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Dreary weather moved the festivities into the gymnasium, but gray skies couldn't dampen spirits Friday night for close to 200 Red Wing High School seniors participating in the school's 138th annual commencement exercise. The crowd was all smiles -- and a few tears -- as parents, teachers and friends congratulated graduates with handshakes and hugs before the ceremony. "We have done a lot of thinking and working to get to this point," said student Kristen Anderson in a farewell speech titled "Do What's Right." "Be kind and respectful to people you meet," she said to her fellow classmates.
Armed with just cameras and iPads, nine University of Minnesota students were dropped off in the middle of Red Wing last week. Their mission: document Red Wing as it is. "We weren't here to flatter it or shoot it," instructor Mike Zerby.
Demolition begins this morning at the old Ford Ranger pick-up truck plant in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It employed a number of workers from western Wisconsin when it closed in December of 2011. The plant was among the last vestiges of the Wisconsin's auto industry, after the General Motors' plant in Janesville and Chrysler in Kenosha closed the past few years. A number of Wisconsinites still work at Chrysler's plant in Belvedere in northern Illinois, east of Rockford. Wrecking crews in Saint Paul are expected to take a couple years to tear down the 125-acre plant.
A mother and her daughter are both scheduled to enter pleas this afternoon for the 2007 murder of the mother's domestic partner near Appleton. 54-year-old Dianna Siveny and 34-year-old Kandi Siveny, both from the Twin Cities' area, are both charged in Outagamie County with homicide and substantial battery in the slaying of Lara Plamann. A third defendant, 38-year-old Rosie Campbell of the Twin Cities area, pleaded innocent last Friday to homicide and criminal damage. Attorneys and the judge will meet later to review the status of her case, but no date was set for that proceeding.
A normally-secretive Chinese company is trying to be unusually open as it seeks to buy the American meat-packing giant Smithfield Foods. Shuanghui International is offering four-point-seven billion dollars to buy the parent firm of Patrick Cudahy's bacon plant in suburban Milwaukee. A host of concerns have been raised over the proposed acquisition - including Chinese food safety scandals, and a report that a man from Thailand made over three-million dollars from trading Smithfield stock just before the recent sale announcement.
A Wisconsin Assembly committee is scheduled to vote today on a compromise package of changes to the state's election laws. The compromise, announced on Friday night, would drop some of the most controversial measures like changing the photo I-D requirement for voting - restricting hours for early voting - and making it harder to recall local officials. The new bill would give lawmakers of both parties something they favor - higher limits for individual campaign contributions.
WASHINGTON D.C. - Washington shortstop Ian Desmond lifted an RBI double in the seventh that sent the Nationals to a 5-4 win over the Twins in Washington, D.C. The victory sealed a day-night doubleheader sweep after the Nats took the first of the twinbill, 7-0. Former Twin outfielder Denard Span tripled in a run while Jayson Werth was 2-for-4 with two RBI for Washington, which has won three out of five. Tyler Clippard notched the win in relief while Rafael Soriano recorded his 16th save Chris Herrmann was 3-for-4 with two RBI while Pedro Florimon poked a two-run homer for Minnesota.
PHILADELPHIA - Wisconsin will have two golfers in the U.S. Open which begins on Thursday at the Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia. Steve Stricker of Madison will start his first round at 6:11 a-m, in a three-some with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. Jerry Kelly of Madison is also in the morning group on Thursday. He tees off at 6:51 with Charley Hoffman and John Huh. The 46-year-old Stricker will try again to win his first career major. His best finish in the Open was fifth in both 1998-and-'99. Stricker, who's playing a limited schedule this year, is in his 18th U.S. Open.
POCONO, Penn. - Matt Kenseth of Cambridge dropped two places to sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, after he finished 25th in yesterday's Party-in-the-Poconos in Pennsylvania. Travis Kvapil of Janesville was the top Wisconsin driver in the race. He finished 20th, and he held steady in the season point totals at Number-35. Beloit-born Danica Patrick finished 29th. She jumped one spot for the year to 28th. Paul Menard of Eau Claire placed 30th in Pocono. Menard dropped out of the Top-10 in the standings, falling three places to 12th.
MILWAUKEE - Kyle Lohse got his first win since April 22nd, as the Milwaukee Brewers crushed Philadelphia 9-1 at Miller Park yesterday. The veteran right hander gave up just four hits in eight innings, as he snapped a personal five-game losing streak. Lohse retired 17 of his final 18 batters. Had he not given up a homer to Humberto Quintero in the eighth, manager Ron Roenicke said he might have let Lohse pitch the ninth - and go for Milwaukee's first complete game since April 5th of 2011. The Brewers scored four runs in the second inning, highlighted by a two-run triple from Scooter Gennett.