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Rusk County News

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Congressional Budget Office says the U.S. economy will grow by just 1.5 percent this year — hurt by a poor first-quarter performance.

This new assessment is considerably more pessimistic than the Obama administration’s.

Last month, the administration predicted that the economy would grow 2.6 percent this year.

The CBO says the economy should grow by 3.4 percent over 2015 and 2016, and predicts that the unemployment rate will remain below 6 percent intothe future.

The economy unexpectedly contracted over the first quarter of the year, in part because of an unusually harsh winter.

The CBO also projects that the government will run a deficit of $506 billion for the budget year ending Sept. 30.

A Ladysmith man, charged with child pornography, waved his right to a preliminary hearing, and was bound over for trial. Marc Gross, 28, of Ladysmith faces eight counts of possession of child porn. Early last month, the Ladysmith Police Department helped the State Division of Criminal Investigation serve a search warrant at a home on Corbett Avenue. They say Gross had a computer there with pornographic videos of children. Officers arrested Gross and took him to the Rusk County jail. His bond was set at $50,000 cash and Gross is due in court later this month.

At 8:45 PM Tuesday night, Rusk County dispatch received a 911 call from a female subject requesting to check the well fare of a male subject at a residence on Reichel Road, Exeland. A Rusk County deputy made contact with the male subject who was reportedly OK. After further investigation, the subject is wanted out of Sawyer County. The Warrant was confirmed and the subject had a .19 on the PBT. He was taken into custody and transported to the Rusk/Sawyer County line on Highway 40 to be transferred the Sawyer County.

The Rusk County Sheriff’s Department just after 5 AM this (Wednesday) morning, received a report of a red Chevy Silverado with a trailer, parked blocking most of the roadway on Sheep Camp Road. A Rusk County deputy responded to the scene and a short time later advised of a high speed chase North bound on Ducommun Road. The chase continued East bound on County Highway P. A few minutes later, the deputy advised he lost site of them at County Highway P and Hanson Road. The vehicle was described as a Red Chevy ½ ton pulling and empty snowmobile trailer. No other information was available.

Ladysmith Police and the Ladysmith Fire Department at 1:10 PM Tuesday, responded to a fire alarm at the Ladysmith Middle School. The alarm had been activated when freon was released while maintenance was recharging a compressor in the kitchen at the school.

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – Authorities conducting a human trafficking sting in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin have made six arrests.

They include a Douglas County, Wisconsin man charged with child enticement. Investigators say 51-year-old Ronald Provost, of Foxboro, responded to their fake online ad, supposedly from a 15-year-old girl. Police say he arranged to meet with the girl at a Superior, Wisconsin hotel after sending her a sexually explicit picture.

Five other Northland men were arrested on prostitution charges that resulted from the sting. Police say the men responded to a fictitious online ad placed by detectives that offered sex for money.

The sting operation was conducted by Superior and Duluth police along with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Rusk County News

A northwest Wisconsin man will spend a year in prison for helping bury a homicide victim.  Fifty-year-old Timothy Zamsky of Holcombe must also spend three years under extended supervision when he’s no longer behind bars.  He was one of three people charged in Rusk County with hiding the body of 52-year-old Frederick “Brian” Harvey.  Authorities said Harvey was strangled in his mobile home in August of 2012 in a dispute over money.  His lawyer said Zamsky was manipulated by the man who killed Harvey, Larry Fernandez. Zamsky apologized during his sentencing hearing yesterday.  Zamsky pleaded no contest to his charges in April.

At about 1:20 Monday afternoon, the Sheldon Fire Department responded to a location on County Highway D, Sheldon for a Silo fire. The Ladysmith Fire Department was called for mutual aid for a tanker and their ladder truck. Jump River Fire Department also was called for mutual aid. No other information was available.

Monday afternoon a Burglary to an RV was reported to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department. A female subject advised that she was last at the camper located on Mud Brook Road, Holcombe, on Aug. 14. On Aug. 18, there was damage to the camper and some items were taken.

At 4:45 PM Monday afternoon, Ladysmith Police responded to Lake Avenue East for a report of a two car crash in front of the Krist Gas station. Upon arrival contact was made with the drivers of the vehicles who stated they thought they were OK. The Ladysmith ambulance arrived on the scene and checked out both drivers. The EMS staff transported a female subject to RCMH as a precaution to be checked over. After further investigation, A subject was issued a citation for inattentive driving.

Monday night Ladysmith Police received a theft complaint. According to a report, a tow truck type vehicle was in and around some trailers on the North end of the property of American Home Sales on Aug. 24th. Three heavy steel hitches and some other items had been removed from the property without permission. After further investigation into the matter, the owners found that the hitches and other items had been taken to Martin’s heavy duty Towing. Martin’s placed the items on the side for Law Enforcement. The case is under investigation.

Rusk County News

Another round of heavy thunderstorms went through Wisconsin this morning.  As of seven o’clock, about 14-thousand electric customers were in the dark statewide.  About half of those are in Sauk and Columbia counties, where some trees fell in the Portage area about 6:30.  Trees and power lines fell during the night along a line from Black River Falls to Melrose.  There was similar damage in Granton, the Amherst area, and Stockton in central Wisconsin.  Small hail fell at Hatfield in Clark and Jackson counties.  Almost ten-thousand-500 Wisconsin Power-and-Light customers lost their electricity in Sauk and Columbia counties.  About 15-hundred customers in the Stevens Point area were out.  More thunderstorms are in the forecast for this morning, and then again tomorrow.

In Rusk County over the weekend, Rusk County authorities received a criminal damage complaint Friday morning. A male subject advised when he came to work he noticed that his driveway and roadway at Northern Machine and Repair on County Highway P, Ladysmith was all tore up. There was a piece of pipe and garbage laying around also. The case is under investigation.

Shortly before Noon Friday, Rusk County Dispatch received a 911 call advising a Brush Cutter blew up at a location on Candee Lane, Ladysmith. According to the report, some surrounding trees and brush were on fire, The Ladysmith Fire Department was called and reported the fire was out. A male subject went by private vehicle to the ER at RCMH for a burn on his leg.

The Bruce Fire Department just before 1 PM Saturday, responded to a call on Pulaski Lake Road, Bruce. According to a report, a 911 transfer from Chippewa County advised of a trailer that was on fire located behind Winter haven Resort. There was no one in the trailer and there was a lot of smoke coming from the trailer. The trailer was fully engulfed when firemen arrived. No other information was available.

Saturday afternoon a male subject reported a theft at a location on 2nd Street, Bruce. He reported that 2 22 inch Murry push lawnmowers were taken. The two mowers were taken from the yard within the last week which belonged to the former tenant.

Rusk County authorities just after 6 PM Saturday, received a theft report. A female subject whose husband passed away, went to check on the house located on Strom Road, Ladysmith and found checks stolen. She reported that two boxes of her checks were missing from the residence.

Ladysmith Police Saturday afternoon, were dispatched to a location on Fritz Avenue East for a report of a female subject demanding money from a male subject who won’t leave. Upon arrival, contact was made with the female subject who stated she demanded money from the male subject as he owes her money. The female subject was asked to leave but would not do so and then she damaged the screen to his front door with her hand and kicked his air conditioner unit with her foot. The female subject was issued a citation for damage to property.

At about 6:20 PM Saturday, Ladysmith Police and the Ladysmith Fire Department responded to the Rusk County Community Library in reference to a fire alarm. City officers located what was initially believed to be smoke in the lower level. It was found that this was the discharge from a fire extinguisher. Upon an investigation it was found that someone had entered the Library and caused damage to two motion detectors in the building and that a fire extinguisher had been discharged in the building. A juvenile suspect was found to have caused the damage and was charged. The juvenile was taken to secure detention in Eau Claire.

This (Monday) morning at 6:10 AM a City Officer responded to an address on Miner Avenue West for a report of a possible Burglary. Upon arrival at the scene, the Officer found that the door to the city shop had been kicked and the door jams were now broken. No one was able to enter the building due to the door being propped up with a steel bar. The case is under investigation.

The Rusk County Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday Afternoon that Trails End is reopened for swimming and recreational bathing. All swimmers are reminded to be careful not to swallow water when swimming, ant to shower off as soon as possible after leaving the water. These precautions are especially important after high rainfall events, which tend to elevate bacteria levels. Please call Rusk County Public Health at 715-532-2299 for more information.

Rusk County News

The heavy rains Thursday evening caused some storm damage to roads in Rusk County.  The Rusk County Sheriff’s Department was advised of a washout on Log Cabin Road in the town of Strickland.  Log Cabin Road was closed from Moose Ear Road to Horseshoe Lake Road.  Road will be closed until road can be repaired. Also a Rusk County deputy advised that water was over Horseshoe Lake Road East of Log Cabin Road for approximately 100 yards.  In the town of Rusk, Horseshoe Lake Road was closed from Log Cabin Road East to County Highway W due to water over the road.  A deputy reported at about 5:40 this (Friday) morning water over the road on Rite of Way Road in the town of Big Bend.  The intersection of South Right of Way Road and Dziemela Road was washed out.  The road was closed from Bernark to Pondell and from Kramer to Dziemelia.

 

 

The National Weather Service now says a weak tornado landed in the Fox Valley earlier this week.  Officials said yesterday that a weak twister came down late Monday afternoon about two miles southeast of Medina in Winnebago County.  Two utility poles were pushed over, and there was no damage reported to any buildings.  Wisconsin has had plenty of hailstorms and downpours in recent weeks — but the Weather Service says the cool summer has kept tornadoes to a minimum.  Meteorologist Jeff Last of the Weather Service in Green Bay says his office has issued only about half the average numbers of warnings this season.  The area has had above-average rainfalls.  Coloma in Waushara County had a one-point-four-inch downpour yesterday.  Warm and humid conditions are expected through the weekend in the Badger State.  There’s a chance of showers and thunderstorms each day.  Highs will be in the 70′s and 80′s today and tomorrow.  Parts of southwest Wisconsin could get into the 90′s on Sunday.

 

It’s official, a recount will take place today in Wisconsin’s 87th Assembly District.  Republican candidate Michael Bub filed a recount petition.  Initially, unofficial results after last week’s primary showed Bub in the lead by 3 votes.  But Rusk County officials say they mistakenly gave a different candidate, Scott Noble 20 votes that should have gone to James Edming.  Those votes then put Edming in the lead by 17 votes. The recount will start today.

 

Rusk County Public Health Department announced Thursday that a water quality advisory has been posted for Trail’s End Camp Beach in Bruce.  Water samples Taken on August 2oth showed high levels of E. Coli bacteria at the beach.  Contact with contaminated water can cause gastrointestinal disorders, ear or skin infections, or respiratory disease.

Repeat samples have been collected, with results expected Friday, August 22nd.  Rusk County Public Health Department will inform the public when E. Coli levels have returned to normal.  All swimmers are reminded to be careful not to swallow water when swimming, and to shower off as soon as possible after leaving the water.  These precautions are especially important after high rainfall events, which tend to elevate bacteria levels. Please call Rusk County Public Health at 715-532-2299 for more information.

 

Ladysmith Police at 8 AM Thursday received a Burglary complaint.  A 28 year old female reported that between 8:30 PM Wednesday to 7:30 AM Thursday, someone entered her residence on East 6th Street South and stole her TV.

 

Ladysmith Police and the Ladysmith Fire Department responded to the Miner Plaza shopping complex at about 9:35 AM Thursday, on a report of a smell of smoke coming from inside the building.  It was determined that the source of the smoke was a blown circuit breaker.

 

Rusk County News

State officials are reporting success in their efforts to stop identity thieves from beating income tax filers to their refunds.  It’s a growing problem nationally.  In Wisconsin, the state Revenue Department began a program earlier this year to verify the identities of certain taxpayers before their refunds go out.  The agency now says the program and other initiatives stopped just under 50-million dollars in falsely-claimed refunds from going out during the last fiscal year.  That includes almost 18-million dollars in earned income tax credits for the poor that were fraudulently claimed — plus another 15-million for Homestead tax relief for low-income residents.  The figures were announced by the governor’s office.  It said the revenue agency stopped a total of 134-million dollars in fraudulent refunds and tax adjustments in the past four years — up from 60-million the pre  vious four years.  The current state budget included almost seven-and-a-half million dollars for anti-tax fraud enforcement.

 

Unemployment rates have dropped in all but one of Wisconsin’s 12 metro areas.  State figures released yesterday show that Racine was the only area where actual joblessness rose in July.  That city’s un-adjusted rate rose one-tenth of a point to seven-point-seven percent.  That’s the highest in the state.  Madison had the lowest at four-point-one percent.  Unemployment rates also fell in 63 of the 72 counties.  They rose in five counties, and stayed the same in four others.  Menominee County had the highest unadjusted jobless rate at 18-point-three percent.  Dane County, which includes Madison, had the lowest rate at four-percent.  Twenty-two of the state’s 32 largest cities also saw drops in their jobless figures.   Rusk County ranked 17th in July, in June Rusk County was 14th. The unemployment rate in July was 6.9%, down from June when it was 7.5%.  In July of 2013, the Rusk County Unemployment rate was 7.8%.

 

The Rusk County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a female subject at about 10:40 AM Wednesday of a one vehicle accident on Johnson Avenue, Sheldon.  She reportedly swerved to miss a deer and drove through a cornfield and hit a tree.  She advised that she hit her head on the windshield and her knees on the dash.  After a Rusk County deputy responded to the scene, it was reported that the accident was in Taylor County.

 

At 8:30 Wednesday night, Rusk County deputies served a warrant at a location on County Highway F., Birchwood.  The Warrant was out of Washburn County.  The subject was arrested on the warrant and taken to the Rusk County jail.

 

Just after midnight this (Thursday) morning, a Rusk County deputy was at a location on Highway 8 and Swamp Road, Ladysmith with a female walking in dark clothing.  The female was identified as Nancy Moreno and she has a warrant out of Dane County.  Moreno was taken into custody and taken to the Rusk County jail.

 

Wednesday afternoon a 26 year old female complainant from the Time Out Shelter reported that Darren J. Bishop, 23 had come to the Time Out Shelter with a brown bag containing an unknown item and rang the doorbell several times. The complainant reported that there have been recent incidents with Bishop trying to gain access to the Shelter in which the staff have felt threatened as well as threatening phone calls to the Shelter.  Bishop was located in a vehicle on 1st Street South.  He was arrested and booked and released for Disorderly Conduct.

 

 

Rusk County News

One, and perhaps two state legislative races are heading toward recounts, after last week’s primary ballots were made official in county canvasses yesterday.  In the 87th Assembly District, Republican Michael Bub said he would ask for a recount, after a canvass in Rusk, Taylor, and Sawyer counties confirmed election night totals which showed him losing by 17 votes to former Rusk County supervisor James Edming.  The primary winner will face Democrat Richard Pulcher in November for an Assembly seat given up by Republican Mary Williams of Medford.  In southwest Wisconsin, canvassers said former D-O-T budget director Ernie Wittwer led by seven votes over ex-Feingold staffer Pat Bomhack for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat given up by G-O-P moderate Dale Schultz.  Bomhack said he wanted to consult with county and state officials before deciding to seek a recount.  That primary winner faces Assembly Republican Howard Marklein for the Senate post in November.

The Board of Canvassers in Rusk County met Tuesday and there was a change in the votes for the 87th Assembly District in the republican Primary from the Aug. 12th Election.  Michael Bub received 73 votes in the county instead of the 70 reported after the Primary.  James Edming had 983 votes, Scott Noble 165 and Shirl LaBarre 99.  Overall in the 87th Assembly District the vote totals were James Edming with 1,451 votes, Michael Bub 1,434, Shirl LaBarre 1,339 votes and Scott Noble 960.

 

At 1:45 PM Tuesday afternoon, a gas drive off was reported to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department.  A gas drive off was reported from the Express Mart in Bruce.  The suspect’s vehicle is the same as a gas drive off at Express Mart on Aug. 11.  The vehicle was an older Saab with a MN. Plate with a male driver, bald head, and medium to heavy build. 

 

A Rusk County deputy advised just before 2 PM Tuesday, that he had Jacob Channell detained for a valid Ladysmith Police Department Warrant which states bond of $216 or 4 days in jail.  No other information was available.

 

At 4 PM Tuesday afternoon a one vehicle rollover was reported to Rusk County authorities.  A one vehicle rollover was reported on Spur Road, Sheldon.  According to a report, the female driver reported some scratches on her who was taken by ambulance to RCMH.  A citation was issued to the driver for failure to keep vehicle under control.

 

A male subject walked into the Sheriff’s Office Tuesday evening reporting that on Saturday he went to check on a residence on Trails End Street, Bruce and reported that someone had broken into it. Sometime between Aug. 15th and Aug. 16th, 3 chainsaws and a bag of coins were reportedly stolen. 

 

 

Wisconsin gas prices are at their lowest since mid-February.  The Triple-”A” says the statewide average is 3.46-a-gallon this morning for regular unleaded. That’s eleven-cents cheaper than a month ago, and seven-cents less than on this date a year ago.  Motorists in neighboring Minnesota are getting an even better deal.  They’re paying around 3.35, the lowest for an August in the past decade.  Gail Weinholzer of Minnesota’s Triple-”A” says crude oil prices have stabilized, and the demand for gas has dropped this month.  She and other experts predict that fuel prices will keep falling, as we head into the Labor Day weekend eight days from now.  

Rusk County News

Central Wisconsin was pounded by rain yesterday and last night.  Wisconsin Rapids had three-point-six inches — almost twice as much as the city’s old record rainfall for the date, set in 1990.  The National Weather Service said Rapids also had marble-sized hail and 54-mile-an-hour winds.  In nearby Nekoosa, trees and power lines fell.  They also had street floods and dime-sized hail.  New London had almost three inches of rain yesterday.  Necedah had two-and-a-half inches of rain extending into the overnight, plus with small hail. Plover had three-quarters-inch of rain in just 10 minutes.  Hail of an inch or less fell at Eau Claire, Barron, Rosendale, Adams, and Appleton.  Rush hour motorists in Oshkosh had flooded streets downtown late yesterday. Storms also hit far southern Wisconsin, where 12-hundred We Energies’ customers were without power this morning.  More than  200 Wisconsin Public Service customers were in the dark in the Green Bay area.  All told, around 15-hundred outages were reported by the state’s five largest utilities.  More showers and isolated storms are in the forecast today.  There’s a chance of rain in the statewide forecast every day into the weekend.

Locally in the past 24 hours, here at WLDY-WJBL we received 1 and 7 10ths inches of rain.  A caller just North of Weyerhaeuser reported 3 and ½ inches and North of Bruce they received 2 and 3 10ths inches of rain.

 

Monday morning the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department received a Burglary complaint at Artisans Factory Outlet in Glen Flora.  A female subject reported that over the past weekend someone pried off a screen and broke into the business through a window.  Nothing was reportedly missing but there was footprints on a table below the window.

 

At about 6:45 PM Monday, a female subject reported to Rusk County authorities that her Verizon Electronic Tablet was missing from her truck.  It was last seen on Wednesday in her pick up truck which was unlocked.  She reportedly left to go to the rock rally over the past weekend and realized she left her tablet in the truck which was unlocked.  The case is under investigation.

 

 

Western Wisconsin authorities continue to investigate a traffic crash that killed three people in Trempealeau County.  Sheriff Richard Anderson said an eastbound S-U-V veered into the opposite lane, where it collided head-on with a mini-van — and the van caught fire.  It happened about 7:30 yesterday morning on Highway 95 between Arcadia and Blair.  The S-U-V driver died at a hospital in Whitehall.  She was the only one in her vehicle.  The mini-van driver and a passenger were killed.  Two other people in the van were taken to area hospitals.  Their conditions were not disclosed.  Deputies are still trying to figure out what caused the crash.  The victims’ names were not immediately released.

 

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) The man accused of robbing a bank in Rice Lake, and several gas stations in Eau Claire is back in court Monday.

Online court records show Jesse Sweeter, 19, pleaded not guilty to two charges of armed robbery.

Police arrested him last month following a robbery at Sterling Bank in Rice Lake.

Investigators say, during an interview Sweeter admitted to robbing multiple Eau Claire gas stations, with two other men.  His case will go to trial in January.

A relatively cool and dry summer is still hampering the Wisconsin corn crop.  The National Ag Statistics Service says the corn matured nicely over the past week — but the plant’s silk and dough levels are still four-percent below the average for the past five years.  Sixty-five percent of the state’s corn is rated good-to-excellent.  Sixty-eight percent of Wisconsin soybeans are good-to-excellent.  The beans are maturing a little ahead of schedule.  There’s still a need for rain.  Only 53-percent of the state’s farm fields have adequate moisture levels — and 45-percent are short or very short of moisture.  That’s two percent more than a week ago.  Parts of central Wisconsin had rains yesterday that were too heavy to soak in.  Wisconsin Rapids had the most, with almost three-and-two-thirds inches.  More showers are in the statewide forecast today, with a chance of rain every day into the weekend.

Rusk County News

More Wisconsin public school teachers will be paid according to their performance this fall.  That’s the apparent result of a new statewide teacher evaluation system which takes effect in the coming school year — plus the near-elimination of collective bargaining as the state’s Act-10 begins its fourth year.  Wauwatosa was among the school districts approving the move toward the type of performance incentives often seen in the private sector.  The Journal Sentinel says compensation in the ‘Tosa schools will now be based on the leadership roles teachers take, the levels of their professional development, and incentive bonuses.  Also, the district is flattening its pay scale by giving larger pay raises to less-experienced teachers.  Act-10 has caused school districts to be less reliant on previously-negotiated pay plans that are based on mainly on experience and years of service.  A few months ago, it was reported that some teachers were getting higher salary offers to move to other districts — something often seen among talented pros in the private sector.

 

In Rusk County over the weekend,  late Saturday morning a Burglary was reported to the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department.  According to a report, sometime Friday night, 2 camper trailers were entered and damaged on County Highway D. Holcombe.  The case is under investigation.

 

Sunday morning a male subject advised that sometime over the weekend, someone spray painted with white spray paint the west side of the pavillion and the outside of the bathrooms at Community Park, Glen Flora.  According to a report, sometime on Friday someone painted lewd objects around the park.

 

Ladysmith Police Friday morning received a theft report.  A 50 year old female reported that property was taken from her residence located on East 10th Street South approximately 2 months ago.  The case is under investigation.

 

At about 2:30 PM Friday afternoon, Ladysmith Officers responded to the Gordy’s County Market for a retail theft complaint.  Officers made contact with the Store Manager who stated that an unknown male and female subject took a shopping cart full of groceries out of the store without paying and loaded them into a red in color Dodge pickup truck.  The manager stated he told the unknown male subject to stop but he drove off headed North on Highway 27. 

 

A Ladysmith Officer at about 3:40 AM Sunday morning, was dispatched to an address on Lindoo Avenue to respond to a report of a female yelling outside the residence.  After an investigation, the incident was determined to be a domestic offense and Bernard Little 40 was arrested.  While investigating this case, the City Officer was advised by Little and another subject that Amery J. Little 20, smashed a windshield prior to the physical altercation that ensued. Amery Little was referred to the DA’s officer for Criminal Damage and Disorderly Conduct, Domestic Related. 

 

Sunday night at about 9:30, Ladysmith Police were investigating a case on Fritz Avenue West.  During the investigation, Michael L. Crouse 30 was placed on a Probation Hold and transported to the Rusk County jail. 

 

    

BARRON, Wis. (WEAU)– A fire destroyed a business in Barron Monday morning.

It happened around 6 a.m. at Bell Pole, which is a business that dries and treats telephone poles.

The Barron Police Department says the fire started in a kiln. The building is a total loss and about 200 poles were damaged. No one was hurt.

Crews were on scene for about three hours.

 

 

 

 

  WHITEHALL, Wis. (WEAU) – A crash in Trempealeau County has resulted in “multiple fatalities.”

The Wisconsin State Patrol says it happened around 7:40 a.m. on State Highway 95 and Sorlie Ln. That’s between Blair and Arcadia. A deputy from the Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Office says he is not sure how many victims are involved, but that there “may be more before they’re done.” There was also no immediate word on their names, ages, or hometowns. He said at least one vehicle was reportedly engulfed in flames. He was not sure about what types of vehicles were involved, but the state patrol reports that two vehicles were involved.

Right now, highway 95 is closed in both directions between Blair and Arcadia. Crews are re-routing traffic on County Road N and County Road D. There’s no word on when that stretch of highway may open. The state patrol was sending a reconstruction team to the scene at last report. MADISON — Wisconsin taxpayers would have saved $206 million over two years — 73 percent more than estimated — if officials had fully expanded its main health care program for the poor under the federal Affordable Care Act, a new nonpartisan report shows.

 

If officials decide to change course and expand the program in the next state budget, state taxpayers would save another $261 million to $315 million through June 2017, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The bureau serves the Legislature and is widely respected by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

In all, the state could have saved more than $500 million over 3-1/2 years, the report shows. That would have allowed Gov. Scott Walker and legislators to put more money toward schools or roads or cut taxes more deeply than they did over the last year.

In addition to saving state funds, the full expansion would have served an estimated 87,000 more adults each month under BadgerCare Plus, according to the fiscal bureau.

The program provides better coverage for people with low incomes — and at a lower cost — than the subsidized health plans sold on the federal marketplaces set up under the Affordable Care Act.

The new figures reassert one of the chief differences between the GOP governor and his Democratic opponent, former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive Mary Burke.

Burke said the new numbers highlight the need to expand BadgerCare, while Walker said he would not do so because he didn’t believe the federal government would follow through with funding promises that are written into law.

The potential savings are available because of an Obamacare provision that requires the federal government to pick up the full cost of people newly coming into Medicaid programs like BadgerCare who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

 

Rusk County News

Rusk County Public Health Department announced Thursday that a water quality advisory has been posted for Trail’s End Camp Beach in Bruce.  Water samples taken on August 13th showed high levels of E. coli bacteria at the beach.  Contact with contaminated water can cause gastrointestinal disorders, ear or skin infections, or respiratory disease.

Repeat samples have been collected, with results expected today (Friday) August 15th.  Rusk County Public Health Department will inform the public when E. coli levels have returned to normal.  All swimmers are reminded to be careful not to swallow water when swimming, and to shower off as soon as possible after leaving the water.  These precautions are especially important after high rainfall events, which tend to elevate bacteria levels.  Please call the Rusk County Public Health at 715-532-2299 for more information.

 

A gas leak causes an explosion at a house in Chippewa County, leaving serious damage to the basement.  It happened at around 7:00 Thursday on 263rd Street in Holcombe.  The Cornell Fire chief said no one was home and no one was injured.  There was structural damage to the home, and the windows and doors in the basement were blown out.  Where the gas leak came from is under investigation.

 

Just before 5 AM this (Friday) morning, a Rusk County deputy made a traffic stop on Edming Road, Glen Flora. According to the Police log, the driver performed a field sobriety test.  A subject was taken into custody and taken to the Rusk County jail.

 

A Ladysmith Police Officer responded shortly before 9 PM Thursday to a residence on Worden Avenue East for a report from a female subject who stated that her key’s were missing.  The complainant stated that she left her keys on the coffee table, and when she came back from the bathroom her keys were gone. A male subject was reportedly in her apartment as she let him get a glass of water 2-3 hours before she noticed her keys missing.  The City Officer observed that the complainant leaves the door to her apartment open and that she was in her apartment all day.

 

A judge in northern Wisconsin is reviewing a murder suspect’s request for an Alford plea.  It would let 47-year-old William Rambo maintain his innocence, while admitting there’s enough evidence to convict him.  Rambo currently faces an intentional homicide charge in Price County, with a mandatory life prison term for allegedly stabbing his wife Dawn eight times last August.  Prosecutors said she kicked Rambo out of their house, and he was trying to make up with her when they got into an argument.  That’s when he reportedly stabbed and slashed the 37-year-old woman.  Officials said Dawn ran to a neighbor’s house, and a police officer took her to a hospital on the assumption that she couldn’t wait for an ambulance.  She died 40 minutes later.  Visiting judge Ann-Knox Bauer of Taylor County is handling the case.  The Alford plea would avert a jury trial that’s scheduled to start Wednesday.

 

 

At least one analyst believes that the new increase in Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is not all that bad.  Wells Fargo economist Brian Jacobsen says a number of people who had given up looking for jobs went back into the labor force — and those who didn’t find work yet were added to the list of those officially unemployed.  That, plus actual unemployment, drove up the state’s seasonally-adjusted jobless rate to five-point-eight percent in July.  That was one-tenth of a point higher than in June.  Wisconsin remains below the national jobless rate of six-point-two percent — which also went up one-tenth of a point from June.

Rusk County News

What happened to summer?  That’s what folks in far northern Wisconsin want to know.  The mercury got to within one degree of freezing overnight in Land O’Lakes, along the state’s border with Upper Michigan in Vilas County.  It was 33 there at five o’clock, and just four degrees warmer two hours later.  Overnight lows dropped into the 40′s in most of the northern half of the Badger State, but it was still in the relatively comfortable 50′s in the south.  It continues our relatively cool summer, where only a few places have seen 90 degrees in the aftermath of long hot spells in each of the last two years.  The National Weather Service says a high pressure system will move across the Badger State today — bringing sunny weather and highs a bit below normal in the 70′s.  It’s supposed to get warmer and more humid going into the weekend, with a chance for thunderstorms on Saturday.

 

A Republican candidate for the 87th State Assembly District says he’ll likely seek a recount.  Michael Bub, James Edming, Shirl LaBarre and Scott Noble were all trying to advance out of Tuesday’s GOP primary which covers parts of Rusk, Sawyer and Taylor counties.  Initial unofficial results showed the top two vote-getters were Bub and Edming, with Bub leading by three votes with all precincts reporting. But Rusk County officials say they mistakenly gave Noble 20 votes that should have gone to Edming.  Those votes have given Edming a 17 vote lead.  Bub says he’s frustrated and likely will request a recount if the results stand after canvassers complete their official count.  The winner will face Democrat Richard Pulcher of Lublin in the Nov. 4th general election.

The unofficial final vote tally from Tuesday has Edming with 1,451 votes, Michael Bub with 1,434, Shirl LaBarre with 1,338 and Scott Noble with 960.

 

At about 11:30 AM Wednesday, the Bruce Fire Department and the DNR were called to a fire on Dam Road, Bruce.  Rusk County dispatch received a 911 call from a female subject advising there is some sort of fire at this location.  No other information was available and Bruce firemen were at the scene for about 90 minutes.

 

The Ladysmith Fire Department at about 3:30 Wednesday afternoon answered a call to the City of Ladysmith Street Garage.  A City Officer requested the fire department at the City garage near the break room for smoke in the building. The Bruce Fire Department responded with their Thermal Imaging Camera.  No other information was available.

 

Wednesday morning Ladysmith Police received a Battery Complaint.  Brian T. Fuller, 18 reported from the RCMH that he was the victim of a Battery which occurred Tuesday Night around midnight by the Ladysmith Fire Department.  The case is under investigation.

 

 

 

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