Sunday Morning Wisconsin News Headlines

Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 -- 7:52 a.m.


Report: Wausau jail dangerously understaffed

(Information in the following story is from: Wausau Daily Herald,

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- Six years ago a consultants' report concluded that the Marathon County Jail was so understaffed that employees could be in danger. This week, staffing was even lower at the time an inmate attacked and critically injured a corrections officer.

Marathon County Administrator Brad Karger as saying he doesn't think staffing levels contributed to Wednesday's attack.

But 27-year-old Melissa J. Johnson of Amherst disagrees. She says her mother is a corrections officer at the jail, and Johnson fears for her mother's life every time she goes to work because of understaffing.

The 2007 report says Marathon County's staff-to-inmate ratio was too low to appropriately manage inmates.

The inmate attack Wednesday left a 36-year-old female guard hospitalized in critical condition.


Landslide in La Crosse blocks 2 highway lanes

(Information in the following story is from: La Crosse Tribune,

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- La Crosse authorities say a landslide has blocked both westbound lanes of Highway 14/61 near the Highway 35 split at the south end of La Crosse.

The slide happened Saturday about 5:30 p.m. Traffic is being rerouted into the eastbound lanes, and drivers should expect significant delays in the area.

The county highway department has been called in to help clean up. No estimate has been provided for how long that might take.


Proposed Wis. mine still years from opening

(Information in the following story is from: The Post-Crescent,

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -- Construction of a controversial mine in northern Wisconsin probably won't start for several years.

First the mining company would have to file for a mining permit, a request that would trigger a review by state and federal agencies lasting about two years. Other infrastructure would also need to be built to provide large-scale electrical power and transportation by rail or road.

That means the iron mine, which also faces a near-certain legal fight, could be years away from materializing.

Gogebic (goh-GEE'-bik) Taconite is the mining firm that expressed interest in a mine in northern Iron and Ashland counties. A Post-Crescent of Appleton report ( ) says the company will likely begin exploratory drilling when the weather warms up.

Other exploratory and regulatory steps will also slow down the process.


Plan to give out tickets at Wis. polling place OK

(Information in the following story is from: The Journal Times,

RACINE, Wis. (AP) -- State elections officials say a plan to give away free baseball tickets at a Racine polling place is probably legal.

The city's parks and recreation department plans to give out free Milwaukee Brewers tickets Tuesday as part of a recurring promotion. The location is the Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Community Center, which will also be a polling location that day.

A Journal Times of Racine report says the plan has sparked some concerns within the community. But a spokesman for the state elections board says there doesn't appear to be a conflict.

Reid Magney of the state Government Accountability Board says there'd be an issue if the organizers were only giving out tickets to people who voted. But he says that doesn't seem to be the case.


Victim of small-plane crash was Duluth, Minn. man

(Information in the following story is from: The Forum,

HAWLEY, Minn. (AP) -- Clay County authorities have identified the victim of a fatal small-plane crash as Kevin Ferris of Duluth, Minnesota.

The 48-year-old was traveling from Superior, Wisconsin to Moorhead, Minnesota on Friday morning to visit his parents for Easter weekend. He was found dead after his plane crashed about four miles south of Hawley, Minnesota.

Sheriff Bill Bergquist says a search plane spotted the wreckage Friday afternoon.

Bergquist says Ferris may have tried to land the single-engine, two-seat Cessna plane because of fog.

The victim's girlfriend, Roz Randorf, says Ferris always wanted to be a pilot. She says he began flying two years ago.

She says he was a conscientious pilot who always took flying seriously. She says he'll be remembered for his kindness and gentle touch.


Scam targeted at babysitters

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin consumer protection specialists are warning about a scam targeted at nannies or babysitters.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says one person applying for a babysitting job recently recognized her potential employer as a scammer. The scheme works like this.

The client posts an ad online for a babysitter or nanny. The pay is $400 a week. When you respond, the potential employer makes arrangements and sends you an initial check for $1,800 and asks you to cash it and wire back the remaining money.

But, the check isn't good and once your bank figures that out, you'll be on the hook for the total amount -- even the cash you wired the scammer. Consumer protection specialists say once the money has been wired, it's gone for good.


Wis. firefighters revive puppy, now at Minn clinic

(Information in the following story is from: Duluth News Tribune,

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- A 4-month-old puppy that was found unconscious in a burning Wisconsin building is being treated at a Minnesota veterinary clinic after firefighters were able to revive it.

The dog is named Rush and appears to be a beagle. It was found unconscious by firefighters who responded to a report of a fire in a Superior building Friday evening.

Firefighters brought Rush outside and administered oxygen. The puppy regained consciousness and was taken to a Duluth, Minnesota clinic.

Battalion Chief Vern Johnson says Rush was doing well Saturday afternoon. But he says the puppy is still being watched because effects of smoke inhalation can take 36 hours to develop.

The building residents weren't home at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported.


1st eagle's nest seen in Racine County since 1800s

(Information in the following story is from: Kenosha News,

BURLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- State wildlife officials say an eagle's nest near the Fox River around Burlington is the first confirmed in the area in over a century.

Ron Eckstein is retired from the state Department of Natural Resources. The former wildlife biologist tells the Kenosha News the DNR hadn't been aware of any eagle nest in Kenosha or Racine counties since at least the 19th century.

He says eagle nesting grounds are more common in northern Wisconsin.

The nest is on private property in southwest Racine County. DNR wildlife technician Seth Fisher flew over the nest this week. He didn't see eggs but saw an eagle hunkering down in a way that suggested it was incubating an egg.

Eagles are considered a species of "special concern," which means the DNR monitors their status.

Copyright Associated Press 2013

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