Afternoon News Brief - Congressman Kind's Trempealeau cabin destroyed by fireWisconsin News
-- A cabin owned by Congressman Ron Kind was destroyed by fire overnight near Melrose in Trempealeau County.
A cabin owned by Congressman Ron Kind was destroyed by fire overnight near Melrose in Trempealeau County. A spokeswoman for the La Crosse Democrat confirmed the blaze, and said it was believed to have been caused by lightning from the severe thunderstorms that went through the area. No one was in the cabin at the time, and no one was hurt. The spokeswoman said Kind was in nearby Blair today, working with authorities to address other damage caused by high winds, hail, and heavy rains. Meanwhile, heavy storms went through far northwest Wisconsin late this morning. Just over one inch of rain fell in an hour’s time near Osceola in Polk County. Hail and 47 miles an hour wind gusts were reported near Somerset in Saint Croix County. In east central Wisconsin, flood waters were receding just before the lunch hour in Berlin, where cars were stalling after they drove into high water. Up to four and a half inches of rain fell during the night in an area from Green Lake to Manitowoc counties, including the Oshkosh and Appleton areas. The Wisconsin Public Service utility had about 3,000 electric customers out at mid morning. By early afternoon, that figure dropped to around 1300, virtually all in the Wausaukee area. Also, thunderstorms rumbled into southeast Wisconsin this afternoon. A severe thunderstorm warning was in effect until 1:45 for eastern Dane County and Jefferson County. And the National Weather Service has issued an urban and small stream flood advisory until four o’clock southern Brown County, southwest Kewaunee County, and northern Manitowoc County.
Last month was tied for the fourth-safest April on Wisconsin highways since the end of World War Two in the 1940’s. Forty one people were killed in crashes throughout the state last month. That was three more than the previous April, but seven fewer the average for the past five years. The DOT said 152 people lost their lives on Wisconsin roads in the first four mnths of this year. That’s 24 more than a year ago, but one fewer than the five year average. Thirteen motorcyclists and nine pedestrians have been included in the 2012 death toll so far. State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, who heads the DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety, said this year’s increase in deaths is due in large part to motorists not buckling up. She said drivers and passengers have been ejected, or tossed around violently within their vehicles. Huxtable says the DOT will again take part in the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign around Memorial Day. Officers will make a larger effort to ticket those not wearing seat belts.
Chippewa County authorities do not suspect foul play in the death of a 76 year old man whose body was found in a private pond. Officials said an autopsy was being performed to determine the cause. Sheriff’s deputies said today that the landowner came home on Tuesday, and his brother in law’s dog indicated there was something amiss. The man saw a canoe floating on the pond, and he later saw the body and recovered it. Officials said the man was apparently prepared to go fishing, since related items were found at the canoe and a dock area. The victim’s name was not immediately released.