Saturday morning Wisconsin headlines

Posted Saturday, February 22, 2014 --- 5:11 a.m.

WINTER STORM-WISCONSIN

15 inches of new snow falls in northwest Wis.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- An intense winter storm has moved on after dumping up to a foot and a half of snow in Wisconsin.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Huyck said light snow or flurries continued in parts of northwestern Wisconsin Friday evening.

Ashland reported a gust of 30 miles per hour Friday evening.

Roads in northern and northwestern Wisconsin were still snow-covered as of midafternoon Friday. Crews used a road grader to scrape ice off of westbound Interstate 94 near Eau Claire where semis were having trouble getting up hills.

Temperatures were dropping last night in northwestern Wisconsin. Hayward is expected to bottom out around zero early this morning.

WINTER STORM-POWER OUTAGES

Xcel Energy making progress restoring power

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Xcel Energy crews are making good progress restoring electricity to Minnesota and Wisconsin customers who lost power after a severe winter storm.

As of mid-afternoon Friday, Xcel Energy reports power has been restored to more than 90 percent of customers in Minnesota and Wisconsin who were left without electricity.

About 60,000 Xcel Energy customers have been affected since the storm moved into the Upper Midwest Thursday afternoon.

Crews are working to restore power to an estimated 1,900 customers in Minnesota and 1,700 in Wisconsin.

Some customers may be without power until Saturday morning.

APOSTLE ISLANDS-ICE CAVES

Weather keeps rangers from checking Wis. ice caves

BAYFIELD, Wis. (AP) -- National Park rangers have been unable to check Lake Superior's ice to determine if it's safe for people to hike to the popular ice caves near the Apostle Islands.

According to the National Park Service, rangers were unable to go out Friday because of high winds and white-out conditions. They hope to check early Saturday morning if visibility improves. If the lake ice remains stable, it could reopen by noon Saturday.

Rangers closed the area Thursday night because of a strong winter storm and uncertainty how it would affect ice conditions.

More than 60,000 visited since January 15th, which is more the 1/3 of their average yearly visitation. In fact, they've had to seek help from other parks, the sheriff's office, U.S. Coast Guard and Border Patrol.

WISCONSIN GOVERNOR-INVESTIGATION

Emails pose problem for Wisconsin governor

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker has denied knowing anything about illegal campaign activities in his previous office as Milwaukee County executive.

But about 28,000 pages of staff emails collected during a district attorney's investigation and released this week present a picture of Walker that clashes with the impression of a top official above the daily fray of his office. They appear to show a hands-on manager in close touch with his staff and carefully tending his public image.

The emails could provide ammunition for political opponents challenging Walker's candor as he runs for re-election this year and as he weighs whether to make a presidential bid in 2016.

Walker has not been charged in connection with any of the abuses, which involved employees doing campaign work on county time.

USS DETROIT-UNVEILING

US Navy marks upcoming debut of 6th USS Detroit

DETROIT (AP) -- The U.S. Navy has held a ceremony to mark the upcoming launch of the sixth warship named for the city of Detroit.

The USS Detroit is under construction at the Lockheed Martin Marinette Shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin and will be launched and christened this summer. The Littoral Combat Ship is set to join the fleet in 2016.

Authorities held a ceremony Friday at Port Detroit to unveil the ship's crest. Participants included Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority chief John Jamian, County Executive Robert Ficano, Deputy Mayor Ike McKinnon and Barbara Levin, wife of U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin.

The British built the first USS Detroit at Malden, Canada in 1813. The U.S. Navy captured the 12-gunner in the Battle of Lake Erie that year.

BABY DEATH-MILWAUKEE

Milwaukee police investigating infant girl's death

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee police are investigating the death of a baby girl on the city's north side.

Officers were called to a home just before 2 p.m. Friday. The girl's mother had discovered that the 5-month-old infant was not breathing.

Police are working with the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office to determine what caused the girl's death.

MISSING NEWBORN-WISCONSIN

Accused kidnapper appears in federal court

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew and leaving him outside an Iowa gas station in frigid temperatures has made her first court appearance in Wisconsin.

A federal grand jury indicted 31-year-old Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colorado on a kidnapping charge earlier this week. Smith made her initial appearance in federal court in Madison on Friday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker ordered her detained while her family tries to hire an attorney.

Prosecutors allege Smith took the baby from a Town of Beloit home where her half-sister, who is the child's mother, was staying on February 6th.

Police caught up with Smith in West Branch, Iowa, but she didn't have the baby. Police later discovered the child alive in a crate behind a West Branch gas station.

PURDUE SHOOTING-DEGREE

Purdue awards posthumous degree to slain student

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Purdue University's board of trustees has awarded a posthumous degree to a student who was fatally shot and stabbed last month during a campus attack.

The trustees approved the posthumous degree in electrical engineering for 21-year-old Andrew Boldt of West Bend, Wisconsin on Friday, one month after he was slain.

Officials say Boldt had met most of the degree requirements before he was killed January 21st inside Purdue's Electrical Engineering Building on the West Lafayette campus, allegedly by a fellow student.

Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Spurgeon tells WLFI-TV that "it was just important that he go ahead and receive the degree" because Boldt had spent 3 1/2 years pursuing his Purdue degree.

Twenty-three-year-old Cody Cousins has been charged with murder in Boldt's death.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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