“News-April 10, 2011”

Tornado’s Expected With Sunday Evening Storms


4/10/11 – National Weather Service meteorologists say the so-called super-cell storms headed for the upper Midwest tonight could create an historic outbreak of tornadoes.  The experts say weather watchers could be studying it for years to come.  The storm system actually started with a warm front that brought thunderstorm chances into Wisconsin Saturday night.  That was just the start.  The extreme warm-up forecast for Sunday could collide with a cold front coming in by tonight.  The best chance for tornadic activity is tonight, with the storm lasting until early Monday.


Baldwin Calls For Investigation Into Vote Count


4/10/11 – Wisconsin Congressman Tammy Baldwin is calling for an investigation into the vote count in Waukesha County.  Baldwin has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to assign the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section to the case.  That unit handles federal prosecution of election crimes.  The Justice Department hasn’t agreed to take this on yet, but a spokesperson is quoted as saying it would review Baldwin’s letter.  Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus has blamed human error for the miscount.  The late discovery of 14 thousand votes took a tight race and gave incumbent State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser a 75 hundred vote lead.


Convicted Murderer Dies In Prison


4/10/11 – A conman who was once on the F-B-I’s Most Wanted list for killing two young couples in Wisconsin and Ohio has died in a prison hospital. Edward Edwards had pleaded guilty to five killings in the months before his death.  He was 77 years old.  An Ohio prisons spokesperson says he died of natural causes at the Corrections Medical Center in Columbus.  He was suffering from leukemia, heart problems and diabetes.  Edwards pleaded guilty in Jefferson County Circuit Court last June to two counts of first-degree murder in the 1980 killings of Tim Hack and Kelly Drew. He later pleaded guilty in Ohio to the 1977 murders of Bill Lavaco and Judith Straub in Akron – where Edwards was born. Edwards got two life terms in Ohio, and would have been eligible for parole in ten years in the Buckeye State. If he had ever been released there, he would have returned to Wisconsin – where two mandatory life terms awaited him. Edwards escaped Ohio’s death penalty because it was not in effect when the Akron slayings occurred. Edwards, who once wrote a book about his years as a robber and a drifter, worked as a handyman in Sullivan when he killed Hack and Drew as they left a wedding reception in 1980. Both were 19. D-N-A tests linked Edwards to the slayings, and he was arrested last summer.


Joint Meeting Will Focus On Senior Center Expansion


4/10/11 – The city of Beaver Dam’s two standing committees will hold a joint meeting Monday night to discuss the possibility of moving forward with a new senior center. The Beaver Dam Senior Center Building Committee is hoping city officials will state a preference for a new location for their department. Community Activities and Services Director Evonne Koeppen made the pitch to a city ad hoc committee last Wednesday. She says they can not move forward without a definite location in mind. Koeppen also says while it would be nice to have some financial support from the city, they plan to rely on fundraising and grant money.


The Senior Center Committee previously selected the former Fullerton Lumber building on South Center Street. The city could get it for free but it would cost $3.3 million to renovate. The seniors studied two other sites and both would cost roughly the same amount, once their six-digit price tags are factored in. A recent feasibility study determined that between $500,000 and $800,000 could be raised from private donations. The Senior Center currently has around $300,000 in an endowment fund.


Council President Jon Litscher chairs the city’s ad hoc committee. Litscher says he understands that site selection is important for the seniors to begin the process of community fundraising and grant application. However, he was quick to note that the city does not have any available money, at least not the next couple years anyway. The Senior Center and Recreation Departments were combined in a cost-saving move in 2007. Planners say a new building would not be intended for general public recreational programs but would continue to house an office space for rec staff to plan programming and for public registration. The preliminary plans also call for a community center, wood shop and greenhouse. The joint meeting between the city’s Operations and Administrative Committees will be held Monday at 7pm in council chambers.


UW River Falls Death Investigation Continues


4/10/11 – An autopsy is complete, but investigators still don’t know why a 19-year -old freshman student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls died.  Kersten Greene was found dead in her dorm room last Thursday.  River Falls police say there was no sign of trauma or injury.  Investigators say toxicology tests will take several weeks to complete.  Within the last few weeks, two college students have died at Winona State University and a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee died after falling down the stairs at a party.


Third Carp Barrier Turned On


4/10/11 – A third electronic barrier has been turned in a Chicago area shipping canal, as part of the ongoing battle to keep the invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The Army Corps of Engineers says the 19-million-dollar shock device is located upstream from the other two. The barrier creates a field of force that either pushes fish back, or shocks those that don’t turn around. Colonel Vincent Quarles of the Corps’ Chicago district says the barrier is an excellent tool – and the new unit gives his group more flexibility in fighting the bloated carp. The first barrier was a demonstration unit that went on-line in 2002. The second one was activated two years ago. They’re all within about 15-hundred-feet of each other. Officials say the barriers have worked well, despite research showing that the carps’ D-N-A was spotted beyond the electronic devices. Now that the third barrier is up, the Corps says a second barrier will go down for maintenance in a few months.


Marquette Grad Held In Libya


4/10/11 – One of four journalists being held by the Libyan government is reported to be Marquette University graduate James Foley.  He has been reporting for the online news organization GlobalPost-dot-com.  He and three others were taken prisoner last Tuesday and are reportedly being held in Tripoli.  GlobalPost says the Turkish government is helping it get information on Foley and is serving as an intermediary.  Reporters with Wisconsin connections have been detained in that country previously.  Libyan government forces took four New York Times reports into custody last month and held them for nearly a week.  Two were graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.