News 6/11/2010

No Injuries In Metal Fab Fire

6/11/10 – No injuries were reported after a fire and small explosion at a metal fabricating company in Fall River Thursday morning. The incident at Robbins Manufacturing at 200 Steele Road was reported at 8:45am. Fall River Assistant Fire Chief Scott Karow tells us says the fire started in a dust collector in the welding area. Karow says the fire was knocked down in about 20 minutes but they spend another hour-and-a-half on clean-up and ventilation. Employees were evacuated but returned to work a couple hours later.

Edwards In Ohio

6/11/10 – Edward Edwards is in Ohio today, where he’ll plead guilty to a pair of murders similar to those he admitted to in Jefferson County. Edwards, who turns 77 on Monday, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the 1980 murders of high school sweethearts Tim Hack and Kelly Drew as they left a wedding reception in Jefferson. Both were 19, and authorities believe Hack was stabbed to death and Drew was strangled. D-N-A evidence linked Edwards to the killings last summer, when he was arrested. But Edwards had first claimed that someone else committed the killings and he merely had sex with Drew, hence the presence of his D-N-A. But he changed his story after authorities in his home town of Akron Ohio linked him to the 1977 killings of two similar young sweethearts. A grand jury in Akron indicted Edwards Wednesday. He’s expected to get two life prison terms in Ohio – and if he ever gets out on parole there, he’ll come back to Wisconsin where two more mandatory life terms will await him. According to his lawyer, Edwards pleaded-out so he could spare his family and the victims’ relatives from the pain of a trial.

MPTC Collaborates With Columbus

6/11/10 – Moraine Park Technical College and the City of Columbus are going to be working together on municipal issues in education in the near future. Three areas that could benefit College students as well as the City are…Internship opportunities for students in Columbus area businesses…Student development and administration of an economic development and business assistance survey…and development of a seminar in economic development and energy sustainability for community leaders. According to Economic Development Director Steve Sobiek, Moraine Park officials and the City Administrator are both looking forward to benefiting from collaboration. The proposed joint efforts will be giving MPTC students “real world” educational experiences and provide needed economic development assistance to the City.

Toddler Injured In Two-Story Fall

6/11/10 – A 21-month-old boy was hospitalized in serious condition at last word, after he fell from a second-story window in Oshkosh. Witnesses said the toddler was motionless on the sidewalk – and at least one neighbor thought the boy was dead – before he suddenly began yell-and-cry. That’s what he was doing when paramedics arrived. He was taken to a Neenah hospital, and was later transferred to Children’s Hospital near Milwaukee with injuries that officials did not disclose. His name was not immediately released. Police say they’re still trying to determine what caused the incident, and the events that led up to it. It happened late Wednesday afternoon.

Waupun Meets With City Admin Candidates

6/11/10- The Waupun Common Council will meet this weekend with the four finalists for the City Administrator’s position. They will speak informally with the candidates Friday at 6:30pm at the City Library. Then Saturday morning at 8am interviews will be conducted in closed session at the Council Chambers. The finalists include Waupun City-Clerk Treasurer Kyle Clark, Patrick DeGrave who served as an administrator for Slinger and several townships, Hortonville City Administrator J. Everett Mitchell, and Larry Thompson who has served as city administrator for several communities including River Falls. Waupun Interim City Administrator Ed Madere says the Council will hold a special meeting next Tuesday evening at 5:30pm when some type of decision about the City Administrator’s position could be made. The four finalists were among 38 applicants for the position.

Columbia County Gets Disaster Trailer

6/11/10 – Columbia County and three other counties will benefit from receiving a new trailer that will serve as a disaster shelter. The Ho-Chunk Nation donated the unit, which can hold up to 60 victims of natural disasters like tornadoes. The Red Cross wanted a trailer that could serve Columbia, Adams, Sauk, and Juneau counties. Otherwise, responders would have had to use shelters in more distant places like Madison and Prairie du Chien. Ho-Chunk spokeswoman Missy Tracey said the tribe used casino revenues from an annual New Year’s event to pay for the new trailer. It will hold items like cots, blankets, and mental health kits. Officials say the trailer is a timely gift, considering that the tornado season is about to reach its peak. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held June 21st in Wisconsin Dells.

Vets Affected By Smoking Ban

6/11/10 – They fought for our freedom but soon military veterans in Wisconsin’s two state-run retirement homes will lose their freedom to smoke inside. The state’s new public indoor smoking ban takes effect July fifth. Sara Stinski of the state Veterans Affairs agency says it will apply at the veterans’ homes in Waupaca and Racine counties. She says there are not many residents who smoke anymore, but the ban will be a huge change for those who do – as well as visitors and employees. Currently, they must use designated smoking areas inside. When the ban takes effect, Stinski says outdoor areas will be easily accessible. About 700 veterans live at the vets’ home in King in Waupaca County – and several hundred others live at the facility in Union Grove. Stinski says the changes won’t be easy – but veterans are a uniquely caring group of people, and they care about their own health and those of others.

Wisconsin Remains 20th Most Populated State

6/11/10 – Wisconsin gained 27-thousand residents from 2008-to-’09. And it’s still the 20th most populous state in the nation with just over five-million-650-thousand people. That’s according to numbers released yesterday by the U-S Census Bureau. The state’s largest county – Milwaukee – had its biggest one-year population gain since 2000, with an increase of 55-hundred residents to almost 960-thousand. The four-county Milwaukee metro area gained about 92-hundred people. The Madison area gained almost eight-thousand residents. A state demographic expert said the recession played a role, because fewer people had the ability to move away. David Egan-Robertson said more people couldn’t sell their houses last year, and could not afford new ones. He said the tight credit markets and fears about unemployment also made people stay put. In the meantime, Milwaukee County gained more immigrants – and births out-numbered deaths by a large margin.

Sensenbrenner On BP Spill

6/11/10 – Wisconsin House Republican Jim Sensenbrenner has lashed out at both President Obama and B-P over the oil spill on the Gulf Coast. And the Menomonee Falls lawmaker says he

has no plans to withdraw from federal action on the matter, even though he owns 34-hundred shares of B-P stock. His spokeswoman says Sensenbrenner has sometimes voted against B-P’s interests – and the president and many in Congress have taken millions in the company’s campaign contributions. In a letter to Obama, Sensenbrenner called the government’s response to the spill erratic. And he said B-P safety problems went undetected due to a lack of federal regulatory oversight. Sensenbrenner also accused B-P of under-reporting the amount of oil being spilled. He said it reduces their potential fines and helps their public image – and he said the government’s blind acceptance of those numbers suggests a lack of leadership in what he called a developing crisis. Sensenbrenner’s criticisms are noteworthy, since most Republican supporters of off-shore oil drilling have stayed silent on the B-P oil slick. But Sensenbrenner could not stay quiet any longer, as the value of his 34-hundred shares of B-P stock has plummeted from 251-thousand-dollars a few years ago to around 118-thousand. He also said the Obama administration’s criminal probe would not stop the leak. He noted that B-P has promised to pay for the damage and wants the matter resolved more than anyone.

BBB Warns Of Oil Spill Scams

6/11/10 – State officials say the Gulf Coast oil spill has bubbled up to Wisconsin in the form of charity scams. The state’s consumer protection bureau says scammers are making phone calls, sending e-mails, and running Web sites to seek donations for false services and environmental causes designed to benefit their own pocketbooks. Michelle Reinen, the bureau’s acting director, says people should contribute to charities they know – who don’t use high-pressure sales tactics. When giving on-line, she says most reputable charities use Dot-Org as a suffix instead of Dot-Com – gifts should be made by check or credit card – and those soliciting donations must register with the state, with the exception of religious and veterans’ groups. Those with questions are urged to call the state’s consumer bureau or the Better Business Bureau.