippewa Falls already has a monitoring system in place, which has shown little air pollution because of sand mining.
Outdoor tennis courts all over the area will be busy soon, and a popular site in Onalaska is due for a fix-up...
Tuesday was the bidding deadline for contractors who want to remodel the Gullikson courts in Rowe Park. Onalaska city parks director Dan Wick says the demand for those courts is high. Part of the proposed makeover would include better spectator seating in the hilly park. The nearly 20-year-old courts are named in honor of Onalaska's famous twin tennis pros, Tim and Tom Gullikson.
Senator Kathleen Vinehout will release a 5-point plan today to improve property owners right to know regarding frac sand mines.
Vinehout's proposals will give adjacent property owners advance notice and the opportunity to be involved in local decisions. Mine owners will protect themselves by having more opportunity to interact with the community and address concerns from neighbors. She says local government will benefit by having a more transparent public process where the interests of all stakeholders are considered.
Vinehout introduces her bills today.