WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: More snow possible as the week goes on
Parts of far northern Wisconsin got an inch of snow yesterday and last night -- and a few more inches are possible as the week goes on. Pine County in Minnesota picked up five inches yesterday before the storm rolled into the Badger State, and left an inch at Washburn and Gile. Other parts of the north saw a rain-and-snow mix. Light rain fell on Packer fans in Green Bay on-and-off during yesterday's win over Cleveland. The National Weather Service says a pair of low-pressure systems to the north-and-east of Wisconsin could bring a few inches of snow tonight to parts of Vilas County close to Lake Superior. Forecasters say lake-effect snows are possible all week in far northern Wisconsin. Meanwhile, a hard freeze is predicted for tonight in Madison, Milwaukee, and 20 counties in the south. That will mark the end of the growing season there, after it ended during the weekend in northeast Wisconsin. Statewide highs are projected in the 30's-and-40's all week long, with lows generally in the 20's. Only a handful of places in the north normally see their first snow in October. In Eagle River, the average date is November second when the first tenth-of-an-inch falls. The first inch normally doesn't come down there until November fourth.
Both Mary Burke and her former employer said she had nothing to do with the firm's relationship with disgraced Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Burke is now running for governor as a Democrat, and she points proudly to the jobs she helped create when she worked for her family's Trek Bicycle business. She was with the Waterloo company when Armstrong had a deal to compete with Trek bicycles, years before he admitted long-time speculation that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Mary Burke was the head of strategic planning and forecasting for Trek it signed Armstrong. That was in 1998 when he was recovering from cancer, before he won seven Tour de France titles which he later gave up. In the past decade, Trek credited Armstrong with a revived interest in cycling -- and higher sales for the company. Back in 2005, former Tour de France winner Greg LeMond claimed that Trek C-E-O John Burke placed "immense pressure" on him to retract statements which questioned Armstrong's credibility on whether he used performance-enhancing drugs. Trek settled the lawsuit in 2010, and Armstrong admitted his drug use in January of this year. Mary Burke recently told the Associated Press she never knew about the specifics of the Armstrong case, and it had nothing to do with her job. The A-P also said court records in the case never mentioned Mary Burke.
About 40 people looked on yesterday, as Governor Scott Walker signed a 100-million statewide cut in local property taxes. The Republican Walker told those gathering at Ralph and Mary Rice's farm near Burlington that he would cut property taxes every year he's in office. The average homeowner, with a property value of 148-thousand-dollars, will pay 31-dollars less than he-or-she would have expected over the next two years. The aid is being funneled through the state school aid formula, which means the richest areas will get the smallest tax relief, if any. The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says people in almost one-fifth of the state's 424 school districts will no-or-little relief. In Racine County, where the bill was signed, the average home will get between two-cents a year and just over 17-dollars. The tax cut was sped through the bill-making process in just 10 days during a special session. Republicans said taxpayers deserve to get back some of the state's 760-million-dollar surplus that was built up in the last budget period. They also said it's not necessarily true that the tax cut will add to a state deficit in 2015, because the projections do not take economic growth into account. Democrats said the whole thing was a political gimmick to help Walker get re-elected in just over a year from now.
The Menominee Indians only have two more days to convince Governor Scott Walker to let them run a casino in Kenosha. The Republican governor has given the tribe until tomorrow to prove that they've met his criteria for the project. The Menominee have been trying for years to build and open a casino-and-resort at the site of the former Dairyland Greyhound Park. The federal government finally gave its blessing a few weeks ago, leaving it up to the governor to make the final decision. Walker has demanded that all 11 Wisconsin tribes support the project -- and with the Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk still opposed, the Menominee tribal chairman said last week that he hoped Walker would see the project differently. In recent days, the Menominee said it would off-set revenue losses that the Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk gaming operations would face if the Kenosha Casino was built. The Oneida tribe dropped its opposition late last week. Walker said he also wants to see community support, and no net increase in the state's gaming. Kenosha area legislators are doing what they can to lobby for the project. Assembly Republican Samantha Kerkman of Powers Lake says it has great economic potential, now that the Hard Rock restaurant and casino chain was given a development-and-management contract. Walker has said the Hard Rock's involvement would not influence his decision.
A 53-year-old Waunakee woman was killed yesterday when the car she was driving collided with a pick-up south of Portage. A nine-year-old passenger in the car was also hurt, along with the 47-year-old man who was driving the pick-up. Officials said speed and alcohol were not contributing factors to the crash, which occurred around 11 a-m yesterday at an intersection on Highway 51-16 in the Columbia County town of Pacific. An investigation continues.