News – March 27, 2009

Winter Returns

3/27/09 – Most of Wisconsin won’t get the big snows the forecasters have been talking about for this weekend. But our area could see 3 to 5 inches while Metro Milwaukee could get up to 8-inches. Most of it is due in tomorrow night, as a strong low pressure system heads moves from the Southern Plains through Illinois and Indiana. Southeast areas could get a mix of snow-and-sleet during the day tomorrow, which will make driving a little tricky. Madison is expected to get all snow – around 2-to-5 inches worth. High temps for our area through next Wednesday will range from the mid 30’s to the high 40’s with a chance for precipitation each day.

Cell Re-Programming Breakthrough at UW-Madison

3/27/09 – U-W Madison scientists have announced a break-through in a human cell re-programming technique that’s considered an alternative to embryonic stem cells. Doctors say it could lead to new types of medicines which take advantage of the body’s own healing powers. Pioneer James Thomson and his team have come up with a safer way to convert cells from babies’ foreskins into units that resemble embryonic stem cells. The technique worked in the past – but it also generated viruses and outside genes that could lead to tumors. The new technique dilutes those harmful viruses, leaving only cells which have the potential to heal. Stephen Duncan of the Medical College of Wisconsin says any basic molecular lab can use the technique – and it puts science closer to start using those cells therapeutically. The new U-W research builds on a re-programming of stem cells Thomson and an outside Japanese team first achieved two years ago. It was hailed at the time as a major alternative to the controversial practice of making stem cells from embryos – but those cells were not safe for humans.

Husband Struggled after McIntyre’s Death

3/27/09 – The husband of a Columbus woman killed in March of 1980 has endured his own trials in life since her death. Lane McIntyre says he’s seen two marriages fall apart since his wife was killed that year and doesn’t speak to his son who was 3 months old when the murder occurred. 51-year-old Curtis Forbes of Randolph, a high school friend of Lane McIntyre’s, is in custody and is expected to be charged with Marilyn McIntyre’s murder next Monday. (KFIZ)

Benson Has Bail Raised after Violation

3/27/09 – A former surgeon accused of being high on medicines while he killed three people in a traffic crash had his bond raised yesterday. A Waukesha County judge said 56-year-old Mark Benson violated the terms of an earlier bail – so he made the new bond almost one-point-two-million-dollars. He was freed on a half-million-dollar bond February 20th, but authorities said he violated the terms of that bond by getting prescriptions which a doctor didn’t approve and possessing weapons. Prosecutors are also trying to make Benson forfeit the money, which was posted by his mother and her husband. A court hearing on that was delayed until May eighth, because the two could not attend yesterday’s proceeding. Benson is charged in a crash last April that killed Oconomowoc school official Jennifer Bukosky, her unborn child, and her 10-year-old daughter. Two counts of bail jumping were filed last week.

Man Facing Charges for Molestation of Young Boy’s Dating Back to 1970’s

3/27/09 – Police say a part-time swimming instructor in suburban Milwaukee might have molested young boys for over 30 years. Charges are pending against 61-year-old Daniel Acker of Waukesha, who was arrested this week during a swim practice. He’s been put on leave by the West Allis-West Milwaukee recreation department. Investigators said Acker apparently committed hundreds of sexual assaults on dozens of boys age 7-to-15 since the 1970’s. Police in nearby Greenfield were tipped off Monday about an old incident in that suburb. Deputy Inspector Brad Wendlandt said the tip led officers to four victims who are now in their 40’s, one of whom said he was molested at least 100 times. Officers then found a 19-year-old man who said he and Acker began having sex when he was 15-or-16 – and they were still in a relationship when the case unraveled. Police say they’re using the man’s allegations to seek charges, but they hope other victims will come forward.

Wendlandt said Acker taught swim lessons in the Milwaukee area for over 40 years. The West Allis-West Milwaukee school district runs the recreation program involving the sex cases – and school officials say they’ll have staffers available to answer questions and address concerns.

Sec. Leinenkugel Offers Hope in Speech

3/27/09 – Some optimism was offered by the state’s Commerce Secretary about the economy last night. Dick Leinenkugel told a gathering in Fond du Lac that the state has the tools in the Governor’s budget to emerge from the recession even stronger. However he says it will take sacrifices. Leinenkugel was the featured speaker at the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation’s Annual Evening.

Mercury Marine also merited mention last night. Leinenkugel toured the Fond du Lac company earlier in the day and learned Mercury has developed 35 new outboard engines in the last four years. Leinenkugel says manufacturers have to continue coming up with innovative ideas and products to weather the economy and competition. He also touted the Governor’s budget while addressing the crowd at the U-W Fond du Lac. (KFIZ)

New CT Scanner Puts BDCH at the Forefront of Medical Imaging in the Area

3/27/09 – Beaver Dam Community Hospital now has the most scientifically advanced CT scanner in Dodge County. In January the hospital installed a 64-slice CT scanner essentially replacing their 4-slice scanner. Director of Medical Imaging John Sweeney says the new $1.1-million-dollar machine is much faster and provides a superior picture than the 4-slice scanner, which he says will lead to a quicker and more thorough diagnosis for patients. Using a series of X-ray beams, the CT scanner creates cross-sectional images, which a computer then reconstructs these “slices” to produce a 3-D image. Sweeney says BDCH is the only hospital outside of Milwaukee, Madison, and the Fox Valley to have this type of scanner in Wisconsin, and he expects it to draw people from throughout the Dodge County area.