WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Gov. Walker says no target date for casino decision
MADISON - Amid expectations of an announcement by the end of the week, Governor Scott Walker says he will not have a target date on a decision for a proposed Kenosha casino.
Governor Walker says his administration will spend the appropriate amount of time to make a good decision, citing the Bureau of Indian Affairs took over a year to approve it. The Menominee Tribe says the $800-million proposed casino would provide over five-thousand jobs to the state, but opponents claim that number is misconstrued.
___________________________A Sheboygan mirror company announces plans for expansion. Muth Mirror Systems rolled out a three-point-seven million dollar expansion plan to add 14 new assembly lines and equipment. The company is getting $570,000 in tax credits from the state’s Economic Development Corp., since an estimated 140 jobs will be created over a three-year span. Founded in 1941, Muth Systems manufactures high-tech mirrors for automobiles, including its signature LED side mirror.__________________________ The remains of a body found in northwest Wisconsin 20 years ago have been identified as those of a Minneapolis woman. Polk County Sheriff Pete Johnson says with the assistance of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the remains have been identified as Pearline Walton. She was 22-years-old when last seen in Minneapolis during the summer of 1993. Her body was discovered by a hunter near Dresser that November. Johnson says his department can now follow up on the case. ___________________________
Wisconsin veterans can move to the front of the line when signing up for classes at the state's UW and technical college campuses. Governor Scott Walker signed a bill today to give active military members and veterans priority over other students in registering for their preferred class sections. The bill is designed to show support for veterans while saving tax money. The goal is to pay for more class sections under the federal GI bill. The federal benefits must be used up before a veteran's state benefits kick in. Also, Walker signed a bill to provide discounts on hunting-and-fishing licenses for veterans who were injured during their service. The discounts apply to Purple Heart veterans. Both in-state and out-of-state veterans can pay various discounts to enjoy Wisconsin's great outdoors. The Republican Walker signed both measures following a special veterans' ceremony at the State Capitol.____________________________
The Trevor-Wilmot School in Kenosha County is expected to reopen on Monday, after dozens of students and staff members got sick from a stomach flu. Seventy-four students either stayed home yesterday, or were sent home. Of those sent home, 53 youngsters had symptoms from the virus. The Trevor-Wilmot Consolidated District has around 600 students from four-year-old kindergarten through eighth grade. ____________________________
Wisconsin's largest company has acquired 90-percent of a battery supplier in South America. Johnson Controls of Glendale said today it bought a majority share of MAC, which was started two years ago as a joint venture with Johnson. The purchase price and other terms were not disclosed. The partnership focused on the sales of lead-acid batteries, for which Johnson Controls is the worldwide market leader. The firm says the new acquisition will allow the business to keep growing in Central-and-South America.____________________________
The Wisconsin State Senate will wait at least until next year to consider the two latest anti-abortion bills. Tuesday is the final day the Senate will meet in 2013 -- and majority Republicans say they want end the year without a major controversy. A tentative agenda for Tuesday's meeting does not include bills to ban abortions based solely on the baby's gender -- and banning tax dollars to cover abortions under public employee insurance plans, while letting religious groups opt out of approving contraceptives in their workers' insurance. Middleton Democrat Jon Erpenbach promised quote, "all out hell" if the two bills come up next week -- especially the one about the contraceptive exception. A spokesman for Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) tells the AP the bills might come up in 2014. Lawmakers are generally in session through March of even-numbered years, and many spend the rest of the time on their re-election campaigns. _____________________________
A metal fabricating company in Waukesha County is getting bigger. Waukesha Metal Products of Sussex says it will soon acquire Revstone Fabrication of San Luis in Mexico. The Waukesha firm signed a letter of intent to acquire a plant with eight stamping presses of up to 600 tons each. The facility also has five robotic welders, two laser-cutting machines, and other fabricating equipment. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close by Dec. 7_____________________________
"The Onion" will print its final edition on December 12th. Then, the satirical tabloid started by two UW-Madison students will move completely to an on-line format. "The Onion" is following the same path as many of the news outlets it lampoons. Print ad revenue has dropped since the newspaper industry's expansion of digital content -- and some papers have eliminated their print products altogether. "The Onion" is now owned by a corporation in Chicago. Its president, Mike McAvoy, says his company has spent the last few years focusing on growth in its digital products. He said the print edition -- started 25 years ago in Madison -- will always be an important part of its history. McAvoy says "The Onion's" content is funnier than ever, and it will thrive for another 25 years in a format that allows for fresher content. Recently, the company has steered itself in video products as well as online publication.____________________________
Six health-related groups want to know what Governor Scott Walker will do with 77,000 BadgerCare recipients if they cannot soon get the Obama-care they've been told to buy. The Wisconsin State Journal obtained a letter to the Republican governor from groups that include the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association and the state's Council on Children-and-Families. They said they're concerned that all 77,000 former BadgerCare Plus recipients might not be able to enroll in the federal government's insurance exchange by the current deadline of December 15th. The Internet exchanges have been plagued with access problems, which Washington promises to fix soon. As part of the new state budget, officials notified the 77-thousand Medicaid recipients that they might lose their coverage if they don't meet income and eligibility limits. Letters confirming losses of BadgerCare will start coming out November 23rd, when the state plans to start using its new criteria to determine Badger-Care Plus eligibility. A state health official says the goal is to still get people signed up by December 15th, so they can start getting their required Obama-care coverage on Jan. 1st._____________________________
A one-thousand-dollar reward was put up today for information leading to a 15-year-old Waukesha County girl who's been missing for three days. Kettle Moraine High School freshman Kathryn Stalbaum missed a school bus on Tuesday morning. She texted a friend that she would ride her bike to school. The bike was found yesterday, and officials said today it was located in the city of Waukesha. Officials say there are no immediate signs of foul play in Stalbaum's disappearance._____________________________
Milwaukee's police chief says some officers are abusing his department's system for dealing with stress-related disabilities. Ed Flynn has asked city officials for help in making reforms. Flynn said the system was meant to help officers who have psychological or physical trauma from duty-related disabilities -- but the chief says "rogue" officers who are under investigation are claiming they're stressed, and are getting tax-free benefits. Flynn calls that an insult to officers who are truly impaired. The Journal-Sentinel says at least nine Milwaukee police supervisors and officers filed for duty-disability pay, during or after disciplinary investigations over the past seven years. Police union chief Mike Crivello did not immediately respond._____________________________
Some streets in Wausau were covered with ice this morning -- but not because of a snow-storm. The National Weather Service said the snow came from the Granite Peak Ski Area, which towers over the city from the west atop Rib Mountain. Wausau Police were called to several crashes this morning on the multi-lane Grand Avenue. No one was hurt. Public works officials salted the affected areas, and traffic moved normally again. Early morning temperatures were in the teens in parts of north central Wisconsin the past couple days -- but that problem got solved late this morning when the mercury went above 32. Forecasters say it should stay above freezing in the 30's-and-40's at least until Sunday. The Wausau Daily Herald says traffic crashes from the man-made snow happen occasionally. Granite Peak has 500 snow guns. Most of the white stuff lands on ski runs, but some of it gets blown down-wind.________________________________
A Racine man is free-on-bond, after he allegedly made a bomb threat at his workplace so he could get Halloween off. Prosecutors said 27-year-old Jacob Vanderhoef was out of vacation time -- so he left two threatening notes at Poclain Hydraulics. Officials said one note was found two days before Halloween. It reportedly indicated that an explosive was timed to go off sometime during the week, and that authorities should quote, "Catch me if you can." Court records showed that he posted a two-thousand-dollar cash bond. A preliminary hearing is set for November 20th on two felony counts of making bomb scares.