Afternoon State News Briefs: Interior Secretary to speak on outoor initiativeWisconsin News
-- The U.S. Secretary of the Interior will speak at a meeting in Milwaukee tomorrow about the President’s Great Outdoor Initiative.
MILWAUKEE - The U.S. Secretary of the Interior will speak at a meeting in Milwaukee tomorrow about the President’s Great Outdoor Initiative.
Ken Salazar will provide updates on two of the initiative’s projects in Wisconsin – the Lake Michigan Water Trail and the Ice Age Trail. Salazar is also expected to discuss recent developments with the proposed Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge which would straddle the state line between Wisconsin and Illinois. The meeting is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee.
State Superintendent Tony Evers says he’s not giving up on the idea of investing more in Wisconsin’s public schools, in spite of the major state aid cuts in the current budget. Evers says it won’t be cheap to carry out the state’s recently-adopted school reforms, which include more stringent standardized tests and teacher evaluations. The state’s top school official says it will be a battle to get leaders to understand that investing in education will help the Wisconsin economy in the long run. Evers says part of growing the economy is get youngsters into apprenticeships, internships, and dual public school and college enrollments for university programs. Among other things, Evers says every Wisconsin school district needs to get at least some state support – and districts with larger numbers of impoverished youngsters should get additional funding. The superintendent says he’d like to see public education achieve the status of new highways and corrections – which he says has not endured big budget cuts in the past couple years. Evers made his remarks in Sheboygan, at a forum on his department’s plans to better prepare Wisconsin students.
Existing home sales in Dane County have risen strongly for a 13th month in a row, though median sales prices are down. July sales were up more than 25 percent compared to last year, but the median sales price was off by 9-point-6 percent, according to the South Central Wisconsin MLS. For July, the median sales price was a little over 194 thousand dollars. That compares to 215 thousand in the same month last year. With a shrinking inventory of homes, median prices could start climbing again in the weeks to come.
While Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan was condemning the president’s stimulus program, he was quietly using it to help a pair of Wisconsin conservation groups. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Ryan’s actions two years ago. And the Boston Globe highlighted them today. The paper says they’re generating new scrutiny, since the Janesville congressman was named last weekend as Mitt Romney’s running mate. The Globe cited four letters to energy officials in which Ryan praised the president’s energy-efficient initiatives, while crafting a budget alternative that would have slashed many of those same programs. One of the groups Ryan went to bat for received $20-million in stimulus funds to help thousands of homes-and-businesses be more efficient. Ryan’s campaign wouldn’t comment on the matter. In 2010, a spokesman for Ryan’s congressional office he sees nothing wrong with helping people in his own state get existing federal grants – even if they are based on flawed policy.
A Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison for robbing a bank in Janesville last year. 27-year-old Michael Funk of Lebanon pleaded guilty in June. Authorities said he robbed the Mid-America Bank in Janesville just over a year ago. He was identified as the suspect as authorities were investigating a convenience store hold-up the day before in Belvidere, Illinois. Funk was later arrested in the state of Washington.
A Madison business that’s developing a DNA based, non-invasive screening test for colorectal cancer has raised almost $62-million in a stock offering. The Exact Sciences Corporation conducted a secondary stock offering yesterday at $9.75-a-share. The firm says it will use almost $58-million of the new proceeds for working capital, and general business purposes. That includes FDA approvals and product development.More from around the web