Miss Wisconsin Named Miss America

1/16/12 – The newly-crowned Miss America from Wisconsin says she’ll work to improve family relationships for those with loved ones who are in prison. 23-year-old Laura Kaeppeler (kepp’-ler) of Kenosha won the Miss America crown and a 50-thousand-dollar scholarship on Saturday night in Las Vegas. She’s the first Miss America from Wisconsin since Terry Ann Meeuwsen in 1973. Kaeppeler’s father spent 18 months behind bars for mail fraud. And she said she’ll encourage families in similar situations to improve ties and move forward together. Kaeppeler says she wants children of incarcerated adults to feel like they’re not alone. She wants them to have mentoring for those children, and as much of a relationship with their parents as they can. Kaeppeler, who won the Miss Wisconsin pageant last summer, said there are more than two million children with parents in jail.