Lincoln County Highway Commissioner, Jerry Jagmin, advises that Pickeral Creek Road in the Town of King will be closed from 7:00 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday, November 4, 2013, due to culvert replacement.
The trial of a man charged with killing his girlfriend's two-year-old son in central Wisconsin could be delayed for a third time. 27-year-old Reymundo Perez was scheduled to have a two-week trial starting December 4th on Portage County felony charges of reckless homicide and reckless child abuse. Now, the defense wants the trial to be pushed back to March, when an expert witness will be available. Prosecutors said Perez threw two-year-old Felix Espinoza-Villa to the ground twice in October of 2011 at his girlfriend's mobile home in Bancroft. Perez told authorities the toddler would not stop crying. He died two days later. Felix's mother is also charged. Authorities said she beat the youngster with a sandal and a rhinestone-studded belt buckle. The child had severe spinal cord and blunt-force injuries to his head and stomach. Investigators said they believe Perez caused those injuries, and not the mother. Online court records show that Perez is being held at the Lincoln County Jail in Merrill.
For the 13th straight year, Wisconsin baby whooping cranes are flying to Florida to increase the population of the endangered birds in the eastern U-S. The cranes no longer leave in one group from the Necedah refuge, after a risk developed from black flies. So for the second year in a row, the newest cranes left from two locations in southern Wisconsin. The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership said nine young whoopers left the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge late last week, guided by older cranes which have made the trip in the past. On October 2nd, an ultra-light pilot from Operation Migration led eight cranes on their first trip south from the White River Marsh state wildlife area in Green Lake County. They've been stuck for the last five days in Winnebago County Illinois due to unsuitable winds. The partnership says the migration project has resulted in 110 cranes living in the wild. About 600 total cranes exist today, almost 450 in the wild.
A new poll shows that more than half of Wisconsinites support same-sex marriages. 53-percent in the new Marquette Law School poll expressed support for gay marriage. That's nine points higher than the 44-percent support in the same poll a year ago. Nineteen-percent said there should not be any legal recognition of same-sex marriages or civil unions -- down from 23-percent a year ago. Marquette pollster Charles Franklin says it's the first time in more than a year of polling that Wisconsin has shown over 50-percent support for same-sex marriage. Franklin says it's very much in line with other polls around the country. It's also quite a change from seven years ago, when 59-percent of Wisconsin voters approved a constitutional ban on gay marriages and civil unions. The group which promoted that ban, Wisconsin Family Action, is now trying to get the State Supreme Court to throw out a domestic partner registry that gives same-sex couples about one-fifth of the legal benefits of married couples. Arguments in that case were heard last week, and a ruling could be a few months away. The new Marquette poll surveyed 400 voters on the question last week. The error margin is five-percent either way.
The Wisconsin agency that's supposed to help create private-sector jobs fell short of its goal in the last fiscal year. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation said its tax breaks, loans, and other programs for the year ending in June would create an estimated 37-thousand-plus jobs. That's below the department's goal of 50-thousand jobs. The public-private W-E-D-C was formed in 2011 to replace the state Commerce Department, and focus on Governor Scott Walker's campaign promise to create a quarter-million jobs during his four-term. He had only reached a quarter of that goal at the halfway point of his term. The head of the W-E-D-C, Reed Hall, said his agency's original target for 50-thousand jobs was overly optimistic. He tells the Wisconsin State Journal its goal for the current year is almost 21-thousand jobs, and the agency's on track to achieve that. Hall said the W-E-D-C issued almost 14-million dollars in business loans in the last fiscal year, out of 44-million available. That's less than the 16-million loaned the year before -- but it was still higher than in the mid-2000's under the old Commerce Department. Hall said the W-E-D-C is more cautious with its loan approval policies, and some firms may not be seeking loans after two scathing state audits of his agency in the past year.
The Summer-of-2013 was not exactly a scorcher in Wisconsin, like it was the year before. As a result, the state's largest utility saw a 12-percent drop in its quarterly profits -- mainly because we didn't need as much air conditioning. Wisconsin Energy, the parent firm of We Energies, had a net profit of 137-and-a-half million dollars from July-through-September. That's almost 19-million dollars less than the same quarter a year ago -- but the earnings were still four-percent higher than what outside analysts expected. Earnings totaled 60-cents a share, down from 67-cents in the third quarter of 2012. A buyback of stock boosted earnings by a penny a share. We Energies also paid out credits to customers after federal funds were approved to help pay for a new bio-mass plant south of Wausau. We Energies had a gross sales increase of around one-percent, adding 27-hundred electric customers and five-thousand natural gas customers over the past year. C-E-O Gale Klappa said his firm continued to perform at a high level, and its financial performance is on track going into the final quarter of the year.
Major League Baseball is reportedly trying to obtain documents showing that a public relations firm leaked information which tied Ryan Braun to Bio-Genesis and its alleged performance-enhancing drug program. According to media reports, the documents indicated that Yankees' star Alex Rodriguez obtained records from Bio-Genesis so Major League Baseball could not get its hands on them. Now, the New York Daily News says baseball has filed a petition ordering the P-R firm of Sitrick-and-Company to comply with a subpoena as part of an arbitration hearing in which A-Rod seeks to overturn his 211-game suspension for his ties to Bio-Genesis. Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers' slugger, took a season-ending suspension in July for being part of the Bio-Genesis scandal. Baseball officials reportedly contend that either Rodriguez or the P-R firm leaked the Bio-Genesis information to Yahoo Sports, which first reported Braun's link to the now-defunct Miami clinic. The Daily News report said the players' union promised to have A-Rod share any documents related to Bio-Genesis -- but it could not produce the records that were given to Rodriguez' P-R firm.
Carlos Gomez joined Robin Yount, Sixto Lezcano, George Scott, and Cecil Cooper as the only Milwaukee Brewers ever to win Gold Glove awards. Gomez broke Milwaukee's 31-year drought -- the longest in the majors -- when he won the Gold Glove last night as the best center-fielder in the National League. It was the Brewers' first Gold Glove since 1982, when Robin Yount won it at shortstop on Milwaukee's last World Series team. Sixto Lezcano was the last Brewers' outfielder to win a Gold Glove, that being in 1979. Gomez said the Brewers gave him the opportunity to be the player he's become -- so he's doubly glad to have won the honor. He promises to do the work necessary to win it next year as well. Gomez had 38 run-saving plays this past season, and he brought five home runs back into the park. He also had a career-high 12 assists.
Aaron Rodgers raised some eyebrows when he said after the Packers' win at Minnesota quote, "I wasn't going to let this team beat us." On his weekly E-S-P-N-Milwaukee radio show yesterday, the Packers' quarterback said there was no ulterior motive or hidden agenda behind that remark. He said he just wanted to regain first place in the N-F-C North, which Detroit had grabbed back with a last-second win over Dallas earlier on Sunday. Rodgers said it's important to win division games on the road and quote, "I had the feeling that if I could just do my job, get us in good plays, get us in good checks, that we were going to win that game." Rodgers said he knew he'd have a big role and he did, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and completing 10-of-10 passes on third down to keep drives alive. Rodgers also denied that his urgency to beat the Vikings was related to the negative comments his former teammate Greg Jennings said after he signed with Minnesota. He again refused to say what he told Jennings after the game, saying there are things between players which should be kept private. And Rodgers repeated quote, "There's too much access to the field." The Packers are now 5-and-2 with a half-game lead over Detroit in the North Division. The Pack will host third-place Chicago on Monday night.
The Milwaukee Bucks will open their regular season tonight against the Knicks in New York. Neither team is sure who will start at the power forward spot. Milwaukee's Ersan Ilyasova has been out since October 8th with a sprained right ankle. He fully participated in a practice yesterday, and coach Larry Drew says there's a chance Ilyasova would play against the Knicks. If not, Drew could go to a smaller lineup with Caron Butler at power forward and Khris Middleton at the small forward spot. The Knicks also have an issue at power forward. Coach Mike Woodson was not sure yesterday whether he would start Andrea Bargnani, or move Carmelo Anthony to the power forward spot and have Bargnani come off the bench. If that happens, Metta World Peace could start at small forward. Woodson did not say yesterday what he might do.