Friday Morning Wisconsin News Headlines

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013 -- 5:13 a.m.

WISCONSIN SNOW

Winter storm dumps snow over southern Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A winter storm moving across southern Wisconsin has dumped up to a half-foot of snow, making roads slippery.

The Kenosha County sheriff's office reports about 30 accidents as of mid-afternoon Thursday.

National Weather Service meteorologist Edward Townsend says 6.8 inches of snow is reported 3 miles southwest of the Kenosha airport. Other snowfall reports include 6 inches in Franksville and 5.5 inches in Racine.

Townsend says Kenosha could see 9 inches of snow by the time the storm moves on early Friday.

The Milwaukee Art Museum closed Thursday in advance of the snow.

WISCONSIN JOBS-MINING

Vos says mining bill should pass by early March

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he thinks a bill overhauling Wisconsin's mining regulations will pass the Legislature by the end of the first week in March.

Vos said Thursday he supports the bill as it passed a committee vote on Wednesday. He says that doesn't mean he wouldn't support other changes, but he doesn't know what those would be.

The bill will first be taken up by the Republican-controlled Senate. Governor Scott Walker and Republicans have been pushing to pass the bill quickly despite objections from Democrats that it will harm the environment and not provide the hundreds of jobs as promised.

Democrats are planning their own public hearing Saturday in northwestern Wisconsin because they say people who live near the mine haven't had a chance to be heard.

PEOPLE-JAMES CROMWELL

Actor Cromwell arrested at Wis. regents meeting

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Actor James Cromwell has been arrested for allegedly disrupting a University of Wisconsin Board of Regents meeting where he was protesting animal testing.

University police Sergeant Brent Gruber says the 73-year-old Cromwell was arrested and ticketed on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Cromwell and an activist from an animal-rights group also arrested were released from jail by Thursday afternoon.

They held two large signs showing a cat with metal implanted in its head at a UW-Madison lab, while shouting about the treatment of cats Thursday morning. The director of the school's Research Animal Resources Center says federal agriculture officials have found their claims to be false.

Cromwell was nominated for an Academy Award for the 1995 film "Babe." Other credits include "L.A. Confidential," `'The Green Mile" and "The Artist."

UW OVERPAYMENTS

UW Regents learn of extra $1.1M lost

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The University of Wisconsin System has lost an additional $1.1 million due to glitches in its new payroll and benefits system.

An accountant and top UW System financial official told the Board of Regents of the extra loss Thursday. System President Kevin Reilly warns that further reviews this year by system staff, an independent analyst and the state auditor are "likely to find more issues."

A recent routine audit by the state found the UW System made $33 million in overpayments for health insurance premiums and pension contributions over the past two years. The UW System has since recovered about $20 million.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports regents criticized UW System officials for the errors.

Regent Gerald Whitburn says the problems are broader than what regents were initially told.

MIDDLE SCHOOL-JESUS PORTRAIT

ACLU seeks removal of Ohio school's Jesus portrait

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A federal lawsuit contends a portrait of Jesus that hangs in an entranceway at a rural Ohio public school is in violation of the U.S. Constitution and should be removed.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation say the large portrait at Jackson Middle School unconstitutionally promotes religion. The two groups seek a court order requiring the school to remove the portrait and prohibiting its re-hanging or any similar display.

The suit follows complaints by both groups to school officials.

School Superintendent Phil Howard said he was surprised the lawsuit was filed before the district completed its investigation. He said previously that the display has "historical significance" and "hasn't hurt anyone." Students donated the portrait, which has been in the school since about 1947.

RAW MILK-MINNESOTA

Judge refuses to dismiss Minn. raw milk charges

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) -- A Stearns County judge says a Freeport, Minnesota farmer must face all the charges against him in a raw milk case.

Organic egg producer Alvin Schlangen had asked the judge to dismiss three of the six charges. Schlangen argued those charges were similar to ones he was acquitted on in Hennepin County.

But Judge Thomas Knapp disagreed. The judge ruled the Stearns County allegations were for actions that happened 10 days after the Hennepin County incident and involved different food items.

In October, a Hennepin County jury found Schlangen not guilty of selling raw milk, operating without a food handler's license and handling adulterated food.

Schlangen faces those three charges in Stearns County as well as three other misdemeanors.

The St. Cloud Times reports no trial date has been set.


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