Saturday State News Briefs: Milwaukee health officials looking for cab driver with rubellaWisconsin News
-- City of Milwaukee health officials have issued a health alert after a taxi cab driver was diagnosed with rubella.
MILWAUKEE - City of Milwaukee health officials have issued a health alert after a taxi cab driver was diagnosed with rubella.
Those health officials sya they want to make contact with anyone who took an American United taxi between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. between April 13th and April 21st. If a pregnant woman had contact with that driver her unborn child could be at risk. Experts say birth defects, developmental delays and seizures can result from simply breathing in the air from a person with rubella. Also called German measles, the disease can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing or even talking when in close proximity. Because rubella has a long incubation period, it could be a week before symptoms are noticed.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to pay close attention to the roadway, especially in construction zones. The warning comes after two accidents in two days on Interstate 94 near Hudson. Both accidents involved rear-end collisions in that construction zone at Wisconsin state highway 65. The Thursday accident involved four vehicles and it shut down all westbound lanes for several hours. The state is examining the location and might add more signs to give motorists more advanced notice of the construction zone and lane changes. The 25 million dollar project affects two miles of I-94 and should be completed in November of next year.
The Legislative Audit Bureau estimates hundreds of prisoners in Wisconsin jails, fugitives and parole violators have been collecting food stamp benefits worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. As it was examining the FoodShare program, the audit bureau ran the names, Social Security numbers and birthdates of the more than 830 thousand people receiving food stamps through records held at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and the state Justice Department. More than 16 hundred people – many behind bars – were found to be illegally receiving food stamps. One estimate puts the total loss to taxpayers at more than $1.8 million. The report suggests state caseworkers be given more training to identify applications from people still in jail or in violation of their parole, and therefore ineligible for the benefits.
Germantown police say they don’t suspect foul play in the death of 91-year old Miles Leppla of Cedarburg. He went missing almost seven months ago. Investigators say his body was found in a submerged car this week and his death is being treated as a fatal traffic accident. Originally, Leppla’s family suspected foul play was involved. They said the man led an extremely regimented life and never deviated from the norm. They said he always turned the lights off when he left a room. When they checked out his empty home last October, finding all the lights on made them fear he had been kidnapped.
Federal officials sign off on plans by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s administration to cut costs by making changes which could force up to 17 thousand people off state health programs. Originally, nearly 65 thousand people could have been affected, but the Obama administration wouldn’t approve that. The changes will cause some adults to leave the program, but it reportedly shields children from being impacted. The Medicaid health plan covers about one out of every five Wisconsin residents. It covers everything from doctor visits to poor families, to nursing home care for the elderly. The help control rapidly-increasing costs, the Walker administration had tried to increase premiums for tens of thousands of users, while dropping coverage for at least a year if a family missed a payment.