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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) — Mainly dry weather in the days ahead but bitter cold temperatures coupled with blustery winds from the northwest will lead to dangerously low wind chill values through the rest of the day and tonight. Health officials from HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital are now warning of the dangers of skin exposure, adding frost bite can set in in just a matter of minutes when wind chill values are this low. “The main thing you tend to feel is a little bit of burning initially,” explains Dr. Joe Williams with HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire. “The problem with frostbite is you end up losing the sensation, so your skin actually comes non-sensitive because the nerve gets damaged. Because of that then it’s like the skin feels a little bit better so then people try to power through in there and say ‘I feel better,’ so they can stay out, but that’s actually makes things worse.” A frigid air mass is dropping south from Canada, gripping the Upper Midwest with bone-chilling cold much of the rest of this week. We are facing at least 2 more days with sub zero temperatures… likely not returning to positive values until sometime on Friday. This will be more than a 72 hour stretch with this bitter cold air. Temperatures this morning were near 30 degrees below zero with wind chills over 55 degrees below zero for some locations. Highs this afternoon will remain in the teens below zero but will again be dropping quickly overnight. Temperatures early Thursday morning will be in the 30’s below zero for much of Western Wisconsin.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (RELEASE) — Due to projected deteriorating weather conditions related to Polar Vortex Jayden, postal delivery operations will be suspended for the following areas: Minnesota Western Wisconsin Iowa Western Illinois Retail operations at local offices will be available, but may be limited. There will be no collection mail pick up from businesses or collection boxes. Additionally, there will be no residential or commercial package pick-up services.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin state offices and agencies are among the long list of closures due to the extreme cold. Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order to close all non-essential offices Wednesday saying the weather presents “an imminent threat to the well-being of the public.” Most emergency response, public safety and public health employees are reporting to work. The State Capitol will be open Wednesday. Local governments, schools, university campuses, courthouses and businesses are among hundreds of places across Wisconsin that are closed Wednesday, when the wind chill is forecast to be as cold as minus 40 (-40 Celsius) to minus 55 (-48 Celsius) degrees throughout the day.

BARRON, Wis. (AP) — Authorities in Wisconsin have examined call logs, photos and videos stored on the cellphone of the man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl and killing her parents. Search warrant documents filed Tuesday in Barron County Circuit Court show authorities recently searched the phone of 21-year-old Jake Patterson. The nature of the photos and videos was not released. Patterson is accused of killing James and Denise Closs on Oct. 15 and kidnapping their daughter, Jayme Closs. Jayme escaped on Jan. 10, after 88 days. A search warrant affidavit says authorities wanted to search Patterson’s phone for call logs, texts or other messages, emails and other communication. They also wanted to see where the phone was during their months-long investigation. The affidavit says evidence on the phone could be used to determine a chronology of events.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) — The case against an Eau Claire woman accused of letting men sexually assault two children in exchange for drugs and money has been dropped. In Eau Claire County, the case against Michelle Mayer, 40, was dismissed. “The state has moved to dismiss this case in its entirety. I’ve granted that request so the case is dismissed,” said Judge Michael Schumacher. Before the trial was set begin on Tuesday morning the alleged victim admitted to using marijuana the night before. The defense questioned if she was sober enough to proceed but the judge ruled the alleged victim was competent enough to testify. When the alleged victim took the stand she only answered a few questions before asking to take a break. The alleged victim then didn’t return to the courtroom, at which point the state made the motion to dismiss the trial with prejudice, meaning the charges can’t be brought forth again. Assistant district attorney Crystal Jensen said, “Given the fact that if we’re doing more harm to her than good by forcing her to proceed then I don’t know what we’re accomplishing. It’s been one of the more difficult decisions I’ve made as a prosecutor.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses added a solid 213,000 jobs in January, a private survey found, signaling that the partial government shutdown and trade war concerns that have roiled financial markets aren’t discouraging companies from hiring more people. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that January’s job gains were lower than the 263,000 added in December, which was revised slightly lower. ADP’s report does not include government employees and therefore was not directly affected by the government shutdown. Still, the data suggests that the shutdown did not broadly discourage private companies from adding workers. The ADP report frequently diverges from the official figures. The government will issue its official monthly jobs numbers Friday. Economists are forecasting a smaller gain of 164,000, though that is enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. While economists are forecasting that growth will slow this year from 2018, hiring is still going strong. Employers added 312,000 jobs in December, the government said earlier this month. The unemployment rate is 3.9 percent, slightly above the lowest level in five decades.

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