Education leader urges cooperation on higher ed standards; wolf hunt moving closer to reality; arrow victim recovering, more briefsWisconsin News
A national testing official urged Wisconsin teachers to come together with school leaders to help kids meet new, higher academic standards being implemented around the country. Also, Congressman Paul Ryan is sounding more like a vice-presidential candidate as he intoned the name of Ronald Reagan on Tuesday. Plus briefs about a Campbellsport girl recovering after being shot in the back by an arrow, Donald Driver's 'Dancing' win and more.
MILWAUKEE -- Wisconsin is about to raise its academic standards and a national leader says educators and school policy makers should work together now, to help more youngsters meet those higher standards.
David Driscoll, head of the National Assessment Governing Board, spoke to about 200 Wisconsin educators Tuesday at a conference at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Driscoll said a major challenge will be to help teachers understand the new Common Core State Standards, which Wisconsin and most other states have agreed to follow.
They’re currently in the early stages of being adopted – and Driscoll says it creates an opportunity for school leaders and teachers to “pull together.”
Among other things, Wisconsin is expected to increase the levels in which students are considered proficient on achievement tests.
When eighth-graders took the standardized state exam last year, 83 percent were considered at least proficient in reading but when those kids took the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 35 percent were considered proficient.
Driscoll said parents and others should not be alarmed if they see falling test scores next year due to the higher standards.
State Superintendent Tony Evers said the only way to increase achievement is to raise expectations. Evers calls the new standards quote, “game-changers.”
Wolf hunt closer to reality
Another step could be taken Wednesday toward the start of a wolf hunt in Wisconsin.
The Natural Resources Board will be asked to let DNR staff members come up with the details for a wolf hunting season.
State lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker approved the wolf hunt earlier this year, after the federal government removed the grey wolf from the endangered species’ list in the Upper Midwest. The move allowed Wisconsin to manage its own wolf herd, and a hunt was proposed in an effort to reduce crop damage and livestock deaths caused by wolves.
The governor authorized a wolf hunt starting on Oct.15th, and the measure calls for the DNR to determine elements like hunting zones and quotas, but DNR officials first need approval from the Natural Resources Board.
Echoing Ronald Reagan, Ryan wants to work with moderate Democrats
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. -- Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan says there are some Democrats in Congress willing to buck their own party’s leadership, and work with Republicans to reform taxes and Medicare.
Ryan, the House Budget chairman from Janesville, told an audience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Tuesday that he wants to take a page from the Reagan playbook. He says that if Republicans win big in November, they should seek agreements with moderate Democrats – just like Reagan did to boost the economy in the 1980’s, when he was the nation’s 40th president.
Ryan says those Democrats do exist even though they’re drowned out by the liberal leadership in the White House and Senate.
During Ryan’s speech, he blasted President Obama and his fellow Democrats for what he called anemic job growth. Ryan also reiterated that unchecked federal spending and debt are pushing the country toward a decline. His appearance at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley comes amid growing speculation that apparent presidential nominee Mitt Romney is considering Ryan among four possible choices for his running mate.
Ryan did not discourage the speculation but said, “That’s somebody else’s decision.”
Man disabled by CO awarded $2 million
TOMAH -- A man and his attorneys will get over $2 million after he became permanently disabled while getting poisoned in a recreational vehicle in Wisconsin.
Larry Brenke, 60, of Riga Mich., is getting payments from four companies which settled a lawsuit connected with his RV trip to Tomah in 2009.
Brenke and another man joined concrete builder Al Smith at a tractor-pulling event but after the first night they were there, Brenke and Smith were found unconscious and the third man was disoriented.
Brenke’s attorney, Courtney Morgan, called the legal settlement a good result but she said no amount of money could make up for the injury Brenke suffered on his trip. Four defendants agreed to pay the victim.
Smith and his concrete firm are paying a million dollars. Cobra Truck, the Michigan firm that built the custom RV, is paying another million.
Companies that inspected the unit and installed a carbon monoxide alarm agreed to total settlements of $75,000.
Cell-phone blamed in fatality crash
MADISON -- Prosecutors said a man was either chatting on his cell-phone or writing a text message just before he rear-ended an SUV and killed its driver.
Bradley Larson, 22, of Brooklyn was charged Tuesday in Dane County with homicide by negligent driving in the death of Dennis Hough, 66, of Janesville. Larson is due in court Thursday.
The crash happened last September in the town of Westport. Authorities said Hough’s SUV was waiting to make a left turn onto Highway 113 when it was rear-ended by the vehicle Larson was driving.
Investigators quoted Larson as saying he was using his cell-phone when he looked up and saw that the vehicle ahead of him had stopped and he could not avoid hitting it. Hough died a few hours later at a Madison hospital.
Cycle-deer accidents kills Marinette County man
Marinette County authorities are still investigating a motorcycle crash from last weekend that killed a 39-year-old man.
Calvin Stoffregen of Mountain was riding his cycle on a town road near Pound when he hit a deer. Sheriff’s deputies said he was thrown from the bike, and was not wearing a helmet at the time.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Minocqua lad vying in National Geography Bee
WASHINGTON D.C. -- A 13-year-old Boy Scout from Minocqua will try for a third time to win the National Geography Bee.
Vansh Jain of Minocqua is of 10 finalists in this year’s event, which resumes tomorrow in Washington. Vansh made the finals after a preliminary round yesterday with 54 contestants. He was also the Badger State’s national contestant in 2009 and 2010.
The winner of the National Geography Bee gets a $25,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, and more.
Thursday's finals will be held at the Society’s headquarters, and they’ll be moderated by “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek.
Packers' Driver wins 'Dancing With the Stars'
Donald Driver is the 14th champion of “Dancing With the Stars.”
The Green Bay Packers’ receiver beat out Katherine Jenkins and William Levy Tuesday night on ABC so the Super Bowl champion adds the Mirror Ball trophy to his collection of honors.
Driver and his partner Peta Murgatroyd capped off 10 weeks of ballroom competition with a final cha-cha, in which the muscular Driver went shirtless. It gave him his second perfect score from the judges in two nights.
With all three contestants just one point apart, it was Monday night’s viewer votes that put Driver over the top. The exact vote totals were not released, but they counted for 50 percent of the final scores.
Packer fans came through all season, as their votes kept Driver in the competition.
On Monday, Packers Clay Matthews and James Jones went on Twitter to campaign for their teammate. Miss America, Wisconsin’s Laura Kaeppeler, tweeted a pitch and even Gov. Scott Walker and his recall election opponent Tom Barrett urged fans to vote for Driver in a video produced by the player’s marketing team.
Driver got hugs from his family as the confetti rained down last night but he didn’t have much time to celebrate, as he flew from Los Angeles to New York overnight to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Driver joins Emmitt Smith and Hines Ward as the third N-F-L player to win the dancing crown.
Girl recovering from arrow injury
CAMPBELLSPORT -- A seven-year-old girl is getting better, after she was struck by a wayward arrow in Campbellsport on Sunday.
Aryanna Schneeberg has been upgraded to fair condition at Milwaukee Children’s Hospital. Pediatric surgeon John Densmore spent two-and-a-half hours removing the arrow during surgery. He expects the girl to be hospitalized for another week or two.
Officials now say Aryanna was playing with a doll buggy with friends when she was hit in the back by the arrow early Sunday evening.
For now, authorities are calling it an accident and they’re still looking for the shooter. Sheriff’s deputies confiscated a bow and arrows from a house nearby, and the State Crime Lab is reviewing the evidence.
Densmore said Aryanna was fortunate that the arrow entered where it did in the left side of her back. Had it been just two centimeters away, the doctor said there could have been real problems.
As it was, the arrow wounded her left lung, spleen, stomach, liver, and diaphragm. Densmore said all of Aryanna’s organs were preserved – and she’s not expected to have any permanent dysfunction.