WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: First deaths reported from winter flu virus
Wisconsin has recorded its first two deaths from this winter's flu.
In a weekly update to public health professionals, Jonathan Temte of UW-Madison reported that a pregnant woman died from the flu -- and another woman died after giving birth recently. He said both women did not get vaccinated. Their names and hometowns were not released, but officials in Milwaukee said the deaths did not occur in Milwaukee County -- where about a quarter of the state's flu hospitalizations have taken place. Paul Biedrzycki of the Milwaukee city health department said the deaths should serve as a reminder for pregnant women to get the flu vaccine. The H1N1 swine flu is the prevalent strain this winter, and Biedrzycki expects the disease to reach its peak in Milwaukee in the next week or so. He said 185 people in the state's largest city have been hospitalized with the flu -- 22-percent of the statewide total.
Southwest Wisconsin picked up the most snow yesterday. Lancaster in Grant County had five-and-a-half inches Friday night and Saturday. Genoa in Vernon County picked up five-inches. Lesser amounts were reported as far east as Beloit, and as far north as Polk County in northwest Wisconsin. Menomonie had the most in the far west region, with three-and-a-half inches. Most of the eastern two-thirds of the state didn't get any snow from this system. The National Weather Service says a couple of weak systems will move through Wisconsin today and tomorrow. The north could get a little light snow today, and it's supposed to spread throughout the state overnight. Above-normal temperatures are predicted for today in the 20's-and-30's statewide. Much colder weather is due in tomorrow night. By Tuesday, it might not be any warmer than five-above anywhere in Wisconsin.
Folks in Adams are raising questions, after the mayor went to work for an green energy firm that the city is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to attract. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says Adams -- a city of two-thousand in central Wisconsin -- would give industrial land and a million-dollar incentive package to Global Environmental Infra-structure Technology Solutions, or GEITS. The paper says the city has spent $900,000 on wind-powered street lights and wastewater equipment from GEITS. State officials said they have not reviewed the wastewater improvements -- and they might not be necessary. The firm tried getting state and federal funds for a new world headquarters and factory in Adams. They were turned down. Tia Nelson of the state's Board of Commissioners of Public Lands said it was the first time in nine years that she did not give her panel a funding application to review. An attorney reviewed the Adams proposal, and said it could cost taxpayers up to $22-million over 25 years. City Administrator Bob Ellisor said that's wrong. He says GEITS plans to invest $100-million, with the prospect of up to 500 jobs. Last November, Adams Mayor JanAlyn Baumgartner became a vice president of government relations and public policy for the company. She rejected a call from one alderman to resign as mayor. The mayor said her situation is legal, because she stays away from all city deliberations and meetings involving the firm.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Milwaukee says it will look into the death of West Allis teenager Corey Stingley, to see if a full-blown investigation should be done. Chief prosecutor James Santelle says Stingley's family has not provided enough evidence to indicate that Corey's civil rights were violated. The 16-year-old was about to steal liquor from a West Allis store when three shoppers detained him in December of 2012. He died two weeks later, and state prosecutors said there was enough evidence to charge the three shoppers with anything. Stingley's father and other critics racism in the handling of the case. Corey was black, and the three shoppers were white.
For the second time in a year, the largest stockholder in the Wausau Paper company is urging its management to leave Wisconsin. Wausau Paper still has its headquarters in Mosinee, after selling its Mosinee and Rhinelander mills early last year to KPS Capital Partners of New York. But that wasn't enough to satisfy Wausau's largest stockholder, the Starboard Value hedge fund of Manhattan. It says Wausau Paper remains quote, "deeply undervalued" while its executives wasted millions-of-dollars to prop up parts of the business that were quote, "destined to fail." Starboard says the board of Wausau Paper should fire the managers, do more restructuring, or sell the company. After Wausau sold its nearly century-old plant in Brokaw two years ago, it only has two out-of-state mills which make paper towels and tissues. The Mosinee headquarters are its only Wisconsin operations. Wausau Paper has not commented on Starboard Value's newest allegations.
Nobody won the Powerball jackpot last night, so it goes up to 131-million dollars on Wednesday. The jackpot is the highest since last October 23rd, when a 216-million-dollar prize was won. Also, nobody won the Mega Millions' jackpot on Friday night -- so that prize is up to 51-million for the next drawing in that game on Tuesday night.