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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: Morning traffic accident kills one in Dane County

RUTLAND - Authorities in Dane County says a 27-year-old driver was killed in a head-on collision near Rutland this morning.
The Dane County Sheriff’s Office says the victim was driving northbound on Highway 14 near Highway 92, when he crossed his van into the center line and hit a semi. He was pronounced dead on the scene. The 33-year-old driver of the semi was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The victim’s identity has not been released.
__________________________ Thanksgiving Week was twice as deadly as a year ago on Wisconsin highways.  The DOT said eight people died in six crashes between November 24th and last Saturday.  The deadliest crash was near Janesville in Rock County, where three family members were killed in a two-vehicle collision.  The increase comes in spite of an overall drop in Wisconsin traffic deaths for the year as a whole.  The DOT said 495 people were killed in crashes in the Badger State in the first 11 months of the year.  That's down 14-percent from the 574 traffic deaths in January-through-November of 2012.  In the Madison area, Dane County sheriff's officials report a slight uptick in fatalities from 32-to-34.  Sheriff's sergeant Michelle Shelhamer tells WISC-TV that higher volumes of traffic are to blame -- as well as a drop in government grants.  The TV station said tens-of-thousands of grant dollars were suspended earlier this year that would have been used to help enforce seat belt, speeding, and reckless driving laws on Madison's Beltline expressway.

Folks in southern Wisconsin are getting rained on today -- while in the northwest, Gordon in Douglas County is digging out from 10-and-a-half inches of snow.  Parts of Bayfield County had up to seven-and-a-half inches last night and this morning.  Places further away from Lake Superior also got dumped on.  Park Falls had six inches, and the Ladysmith area had 4-to-6.  Medford picked up three inches.  Parts of central and southwest Wisconsin had two-inches or less -- but it was still difficult to shovel, as freezing rain was mixed in at a number of locations.  The National Weather Service says another band of precipitation will move into Wisconsin tonight.  Two-to-six inches of more snow are possible in northwest areas by tomorrow afternoon.  Wisconsinites close to Lake Superior could get sleet and freezing rain, as temperatures stay warmer for now.  Minnesotans on the other side of Lake Superior could get up to 30 inches.  Two Harbors had 17 inches as of mid-day.  Southern Wisconsin will keep getting rain.   Once it all moves out tomorrow, it's supposed to get clearer and much colder from Thursday through the weekend.

______________________________  Authorities said eight people in Janesville have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning in a trio of incidents since Saturday.  Fire-fighters were called six times for CO poisoning in the three days ending yesterday.  Fire Lieutenant Kent Shea said three calls were false alarms.  Two involved furnace problems.  One incident may have been caused by exhaust fumes from cars warming up in a driveway.  The fumes appeared to seep into the nearby house.  Four people were treated at a hospital due to one of the furnace incidents.  A family in the other furnace poisoning spent a night elsewhere, but was not hospitalized.  Dean Lata tells the Janesville Gazette that he, his wife, and two kids had headaches -- and they were treated at a Beloit hospital.  Lata said the first thing he would do upon his hospital release was to buy carbon monoxide detectors for this home -- something it did not have._____________________________

The Wisconsin State Assembly's minority Democrats are asking for a statewide vote on having a non-partisan commission re-draw legislative and congressional district lines every 10 years.  Democrats, watchdog groups, and newspaper editorial boards have tried but failed to convince majority Republicans to hold hearings on a bill to create a neutral panel to draw the district lines.  Now, Democrats have introduced a resolution calling for a non-binding statewide vote to see how the public feels.  The redistricting task is currently awarded to the party in control of the Legislature at the start of every decade.  In recent years, both houses had opposing parties in control -- and they could not agree on final maps, so a federal court drew them.  In 2011, Democrats could do nothing to stop what critics said was GOP lawmakers selecting their voters instead of the other way around.  Democrats and an Hispanic filed a federal lawsuit -- and while three federal judges decried the secretive process, they upheld Republican maps for meeting the constitutional requirement that each district have about equal numbers of voters. ______________________________ A so-called "super-majority" to raise state taxes would become part of the Constitution, under an amendment proposed by two Republicans.  The GOP majority has already passed a state law requiring two-thirds majorities in both the state Assembly and the Senate before sales and-or income taxes could be raised.  Now, Brookfield Senator Leah Vukmir and Hudson Assemblyman Dean Knudson want to add the requirement to the Constitution, where it be harder to change in the future.  Amendments require passage by both houses in two consecutive legislative sessions, and voter approval in a statewide referendum.  The measure does not address user fees, which have become more common at both the state and local government levels in recent years amid political pressure against raising more general taxes.________________________________

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will make an appearance in Wisconsin tomorrow.  He'll visit Gateway Technical College at Sturtevant in Racine County, where he'll promote innovative training programs at all 16 technical colleges in the Badger State.  Perez will tour the SC Johnson Integrated Manufacturing-and-Engineering Technology Center at the school.  The labor secretary will also be part of a round-table discussion with students and employers.  They'll discuss the development and expansion of adult educational training in high-tech fields. _________________________________

A federal appeals judge in Chicago says the new Wisconsin law that requires hospital admitting privileges for abortion doctors "sounds irrational."  A three-judge appellate panel heard an hour of arguments on the law today.  Judge Richard Posner kept wanting to know why abortion clinics were singled out -- while not requiring hospital privileges for other out-patient doctors who perform riskier procedures.  Majority state Republicans approved the new law earlier this year as part of a series of new anti-abortion measures. However, it was never imposed after Federal District Judge William Conley of Madison struck it down.  The state appealed Conley's ruling.  Supporters said the law was needed to protect women's health.  Opponents said the measure was designed to shut down abortion clinics in Appleton and Milwaukee where doctors do not have hospital admitting privileges.___________________________________ Anti-smoking groups say Wisconsin needs to do more to keep cigarettes out of the hands of minors.  The Health First Wisconsin coalition called for action today, after state officials said the rate of tobacco sales to minors jumped from four-point-seven percent to seven-point-three percent over the past five years.  Melissa Horn of Health First Wisconsin says more tax money needs to be spent on compliance checks that monitor illegal retail sales of tobacco to minors.  State health officer Henry Anderson says everyone should be involved in keeping tobacco away from kids.  He says the state wants to be a partner in that effort.  ____________________________________

A Fond du Lac woman was charged today with killing her husband and burying her body, apparently over his alleged extra-marital affairs.  37-year-old Eve Nance was due in court later today on charges of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. A second woman arrested in the case has been released, after authorities said Eve Nance admitted acting alone.  According to prosecutors, she first claimed she was struggling with her husband Timothy Nance in their bathroom last Wednesday night -- and a gun went off twice, wounding Nance in the chest.  Police said Eve Nance later admitted shooting her husband twice in the head, dumping his body in a wooded area near Milwaukee, and disposed of her gun and its ammunition in different locations.  Police said the victim's cell phone, clothing, and other items were dumped.  Prosecutors said Eve Nance caught her husband with other women on three occasions in the past five years -- and that she called a woman on Halloween.  Authorities said Timothy Nance had been missing since November first.  His body was found on Thanksgiving.______________________________________

A 72-year-old Madison woman told police that she stole a painting from a UW student center to show her interior designer about color ideas for her home.  University Police said Hildegard Neujahr was cited for misdemeanor theft.  Police spokesman Marc Lovicott said she thought the artwork was done by a UW student, and was therefore acceptable to take. It was reported missing November 20th from a wall at a gallery at Union South on the Madison campus.  The painting was valued at $700.  Officers received a number of tips about the case after releasing information about the incident a week ago, including footage from a security camera.  Lovicott said Neujahr was very cooperative with investigators.  She reportedly returned the art work to police, and Lovicott said it would soon return to where it was taken._______________________________________ We Energies is, once again, reminding customers to be on the lookout for scammers claiming to be collectors for the company. The latest incident occurred at a grocery store in Greenfield when a man, described in his 30s, white and wearing a lab coat, demanded money for a past due account. A spokesman for We Energies says the company never sends agents to a home or business to collect cash. He adds if anyone suspects a possible scam, always contact the energy company first by calling. As for the November 27 crime in Greenfield, police are still looking for the suspect.________________________________________ Trapping is the most popular way to catch a wolf in Wisconsin.  The state DNR said four of every five wolves were taken by traps between the start of the hunting season on October 15th and November 30th.  Officials said 174 of the 216 wolves were taken by trappers.  Another 41 wolves were shot with guns.  A bow-and-arrow killed one wolf.  As of yesterday, hunters could use dogs to chase down wolves -- but there are not many wolves left to take.  All but one of the six hunting zones are closed after their quotas were reached.  As of this morning, 37 wolves remain available in Zone-Three, which covers part of northwest Wisconsin from Grantsburg to Medford.__________________________________________

There's something rotten in the Fond du Lac area. At least that's one possible explanation for the smell that has residents offering up theories over the past week. Fond du Lac County Crops and Soils Agent Mike Rankin says it may be rotting radishes that farmers use as a cover crop during the winter. The foul smell is often mistaken for natural gas or sewage plants. Rankin says the smell is temporary and should dissipate when temperatures drop below freezing.___________________________________________

Hundreds of Wisconsin Christmas trees are on their way to military families, to make their holidays a bit merrier.  The Trees for Troops program shipped 200 trees yesterday from Lambeau Field in Green Bay to Fort Carson Colorado.  Wausaukee grower Paul Schroeder says Wisconsin farms expect to donate a total of 400 Christmas trees.  He says it's the least the growers can do for service members who pay the price for the freedoms that Americans enjoy.  The National Christmas Tree Association has sent over 120-thousand trees to U.S. troops since the donations began eight years ago.  Grower Ron Tillmann says the troops definitely appreciate it.  He says he gets several photos and Christmas cards from recipients every year -- and they're all nice to receive