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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: The middle part of the state got the brunt of yesterday's snowstorm

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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: The middle part of the state got the brunt of yesterday's snowstorm
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

The middle-third of Wisconsin got the brunt of yesterday's snowstorm, as places that were expecting two-inches had a lot more. Stevens Point received the most with 10 inches. Friendship, Eau Claire, and Mosinee picked up around nine-inches. Wausau and Neillsville had around eight, and Green Bay seven-and-a-half. Three people were killed about 1:15 yesterday afternoon, when a car and a propane truck collided in Oneida County on Highway 51 in the town of Cassian. Sheriff's officials said the snow was probably a factor, but they're still investigating. In Marathon County, blowing snow was blamed for a chain-reaction crash involving about 20-vehicles on Interstate-39 near Knowlton, north of Stevens Point. Three people were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Northbound I-39 has since re-opened. Winds hit 55-miles-an-hour in Sheboygan. In the Appleton area, planes were grounded yesterday afternoon at the Outagamie County Regional Airport in a battle to keep runways open. The Central Wisconsin Airport at Mosinee had two flights canceled, and a few others were delayed. Lesser amounts of snow fell in the northern and southern thirds of Wisconsin. The Madison and Milwaukee regions had about 3-to-4 inches. Another round of cold air moved in after the snow headed east. Highs today are expected to be in the teens throughout Wisconsin under sunny skies. It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow, with more snow statewide.

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There's still time to protect yourself from the flu -- but it's up to you to get immunized. That's what state officials are saying, after we learned yesterday that Wisconsin had the 47th-lowest vaccination rate for adults ages 18-to-64. According to the Trust for America's Health, less than a-third of Wisconsin adults under-65 had flu shots last winter -- and this winter, they're the most common age group to be hospitalized. Health officials say flu vaccine remains available. It takes about two weeks to feel the full effect, but officials say you can still protect yourself from most symptoms -- and the flu season's not over yet. As of last Thursday, almost 600 Badger State residents were hospitalized for the flu. The H-1-N-1 swine flu is the most prevalent this winter, just like it was in 2009 when it caused a pandemic in Wisconsin. About a quarter of the state's hospitalizations are in Milwaukee. There, young-and-middle age adults are being hospitalized at their highest rates since the '09 swine flu pandemic.

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An independent doctor blames poor medical care for the deaths of four patients at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex in 2012. Psychiatrist William Knoedler also found problems with two other deaths but he said their treatment was quote, "at least adequate." Knoedler was retained last year by the group Disability Rights Wisconsin. He filed his report last June with Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele (ay'-blee) and two state officials. The report was never made public until the Journal Sentinel recently obtained a copy. The head of the Disability Rights office in Milwaukee, Barbara Beckert, said her group was quote, "trying a different tack." Knoedler tells the paper his recommendations were urgent, and he's disappointed that no significant changes have occurred at the facility. Abele and the County Board have been at odds about what to do with the Mental Health Complex, after it was cited nine times since 2006 for putting patients in danger. State officials are now investigating the death of 48-year-old Andre Harvey, after he was restrained by police, security, and medical staffers at the complex.

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Don't be surprised if you see a different type of voting machine at the polls this year. Wisconsin Public Radio says new machines will be used in Dane, Brown, La Crosse, and Jefferson counties -- and they're meant to be more secure and reliable. Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell says the machines record images of the ballots, to serve as a record in case something happens to the originals. The ballots are filed on a random basis, so they cannot be linked to specific voters. The machines also have screens which show whether a ballot was accepted or not. McDonell says Wood and Portage counties have already been using the new machines.  

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A man who fell to his death at a hotel construction site in Madison has been identified as 40-year-old Robert Lund of Cambridge. The Dane County medical examiner's office said Lund died from his injuries in the mishap -- which occurred Monday afternoon at a renovation project for Madison's Edgewater Hotel. Officials have not said what happened. An initial 9-1-1 call said a worker fell about 20-feet. The lead contractor for the project, Findorff, is heading the investigation along with the U-S Occupational Safety-and-Health Administration. The firm has not said what Lund's job was -- or what he was doing when he fell. 

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It was three years ago this month when the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese filed for Chapter-11 bankruptcy. The church is still trying to determine how to reorganize its finances, so it can carry out its religious mission while paying millions-of-dollars to victims of sex abuse by former priests. Five-hundred-75 abuse victims have filed damage claims. The 10-county archdiocese is still preparing a re-organization plan, and officials have not said when it will be filed in bankruptcy court. Church spokesman Jerry Topczewski says it would let ministry activities continue while creating a "lifetime therapy fund" for abuse victims. All sides have spent around 11-million dollars in legal fees in what the Journal Sentinel calls one of the most contentious among nine Catholic bankruptcy cases in the country. The Milwaukee Archdiocese and its creditors have battled in court over the sale of church to pay the abuse victims -- and which victims are eligible to be compensated. Legal experts say those battles may continue for years. Pamela Foohey of the University of Illinois College of Law predicts quote, "multiple objections on multiple bases." Topczewski says quote, "It's time for the archdiocese to return its focus to its ministry of charity, service, and education." He added that "outreach to abuse survivors will always be a part of that ministry."

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