Wisconsin Assembly Republicans say they want to balance the next state budget without raising taxes, keep reforming state government, and find new ways to pay for highways. That’s just some of the agenda announced yesterday by Speaker Robin Vos of Racine County. The Republicans have a 22-vote majority in the 99-member Assembly, and they have little danger of losing it in the November 4th elections. So the leaders had little risk in giving voters a preview of the next two years, while giving G-O-P candidates some fresh talking points as they campaign in their districts. Vos said the party has an “aggressive agenda” that’s ready to go. It includes a reduction in red tape for businesses, limit the growth in government to the growth in people’s incomes, more expansions of voucher schools, adopting state-based education standards in place of Common Core, and drug tests for those who apply for public benefits. Assembly Republicans also vow to improve people’s privacy by requiring kill-switches on cell phones that get lost or stolen, and ban unauthorized G-P-S tracking. They also plan to look for new ways to pay for highway construction. Vos said it’s possible that general tax dollars could be used for some of the things now covered by the gas tax revenue fund — like mass transit. Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca criticized the G-O-P for not including more funding for schools or affordable health care in its agenda.
Wisconsin is not the only place where Bill Clinton is helping Democratic candidates. The former president and his wife Hillary are attending rallies and fund-raisers throughout the country — many in states where President Obama hesitates to go because he’s strongly unpopular. Bill Clinton will appear at a Milwaukee rally on Friday for Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mary Burke — who’s running dead-even with Governor Scott Walker. The fall rush is also a chance for Hillary Clinton to increase her profile, as she considers a 2016 presidential bid. New York House Democrat Steve Israel tells the A-P the Clintons are a rare breed of politicians who can both turn out voters and raise money. Israel says there’s not a single competitive House district in the country where both Clintons don’t do well. Bill Clinton jokes that he feels like an old racehorse that gets taken out of the stable to see if he can “run around one more time.” He even helped a Democratic House candidate who refuses to say whether she voted for Obama. The latest Marquette poll gives Obama an approval rating of nearly 46-percent in Wisconsin, and a disapproval rating of 49-plus. The White House says Obama will make a Milwaukee appearance for Burke in the final week before the November fourth Election Day.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – State health officials say the flu season is off to a strong start in Wisconsin. State epidemiologist Thomas Haupt says influenza hospitalizations have been unexpectedly on the rise in October. Twenty people have been hospitalized in the past three weeks. Haupt tells WISN-TV (http://bit.ly/1wo5JOD ) one or two hospitalizations are common this time of year, but not 20. He says the flu is hitting older people the hardest with most people hospitalized over the age of 64. Generally, the flu season starts in October and ends in May, peaking in the months between December and February. Health officials are pushing flu vaccinations, not only for the high-risk population, but also for those who care for them.
Rusk County dispatch at about 11:30 AM Tuesday, received a 911 call from a male subject advising that there was a skid steer on fire on his property on County Highway O, Ladysmith. It was about 150 to 200 yards in the woods. The Bruce Fire Department and the DNR responded to the scene. Firemen were on the scene for about 90 minutes.
Just before 1 PM Tuesday, a male subject reported to Rusk County authorities that a male and female subject were fighting near Jeld Wen in Hawkins. According to the report, the female subject ran away from him and went across the roadway to the gas station. After an investigation the male subject was arrested and transported to the Rusk County jail.
The Rusk County dispatch shortly after 8 PM Tuesday night, received a 911 call from a female subject advising they just got home to their residence on Woodland Lane, Ladysmith, and someone broke into their home, van, truck and shed. She advised all the doors were locked when they left. The case is under investigation.
At 12:30 PM Tuesday, a Ladysmith Officer observed Jeremy S. Sennett, 36, on the third floor of the Rusk County Court House and knew that Sennett had a Ladysmith Police Department Municipal Court Warrant. The City Officer mad contact with Sennett and advised him that he had a Municipal Warrant. Sennett was taken into custody without incident and was escorted to the Rusk County jail.
Wisconsin crops appear to be in good shape — but the challenge is to get them out of the fields. Last week’s heavy rains didn’t help, as harvest-time turned into idle-time once again due to the soaked fields. Door County had up to three-and-a-quarter inches of rain last week, while other places got one-and-a-half inches or more. As of Sunday, 76-percent of the state’s corn-for-feed was chopped — 16 points behind the average for the past five years. Eleven-percent of the corn-for-grain has been harvested, down from the norm of 35-percent. Forty-two percent of the Wisconsin soybeans have been combined, 22-points less than the average. Farmers should get more cooperation from Mother Nature this week. Dry weather is in the statewide forecast all week, except for a chance of rain Thursday and a slight chance for showers on Friday.
I’s official: You will not need a photo I-D to vote in the November fourth elections in Wisconsin. The state Justice Department said yesterday it could not find a way to work around a U-S Supreme Court order from 12 days ago which put the state’s I-D law on hold. A federal appeals court ruled just days earlier that the Republicans’ photo I-D requirement was constitutional. But two groups asked the Supreme Court to intervene, saying there was not enough time to properly install the mandate for the November contests — and to require I-D’s from those who already voted absentee without having to show them. The Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of the Wisconsin law. Because of that, Attorney General J-B Van Hollen tried to find a legal window to put the I-D requirement in place for November. Due to various court decisions, the Wisconsin law has only been used once, in the February 2012 local-and-school board primaries.
Monday morning the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department received 3 Burglary complainants. A male subject advised that someone broke into the bus garage on 2nd Street, Weyerhaeuser Sunday night. All that was noticed missing were 3 bus radios, keys to the village truck and about 30 feet of 1 ½“ copper pipe. Forced entry was through the North window.
Also a male subject advised Rusk County authorities that his sons cabin located on Tyman Road, Weyerhaeuser was broken into. The items that were allegedly taken included a TV, DVD, CD, VHS, other electronics, coffee pot, toaster, smoke alarm and carbon mono alarmbut no valuable cabin décor was taken.
The final Burglary was reported late Monday morning. The Rusk County Sheriff’s Department received information that an enclosed cargo semi trailer was broken into on property on County Highway E., Bruce. No other information was available.
Monday night at about 10 PM, a Burglary was reported to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department. The Rusk County dispatch received a report of a commercial Burglary at the Food Mill on Main Street Conrath. After an investigation, the door was reportedly broken and cigarets were taken. The case is under investigation.
Republican Governor Scott Walker plans to wait until Election Day to vote. His Democratic challenger Mary Burke says she’ll vote today in Madison. Early absentee voting began yesterday at clerks’ offices throughout the state, and both major parties held rallies to encourage supporters to get their votes in now. Both Walker and Burke have said the key to winning is to get their party faithful and other supporters to the polls. Burke told U-W Madison students the race will come down to “every single vote.” Republican National Committee co-chair Sharon Day delivered the same message in Green Bay, Sheboygan, and Waukesha. Day said she couldn’t understand why Walker’s in such a close race with Burke. Day said in Waukesha that some voters, in her words, “might not be a sharp as a knife.” Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch told the Waukesha crowd that the race is a dead heat even though as she put it, “We have one of the finest closing arguments in the United States of America.” The latest Marquette Law School poll had Walker and Burke in a 47-47 tie, with only four-percent of voters undecided. The governor’s election normally does not attract nearly the turnout as the presidential contest. As of Friday, around 69-thousand absentee ballots were given to voters — down from 122-thousand in the White House contest two years ago.
Wisconsin dairy cows pumped out three-point-two percent more milk in September than a year ago. That was still less than the national jump of four-percent — the largest year-to-year increase of 2014. New federal figures show that Wisconsin produced almost two-point-three billion pounds of milk last month. The Badger State remains second behind California, which had a two-point-nine percent hike to almost three-and-a-third billion pounds. Nationally, almost 16-and-a-half billion pounds of milk were produced in September. Fifteen-and-a-half billion of that came from the 23 major dairy states, which had a four-point-one percent increase from the previous year. Wisconsin’s total dairy herd dropped by two-thousand cows since last September — but the production-per-cow rose by 60 pounds, to an average of 18-hundred-five. That’s over 225 pounds more than the national average.
A judge in northwest Wisconsin is scheduled to set bond today for a man suspected of killing his wife 12 days ago. Sawyer County sheriff’s officials said 25-year-old Kristina Clark was shot in the early morning of October 5th at a home near Winter. She later died at a hospital in Duluth. Deputies said her husband, 26-year-old Cade Clark, called 9-1-1 to report that his wife was shot in the head. He was arrested on Wednesday in Tomah, and was booked on a possible charge of first-degree intentional homicide. Kristina Clark’s funeral was last Sunday in Tomah. The Clarks had three young children.
A northwest Wisconsin woman is due back in court next Thursday for allegedly trying to stab-and-strangle her husband to death. Bowe Blackwell of Clayton survived the attack on Tuesday night. His 22-year-old wife Samantha is now charged in Polk County with counts attempted homicide, false imprisonment, strangulation-and-suffocation, battery, and disorderly conduct. Prosecutors said the couple was fighting about household finances and chores when Samantha Blackwell slapped and punched her husband, stabbed him with a steak knife, and strangled him. She’s being held on a 50-thousand dollar cash bond. The next step in her case is a preliminary hearing, where a judge will decide if there’s enough evidence to send the case to a trial.
Wednesday afternoon at 3 PM a warrant was served at the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department. According to the Police Log, contact was made with a subject who was wanted on a warrant with a cash bond of $296 or 120 days jail. The male subject was taken into custody and taken to the Rusk County jail.
Just after 9 PM Wednesday, the manager at Krist Oil on 1st street North Ladysmith, advised there were two male juveniles outside the store and one may have been smoking. The manager also reported that one of them had been in the store and when he walked out his pockets looked like there may have been stuff in them. A Ladysmith Police Officer located the subjects and advised that he spoke with one of them and his mom. The juvenile stated he was smoking. The Officer also spoke with the other male juvenile and his mom. He stated he did take a pack of gum from the store. Citations were issued for theft and possession of tobacco.
A dozen wolves have already been taken as the Wisconsin hunt enters its third day. That’s eight-percent of this year’s quota of 150 for sport-hunters and trappers. If the current pace continues, a season that’s scheduled to run for four-and-a-half months would end in less than one month. The first two annual hunts only lasted around two months each before their quotas were reached — and they were larger than this year’s maximum harvest. Meanwhile, 22 counties have urged the D-N-R to keep reducing the wolf population, so it’s at-or-below 350 — the goal set when grey wolves were re-introduced in the Badger State. The Marathon County Board will consider joining the request when it meets on Tuesday. The D-N-R would have a long way to go to reach 350. The state had 660-to-689 wolves this past spring, down from 809-to-824 the previous year. Michael Lane of Mosinee told Marathon County supervisors last night there are too many wolves locally — and the livestock damage they cause is just trickling down to the Wausau area from northern Wisconsin. He also pointed to dog damage, and interactions with humans. Officials said there were 81 incidents involving wolves and domesticated animals last year, and six threats to human safety in 21 northern Wisconsin counties.
Wisconsin voters will get their second-and-last chance to compare the two major candidates for governor tonight. Republican incumbent Scott Walker and Democrat Mary Burke will debate each other in Milwaukee, as a panel of journalists asks questions for a second straight Friday evening. The one-hour debate begins at seven o’clock, and will be broadcast on T-V and radio stations statewide. The economy, a projected state deficit, health care, and voter I-D were among the subjects examined a week ago. Walker said he was trying to speak directly with voters, with less emphasis on responding to jabs from Burke. Observers generally agreed that Burke held her own, making crisp points with steady confidence as she tried introducing herself to voters who had not heard her before. Tonight, both candidates get to respond to a host of things brought up this week. Walker said he was considering the idea of trashing the gas tax and starting a new sales tax to help reduce a huge deficit in the state’s transportation fund. Burke more forcefully touted her business experience, said she could have responded better to allegations that her jobs’ plan was copied from others, and began distancing herself from former Governor Jim Doyle — for whom she served for two years as the state’s commerce secretary.
Wisconsin’s two major candidates for governor had predictable reactions to the latest drop in the state’s unemployment rate. The seasonally-adjusted jobless rate dropped another two-tenths of a point in September, to a preliminary figure of five-and-a-half percent. Republican Governor Scott Walker’s campaign calls it evidence that the state’s heading in the right direction, with “more great news for working families.” Burke’s camp, pointing to more complete three-month survey data, says Wisconsin continues to lag behind others in job growth. Her campaign says this year’s Wisconsin’s job growth remains the worst since the Great Recession. State workforce development officials said 84-hundred private sector jobs were created last month. The agency calls that “statistically significant,” even though it has pointed out in the past how inaccurate the monthly job numbers can be. They’re based on a survey of just three-and-a-half percent of employers. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has dropped more than one-percent over the past year. It’s almost four-points below the recession-high of nine-point-two percent in 2009 — although it’s not quite back down to the five-percent levels seen before the recession hit in 2008.