WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Actor killed, others injured after first weekend of deer hunt
MERRILL - Hollywood actor and Tomahawk native Jay Leggett was the first deer hunter to die in Wisconsin's nine-day gun season.
Lincoln County authorities said the 50-year-old Leggett had returned from a tree stand to his hunting cabin late Saturday when he got off an all-terrain vehicle and collapsed. He died at the scene. Leggett graduated from UW-Stevens Point and lived in Los Angeles. He appeared in 26 episodes of the TV show "In Living Color," plus one-time appearances in several TV shows including "ER" and "NYPD Blue." Leggett also co-wrote and appeared in the 2006 film "Employee of the Month." He also produced a documentary about Wisconsin's deer hunting culture entitled "To the Hunt."
As of late yesterday afternoon, authorities said six people were injured in hunting accidents during the season's opening weekend. That was double the statewide total of last year's first two days. In Sheboygan County, authorities said a 52-year-old Cascade man was shot-and-wounded in a leg while hunting in a tree stand. Also, the state DNR said a man was hit by a stray bullet Saturday while sitting at his kitchen table in Monroe County in western Wisconsin. He suffered bruises. The incident remains under investigation. Four other hunters accidentally shot-and-wounded themselves. They included a 32-year-old Mukwonago man who shot himself in the palm of his left hand while loading a pistol in Grant County. The gun season runs through next Sunday.
A body found by deer hunters in Upper Michigan this month has been identified as 44-year-old Gerod Prince of Milwaukee. His remains were discovered November 15th. Menominee County sheriff's officials in the UP said Prince disappeared on his own in September, and there were no signs of foul play. A medical examiner said Prince died from exposure.
You can shop at a lot of places on Black Friday -- but not the customer service counters at the state Division of Motor Vehicles. They'll be closed on both Thanksgiving and the Friday after. Folks can still make appointments for road tests and get recorded information anytime on the D-M-V's automated phone line -- as well as the agency's Web site. Officials say people can renew their license plates, and get vehicle titles online or by mail. Third-party providers also have those services. They include grocery stores, financial institutions, and some police offices. You can get more information at the DMV's Web site, accessible at Wisconsin.gov. All DMV facilities will re-open next Monday after the holiday.
Some parts of Wisconsin are 30-degrees warmer than the same time yesterday -- but you might not know it, after the winds picked up. Southwest winds came in during the night, causing the mercury to rise in many places. At the same time, the winds got stronger. They were gusting to 35-miles-an-hour close to Lake Michigan overnight. Six o'clock temperatures ranged from 22 in Fond du Lac to 32 at Superior. At the same time yesterday, it was nine-below-zero as far south as Lublin in Taylor County. Some parts of the far north had a heaping of snow during the weekend. Winchester in Vilas County picked up five-inches since Friday night. Light snow is in the statewide forecast for today, with a chance of freezing drizzle as temperatures rise to the mid-30's. Scattered snow showers are possible tonight and tomorrow. Another burst of cold is expected tomorrow with highs in the teens-and-20's. A slight warm-up to around 30 is predicted for Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
After losing their son to a night of drinking, the parents of a UW-Stevens Point student helped start a program to try-and-prevent such a tragedy from happening again. Daren and Joan Duffey worked with the campus Student Government Association to start a program called "Bring-a-Buddy." It seeks to assure that students have someone with them when they walk home from a night at the bars. Over three-thousand bracelets have been given to students on the Stevens Point campus, mainly to those living in the dorms. The blue bracelets include the phone number of a local taxi company, so students can get rides if they need them. The campaign began after Stevens Point student Eric Duffey was found dead in an icy Wisconsin River, three days after he was last seen leaving a tavern in downtown Stevens Point in March of last year. The problem is a lot more common in La Crosse, where 10 college-age men drowned in three local rivers over the past 15 years after nights of drinking.
Students at Waukesha County Technical College are getting an extra day off during this Thanksgiving week. Classes were canceled for today, after a power outage on the main campus. Waukesha County tech plans to resume classes tomorrow.
The DNR has proclaimed the first year of Wisconsin's new Walleye Initiative a success. Lawmakers approved eight-million-dollars in additional bonding authority to expand the capacities of the state government's fish hatcheries -- and to start a competitive grant program for private groups to expand walleye production. DNR fisheries' director Mike Steggs said there's been a large pent-up demand for larger fingerlings, as Wisconsin lakes exhausted previous limited supplies. He said his fisheries were planning to produce around 100-thousand walleye fingerlings this year -- so it was a real challenge to ramp up the ongoing production to over 400,000. The larger fingerlings are in the 6-to-8-inch range. Biologists say it will give the walleye a better chance to grow to maturity. Steggs said the DNR obtained help from tribal fisheries and outside contractors -- and the big concern is now the selection of lakes where the new fingerlings will go. The agency is taking online surveys and holding public meetings to help determine future stocking locations.
Saturday is the next deadline for getting onto Wisconsin's popular do-not-call list for telemarketers. Those who sign up can be on the next list that's given to telemarketers at the start of the New Year. Those already on the list must re-register every two years. If you're not sure if it's been two years, you can re-up now, just to be sure. The no-call service is available for landlines, cell phones, and voice-over Internet. Non-profit groups can still call -- and so can political candidates and those with whom you've done business before. Sign-up information is available at the state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection's Web site, accessible at Wisconsin.gov. Meanwhile, an effort continues to eliminate the state no-call list, and transfer everyone to the federal no-call list run by the Federal Trade Commission. Supporters say it would eliminate the need to sign up every two years. They also say it would save money, which state consumer investigators can use to go after more violators of the no-call law. The Senate unanimously passed the measure in mid-October. It's pending in the state Assembly._____________________________ The Mega Millions jackpot is at $205-million for tomorrow night. That's highest since March of 2012, when players in Illinois, Kansas, and Maryland shared the game's record prize of 656-million. It's been just over a month since Mega Millions revamped its prize structure -- and a ticket sold in North Carolina was the first to win three-million dollars last Friday night. That ticket matched all the numbers except the Mega Ball, with a Megaplier of three. Nobody from Wisconsin won the game's second prize on Friday, and the numbers of state residents who won smaller prizes was not immediately available. Tomorrow night's cash option is $110-million. In Powerball, the jackpot is at $60-million for Wednesday night.