State News Roundup: Fall arrived with a cold frontWisconsin News
-- Fall officially arrived during the weekend, and much of Wisconsin was under a frost advisory until seven this morning.
Fall officially arrived during the weekend, and much of Wisconsin was under a frost advisory until seven this morning. Six o’clock temperatures fell to 23-degrees at Sparta, and 28 in Wautoma and Boscobel. Places close to Lake Superior and Michigan were warmer. It was 43 in Superior at six a-m, and 42 at Ashland. Madison was the state’s warm spot with 47. It got down to 31 in La Crosse yesterday – and the National Weather Service said it was the second earliest sub-freezing temperature on record in that city. It normally does not fall below freezing in La Crosse until October 14th. A slight warm-up is expected today, with highs in the 60’s-and-70’s. Forecasters say it will be about five-degrees above normal today in much of southern Wisconsin. Highs for the rest of the week will be generally in the 60’s, with lows in the 30’s-and-40’s.
Most of Wisconsin’s child care centers are rated as having two stars out of five in the state’s “Young Star” rating system adopted a couple years ago. Officials used to say a two-star rating wasn’t bad. But at a recent panel discussion in Madison, a new head of the rating system compared two stars to a grade of “D.” Over 29-hundred of Wisconsin’s 48-hundred-plus child care centers are rated at two-stars. And some providers take issue with what they consider as a harsher view of their facilities by Madison. Anneliese Sheahan of Mosinee, who heads a group of child care providers outside of Milwaukee County, said the rating system is biased against smaller centers. She says those places are not likely as to afford accreditation and college credits for teachers. Sheahan said family-run centers are offended to be told that they’re almost failing. LaTonya Johnson, who heads a union of providers in Milwaukee County, said it was the first time she heard that a two-star rating was likened to a grade of “D.” She called it unfair, and a slap in the face to parents in their ability to make choices. The state Children-and-Families department said the rating system’s goal is to reward high-quality providers with more state aid, and improve all of Wisconsin’s child care.
City inspectors in La Crosse have condemned an historic building where an upstairs floor collapsed during the weekend. Police said up to 50 people might have been in a large apartment where a 30-by-30-foot section of floor gave way late Saturday night. Three people were taken to a hospital with injuries. Officials said the others left the building by the time authorities arrived. The second-floor apartment was spread over two storefronts in the 99-year-old building. It was designated as an historic site because it was the original location of the Trane Company, which makes heating and air conditioning systems.
Drought-stricken farmers who cannot get credit elsewhere can obtain emergency loans from the Farm Service agency to cover their losses. The agency’s Sue Hunter says production losses will be determined by comparing the current year to the previous three years. And replacements for damaged-or-destroyed property will only be granted for items essential to the farm’s continuation. The loans have a fixed interest rate of two-and-an-eighth percent. More details are available at local Farm Service Agency offices. Despite recent rains, the drought continues to hang on in Wisconsin. The U-S Drought Monitor said all of Wisconsin was abnormally dry or worse last week – same as the week before. It was the only two weeks all summer in which the entire Badger State was listed as being in some stage of drought.