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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUND-UP: First case of human West Nile Virus illness reported

This year's first probable human case of the West Nile virus has been recorded in Wisconsin.  

In a Web update just before July 4th holiday, state health services officials reported that somebody in Saint Croix County appears to have been infected with the mosquito-borne illness.  The state also reports six other West Nile cases in birds -- one each in Rusk, Waupaca, Portage, Sauk, Dane, and Dodge counties.  Mosquitoes have become a nuisance for folks throughout Wisconsin, after they spread from northern Wisconsin to the south.  UW-Madison entomologist Susan Paskewitz tells the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the vast majority of mosquitoes this summer are not the types of species that are known to carry West Nile.  That's a positive sign -- but officials say most human cases don't get reported in Wisconsin until August and September.  Still, experts say it's a good time to protect yourself outside by wearing things like long clothing and bug repellent.   Wisconsin has had close to 240 human cases of West Nile since the virus first become known about a dozen years ago.  The state had 16 human cases last year.  Four Wisconsinites died from West Nile in 2012.


A Catholic bishop says it's "scandalous" that a part-time doctor at a religious hospital in La Crosse is recommending abortions to his patients.  Leif and Karen Arvidson have been organizing regular pickets since March 5th outside the Mayo-Franciscan hospital.  They contend that Dr. Carl Rose of Minnesota's Mayo Clinic had advised a woman to get an abortion in 2012 -- and they want the hospital to stop working with him.  The La Crosse Tribune says neither Rose nor the Mayo Health System have said whether Rose performs abortions.  According to the Arvidsons, La Crosse Bishop William Callahan recently gave them a copy of a statement he made to the hospital's administration -- saying Catholic hospitals must not allow abortion counseling and services.  Mayo-Franciscan CEO Tim Johnson told the Tribune his hospital remains committed to care in accordance with its Catholic mission, and legal and medical obligations.  


Wisconsin traffic deaths are way down from recent years -- but the same cannot be said for motorcycle deaths.  Thirty-five riders were killed in state motorcycle crashes in the first half of 2014, 16-percent more than the year before.  State DOT safety director David Pabst says both bikers and other drivers have a role in preventing motorcycle fatalities.  He says motorists of all kinds must look twice for cycles, because it's so easy to miss them.  Pabst says motorcyclists have to wear protective gear, and not speed.  Dean Bartosh of the motorcycle group ABATE of Wisconsin says one of the most common crashes involves the vehicle driver who turns left in front of an oncoming motorcycle.  Also, more bikers are being injured in deer crashes -- just like other motorists.  Officials also urge bikers to get licensed, and take safety courses.  ABATE and the state DOT have been working together on an educational campaign, after we learned in April that 36-percent of motorcycle deaths over the last decade involved bikers who did not have the special endorsements on their licenses.


A jury was to hear opening arguments late this morning for a Milwaukee man accused of killing a cook at a George Webb's restaurant.  The jury was picked yesterday in the case of 28-year-old Delorean Bryson.  He's charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death last December of 21-year-old Reginald Evans.  Bryson faces the most serious charge among four people arrested in the incident.  Prosecutors said Bryson and three women started arguing with an older man seated at the counter.  Evans, the cook, came out of the kitchen and told the crowd to quiet down.  That led to a fight in which coffee was thrown and chili was tossed.  Officials said Bryson left the restaurant, returned with a gun, and shot Evans in one of his lungs.  Police said at the time that they quickly identified the suspects, after one of them used a credit card to pay for their meals.


For the second time in two weeks, a car slammed into a train at the same crossing at Pleasant Prairie in Kenosha County.  Media reports said one person was injured, and was expected to survive.  Authorities said the car ran into a train that was stopped on the tracks, and was carrying materials from a chemical company.  It was raining at the time of the mishap, around 4:30 this morning.  Investigators said low visibility might have been a factor.  Two weeks ago, a Pleasant Prairie man was heading home from work, when he hit a train stopped at the same crossing. The crossing does not have flashing lights or gates.


Ever wish your business could get help from the "Shark Tank?"  Open auditions for the hit ABC-TV show will be held at the Milwaukee Art Museum on Monday July 21st.  Wrist-bands will be handed out from 9-to-10 a-m that day.  At least the first 500 entrepreneur applicants can each make a short sales pitch starting at 10.  Before you go, you'll need to fill out a detailed application about your business.  That's online at  Then, get ready to make a one-minute pitch about your product -- and the producers want it to "wow and dazzle."  If you make it to the show, you'll be grilled by the self-made millionaires and billionnaires who help worthy entrepreneurs with their money and advice -- Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner (gren-eer'), and Robert Herjavec.