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WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP; Brewers apologize to a fan as she wore a T-shirt that called Ryan Braun a fraud

The Milwaukee Brewers have apologized to a fan approached by a security worker, for wearing a T-shirt at Miller Park that called Ryan Braun a “fraud.” The shirt was patterned after Braun’s uniform – and Karen Eidem changed the first and last letters in Braun’s name to spell “fraud.” She tells WTMJ T-V that she was watching a game the other night when a security worker told her to either to turn the shirt inside out or leave. She turned the shirt inside out. Eiden said it was meant to be a joke, in the days after Braun was suspended for taking performance-enhancing drugs. She said it bothered her that the team’s security perceived her as doing something wrong just by wearing the shirt. In a statement, the Brewers apologized and offered her to attend a future game for free. Eidem said she’d accept the offer. The Brewers say they quote, “welcome the opportunity for fans to express their opinions,” and they only object when fans have messages and items which are offensive to other fans. 


It’s been three-and-a-half years since the U-S Supreme Court allowed corporations and unions to spend money on political campaigns. Now, a Democratic lawmaker and a coalition of groups are pushing for a statewide referendum to let voters say what they think about the aftermath of the Citizens United ruling. Madison Assembly Democrat Chris Taylor told reporters yesterday she’ll introduce a bill for an advisory referendum on the question of whether they support corporations spending unlimited amounts on campaigns. Supporters of the Citizens United ruling say it’s a victory for free speech. Opponents say it has put way too much special interest money in politics. Lisa Subek of United Wisconsin said total spending for state-and-federal offices totaled almost 400-million dollars in the 2010-and-2012 election cycles – over three times what it was before the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. Taylor said it would be hard to get the Republican-controlled Legislature to approve a referendum. She said opponents of the ruling would go door-to-door to make their case and quote, “It’s impossible for legislators to ignore this.” Sixteen other states have approved similar referenda, along with over a dozen Wisconsin communities. The Citizens United ruling struck down part of the landmark campaign reform law co-sponsored by former U-S Senate Democrat Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Senate Republican John McCain of Arizona. 


A 30-year study ends Monday on how Wisconsin lakes are affected by acid rain – the rain-drops contaminated by chemical emissions on their way down. Since 1984, the state D-N-R has had a 250-foot plastic barrier dividing Little Rock Lake in Vilas County. It will be removed on Monday. The barrier has allowed scientists to make side-by-side comparisons of waters under different conditions and treatments. D-N-R research scientist Carl Watras says the results provided the first proof that acid rain caused environmental damage – and it resulted in Congress approving limits on the sulfur dioxide emissions which contribute to acid rain. Little Rock Lake was also the first place where scientists showed how mercury accumulated in the fish population. Watras says the barrier on the lake is no longer needed. He says the lake will be restored to its natural condition, and scientists will keep seeing how atmospheric changes affect the water quality. 


Federal health officials say no new listeria cases have been reported from three award-winning Wisconsin cheeses since they were recalled on July third. One person in Minnesota died, a pregnant woman had a miscarriage, and three others were hospitalized after eating contaminated cheese made by Crave Brothers of Waterloo. The U-S Centers for Disease Control say more illnesses are possible, especially from those who didn’t hear about the recall and left the products in their refrigerators. However, C-D-C entomologist Rajal Mody says it’s likely that the outbreak will be over if there are no new cases within four weeks after the recalls. Mody says it’s “really encouraging” that there have been no new listeria cases this month. The earlier cases were from Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. No cases were reported in Wisconsin. We still don’t know how or why the cheeses were contaminated. Crave recalled its Les Freres, Petit Frere, and Petit Frere with Truffles made on-or-before July first. All three have won awards from the American Cheese Society. 


A contest to find Wisconsin’s oldest refrigerator has about a month to go. Hundreds of people have entered the contest by having their old ice-boxes recycled by the state’s Focus-on-Energy program. The contest began June first, and old refrigerators from throughout Wisconsin are piling up at a storage facility in the Milwaukee suburb of Franklin. Up to 60 have been set aside as candidates for the oldest refrigerator still in use, dating back to the 1930’s and maybe earlier. They’ll be judged in September, and the winner will get a-thousand dollars. Everyone who enters gets their old fridge picked up and recycled for free. Wisconsin utility customers help pay for the Focus-on-Energy program, which encourages folks to use today’s more energy-efficient appliances. Officials estimate that about 20-percent of Wisconsinites used second refrigerators – and many are old energy-wasters. The program’s goal is to recycle 16-thousand old fridges. About 11-thousand have been retired so far. 


Parts of Wisconsin were hit with more hail and torrential rains yesterday. Baseball-sized hail fell in Onalaska, just north of La Crosse. The National Weather Service said a large tree trunk split and fell onto a mini-van in Onalaska. Nearby Stueben had an-inch-and-quarter of rain. So did Gile in Iron County, where an inch fell in less than a half-hour early last evening. Gile also reported quarter-sized hail. Small hail also came down in Marshfield and Auburndale. The Weather Service blamed it all on a low-pressure system moving into western Lake Superior. A cold front is expected to drag eastward through the Upper Midwest today, with more rain possible. A dense fog advisory is in effect until noon along Lake Superior in Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, and Iron counties. Cloudy skies and below-normal temperatures are expected for the weekend. Highs for tomorrow might not reach 60 in parts of northern Wisconsin. The 70’s are not expected to return until Monday. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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