Afternoon News Brief - Heavy rain, floods and hail hit Wisconsin todayWisconsin News
-- Northwest Wisconsin got hit with some heavy storms this morning. Barron and Saint Croix counties had hail of up to an inch.
Northwest Wisconsin got hit with some heavy storms this morning. Barron and Saint Croix counties had hail of up to an inch. And Rice Lake was pounded with 1.1 inches of rain. In Bayfield County, winds hit 60 miles an hour near Cornucopia. And the National Weather Service has a small stream flood advisory in effect until 3:30 this afternoon for Sawyer and Washburn counties, which also had heavy rains this morning. There were no other severe weather watches or warnings in the Badger State as of early afternoon. Thunderstorms are predicted on and off through tonight in about the northwest third of Wisconsin. More occasional rain and warmer temperatures are in the forecast for the entire state through the weekend.
Stoughton police are now taking an active role in the search for two missing 13 year olds, Derek Siefken and Emma Hansen. The two were last seen walking on Highway N between Edgerton and Stoughton yesterday afternoon. Searchers think the two are in the Stoughton area. They haven’t been seen since they left their homes yesterday. Police believe the two may be in danger, based on text messages they sent to friends and phone conversations. Stoughton police report they are helping in the search by checking the addresses of their former classmates.
Three misconduct counts have been dropped against the former Wisconsin prosecutor accused of several cases of sexual harassment. The Office of Lawyer Regulation has filed 11 counts against Ken Kratz. Kratz got in trouble for trying to pursue a relationship with a woman at the same time he was prosecuting her exboyfriend for domestic abuse. A hearing on the remaining 11 counts will be held next Tuesday.
Preliminary figures released today show that Wisconsin gained an estimated 900 private sector jobs in May. And the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went up by one tenth of a point from April to 6.8 percent. When public sector jobs are added in, officials said Wisconsin gained a total of 2600 non-farm positions in May. State agencies and universities lost around 1900 jobs, while cities, counties, and public schools gained 3800 jobs during the month. The Walker administration has questioned the accuracy of the initial monthly job figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s because they’re based on relatively small employer surveys.
Eau Claire Police say a suspect has been taken into custody in the killing of a 39 year old man last weekend. But officers are still investigating, and so they haven’t released all the details. Officials said Paul Oberle was killed after he returned home from his job on the overnight shift at a grocery store. His father found Oberle’s body in his yard last Saturday afternoon. An autopsy from Monday confirmed it was a homicide, but police are not saying yet how or why it happened.
Governor Scott Walker said in Washington today that Republican Mitt Romney has a chance to carry Wisconsin in this fall’s presidential election but he’ll have to work for it. Walker told reporters that Romney should not expect to win the Badger State, just because of the Republican governor’s recall victory last week. Walker said Romney must hone his message about the economy, and explain why he would be better than quote, “the current occupant of the White House.” Walker met with reporters at a breakfast put on by the Christian Science Monitor. The governor said commentators on both sides were misinterpreting the larger meaning of his win over Democrat Tom Barrett. Walker said some on the left assume the recall race has no national impact because of all the money in the campaign while some on the right say it means that every Republican everywhere will win. The governor said both sides are wrong, and the truth is somewhere in the middle. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Romney will appear in Janesville on Monday as part of his five state bus tour of smaller towns. Janesville is the hometown of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, and he’ll appear with Romney at the Monterrey Mills factory.
Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan is calling on the police chief to release an about 800 assault reports to the Journal Sentinel newspaper. Donovan says the “back and forth” fighting between the paper and the police does the city a disservice. He says Chief Flynn is making it look like he has something to hide when he withholds the reports. The newspaper did an investigative piece on reporting practices by the department, citing instances where serious assaults were reported as lesser offenses and were not included in Milwaukee’s violent crime report.