Posted Sunday, November 3, 2013 --- 4:27 a.m.
Food-stamp cuts to affect 900,000 Wis. residents
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Nearly 900,000 Wisconsin residents are seeing cuts to their food-stamp benefits, now that a temporary boost that was part of the 2009 federal stimulus law has expired.
A Wisconsin State Journal report says the cuts to FoodShare will total $89 million in Wisconsin between last Friday and September 30th. The left-leaning think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says an average household of four will see a $36 cut per month, from $668 to $632.
A report from the Wisconsin Budget Project says most of the people affected will be young people, including about 452,000 children -- about one in three Wisconsin children. The report says the hardest-hit areas will be Milwaukee County and several rural northern counties where a majority of kids received food stamps last year.
SKYDIVING PLANES COLLIDE
2 planes with skydivers collide, no major injuries
SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) -- Two planes carrying skydivers collided in midair Saturday evening in far northwest Wisconsin, but no major injuries have been reported.
Mike Robinson, an instructor and safety adviser for Skydive Superior, says he and 10 others escaped relatively unharmed after one plane crashed into the other during what he said was a common tandem formation.
Robinson says he was on the lead plane preparing to jump when planes collided.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig says the collision occurred about 6 p.m. at about 12,000 feet.
The pilot of the lead plane managed to escape as it broke apart, while the other pilot was able to land the damaged second plane.
Herwig says the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified.
Final tally: Wis. redistricting battle cost $2.1M
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Newly released bills show that Wisconsin's legal battle over redrawing voting boundaries to favor Republicans has cost taxpayers $2.1 million. That's $200,000 more than previously reported.
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report says the state paid a legal firm $1 million to help defend the maps in court. Other expenses included $443,000 to plaintiffs who successfully challenged changes to a Milwaukee Latino district, and $431,000 to a different law firm for its work drawing the maps.
Peter Earle is one of the attorneys who sued the state over the maps. He says the $2.1 million figure is "absolutely ridiculous."
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos blames the cost on the groups who sued over the maps. He also says every round of redistricting brings sizable costs.
Bill legalizing rubber duck races up for hearing
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A bill legalizing rubber duck races in Wisconsin has been scheduled for a public hearing.
The measure is up for a hearing Thursday before the state Senate's Workforce Development Committee.
Non-profit organizations commonly race the little plastic ducks, with numbers on the bottom, as fundraisers. Participants usually buy a raffle ticket corresponding with a duck's number.
The first to float across the finish line wins.
The bill comes after the village of Mishicot was warned by the Wisconsin Department of Justice that its annual rubber duck race amounts to illegal gambling.
The bill creates an exemption for duck races, similar to laws in Minnesota and Michigan.
Rubber duck races in Wisconsin include the "Ducktona 500" in Sheboygan Falls and the "Lucky Ducky Derby" in Menomonee Falls.
MADISON MATTERS-DEER HUNT RIFLES
Wis. hunters face patchwork of weapon regulations
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin deer hunters could face a hodgepodge of new gun regulations this fall as local governments react to the state lifting its rifle ban by passing their own rules.
The state has gradually been reducing the number of counties where hunters couldn't use rifles. The Department of Natural Resources lifted the ban in the final 19 shotgun-only counties this year.
But local governments can still enact their own rifle restrictions to protect public safety, and some have been working to do so before hunters take to the woods for the nine-day gun hunt later this month.
The village of Germantown voted last month to ban rifles, and the town of Washington on Washington Island is among those with new rules in the works.
2 separate Wis. drivers arrested for 6th OWIs
TOWN OF WINDSOR, Wis. (AP) -- Two drivers in separate incidents have each been arrested on tentative charges of sixth-offense drunken driving.
A Wisconsin State Journal report says the first arrest happened Friday about 4:45 p.m. Police say a 60-year-old New Glarus man tried to turn into a driveway and drove into the path of another vehicle.
The New Glarus man was injured, and three people in the other vehicle, including a 1-year-old boy were apparently OK.
The man was arrested on tentative charges including sixth-offense drunken driving.
About five hours later, a 31-year-old Dane County woman was arrested after striking a parked vehicle. The DeForest woman was also tentatively charged with a sixth drunken-driving offense as well as suspicion of inattentive driving.
Man convicted of stabbing Wis. student gets 9 yrs
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- A man convicted of stabbing a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student after trying to steal his pizza has been sentenced to nine years in prison.
A La Crosse Tribune report says a jury convicted 24-year-old Anthony Lee of five charges, including burglary and second-degree reckless endangerment. He was sentenced Friday.
Prosecutors say Bradley Scholl was eating pizza with his roommate last year when Lee and another man broke into their apartment and demanded the pizza. One of the men stabbed Scholl in the face, and the 22-year-old says the blade was inches from vital arteries in his neck and brain.
Lee's family and lawyer asked the judge to give Lee mental-health treatment.
Lee apologized to Scholl "even though I had nothing to do with" the stabbing.
LACTOSE-FREE ICE CREAM
UW-Madison offers first lactose-free ice creams
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The dairy program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has unveiled its first two lactose-free ice cream flavors, catering to customers who may have a hard time digesting the milk sugar.
A Wisconsin State Journal report says the flavors are vanilla and Hazelnut Cafe.
Health officials estimate that as many as 80 percent of Asians and Native Americans are lactose-intolerant. That means their body lacks the enzyme that breaks down lactose.
People who have sampled the new ice cream say it's a little grainer than regular ice cream and not quite as creamy, but still a viable substitute.
Bill Klein manages the school's dairy plant. He says he's not sure there's much demand for lactose-free ice cream, but officials will wait and see how customers respond.
UPSIDE DOWN FLAG
Lawsuit over upside down flag settled
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The man who sued local government officials when authorities confiscated his upside down flag in Marinette County has settled his lawsuit.
The case dates back to 2009 when Vito Congine flew his U.S. flag upside down in Crivitz as a protest against the village board's decision not to grant a liquor license for a building he had purchased. Police say they received complaints about the flag and decide to confiscate it. The flag was returned to Congine the following day.
Congine sued, claiming his constitutional rights were violated. Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled in favor of Congine. Since then, attorneys have been working on a settlement for damages and lawyer fees. Congine's attorney, Chris Meuler, tells WLUK-TV Congine is pleased the matter has been resolved. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Packers WR Jones questionable for Monday night
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Veteran wide receiver James Jones practiced again Saturday and has been listed by the team as questionable for Monday night's game against NFC North rival Chicago.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy says it's up in the air on whether Jones will play after he missed the last two games with a knee injury.
Jones spoke to reporters after practice Saturday and put his chances of playing at 50/50.
NFC North-leading Green Bay (5-2), which has won four straight games, will continue to be without receiver Randall Cobb (leg) and tight end Jermichael Finley for an extended period.
The Packers defense, which will be without outside linebacker Clay Matthews for at least one more game, is expected to have inside linebacker Brad Jones available to play Monday.
Copyright 2013: Associated Press