WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Former Gov. Patrick Lucey passes away at 96
MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin's longest-serving legislator says former Governor Patrick Lucey will be remembered as one of the state's most influential citizens. State Senate Democrat Fred Risser of Madison said Lucey turned Wisconsin into a "two-party state." The 96-year-old Lucey died Saturday night at the Milwaukee Catholic Home where he lived for several years. He had a brief illness. Many have credited Lucey with the rise of Wisconsin's Democratic Party in the wake of the Joe McCarthy era. The La Crosse native chaired the state Democrats in the 1950's -- and he helped former President John F. Kennedy win a key primary in the Badger State in 1960. Lucey became governor a decade later, serving the first four-year term in that post. He served for most two terms, and was credited with the merger of the U-W and the old State University System in 1972. He also reduced the "Age of Majority" in which the age for voting, drinking, marriage, and other adult responsibilities dropped from 21-to-18. Lucey also appointed the first female justice to the State Supreme Court -- Shirley Abrahamson, who remains the chief justice. In 1977, Lucey became the U-S Ambassador to Mexico. In '80, he ran for vice president as an independent with John Anderson. He later remained politically involved as a professor at Marquette and Harvard, and as a supporter of Democrats John Kerry and Barack Obama in the past decade. Republican Governor Scott Walker praised Lucey as a "dedicated public servant who loved Wisconsin." Funeral arrangements are pending. His family expects to have a public memorial service at some point.
Almost 55-hundred Wisconsin electric customers were without power this morning, after heavy thunderstorms put a damper on Mother's Day outings. The Wisconsin Public Service utility reported over 29-hundred outages in the Oshkosh area at 5:15 a-m. We Energies had just over a-thousand customers out around Seymour. Workers were busy during the night getting power restored. Wisconsin Power-and-Light reported over two-thousand outages in Fond du Lac County at 5 o'clock. But just 15 minutes later, the utility's Web site said the numbers of outages were down to about 350. In western Dane County, power lines fell late yesterday in Cross Plains, where a tree caught on fire. In Black Earth, heavy rains and a brief hail-storm caused minor flooding. Near Janesville, gusts up to 60-miles-an-hour caused a fallen tree to block a road -- and numerous tree limbs fell at nearby Footville. Beaver Dam had continuous lightning and half-inch hail late yesterday afternoon. The National Weather Service said a warm front brought warm, humid, and unstable air to much of the state. Kenosha, Janesville, and Wautoma all had highs of 81 yesterday before the storms came through. Another warm front is expected to push through Wisconsin today from south-to-north -- bringing more warm temperatures and another chance of heavy storms on-and-off through tonight.
The Mega Millions' jackpot is up to 121-million dollars for tomorrow night. Nobody won the top prize on Friday night, and no Wisconsin players won the million-dollar second prize. Tomorrow's jackpot is the biggest since March 18th. The cash option is just over 69-million dollars. In Powerball, the jackpot stands at 90-million for Wednesday night, with a cash option of 53-million. Two Wisconsin players won the third-prize of ten-thousand dollars each on Saturday night. Those tickets were sold in Milwaukee and Eagle River. Just over 74-hundred players in the Badger State won smaller prizes on Saturday.
A toddler who drowned near Rhinelander was identified yesterday as 15-month-old Kaleb Kennedy. His mother told authorities that she was outside with the boy and one of his siblings early Saturday afternoon. She went in the house to move laundry from a washer to a dryer -- and when she returned, the toddler was gone. That's when she called 9-1-1. An Oneida County sheriff's deputy found the youngster about a half-hour later, downstream from the home in the Pelican River. The boy was rushed to a hospital, where he died a short time later. The incident remains under investigation.