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WISCONSIN NEWS BRIEFS: Snowstorm snarls traffic in SE Wisconsin

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

MILWAUKEE - The first snowfall accumulation in southern Wisconsin is causing quite a mess on Wisconsin roadways.

Authorities in Racine and Milwaukee Counties responded to several reports of spinouts and crashes this morning and into the afternoon. A spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation says the first snowfall can always catch people off guard, making it important to take extra time driving to your destination. The National Weather Service in Sullivan reports that as of two o’clock this afternoon, some areas have seen about an inch to an inch-and-a-half of total accumulation. 

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A man accused of causing a lockdown at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is facing a new felony charge. In addition to a sleuth of other charges, prosecutors added felony child abuse charges today against 22-year-old Ashanti Hendricks. Authorities say during the November 14 ordeal, Hendricks allegedly dropped or threw a baby he was holding when authorities approached him… causing a skull fracture. In addition to the new charge, the suspect also faces charges of bail jumping and possessing a gun as a felon.

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It was a very cold weekend for the start of Wisconsin's nine-day gun deer season. Many registration stations also report fewer whitetails than last year. Richard Dickman runs Dick's Quality Meats in Blue Mounds and says the guys and gals in blaze orange saw plenty of deer, but mother nature got the best of them. Winds were gusting up to thirty miles an hour on Saturday, with temperatures dropping in the single digits. Dickman adds that it had a BIG impact on registrations. The Department of Natural Resources say six people were injured over the weekend, and one hunter - actor/comedian and Tomahawk native Jay Legget - collaped and died.

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 If you've failed to get a deer, you're hardly alone.  Governor Scott Walker reports that he came up empty today, when he went hunting in Washington County northwest of Milwaukee.  This is Day-Three of the nine-day gun deer season.  Statewide totals for the opening weekend are normally released late this afternoon or tomorrow by the D-N-R.  On Twitter late this morning, Walker wrote, "Wow, is it cold out.  The deer must think the same thing, as I haven't seen a thing."  The tweet included a photo of Walker wearing a cap, face mask, and the required blaze orange jacket.  The A-P said Walker finished his hunt just before noon without getting a deer.

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About 400 Wisconsin local government and public school unions can start voting Friday on whether they want to be officially recognized for one more year.  Both members of the state's Employment Relations Commission voted today to re-start a process that a Dane County judge halted a few weeks ago.  Juan Colas ruled that the state was in contempt-of-court for planning the elections, which are part of the Act-10 public union bargaining limits.  The Supreme Court struck down the contempt ruling last week.  Colas ruled 14 months ago that Act-10 was unconstitutional for local-and-school unions -- but the state claimed that the ruling only applied to the two unions which initially took the case to Colas' court.  Act-10 allows most public unions to bargain only for wages at-or-below inflation -- and it requires unions to hold annual certification elections if they want to keep those deeply-reduced bargaining privileges.  The union votes will start Friday and continue through December 19th.  Public unions had until August 30th to decide if they wanted elections.  Any groups which didn't meet the August deadline are automatically de-certified.

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Blame the calendar if you think businesses are rushing Christmas this year.  Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday of November -- and this year is the latest the holiday can be, on the 28th.  That's putting Christmas tree sellers in a bind, because it gives them one less weekend to sell.  Doug Hoffbauer has started selling all types of holiday decorations except for trees at his locations in Superior and nearby Duluth.  He says that very few people who host Thanksgiving will want to add Christmas trees to their long list of chores for Turkey Day.  Jim Whorton, who runs a tree farm in nearby Carlton Minnesota, tells the Duluth News-Tribune he couldn't wait to open the Friday after Thanksgiving -- like he's done for 30 years.  He started selling trees this past Saturday. 

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A man killed at a weekend house party in Beloit was identified today as 19-year-old Armando Lopez of South Beloit, Illinois.  Police said they were still looking for a known suspect.  They asked witnesses and the public to help find 20-year-old Ezekiel "Chucky" Villa.  Officials say they have probable cause to book Villa for first-degree intentional homicide.  Beloit Police say they're continuing to investigate.  Officials said they believed there was some kind of disturbance at the house party before Lopez was shot-to-death around two a-m yesterday.

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Whether it's the economy or the aging population, more Wisconsinites appear to be getting scammed this year.  Authorities say the newest fraud is one of the oldest.  A victim near Wausau lost seven-thousand-dollars, when someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House wanted to award the person a 2012 Mercedes-Benz.  The caller then said fees needed to be paid before the vehicle can be shipped, and a so-called attorney came on the line to vouch for that.  The victim was then told to send money through Western Union, and later received check that proved to be worthless.  The person's money ended it with off-shore scammers banking in Jamaica.  Folks in Portage, Oneida, and Trempealeau counties have also lost thousands to this old scam that's hitting a new generation of victims.  Police say you shouldn't have to pay to receive a prize -- and if you get an unsolicited check, send it to the police instead of your bank.  Finally, here's something authorities didn't say -- but what consumer officials advice repeatedly -- you can never win a contest that you don't enter.

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Regional airports are cashing in on the convenience of flying "close to home". WIBA-AM 1310 radio stadion out of Madison reports Dane County is among a number of regional airports in the state that have seen their average fare rise. Since 2005, average fares at Dane County Regional are up by $42 dollars. It's a $125 dollar increase at Green Bay's Austin Straubel, and $100 dollars at Central Wisconsin Airport. At Mitchell International in Milwaukee, fares are down, on average, by a dollar. Officials say selling smaller hubs is all about saving time... time with your family versus travel time.

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A Dodge County-based is planning a multi-million dollar expansion, with 100 new employees at plants around Wisconsin.  Mayville Engineering says it's getting new machining, robotic welding, and other new equipment -- and the firm will need trained people to operate those machines.  Mayville Engineering is owned by its employees with plants in Mayville, Beaver Dam, Wautoma, and Neillsville.  Human resources vice-president Cliff Sanderson says the company is excited to create excellent new job opportunities in the Wisconsin communities where it does business.  The company plans a job fair on December seventh to recruit new skilled workers.  

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Thanksgiving is rough on everybody's waist-line -- but for those with celiac disease, it can be an especially difficult holiday.  That's because of all the gluten in the traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Gluten is a protein found in rye, barley, and wheat.  There's plenty of it in the traditional stuffing, rolls, and pies.  Even turkey can have it, because there are some meat which process the birds by using gluten.  LaVonne Young was diagnosed with celiac disease six years ago.  She tells the Sheboygan Press that those new to the disorder often fear they'll have to go without on Turkey Day -- but that's not true anymore.  Heidi Dellemann, who manages the natural foods section at Festival Foods in Sheboygan, has celiac herself.  She used to have to adjust by making things from scratch, but she says it's no longer necessary. Delleman says there's been a large growth in gluten-free foods in the last five years -- and there is a lot more prepared foods which are available.  Among the tips for a gluten-free Thanksgiving -- brine the turkey to give it a moist flavor -- cook the dressing separately -- and make gravy thicker with corn starch instead of wheat flour.

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A Sheboygan North High School student will find out next week whether he'll make the semi-finals of a Doritos' Super Bowl commercial contest.  Paul Theodoroff has entered an ad called "Date Night," in which a teen ignores his girlfriend to go on dates with Doritos' snacks.  The deadline for entering the "Crash the Super Bowl" contest was last night.  Three finalists will go to the NFL's championship game in early February in East Rutherford New Jersey.  The winner will get a million-dollars and a chance to work with Marvel Comics' upcoming film "The Avengers." 

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