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State News Roundup: BMO determined to help Milwaukee solve its infant mortality problem

One of Wisconsin's largest banks will try to help Milwaukee solve its problem with infant mortality. B-M-O Harris Bank says it will donated three-quarter million dollars to the Greater Milwaukee United Way, which will expand its "Healthy Birth Initiative." Milwaukee has one of the nation's highest big-city mortality rates for babies - and B-M-O vice-president Brad Chapin said quote, "That is not how we want to be defined in Milwaukee." Mayor Tom Barrett will become the chairman of the Healthy Birth Initiative. He promised last year to reduce Milwaukee's black infant mortality rate by 15-percent in the next five years - and to reduce the city's overall mortality rate by 10-percent. The city's death rate for black babies is three times as large as whites. About a fifth of the B-M-O Harris donation, or 150-thousand dollars, will be given to community health centers in predominantly black areas. The Progressive Community Centers will hire a full-time nurse devoted to women's health care, and help pre-natal patients. About 90-percent of Progressive's pre-natal patients are black, about 70-percent live below 200-percent of the federal poverty level.


Wisconsinites have helped invent a number of great things over the years - and their achievements will go on display Saturday at the Wisconsin Historical Museum. The display is called "Wisconsin Innovations from the Iconic to the Unexpected." Among other things, it features the electric guitar invented by Waukesha's Les Paul to the works of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The exhibit also has a large assortment of creations with Wisconsin angles - from the surfboard to the typewriter. The exhibit runs through the end of the year at the Historical Museum that's located on Madison's Capitol Square.


Some Wisconsin high school students are about to get a graphic lesson on why they shouldn't be texting behind-the-wheel. First of all, it's against the law. But to hammer the message home, the State Patrol will send a touring simulator to schools throughout the state this fall. It will show young motorists what can happen if they send texts or e-mails while driving. The Triple-"A" and A-T-and-T are co-sponsoring the simulator. They'll visit high schools in a number of cities this fall - including Madison, Racine, Burlington, La Crosse, Eau Claire, and Wausau. Wisconsin is now among 37 states which ban texting-while-driving. The fines can range up to 400-dollars.


A pilot was killed when his single-engine plane crashed into a yard in Kansasville in Racine County. F-A-A spokesman Tony Molinaro said the small Beechcraft Bonanza was flying from the Chicago Executive Airport to Minocqua in northern Wisconsin, when it crashed and struck a building. Nobody on the ground was hurt in the crash, which happened around noon yesterday along Eagle Lake at Kansasville. Fire Chief Chad Franks said flames from the crash destroyed the plane, a garage, and two cars. And two homes and several out-buildings were damaged. The cause was not determined. The F-A-A and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The plane was registered to an address in Chicago. The pilot who was killed was the only one aboard. The person's name was not immediately released. Brian Block said he was sitting in his living room when he heard a plane engine close by, and then quote, "Kaboom!" He said his entire house shook.