WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Six finalists have been named for Wisconsin's next Alice-in-Dairyland
Six finalists have been named for Wisconsin's next Alice-in-Dairyland. The winner will be selected during three days of finals May 15th through 17th in Clark County. She'll replace Kristin Olson in a one-year term as a state-employed ambassador for Wisconsin's food and agricultural industries. The finalists are Allyson Binversie of Manitowoc, who's pursuing a master's degree at Gonzaga in clinical mental health counseling -- Zoey Brooks of Waupaca, who graduates this spring from U-W Madison in animal science -- Katie Dogs of Watertown, the public relations manager at Didion Milling -- Kristin Klossner of New Glarus, a substitute teacher mainly in special education -- Melissa Ploeckelman of Stetsonville, an agricultural teacher and F-F-A advisor in the Colby school district -- and Whitney Rathke of Fredonia, a graduate student at Concordia and an elementary after-school educator in Beaver Dam.
U-W Madison officials said about 71-hundred people welcomed home the Badger men's basketball team yesterday. They filled the lower bowl of the Kohl Center, and celebrated Wisconsin's first N-C-A-A Final Four appearance since 2000. It's the first for coach Bo Ryan, who has taken the Badgers to the national tournament in all 13 of his seasons in Madison. The players showed off the trophy they received for winning the West Regional on Saturday night, a one-point overtime victory over Arizona. Madison Police said over 10-thousand Badger fans partied in a tight two-block area on State Street late Saturday night. Nobody was arrested, and no one was injured. That wasn't the case in Tucson Arizona, where 15 people were arrested for throwing fire-crackers and beer bottles at police. Officers said they had to use pepper spray to break up a disturbance that lasted over an hour. Wisconsin will play Kentucky around 7:50 Saturday night in a national semi-final on C-B-S.
Spring weather continues to blossom in southwest Wisconsin, but winter won't let go in the far northwest. Superior and Douglas County are under a winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service until ten tomorrow morning. A quarter-inch of ice is predicted there today, before 1-to-2 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow get blown around by winds up to 40-miles-an-hour. Meanwhile, Madison and southwest Wisconsin could see highs above 60 for a second straight day in much of that region. That's 5-to-10 degrees above normal. Other parts of the Badger State could get highs in the 40's and 50's today, and rain's expected in most regions. The Weather Service says a strong low-pressure system from the west will bring today's precipitation -- including the snow-and-ice predicted for Duluth-Superior and Minnesota's North Shore along Lake Superior. Cooler weather is predicted tomorrow and Wednesday, as the low settles in. Parts of Wisconsin might not see 40 tomorrow. Lows in the teens are possible in the north by Wednesday morning.
Authorities continue to investigate the death of a man whose vehicle exploded and burned northwest of Wisconsin Dells. It happened Saturday night on Highway 12/16 in the Juneau County town of Lyndon. Witnesses reported hearing a blast and then seeing the vehicle on fire. Dells fire personnel put out the blaze, and then saw the man's body inside. A coroner pronounced him dead at the scene. His name was not released, pending notification of relatives.
Milwaukee Police are investigating a murder in a northwest side neighborhood. Officials said a man was shot to death around six last evening. He died at the scene. His name was not immediately released. There was no word on possible suspects.
Those electronic monitoring devices worn by convicted criminals are getting smarter. Not only do they track a convict's whereabouts -- more of them can tell when a person violates probation by drinking alcohol. In north central Wisconsin, a 52-year-old rural Merrill man learned that lesson when he was arrested last night. Lincoln County sheriff's deputies said a state monitoring center caught the man drinking against his probation. The Corrections Department then passed the word onto local deputies who arrested the man at his home. Officers took a breath sample, and confirmed that the monitoring bracelet was correct. He's in jail this morning, awaiting a court appearance in the matter. W-S-A-U Radio in Wausau says that not all monitoring devices show more than a person's location -- but additional areas continue to get the new technology.
Gasoline prices have dropped in some parts of the Midwest -- but not Wisconsin. The Triple-"A" said the average statewide price of regular unleaded was 3.60-a-gallon this morning. That's a penny cheaper than last Monday, but ten cents more expensive than a month ago. Minnesota has the cheapest gas price among Wisconsin's neighbors. The Gopher State is at 3.48-a-gallon today. Officials in Minnesota say gas has dropped by over a quarter since early March. They said more crude oil was diverted into making more propane that's been in short supply this winter. Refineries in the Upper Midwest are finishing their required pre-April maintenance, while converting to summer grades of fuel.
Residents of Ozaukee County are the healthiest in Wisconsin for the second year in a row. The suburbs just north of Milwaukee again top the new County Health Rankings put out each year by the U-W Madison Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Ozaukee ranks first for health factors like obesity and smoking rates, and for overall factors which also include things like education and income. In general, the survey has shown that wealthier counties are also healthier. Ozaukee is among Wisconsin's richest counties. Menominee County is again ranked at the bottom for both health factors and the overall ranking. It's the home of the Menominee Indian reservation, one of the poorest counties in the state. Milwaukee County, with some of the nation's highest poverty rates, is again second-to-last at Number-71 for both. Dane County, the home of Madison and state government, is the second for the health factors in the survey, and Kewaunee County is second in the reports' overall in the Badger State. La Crosse County moved up to third for health outcomes, and Portage County is third overall. Saint Croix County dropped from third to seventh in both categories, as it continues to get rapid growth from Minnesota's nearby Twin Cities.
In southeast Wisconsin, Jefferson County authorities spent the weekend investigating a body found in a cornfield. Sheriff's deputies said a driver noticed something unusual on Saturday close to a roadway near Ixonia. Officials said it turned out to be a woman's body, and the county coroner sought an autopsy. Investigators also asked other law enforcement agencies for information about their current missing persons, to help try to identify the woman. In Milwaukee, just over 30 miles to the east, police say they'll await the woman's identification and autopsy results -- and then see if the her death is connected with its pending cases.