State News Roundup: High school graduation rates have increased every year since 2003Wisconsin News
-- Wisconsin’s high school graduation rate has gone up every year since 2003.
Wisconsin’s high school graduation rate has gone up every year since 2003. That’s according to the U-S Department of Education, which says that 91-percent of public school students finished high school in four years by the spring of 2010. That’s five-percent above the state’s rate from seven years earlier. And Wisconsin’s most recent graduation rate is 13 points above the national average of 78 percent. The federal report said the state’s dropout rate was around two-percent – one-percent below the national norm. African-Americans had the highest dropout rate in the state, at eight-percent. Hispanics and Indians had dropout rates of around five percent each.
All of Wisconsin remains below zero, as folks wake up to the coldest morning of the winter. It was 20-below in Hayward at six o’clock, and Rhinelander had 19-below. Milwaukee had five-below, and several places in far southern Wisconsin were at minus-four. Wind-chill factors hit 40-below at Rhinelander, and minus-36 at Ashland. Light snow fell in the far north overnight, and other places had isolated flurries. The National Weather Service says parts of Wisconsin will have lows below-zero every night this week, but this morning was the worst of it. Hayward had an actual temperature of minus-23 during the night. Most parts of the state are expected to get above zero today – and tonight’s lows are supposed to bottom out at 15-below in the far north. The far south could stay above zero, with lows of plus-two expected. More scattered flurries and light snow are possible every day through Friday.
Several of Wisconsin’s largest food banks are forming a state association to create new and more efficient ways to feed the hungry. The Wisconsin Association of Feeding-America Food Banks will be announced today. Feeding America is the former Second Harvest organization. The new group says it will develop and coordinate public-and-private partnerships to help end hunger in Wisconsin. They plan to raise public awareness, and find new sources for both food and revenue. United Health-Care says it will donate 100-thousand dollars to get the new state association off the ground. The group includes the eastern Wisconsin chapter of Feeding America, along with the Channel-One regional food bank, the “Feed My People” food bank, and three Second Harvest banks. Together, those facilities serve all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.
Authorities in north central Wisconsin are looking for the person who abandoned a dog near a freeway exit in 10-below weather. Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies are treating it as an animal abuse case. A concerned driver found a mixed-breed dog tied to a post yesterday on the Highway 51 freeway near Merrill. Deputies took the pet to the local Humane Society. The male dog had a collar, but no tags. Sheriff’s lieutenant Tim Fischer said the pet is in relatively good health, but it’s a bit nervous around strangers. Now, officials say he just needs a good home.