WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Three kayakers missing off of Door County have been found safe
Three kayakers missing since late yesterday off Door County have been found safe. They were spotted on the tops of their kayaks in the Bay of Green Bay. A county official said they had hypothermia, but were otherwise okay. They were being flown to an airport in Menominee Michigan -- across the Bay of Green Bay -- where they'll be checked out. More details were expected at a hastily-called news conference this morning. A 43-year-old woman was in one kayak, and a pair of nine-year-old boys were in the other when they left Nicolet Bay at Peninsula State Park yesterday afternoon on the western edge of Door County. They were supposed to return 75 minutes later but didn't. A kayak rental place later called 9-1-1 -- and federal, state, and local rescuers began a search that went into the overnight hours.
People who never worked outside Wisconsin are getting letters from other states, saying their income tax returns are under review. Consumer officials say you shouldn't brush it off a clerical mistake -- because you might be the victim of identity theft. Wisconsin's consumer protection agency has received a half-dozen complaints from people who had their names used by somebody else to file false income tax returns and perhaps claim refunds. Revenue departments in those states are now going after the people who names were used. Wisconsin's consumer and revenue agencies are working with the I-R-S on the matter, as well as the states which sent the tax notices -- Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma. If you get a letter which wrongly says your out-of-state tax return is under review, the state Ag Department's consumer protection division wants you to file a complaint with them. You can find the online address at Wisconsin-Dot-Gov. Also, officials say you should respond the same way as other identity theft victims have -- by putting fraud alerts on your credit accounts, reviewing your credit reports, and filing police reports about the letters.
President Obama will nominate a Madison native as the next U-S ambassador to Russia. The White House said yesterday that career diplomat John Tefft plans to come out of retirement, to deal with plunging U-S-Russian relations in the wake of Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian state of Crimea. The U-S Senate will be asked to confirm the 64-year-old Tefft, who graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee in 1971. He's been an ambassador to the Ukraine, Georgia, and Lithuania. Steven Pifer, a former diplomat who's now with the Brookings Institution, says Tefft is going to Moscow at a difficult time -- but he has a strong ability to keep lines of communication open. The New York Times said there were previous concerns that Tefft would irritate Russian officials because of his past experience in Soviet republics that have flouted Moscow's influence. However, the Kremlin is said to approve of Tefft's new nomination. He graduated from Madison Edgewood High School in 1967 and studied history at Marquette.
The state Republican Party calls Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mary Burke a hypocrite, for saying she wants to ban campaign donations from outside of Wisconsin. The G-O-P notes that Burke's campaign has received one-point-one million dollars this year from out-of-state interests. Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki says she's just playing by the same rules as Republican Governor Scott Walker. Burke has repeatedly said that special interest money from out-of-state has too much influence on Wisconsin campaigns. Yesterday, the G-O-P circulated a video of Burke talking about the subject during a campaign visit to Green Bay -- and Republicans called her a hypocrite for taking such donations. But Zepecki said it doesn't mean Burke has to like it -- and her opposition is shared, as he put it, "by roughly 100-percent of people with a pulse."
U-W Platteville is getting a donation from an interesting source to help fix its recent tornado damage. The Chicago Bears will present a 50-thousand-dollar check to school officials today. The N-F-L team held its annual training camps on the Platteville campus from 1984-through-2001. Chancellor Dennis Shields is grateful for the gift, and he's encouraging people to wear orange-and-blue today. Those are the colors that both the Bears and Platteville's athletic teams wear. An estimated ten-million-dollars in damage was incurred June 16th when a tornado with winds up to 120-miles-an-hour damaged a campus park and a half-dozen buildings -- including Platteville's football stadium.