Evening State News Briefs: Cold night ahead, temperatures below zeroWisconsin News
-- Wind chill factors were in the minus-teens-and-20’s throughout Wisconsin during the noon hour. Air temperatures were still bitterly cold at mid-day.
Wind chill factors were in the minus-teens-and-20’s throughout Wisconsin during the noon hour. Air temperatures were still bitterly cold at mid-day.
It was eight-below in Siren and Rice Lake, and as warm as plus-six in Milwaukee and Kenosha. Tonight could be colder than last night. Forecasters expect overnight lows to be 20-below in the north to five-above in the south. It’s supposed to get warmer tomorrow, with highs in the teens during the weekend and in the 20’s early next week. But another bout of snow is also likely tonight in southern Wisconsin, and throughout the state tomorrow afternoon and evening. Weekend accumulations are generally in the 1-to-3-inch range. A flood warning on the Fox River in Kenosha County was canceled this morning, after the river fell below its flood stage. The Sheboygan River has also fallen to its flood stage, but a flood warning continues. Minor flooding was predicted in both cases.
Two Mukwonago school parents have asked the State Supreme Court to decide whether it was constitutional to make their high school drop its long-time Indian nick-name. A state appeals court recently ruled that James Schoolcraft and Craig Vertz did not have the legal standing to challenge a 2010 state law, in which schools can be forced to drop their Indian names and logos if the state finding them discriminatory. Sam Hall, the attorney for the two men, said his clients can question the constitutionality of the law regardless of whether-or-not they were a part the state’s hearing process used to back up its order. He cited a clause in the U.S. Constitution to make that determination. Mukwonago school officials recently said they would not follow the order to drop the “Indians” team name and logo. And they’ve asked state lawmakers to repeal to 2010 mandate.
Former state Representative Sheryl Albers has dropped her federal lawsuit which claimed that she was not hired for a non-partisan state job because she served as a Republican. Albers cried foul after former Democratic finance co-chair Mark Pocan did not hire her for a clerk’s job with the Joint Finance Committee in 2009. State attorneys argued that her previous record as a legislator disqualified her because of her history of partisanship. But her attorney now says her case is more difficult to win because of a recent federal judge’s ruling. Judge Barbara Crabb of Madison said it was okay for a government employer to consider a job applicant’s record of partisan activity in a hiring decision. Albers then withdrew the lawsuit – as well as a pair of discrimination complaints filed with state and federal employment panels. She represented the Reedsburg area in the state Assembly for 18 years, ending in 2009.
Two parents are asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down a law allowing the state to order schools to drop American Indian mascots. The Department of Public Instruction told the Mukwonago Area School District to change its nickname and logo, featuring an Indian man in a headdress. James Schoolcraft and Craig Vertz sued to keep the mascot. A Waukesha County judge ruled in their favor, but the decision was reversed by the 2nd District Court of Appeals. The appeals court said the two had no standing in the case. It isn’t clear when or if the state Supreme Court will announce whether it will hear the case. If that announcement isn’t forthcoming, Mukwonago will have to change its nickname and logo in February of next year.
Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice and current Marquette University law professor Janine Geske will help mediate the ongoing dispute between the War Memorial Board and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Geske is volunteering after being asked by Milwaukee County officials. The art museum and War Memorial board have been given a deadline of February 19th to reach an agreement. The county is asking both sides to present a written report on the deal to the Parks, Energy and Environment Committee March 12th. The two sides had been meeting for nearly a year when the talks broke down last month. The dispute centers on who controls profits from nearby parking, who pays for security in the building and how long the museum has to raise its portion of the 25 million dollars needed to cover renovations.
The Racine County Workforce Development Center is holding three meetings next Thursday to help former workers at Echo Lakes Foods who lost their jobs due to a fire. More than 300 people worked at the egg processing plant in Burlington. The meetings will reportedly offer information about unemployment insurance, available job search assistance, stress management and financial planning. Those meetings will be held at 10 and 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m., at Veterans Terrace on Milwaukee Avenue in Burlington February 6th.