State reports first human case of West Nile; Bomb threat prompts evacuation of Eau Claire theater; more briefsWisconsin News
Wisconsin has recorded its first human case of the West Nile Virus. The state Health Services Department’s Website said the case was confirmed in Dodge County earlier this month. Besides the one human case, the state has recorded only three West Nile cases in birds. Those happened in Pierce, Dane and Washington counties.
Wisconsin has recorded its first human case of the West Nile Virus. The state Health Services Department’s Website said the case was confirmed in Dodge County earlier this month.
Other information was not immediately available.
West Nile is contracted by mosquito bites, and it’s been a rough summer for the disease in the nation’s mid-section.
Minnesota has just recorded its first death of the season from West Nile. Officials said an elderly man in Stearns County, Minn., became ill and died earlier this month.
In North Texas, there have been over 600 human cases of West Nile recently. Sixteen people have died in the Dallas area as of yesterday.
But Wisconsin remains exempt from the trend. Besides the one human case, the state has recorded only three West Nile cases in birds. Those happened in Dane, Washington and Pierce counties.
Minnesota epidemiologist Dave Neitzel said the risk for West Nile continues through September. He advises folks to use mosquito repellent if they go outside at dawn or dusk. Neitzel said mosquito feeding has gone down the past few days due to cooler weather, but he said it will warm up again.
Minnesota has had 30 human cases of the West Nile Virus. That’s the most since 2007.
Bomb threat prompts evacuation of Eau Claire theater
Police evacuated an Eau Claire movie theater Friday after a bomb threat was called in to Carmike Cinemas corporate headquarters.
The company owns several theaters around the country.
Authorities say police searched the Carmike Cinemas building but found nothing suspicious. Searches in other states were uneventful as well.
Investigators say they think the caller may be a former employee of Carmike.
‘Cattle’ remark earns censure for school board member
A Burlington school board member is being criticized for remarks made during a meeting.
Philip Ketterhagen is quoted in the June 18 board meeting minutes as saying "school personnel were like cattle and should be struck with a 2 by 4 so as to get their attention."
Ketterhagen was attempting to make a point about teacher pay increases, which he's against because of lower than desired test scores in the district.
Ketterhagen defended himself, telling the Journal Times that as a school board member he's obligated to speak his mind.
Fellow board members voted to censure Ketterhagen, which is considered a formal reprimand but carries no direct punishment.
Group goes to court over La Crosse to Rochester power line
A judge in Madison is being asked to stop a new electric transmission line from going up between La Crosse and Rochester, Minn.
The Citizens Energy Task Force of La Crosse and No CapX2020 of Red Wing, Minn., have filed suit against the Wisconsin Public Service Commission’s approval of the power line in May.
The plaintiffs say the developers improperly justified the need for the line by using outdated forecasts for future electrical demands in the La Crosse area. The suit also said the commission did not protect a scenic byway along the Mississippi River.
The line is part of a larger Midwest transmission project called CapX2020, involving a dozen utilities and $2 billion in costs.
Class of 2016 looks at life differently
If anyone’s ditzy today, it’s a male, and not the old stereotypical blonde woman.
That’s how today’s college freshmen view life, according to the annual “Mindset List” at Beloit College.
For 15 years, Ron Nief and Tom McBride have come up with 75 points of reference that show how today’s 18-year-olds see the world. The purpose is to help professors know their students so they can teach better. But the list now gets worldwide publicity, and all kinds of groups use it to learn how the younger generation thinks.
Nief and McBride will share their insights with NASA employees in October.
The Class of 2016 has always seen women in positions of leadership. They believe Bill Clinton is a senior statesman, but to them, Kurt Cobain has always been dead.
The Mindset List also mentions that today’s college freshmen have no need for radios, and while they’re TV junkies, they watch shows everywhere but on actual sets.
They can’t remember when suitcases couldn’t be rolled or when airplane tickets were books with carbon paper.
Also, Nief said many youngsters have seen their parents worry about foreclosures and keeping their jobs, and they believe unemployment has risen by 2% during their lives.
They believe gene therapy has always been available. McBride also notes that students are less likely to identify with a specific religion, and that can be a problem when he teaches the biblical references in Shakespeare.
Teacher licensing plan gives credit for experience despite lack of degree
Colleges that train Wisconsin teachers are questioning a new plan to let those with teaching experience become licensed even if they don’t have formal education degrees.
The Department of Public Instruction said Monday that college graduates with three years of teaching experience in workplace training, a private school or a child care center can apply for what’s called a “License Based on Equivalency.” A number of other states offer a similar option.
But Jeanne Williams, who heads the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, said there are policy questions that need to be answered.
Katy Heyning, dean of the College of Education at the UW-Whitewater, said it’s best for public schools to have teachers who have completed formal educator prep programs like those offered at many UW campuses.
The licensing plan is the first that bypasses those colleges, and there are concerns that they’d lose students and tuition money.
But Gov. Scott Walker says it might help schools find more qualified teachers in subjects with the highest need – like math and science.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers says the DPI knows there are people who have completed college and have extensive work experience, and they’d like to share their knowledge by becoming teachers. He said the new License Based on Equivalency will help them achieve that.
Man leads police to body in hotel room
An Illinois man is due in court today for allegedly killing his girlfriend while they were in Door County to attend a wedding.
Sheriff’s officials said the 35-year-old man called 911 on Sunday and confessed to killing Alisha Bromfield, 21. Both were from Plainfield, Ill. Charges are still pending.
The man reportedly told deputies where Bromfield could be found, and officers discovered the body in a room at the Sand Bay Beach Resort at Nasewaupee. The man was arrested in Sister Bay.
Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel said Bromfield and the suspect had a “casual” relationship. He did not say how the woman died.
Teen faces adult charges for injuring girl with arrow
A 16-year-old Campbellsport boy is scheduled to make his first appearance in adult court this morning in the accidental shooting of a seven-year-old girl with a bow and arrow.
Casey Bennett’s case was waived from juvenile court earlier this month. He’s charged in Fond du Lac County with a felony count of second-degree reckless injury and a misdemeanor count of obstructing police.
According to prosecutors, Bennett originally told officers he didn’t know who wounded Aryanna Schneeburg May 20 in Campbellsport, but he later admitted that he and a friend were shooting at squirrels when he missed a shot and heard the girl scream.
Doctors said Aryanna was lucky to have survived the incident.
Theater chain offers second-run films, $3 tickets
A Wisconsin theater chain is starting to offer a cheaper alternative for movie lovers.
Marcus Theatres have opened “Value Cinemas” in Milwaukee and Appleton and is about to open one in Superior Aug. 31.
The theaters feature second-run films about two months after their initial release. Admission is just $3 a seat.
Marcus Theaters President Bruce Olson says people who don’t normally attend first-run screenings now have a value-priced option for seeing movies “the way they’re meant to be seen – on a big screen with popcorn, soda and concessions.”
Olson said those who missed a first-run screening or want to see a film on the big screen again will appreciate the new option.
Marcus is the nation’s sixth-largest movie theater chain with screens in seven states. Superior is the fourth overall market to get value pricing. By the end of August, the value-priced theaters will represent about 7% of Marcus’ 695 total screens. For now, Moorhead, Minn., is the only other one outside of Wisconsin.
UW-Madison’s party-school ranking drops
It used to be No. 1, but now, UW-Madison ranks 13th on the Princeton Review’s new list of the nation’s top party schools.
Princeton’s annual edition of “The Best 377 Colleges” goes on sale today. It has 62 rankings based on everything from academics to campus life to the student bodies.
The rankings are based on a survey of 122,000 college students around the country during the last school year.
Madison made a slight comeback into the Top 10 a year ago before falling to 13th in the new list of party colleges. West Virginia is No. 1, followed by the University of Iowa and Ohio University.