Posted: Sunday, April 21, 2013 -- 5:02 a.m.
WISCONSIN FLOODING-ROCK COUNTY
Water levels on Rock River slowly decreasing
JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- Rock County officials say the area remains under a flood warning, but water levels on the Rock River are slowly decreasing.
The Rock River is at major flood stage in the Lake Koshkonong and Newville areas, and at moderate flood stage in the Afton area.
Local forecasts are calling for precipitation through next week -- and the water is forecast to rise again -- but the levels are slowly decreasing right now.
Residents who need sandbags are encouraged to contact local officials.
High school students, fire departments, inmate crews and other volunteers have been filling thousands of sandbags and leaving them throughout the county so residents can easily access them.
OSHKOSH HALF MARATHON-CEREMONY
Runners pause to honor Boston Marathon victims
(Information in the following story is from: Oshkosh Northwestern, http://www.thenorthwestern.com)
OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) -- Runners participating in the Oshkosh Half Marathon this weekend will pause to honor those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.
Organizers say a brief ceremony will be held prior to the race in Oshkosh this morning. Several Wisconsin runners who ran the Boston Marathon earlier this week will talk about their experiences at the world's oldest marathon, where two bombs exploded Monday, killing three people and injuring more than 170 others.
Midwest Sports Events is organizing the Oshkosh Half Marathon and 5K. Executive director Gloria West says they reached out to all Wisconsin runners who were at the Boston Marathon and invited them to Sunday's event. The Oshkosh Northwestern says between 20 and 30 runners who were in Boston are expected to join about 2,700 runners signed up for the event.
KEWAUNEE PLANT CLOSURE
Kewaunee plant closure could cost nearly $1B
(Information in the following story is from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com)
KEWAUNEE, Wis. (AP) -- The Kewaunee Power Station is scheduled to stop generating electricity next month -- a move that's expected to result in the loss of hundreds of jobs, and could cost nearly $1 billion.
Dominion Resources spokesman Mark Kanz tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the company is going to start decommissioning the nuclear reactor, and has 60 years to clean up the site and turn it into a "greenfield site."
As part of the decommissioning, all buildings on the 900-acre site east of Green Bay will be torn down and low-level radioactive waste will be shipped out of state. Concrete casks that hold high-level radioactive waste will stay on the site for years.
Dominion plans to start shipping those casks from the site in 2021.
GRAIN BIN FATAL
Janesville man dies after being trapped in silo
MILTON, Wis. (AP) -- A Janesville man has died after he became trapped in a grain silo at the United Ethanol plant in Milton.
The Milton Police Department says the body of 27-year-old Jerad Guell was discovered Friday night after authorities spent roughly 12 hours trying to rescue him.
Guell went missing Friday morning and authorities feared he had become trapped in the grain silo. The Janesville Gazette reports United Ethanol processes corn into ethanol for fuel mixing.
Guell had worked at United for seven years. Police say he is survived by a wife and young son.
The Milton Police Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating.
Baldwin features at Dems' Humphrey-Mondale dinner
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Wisconsin U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is the featured attraction as Minnesota Democrats gather for their top fundraising event of the year.
The annual Humphrey-Mondale dinner on Saturday was expected to bring the party a half-million dollars. It began at 5:30 p.m. inside the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Baldwin is the first openly gay U.S. senator.
Another Wisconsin senator, Ron Johnson, headlined Minnesota Republicans' big fundraiser earlier this spring.
FISHING OPENER-ICE WOES
Fishing opener around bend, with ice-locked lakes
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota's walleye, pike and lake trout opener is just around the corner, causing worry for fishing guides and others faced with ice-locked lakes.
This year's opener is May 11th. And in Wisconsin, the fishing opener is a week earlier.
Weather and lake observers say there's still time, but it's cutting it close.
Northern Minnesota guide Tom Neustrom tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press he's worried because anglers can't rebook their trips in the near future -- the rest of May and early summer months are booked solid for him.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist Scott Toshner says it might be too late for northern Wisconsin.
Governor Scott Walker's fishing opener is in northwestern Wisconsin. Organizers haven't made other plans yet, but are preparing to, just in case.
FOOD AND FARM-GARDEN PLANNING
Gardeners make plans with no certainty in forecast
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- April is a planning month for gardeners throughout the middle of the country, and many are trying to decide what to do amid rapidly shifting weather conditions.
Recent rains have broken some of the drought that gripped two-thirds of the nation last year, but parts of Wisconsin and states west remain dry.
Climatologist Brian Fuchs of the National Drought Mitigation Center says the forecast is for more rain than usual through early June. But he notes that the drought came on quickly last June, emerging over a couple of weeks.
Chicago Botanic Garden horticulture director Tim Johnson says one way gardeners can increase their chances for success is by using mulch. He says it helps retain moisture, and it adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down.
REGIONAL DICTIONARY-FUNDING WOES
Regional English dictionary in funding trouble
(Information in the following story is from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj)
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The well-respected Dictionary of American Regional English is facing funding problems -- just as it is about to go digital.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports that editor Joan Houston Hall estimates it will take $250,000 to keep her staff throughout the year. She has issued layoff notices, effective July 1st.
The dictionary features more than 60,000 regional words compiled by University of Wisconsin, Madison researchers over 48 years.
It will go online later this year. Hall says royalties from that venture would help close the funding gap, but that money won't come in until at least next year.
Hall is busy seeking new grant money from a variety of sources.
Copyright Associated Press 2013