Sunday morning Wisconsin headlines

Posted Sunday, January 26, 2014 --- 3:44 a.m.

OBAMA VISIT-MILWAUKEE

President Obama to visit Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- President Barack Obama has a visit planned to Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports it's on Thursday as part of his itinerary after his State of the Union speech.

In a mass email message, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Tuesday's speech will focus on the president's economic agenda.

The president also plans stops in Maryland and the Pittsburgh area Wednesday and the Nashville area Thursday.

The White House provided no other details Saturday.

PURDUE SHOOTING-TRIBUTE

Purdue pays tribute to shooting victim at game

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- Purdue held a moment of silence before the Boilermakers' basketball game against No. 9 Wisconsin to honor a student killed in Tuesday's campus shooting.

Signs reading "Boiler Strong" appeared in front of each of Mackey Arena's two student sections during Saturday afternoon's moment of silence for 21-year-old Andrew Boldt.

Saturday's game was the first major athletic event at the West Lafayette campus since Boldt was killed Tuesday in Purdue's Electrical Engineering Building. Court documents say the West Bend, Wis., man suffered gunshot and knife wounds and several people in the classroom witnessed a fellow student allegedly carry out the attack.

The Boilermakers on Saturday also honored Tom Reiter, a longtime athletic department official who died Friday night after a long battle with cancer.

Both Reiter and Boldt were Wisconsin natives.

TEACHER-PORN-REINSTATED

Students of Wis. teacher offered study hall

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Students of a Middleton school teacher who viewed pornography at work are being allowed to transfer to a study hall if they are uncomfortable in his class.

Glacier Creek Middle School teacher Andrew Harris was fired in 2010 for sharing sexually inappropriate images. The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently declined to take up an appeal of an arbitrator ruling by the school district. So Harris is returning Monday to teach science at Kromrey Middle School.

School District spokesman Perry Hibner tells the State Journal there will also be a second staff member with Harris for at least two weeks to ease parents' concerns.

Harris' attorney, William Haus, says he suspects the district isn't acting in good faith to comply with an arbitrator's ruling that Harris be reinstated to an equivalent position.

WISCONSIN UNIONS-AFSCME

Report: Act 10 hits AFSCME hard

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The 2011 state law that all but ended collective bargaining for most public workers has hit Wisconsin's second largest union hard.

The Capital Times reports the latest tax documents available show combined income of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees dropped 45 percent in 2012. That was the first full year of the law, called Act 10.

In 2011, the four councils that make up the state organization reported a combined income of $14.9 million. In 2012 that dropped to $8.3 million. Dues revenue dropped 40 percent to $7.1 million.

Council 40 executive director Rick Badger says that while the declines in revenue stemming from Act 10 are expected, he has been encouraged by the number of workers who have continued to pay voluntary dues.

ENERGY USE-COLD

We Energies broke record during last polar vortex

RACINE, Wis. (AP) -- We Energies officials say their customers in southeast Wisconsin broke a record for natural gas use during the last polar vortex.

Company Spokesman Brian Manthey tells The Journal Times 1.1 million customers used about 19.2 million therms by as of 9 a.m. Jan. 7 for the preceding 24 hours. That's 7 percent higher than the last record set in 2009.

He attributed that partly to more customers using natural gas to heat their homes and businesses, since there wasn't an official record low.

Manthey says customers used 40 percent more gas in December 2013 than they did in December 2012, which helped lead to a $30 increase to the average residential bill.

He says December 2012 was warmer than usual and December 2013 was colder than usual.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS MAKEUP

Schools looking at ways to make up lost days

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (AP) -- Numbing cold temperatures will likely have school administrators deciding once again whether to cancel classes in the week ahead.

With a state mandate for 175 days of instruction, educators are taking a hard look at how to make up for the classes that were canceled because of weather this winter.

Sun Prairie Assistant Superintendent Alice Murphy says two of the district's "flex" days were used earlier this month due to the freezing cold. Murphy says although they might add another flex day to the schedule next year, this year's makeup days could come from spring break or in June.

THREE DEAD-LANGLADE COUNTY

3 men die after SUV goes overturns in Wis. creek

ANTIGO, Wis. (AP) -- Three men are dead after a sports utility vehicle went into a ditch and overturned in a creek in northern Wisconsin.

According to the Langlade County sheriff's department, someone called 911 at about 9 p.m. Friday and when deputies arrived they found the vehicle overturned and partially submerged in the icy waters of Pickerel Creek.

Three men were inside. They were identified as 69-year old Gerald Randerson of Appleton, 50-year old John Cohen of Combined Locks and 65-year old Daniel Krubek of Appleton.

Deputies say initial investigation indicates the vehicle was west on Pickerel Creek Road when it went into the ditch and down the embankment.

The sheriff's department is still investigating.

PROBIOTICS COMPANY-WAUSAU

Probiotics company is growing in central Wisconsin

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- A probiotics company plans to triple the size of its building and add jobs in central Wisconsin.

Daily Herald Media reports UAS LifeSciences is expanding from 15,000 square feet to 45,000 square feet in Wausau.

UAS Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Greg Leyer says work is expected to be finished by April.

Probiotics are the good bacteria that help maintain microorganisms that live in the intestines and allow digestion.

The company creates, tests and packages probiotics, one of the few facilities of its type in the world. The powder is made into tablets, put into capsules or sold in bulk.

Leyer says UAS employs about 36 workers. He didn't offer a number of jobs to be created, but said they are looking to add positions in quality control and operations.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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