Chippewa County tornado damage estimated at more than $3M

Damage from last week's tornado in the western Wisconsin town of Wheaton is estimated at more than $3 million. Chippewa County Emergency Management director Dennis Brown says he submitted the preliminary damage estimate to the state, which includes the costs of repairing or replacing 29 homes that were damaged or destroyed by the Sept. 24 tornado. Debris removal is estimated at $90,000 so far and Brown says volunteers have helped defray those costs. More than a thousand people took part in cleanup efforts over the weekend. The town will apply for assistance through the Wisconsin Disaster Fund.

Ag secretary Perdue talks about future farming at World Dairy Expo

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the 2018 farm bill will help Wisconsin's dairy industry, but small farmers have no guarantees. During a town hall at the World Dairy Expo, Perdue said, "I don't think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability of survival. That depends on each and every farmer and dairy farmer." Perdue told dairy farmers he blames China for the trade war and suggested struggling farmers might want to consider expanding their business to survive. Wisconsin lost around 700 dairy farms last year.

Superior mayor says bomb scare a reason to work on creating regional response

It was not a pipe bomb that shut down a main thoroughfare in Superior for several hours Tuesday.

But Mayor Jim Paine says the object spotted outside the city's fire hall was deemed a "credible threat." To Paine the incident highlights a need to create a regional bomb squad, despite financial challenges involved. The nearest unit equipped to handle the situation was from Marathon County, more than three hours away.

Madison mayor proposes vehicle registration fee to fund rapid transit

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is pitching a proposal to charge a $40 vehicle registration fee to help fund a Bus Rapid Transit plan. The public transit system would use dedicated traffic lanes and larger buses to reduce ride times. The fee is in the mayor's first city operating budget plan. The budget totals $340.4 million and would also keep the current number of police officers.

Duffy family welcomes ninth child

Former Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy and his wife Rachel are welcoming their ninth child.

Duffy announced that Rachel successfully delivered their newborn baby girl on Monday night. They did not reveal the child's name. Duffy said on Facebook "Both mom and baby are doing great… Thank you all for your prayers!” Duffy resigned from the U.S. House Sept. 23 after learning that his latest baby would have health complications. The newborn was diagnosed with a heart defect that will require surgery. The operation is expected early next year.

RiverTown Multimedia News Staff