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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Missing Milwaukee man's body found in Michigan

MENOMINEE, Mich. - A body found in Michigan has been identified as a missing Milwaukee man.

Authorities say hunters found the body of 44-year-old Gerod Prince on November 15.  He had been missing since September. The body was found near Cedarville Township in Menominee County. The county’s Medical Examiner’s Office deemed the cause of death as exposure. Police say Prince was a voluntary missing person and do not suspect foul play. 

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Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp and Governor Scott Walker have recorded a Youtube video as a welcome to deer hunters in the state. Stepp says for the second straight year, first time hunters can get a break on the cost of their deer hunting license, costing just five-dollars.  Governor Walker says the nine-day season feeds our outdoor heritage, our families and the economy. The video can be viewed on Youtube. (http://youtu.be/FAabUxEUTvg).

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A Wisconsin man, accused of locking up his teenage daughter in a basement, was convicted by a jury on Friday. The 42-year-old Madison man was found guilty of intentional child abuse, along with reckless endangerment and causing mental harm to a child. According to court records, the teen was found wandering the streets after she ran away from home in February last year. She told investigators about a five-year nightmare of confinement and starvation, along with sexual abuse from her stepbrother. The father took the stand on Thursday, saying his daughter suffered from severe behavioral problems and did his best to help her. In order to protect the girl’s identity, the father has not been identified.

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A Granton business has been fined for illegally discharging wastewater. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he obtained a judgment against Billy J. Dahlke for violating wastewater laws. Dahlke's business, B-J Septic, had been dumping numerous loads of liquid septic waste behind an abandoned farm located on US Hwy 10 in Granton. DNR wardens received a complaint, and established surveillance of the property the next day. They observed Dahlke discharging septage from his truck into a tank that immediately drained and flowed into a nearby tributary to Jack Creek. Dahlke is licensed by the DNR to perform septage servicing and land spreading on agricultural lands but this dumping was not an approved method or on a permitted site. Dahlke was ordered by Clark County Judge Jon Counsell to pay fines and costs, totaling $30,000.

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Authorities say a Union Grove Mother was drunk when she drove her car into a pond with her children inside. The incident happened last month but according to a criminal complaint filed yesterday, Sheila Bell’s blood-alcohol level measure at point-22-percent… almost three times the legal limit. Bell and her two children were able to climb out of a window and swim to shore, nobody was hurt. The mother faces several charges, including reckless endangerment and driving drunk with a child.  

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Many good-hearted Wisconsinites want to help our neighbors in Illinois whose communities were devastated by multiple tornadoes, but Wisconsin Emergency Management's Tod Pritchard warns against a so-called "second disaster." That's when truckloads of stuff ends up in the disaster area with no place to store it and no one to distribute it. He says financial gifts are the best way to help victims. Wisconsin was fortunate to have little damage done from storms on the 17th, but Illinois suffered massive property damage, six deaths, and dozens of injuries from the tornado outbreak._______________________ The Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles is reminding customers that their service centers across the state will be closed on November 28 and 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday. A spokesperson says many services, such as license plate renewal and titling, can be done online or through the mail. The DMV website is at www.WISCONSINDMV.gov (www.wisconsindmv.gov)... Regular business hours will resume on Monday, December.________________________

More of Wisconsin became drought-free during the past week.  The U.S. Drought Monitor says just over 40-percent of the state's land area is abnormally dry or worse.  That's down by almost 10-percent from the week before.  A small part of western Wisconsin remains in a severe drought from Ellsworth to Fairchild.  About a quarter of the state is still in a moderate drought, mostly in western and southwest areas.  Around the eastern half of Wisconsin is now drought-free, along with a good share of the northwest.  Much of the northern half of Wisconsin had snow this week.  Parts of Taylor County got up to five inches.  Some of it stayed around, as it got colder late in the week.  Mid-afternoon temperatures are hovering around the freezing mark throughout the state, ranging from 26 in Superior to 37 in Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha.  It's supposed to get much colder during the weekend, with some places not leaving the teens tomorrow.  Parts of the northwest could be below zero by Sunday morning._________________________

Green Bay school officials said more today about an elementary principal who was fired in October for taking over $1,500 of funds generated by staff members.  The school district did not press charges against former Nicolet Elementary principal Melisa Ellingson, saying the district recovered the money on its own.  Officials said it was taken from a staff soda machine, proceeds from popcorn sales, among other things.  If any new allegations surface against Ellingson, the district says they'll be investigated and considered for possible charges. 

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Governor Scott Walker is calling the state Legislature back into session on the week of Dec. 2.  As he first announced last week, the Republican governor wants lawmakers to delay a scheduled January first cut-off of 77-thousand people from BadgerCare.  The affected clients have incomes above the poverty level -- and Walker wanted them to sign up coverage on the federal government's purchasing exchange.  However, problems with the exchange's Web site have prevented millions of Americans from signing up.  Those people have until December 15th to sign up, or risk paying fines.  Walker says it's quote, "irresponsible to force some Wisconsinites to pay the price for the federal government's failure."  He wants to delay the Badger-Care cutoff until the end of March.  He also's asking for a three-month extension of the state's health plan for high-risk patients.  They were also supposed to use the exchanges to get coverage by January 1.__________________________

An elder at a church in Sheboygan is charged with felony theft, for allegedly stealing bells from the church and pawning them off for cash.  57-year-old David Neese is accused of taking four cases of hand-bells in April from the First Presbyterian Church in Sheboygan.  They were valued at just over $10,000.  Church officials said they learned about the thefts from a California man who bought two cases of the bells on E-Bay, and saw the church's name on the labels.  Police traced other stolen bells to pawn shops in Appleton and Minnesota.  Neese is free after posting a $300 bond.  The status of his case will be reviewed on Monday.  A preliminary hearing is currently set for the day before Thanksgiving.

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A cancer center in La Crosse is part of a national effort to provide more tempting food for patients who nauseated and tired from treatments.  Mayo's Franciscan Health-care Cancer Center is among a half-dozen facilities that surveyed over 12-hundred patients to see what they could eat -- and what they couldn't stomach.  Franciscan dietician Sue Leifer said the better people do with nutrition during their treatments, the better they'll do overall.  The Culinary Institute of America helped create the more appealing foods for patients to try.  Eventually, the La Crosse center and other five will provide recipes for patients to take home.  They could also provide a bigger variety of chefs in the hospital.

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Beloit Police were looking today for a 40-year-old man who escaped from custody.  Officials said Michael Kane of Beloit was handcuffed yesterday before he was taken to police headquarters.  When he got there, he was just about to be taken to a prisoner holding area when he reportedly bolted.  Kane is wanted for theft and violating a previous probation -- and he's now wanted for criminal escape.

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The tree-killing emerald ash borer has made its first appearance in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa.  An arborist found the destructive beetle in October, but officials didn't say anything about it until today because they could not find any trees that the latest bug had damaged.  There were several reports of tree damage from the Wauwatosa ash borer -- but none could be confirmed.  Wauwatosa joins several other communities where the emerald ash borer has been found, including the city of Milwaukee.  Milwaukee County is already under a state quarantine, in which ash materials can only be shipped out if they're found by the Agriculture Department to be disease-free.  Eighteen other counties have similar quarantines since the ash borer first arrived in the state in 2008._____________________________

Folks riding the popular Amtrak train from Milwaukee-to-Chicago will be able to surf-the-'Net while riding-the-rails.  The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says the state DOT has agreed to spend $300,000 to cover three-fourths of the cost of adding Wi-Fi to the Hiawatha line.  Spokesman Marc Magliari says Amtrak is briefing several Midwest states which are getting new Wi-Fi contracts -- and the details won't come out until sometime after Thanksgiving.  He says Wi-Fi is now available to three-fourths of Amtrak's riders throughout the country.  In the Midwest, it's only available on limited trains between Saint Louis and Chicago.  Magliari says Amtrak's Wi-Fi provider combines cell-based service from several carriers -- and it can give riders general Web browsing but not large downloads or live streaming.______________________________

About 400 Wisconsin local government and public school unions could start their annual re-certification votes as early as next week.  The state Employment Relations Commission was in the process of scheduling those votes, when a judge ruled that the agency was in contempt-of-court for doing so.  The State Supreme Court lifted the contempt order yesterday.  Commission attorney Peter Davis says his agency will get advice from the state Justice Department on Monday on how to proceed.  Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that the elections were not legal, under his earlier ruling that the Act-10 bargaining law was unconstitutional for local-and-school unions.  State officials say the Colas ruling applied only to two original plaintiffs.  Colas said his ruling applied to all local-and-school unions.  If the state goes ahead with the re-certification votes, union attorney Lester Pines says he'll ask the Supreme Court to find the state in contempt.

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A new report today said only one-of-every-seven members of Wisconsin's largest corporate boards is a woman.  That's a rate of 14-percent, about the same for the past two years after a steady gain of five-percent over the previous eight years.  Milwaukee Women Incorporated put together the report.  It studied the makeup of corporate boards in the state's 50 largest publicly-traded companies.  In eight of those companies, at least a quarter of the directors are women.  Companies with at least one female director grew from 32 a decade ago to 38 this year. 

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Two people are awaiting criminal charges, after they were reportedly caught with 11-and-a-half pounds of marijuana -- plus 10 chocolate bars infused with the main ingredient in pot.  Marshfield Police has been investigating the case for months.  On Tuesday night, officers arrested a 25-year-old Greeley, Colorado man and a 23-year-old Marshfield woman in separate traffic stops west of the city in the Wood County town of Rock.  Police Lieutenant Rick Gramza said the marijuana had an estimated street value of $88,000.  That makes it one of the largest drug busts on record for Marshfield, which has 23,000 residents.  Gramza said both suspects sold marijuana to undercover officers in the past -- and Marshfield Police had been told they would transport a large amount to central Wisconsin.  Gramza said he was especially concerned about the chocolates infused with pot.  He said it could make it harder for police to identify when someone has taken the drug -- and it could be more intriguing to a younger set of users.

 
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