WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: State Democrats want Hillary Clinton as President in 2016
Wisconsin's most-involved Democrats want Hillary Clinton to be our next president. The former secretary-of-state was the big winner in a straw poll at the state Democratic convention at Wisconsin Dells over the weekend. Clinton received 185 votes to 81 for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Vice President Joe Biden was a distant third with 18. As expected, Mary Burke was the overwhelming choice for governor in the Wis-Politics-Dot-Com straw poll. She received 317 votes from delegates and others at the Democratic convention -- while Assembly Democrat Brett Hulsey of Madison got 14 votes. Racine Senate Democrat John Lehman was the overwhelming choice for Burke's running mate. Lehman received 299 votes for lieutenant governor, to 27 for Mary Jo Walters of Milwaukee. For attorney general, Democrats favored Milwaukee Assembly Democrat Jon Richards with 167 votes to 111 for Jefferson County D-A Susan Happ, and 54 for Dane County D-A Ismael Ozanne. Those three will square off in an August 12th primary, with the winner to face Republican Waukesha D-A Brad Schimel in November.
A recovery operation begins today in Lake Superior, where a body and wreckage from a small home-made plane have been found. Authorities said specialized divers are needed to recover the craft and its pilot who apparently went down with the sunken plane. Both were first discovered Saturday, when a single-engine Lancair-Four with one person aboard disappeared from radar almost as soon as it took from the Duluth International Airport. Reports said the pilot flew in from Big Bend Oregon, and had just taken off for Goose Bay in far eastern Canada when the plane vanished. First responders from Duluth Minnesota used sonar equipment to locate the aircraft, about one-point-two miles from the shore of Brighton Beach in Duluth. Both the plane and the body were reported to be about 140-feet below the surface of Lake Superior. The Superior-Douglas County Dive Rescue Team will join specialized rescuers from Minnesota today in the recovery. The F-A-A said the plane was registered to an engineering firm in Wilmington Delaware.
Catholics in southeast Wisconsin have endorsed 16 possible priorities for the church to consider over next 15 years. They include new ways to support married and engaged couples, and helping Catholics practice their faith at a time when they're busier than ever. Archbishop Jerome Listecki held a synod in Saint Francis during the weekend, to get church members thinking about the positive ways to identify with the Catholic religion. About 400 members from the ten-county archdiocese attended the meeting. As part of a session on marriage-and-family, a common theme was reclaiming Sunday as a family day. Listecki said that for believers, their faith runs 24-7 and Sunday is the day they publicly express that faith. Synod participants also brought up Friday's federal court ruling that at least temporarily struck down Wisconsin's constitutional ban on gay marriage. Listecki told them that gay community members are not apart from the church -- but he said marriage still needs to be defined between one man and one woman.
Wisconsin has had 55-below wind-chills, two-foot snowstorms, and four-inch rainstorms this year. But one thing we have not seen yet is a confirmed tornado. The National Weather Service says it's the latest start to a tornado season since 1997, when it took until June 15th for a twister to find its way to the ground in the Badger State -- that being near Downsville in Dunn County. The Weather Service also says this year is the ninth-latest without a tornado in 64 years of keeping records of this. The latest tornado to start a calendar year came in 1995, when a twister landed at Onalaska in La Crosse County on June 28th. Forecasters say the threat of severe weather looks minimal this week -- so by this weekend, 2014 could be in the Top-Five for the state's latest first tornado.
The Wisconsin Legislative Council is considering a possible state funding and control plan for the 16 regional technical colleges. One lawmaker says a bill could emerge in 2015-or-'16, but it's already getting opposition from tech schools and the businesses for which they help provide workers. Assembly Republican Scott Krug of Nekoosa says a state takeover is in the formative stages of a Legislative Council committee -- and while he's willing to discuss it, he sees no reason to support it. State Technical College System President Morna Foy says the current system is not broken, and a state takeover would hurt the schools' abilities to serve their unique local areas. North-central Technical College President Lori Weyers says a state-controlled system would make the schools less able to work with local companies -- and it would delay course changes needed to keep up with business needs. Mid-State Tech president Sue Budzac says the schools' boards are local people chosen by their areas' county board chairs. She said there's no need for schools to take all their program and funding requests to Madison. Central Wisconsin lawmakers of both parties say they're skeptical of such a change. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos brought up the idea of cutting local technical college taxes in January, when we first learned about a billion-dollar budget surplus. It never went anywhere, but Vos called it a sure-fire way to cut property taxes.
Agriculture students from throughout Wisconsin are getting together in Madison. The 85th F-F-A State Convention runs from tonight through Thursday at the Alliant Energy Center. State president Logan Wells says it all starts with a Day of Service today. Members will spread across Madison to work on several community service projects. Other F-F-A members will pack meals for the Second Harvest Food Bank and Outreach Incorporated. Their goal is to have 350 members pack 40-thousand meals by eight tonight. The convention has a couple of new features -- including an agricultural art contest, and a panel discussion in which state officials will talk about career opportunities in agriculture. Later in the week, a number of awards will be presented, highlighting various F-F-A accomplishments during the past school year.
A local leader is against a plan to expand a state wildlife area. The state D-N-R is considering the purchase of 205 more acres at the Avon Bottoms Wildlife Area in the town of Afton. D-N-R lands' official Doug Haag says the site is popular with hunters and anglers, and expanding it would protect the flood plain and habitat along the Sugar River. Avon town chairman Michael Moore tells the Janesville Gazette that it would take more land off the property tax rolls, while town residents still have to pay to maintain roads through the wildlife area.
Wisconsin's entry in the Miss U-S-A Pageant made it to the Top-10 last night before she was eliminated. Bishara Dorre of Milwaukee was among 51 women in a competition held in Baton Rouge Louisiana. Dorre is a graduate of Wauwatosa East High School. You know who she is if you watch the Milwaukee Brewers' games on T-V. She appears during most broadcasts as one of the "Fox Sports Wisconsin Girls." Miss Nevada-U-S-A, Nia Sanchez, was crowned the new Miss U-S-A. She's a fourth-degree black belt in Taekwondo. Audra Mari, Miss North Dakota-U-S-A, was the first runner-up. Sanchez is the 63rd Miss U-S-A, and will represent the country at the Miss Universe pageant later this year.
The Powerball jackpot has risen above a quarter-billion dollars. It's at 257-million for Wednesday night, after nobody won the top prize on Saturday night. Nobody from Wisconsin won the second or third prizes, either. Just over 15-thousand tickets sold in the Badger State won anywhere from four-dollars to 200. Saturday's numbers were 28, 30, 35, 58, and 59. The Powerball was 15, and the Power Play multiplier was two. Wednesday's cash option is close to 152-million dollars. In Mega Millions, the jackpot is at 55-million for tomorrow night.