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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: The heat wave continues

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Wisconsinites will get a little relief today from the late-summer heat wave – but not much. Highs are still expected to reach the upper-80’s, after readings got close to 100 yesterday. It was 97 in Wisconsin Rapids and 95 in Marshfield, both new record highs for the date. The heat index went above 100 in many places. Madison set a record for the warmest low temperature yesterday with 77. Milwaukee tied the same record with 73. It remained steamy this morning. Shawano had 74 degrees at four a-m, and Oshkosh had 73. Power has been restored, after about six-thousand We Energies’ customers in Shorewood and Fond du Lac lost their air conditioning yesterday. The utility said it was not at peak demand, and officials were not sure why the outages occurred. This morning, about 50 customers of the state’s five major utilities were still in the dark. Spotty thunderstorms kept going through the state yesterday. A house was struck by lightning at Mercer in the far north. Bonduel had one-and-three-quarter-inch hail, in a place where a dozen homes were damaged by high winds last week. Washington Island in Door County had three-point-six inches of rain in eight hours. Poplar in Douglas County had six inches over two days. A dry day is in the forecast statewide, once some patchy fog clears. A chance of rain returns tomorrow, continuing into the Labor Day Weekend. 

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Wausau philanthropist and Wisconsin Broadcasters’ Hall-of-Famer Richard Dudley has died. The 89-year-old Dudley passed away at his home yesterday from natural causes. After growing up in Wausau, Dudley served in World War Two and then began a long broadcasting career. He was the general manager of W-S-A-U Radio before spending 30 years as the president of W-S-A-W T-V. In 1989, Dudley and his brother started a company that owned T-V stations in three states. Nine years later, they sold the firm to the Tribune Company of Chicago. In 2000, Dudley started a foundation that has donated over two-and-a-half million dollars to local causes in the Wausau area. He was known as a strong supporter of Wausau’s downtown, and was a major investor in the 10-story Dudley Tower which opened in 2007. He also supported a number of local businesses – and he once saved a Wausau golf course from closing. Dudley was also involved in the Boy Scouts, serving as the chief fund-raiser for the Samoset Council in north central Wisconsin.   

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Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites will be on-the-go this Labor Day Weekend. If you’re heading to southern Wisconsin, state officials say traffic could especially be tight. Thousands of motorcyclists will be in Milwaukee for Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebration which runs from tomorrow-through-Sunday. The Milwaukee Brewers have home games at Miller Park every day from Friday-through-Monday. In Madison, the normal 80-thousand-plus are expected for the University of Wisconsin football opener against Massachusetts on Saturday. The D-O-T urges drivers to be extremely careful. Peak travel times throughout the state will be from noon-to-8 p-m both Friday and Monday. According to the Triple-“A,” 713-thousand Wisconsin residents will travel at least 50-miles one way to enjoy summer’s final holiday. That’s a three-point-four percent increase from last year – and it’s the highest number since the start of the Great Recession.   

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For the second year in a row, the Wisconsin Lottery reports record ticket sales. Lottery officials said 565-million-dollars in tickets were sold during the fiscal year ending June 30th. That’s 18-million more than last year’s sales record. Instant scratch games brought in 326-million dollars. Computer lotto games sold about 239-million. In Wisconsin, lottery profits are used for property tax relief – and 160-million of last year’s revenues went toward that pot. Almost 330-million dollars in prizes were paid out, as 13 people won a million-dollars or more. Lottery retailers picked up 35-million in commissions. Among other things, lotteries throughout the country were helped by a one-dollar price increase for Powerball tickets almost two years ago. The game was also tweaked so that more people are winning, and big-money jackpots are coming around more often. Tonight’s Powerball jackpot is 116-million dollars. It comes just two-and-a-half weeks after three players split the third-largest jackpot in Powerball history, at 448-million. 

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte has been with the Herald since 2006. He covers County government and anything else that happens in Pierce County on a daily basis.
(715) 273-4334
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