State News Roundup: Seven rivers were over their banks in southern WisconsinWisconsin News
-- Parts of seven rivers in southern Wisconsin were over their banks this morning.
Parts of seven rivers in southern Wisconsin were over their banks this morning. And other parts of the Badger State report high water from melting snow and runoff. The National Weather Service says there’s major flooding on Spring Creek at Lodi. It was a foot-and-a-half above its flood stage this morning, and forecasters could not say when it would drop below its banks. Moderate flooding is reported at Sheboygan, where the Sheboygan River is over three-feet above its flood stage. It’s not expected to drop until early Saturday. Other places report minor floods along the Pecatonica, Fox, Milwaukee, and Sugar Rivers. Turtle Creek near Beloit was also a foot-and-a-half above its banks this morning, with no word on the flooding impact. The Root River in Racine County was expected to flood today, but not for long. Most rivers with minor flooding expect to drop below their banks by this evening. Forecasters say it might stay below freezing today. Highs near 30 are predicted statewide, with periods of light snow showers. The far north could get a couple inches.
More than one-of-every-five Wisconsin employers plan to add workers from June-through-April. That’s according to a quarterly survey by Manpower Incorporated. The Milwaukee-based job placement firm polls 18-thousand U-S companies about their hiring plans every three months. Of the Wisconsin firms surveyed, 22-percent plan to hire additional people this spring. Four-percent expect layoffs. And 72-percent will maintain their current employment levels. In the Milwaukee metro area, 23-percent of employers plan to add staff members in the second quarter of the year. Five-percent expect layoffs, three-percent are not sure, and 69-percent expect no change. Nationally, the numbers of employers planning layoffs – five-percent – is the lowest since 2000. The survey was taken a few weeks before the automatic federal spending cuts took effect March first – and employers did not figure them into their plans. Manpower senior executive Jorge Perez says there will be an impact from the federal cuts, but it’s too early to say what they extent might be.
The Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant will stop making electricity on May seventh. The date was announced yesterday, after the plant’s owner – Dominion Resources – first announced the shutdown last fall. About 650 jobs will be phased out during the next couple of years – many this summer – while the nuclear plant undergoes a detailed closure. Dominion said it could not find a buyer for Kewaunee, because the utilities that buy the power have contracts running out at the end of the year. And they won’t renew them, because it’s cheaper for the utilities to get power from plants fired by natural gas. In a filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Dominion said it has adequate funds to cover the plant’s decommissioning, a plan to manage spent fuel, and a restoration of the site.
The 14th annual Ghost Ships Festival will be held in Milwaukee this weekend. It’s the state’s largest trade show that’s dedicated to Great Lakes maritime history and scuba diving. It starts Friday night and runs through Saturday at the Crowne Plaza airport hotel. Explorers, diving pros, maritime experts, and Great Lakes authors will all be on hand to discuss their experiences.
U-W Green Bay has received a very notable gift from a philanthropist in Italy – a 500-pound bust of Leonardo da Vinci. The white bust was created last year, and it’s still in a crate while campus officials decide where the statue should go. The donor was said to be well aware of U-W Green Bay, after five groups of students traveled to Florence Italy over the past decade. Music instructor Sarah Livingston calls the bust “breath-taking.” She tells WBAY T-V she’s excited that the Green Bay campus can share the gift with the community. Officials expect to unveil the da Vinci bust in August.