“News – September 13, 2009”

Woman Injured in Early Morning Crash


9/13/09 – A 25-year-old woman was injured after her vehicle left the road and struck a pole early this morning.  Authorities say Jessica Petri was injured around 4:10 a.m. after her vehicle left County Trunk Y in the northeastern part of the county.  She went into the ditch before striking a pole.  EMS personnel took Petri to the hospital.  Alcohol was a factor in the crash as Petri’s preliminary blood alcohol concentration was .18, more than double the legal limit.


FDL Police Chief Tailgated by Alleged Drunk Driver


9/13/09 – It’s safe to say a woman suspected of drunk driving in Fond du Lac County last Friday didn’t know who she was tailgating.  The woman was driving west on Highway 23 when she started tailgating an unmarked squad car driven by non-other than Fond du Lac Police Chief Tony Barthuly.  After tailgating the Chief for a while the woman passed him at excessive speeds and continued swerve between lanes.  Barthuly eventually made a traffic stop near Rosendale.  The woman was arrested and taken to jail.


Obama Calls for Oversight and Accountability by Insurance Companies


9/13/09 – President Obama again this week called for tougher oversight and accountability for insurance companies. Attorney Bobby Peterson is with ABC for Health who handles patient’s rights cases. He says there is a lot red tape that lawmakers have to find a way to cut through. Obama wants to make it illegal for insurance companies to put lifetime caps on coverage and deny benefits for pre-existing conditions. However Peterson is concerned with keeping track of insurers not complying with proposed new laws. Peterson says he’s “more optimistic than ever” that health care reform will pass this upcoming legislative session


Kohl Says Absence of Public Option Not a Deal Breaker


9/13/09 – Senator Herb Kohl supports a public option as part of health care reform – but admits it might not make the cut.  Fresh from a meeting between moderate Democrats and the president, Kohl says there’s agreement on “eighty percent” of health care reform. While Kohl says both he and Obama support a viable public option as part of health care reform, the Senator also doesn’t see its absence from a final bill as deal breaker.


H1N1 Shuts Down Volunteer Program at Hospital


9/13/09 – The student volunteer program at U-W Hospital and Clinics has been suspended, because so many students have come down with H-1-N-1 flu.  The students are from the U-W Madison and Edgewood College.  The infection control director at the hospital says officials are acting proactively to stop student volunteers from working at the hospital, while so many cases of H-1-N-1 are showing up at the colleges.


Wisconsin Still the “Big Cheese”


9/13/09 – Wisconsin might not be the nation’s biggest milk producer anymore, but we still are the “Big Cheese.”  State Ag Secretary Rod Nilsestuen says Wisconsin tops California in cheese production and has increased the margin in the past couple of years. California overtook the Badger State as the nation’s top milk producer 15 years ago, but Nilsestuen says they’re playing second fiddle when it comes to cheese. Wisconsin remains way ahead particularly on specialty cheeses, from both cows and goats. Wisconsin now produces more than 600 varieties of cheese, with the state now winning awards at cheese competitions around the globe.


University Attempting to Help Students Through Tuition Increase


9/13/09 – A University of Wisconsin campus has found a way to alleviate higher tuition rates for some students.  UW-Oshkosh is using part of its “rainy day” fund to put more students to work.  Initially UW Oshkosh was facing a nearly $13.5 million budget cut over the next two years.  That figure was partially offset when the Governor ordered all state employees to take unpaid furlough days and cancelled pay raises. Also, tuition rates went up 5.5% for families making more than $60 thousand a year.  So Chancellor Richard Wells says the school is now looking at a $4.7 million cut.  But he says the tuition hike is hard on students, so the school freed up $500 thousand for this school year to get more of them jobs on campus. Wells says the jobs for our students are working closely with faculty and staff, on student/faculty research, library research, media technology systems.


Lawton Looking to Strengthen Campaign Finance Laws


9/13/09 – Democratic Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton says one of the reasons she’s running for Governor is to help strengthen Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws.  Lawton told the governing board of Common Cause of Wisconsin that she favors a system of full public financing for political campaigns.  Wisconsin already has some public financing available, but the current system has not been updated in decades.  Candidates in statewide races or competitive legislative races generally don’t use it because it hasn’t kept up with the cost of campaigns. At least a handful of lawmakers regularly propose overhauls of the system, but they never go anywhere.  Lawton says the legislature needs what she calls the “shared courage of leadership” of a Governor.


Chris Farley’s Brother May Run for Lieutenant Governor


9/13/09 – The older brother of comedian Chris Farley says he’s contemplating a run for lieutenant governor in Wisconsin as a Republican. Tom Farley Jr. of Madison said Thursday he still needs to consult with a couple people and convince his wife it’s a good idea before he commits. Chris Farley grew up in Madison before leaving for a career on “Saturday Night Live” and in films. He died in 1997 from an accidental drug overdose. Tom Farley runs the Chris Farley Foundation, which works to combat substance abuse. Last year he wrote a biography about his brother called “The Chris Farley Show.” Superior Mayor Dave Ross is already running as a Republican. Milwaukee Ald. T. Anthony Zielinski is running as a Democrat.


Next State Quarter Will Feature Apostle Islands


9/13/09 – Gov. Jim Doyle says new quarters minted nine years from now will feature the Apostle Islands. The America’s Beautiful National Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 requires the U.S. Mint to issue quarters featuring national sites in each state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The coins will be minted at a rate of five per year and issued on the date in which the landmarks were first established as national sites. The Apostle Island National Lakeshore quarter will be minted in 2018. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore includes more than 42,000 acres of land, including 22 islands, and 27,000 acres of Lake Superior.


Fall Colors Starting to Show in Northern Wisconsin


9/13/09 – The Department of Natural Resources says early fall colors are showing up in northern Wisconsin. The agency says scarlet red leaves of sumac and Virginia creeper are showing up as are some early red maples but the color change is less than 25 percent. The DNR says the sensitive fern is also turning yellow and orange and very visible from the roadside in wet areas. A weekly report on the foliage change is available at http://www.travelwisconsin.com.