News February 9, 2009

Three Local Child Care Centers Fined in ‘08

2/9/09 – Three local child care centers were fined by the state in 2008. The most expensive violation of the three came at Bomkamp’s Braids N’ Britches in Columbus. According to state records, the center was fined $300 when an 18-month-old child was burned after pulling a cord attached to a baby bottle warmer, which then spilled onto the child. It was later discovered the warmer was found to be defective, meaning the water was warmer than it should have been. Two other violations occurred at two child care centers in Watertown. Great Expectations/Early Learning Center was fined $200 after staff failed to open double doors all the way and a child seated in a buggy had his arm dislocated when it got caught on one of the doors as they entered. The other violation took place at the Mary Linsmeier School when a non-staff member returned a child to the classroom that had been left unsupervised in the centers gym. In total, 27 child care centers were fined in the 15-county southern region, which includes Dodge, Columbia, and Jefferson Counties.

Wisconsin Man Planning Adventure No One Else Has Done

2/9/09 – Cedarburg native Eric Larsen is planning to do what no explorer has done before – reach the both the North and South poles and Mount Everest all within one year. Fifteen people have been to all three places, but none are from the U-S – and none of them made it within 365 days. You might remember that in 2006 Larsen and his partner became the first people to reach the North Pole in the summertime without help. And Larsen has just been to the South Pole, after guiding four adventurers on a skiing trip in early January. The 37-year-old Larsen says he wants his new effort to draw public attention to the effects of global warming on both poles and Mount Everest. He has raised over 100-thousand-dollars, and he’s working to get sponsorships to cover a budget of 750-thousand. Larsen’s new project is called “Save the Poles” – and he says there’s a 75-percent chance he’ll leave on schedule. He’s due to head for the South Pole in November, the North Pole in February, and Mount Everest in the fall of 2010.

Patients Losing Doctors

2/9/09 – If your favorite doctor leaves one hospital for another, good luck trying to follow him or her. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says many hospitals require doctors to sign employment contracts aimed at keeping them where they are. Chicago health care attorney Roger Strode says hospitals spend time-and-money helping a doctor build a practice – and in some cases, hospitals buy a physician’s practice simply for the revenue. But 67-year-old Ramona Raddeman, who has a brain tumor, says it’s not fair for the patients. Her doctor for the last 30 years just left Wheaton Franciscan Health-care. Raddeman says the hospital refuses to say where he went. And if she does find him and wants to follow him, she’ll have to pay 31-cents a page for her medical record. Raddeman says that alone would cost her hundreds of dollars. The paper says medical contracts often prevent doctors from contacting their patients when they leave. And they may be barred from practicing up to 20 miles away for a year or longer. Wheaton Franciscan said it would not comment on its employment contracts.

Air Quality Watch Until 11pm Tonight

2/9/09 – All of Wisconsin is under an Air Quality Watch until 11 tonight. The state D-N-R issued the watch because of higher-than-normal levels of fine particles in the air. They come from places like smoke-stacks, wood-burners, and vehicle exhausts. People in sensitive groups are urged to limit or re-schedule strenuous outdoor activities. And the D-N-R asks people to prevent unnecessary air pollution by driving as little as possible, and delay the burning of leaves and using outdoor power equipment.