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Rabies survivor graduates from college; Boy hospitalized after being run over by school bus; more briefs

Jeanna Giese of Fond du Lac -- the first person in the world to survive rabies without vaccine -- graduated from college on Mother's Day.

The 21-year-old biology major was among 840 students to receive their degrees from Lakeland College in Sheboygan. One of the doctors who saved Giese was on hand for the milestone.

In 2004 Rodney Willoughby worked with colleagues from Milwaukee Children's Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin to come up with an experimental treatment. They placed Giese into a coma to protect her brain from the rabies virus, and then they injected a cocktail of medicines.

Giese had been bitten on the left index finger by a bat she was trying to rescue in a Fond du Lac church in September of 2004.

Today Jeanna Giese walks and talks normally, but she still occasionally has trouble running and balancing. She's been working at a pet lodge in Fond du Lac - and her life's goal is to work with animals.

Doctors have tried to share their treatment with others around the world, but almost 30 known cases had failed. At least five rabies' patients taking the Milwaukee treatment survived for awhile, but only two of them are alive today - a girl in Qatar and a teenage boy in Brazil.


Boy survives being run over by school bus

UNION GROVE -- A six-year-old Racine County boy was hospitalized in stable condition Friday after he was run over by a school bus driven by his mother.

The accident happened Friday morning in Union Grove.

Sheriff's officials said the boy's mother was dropping off kids at a church parking lot when her son crouched in front of the bus. As the bus started moving forward, the boy's sister yelled that he should lie down. His body was apparently between the tire wells when he tried rolling out from under the vehicle, but it was too late. A back tire ran over him and his backpack.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said the backpack might have spared the youngster from major injuries. As it was, he had surgery on one of his shoulders.


Retired prison guard plans to eat his 25,000th Big Mac

FOND DU LAC -- It's been eight years since Don Gorske of Fond du Lac broke a world record by eating 19,000 McDonald's Big Macs, and he's still going at it.

A week from tomorrow, Gorske, 57, will enjoy his 25,000th Big Mac during a celebration at his favorite McDonald's on Fond du Lac's southwest side. His McDonald's collectibles will be on display, and diners can win free meal cards.

Gorske eats at least one, and often two, Big Macs every day, and he keeps the store receipts for all of them.

Thanksgiving 2000 was the last day he went without the famous "two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun." The restaurant was closed for the holiday. Gorske thought he had a Big Mac in his freezer but he didn't. He told Wisconsin State Journal columnist Doug Moe that the manager offered to open up the place and serve him, but Gorske didn't want to inconvenience anyone.

He's now retired from the state prison in Waupun where he was a guard. Gorske is in good health and says he has no intention of quitting his string. His wife said it will be over when she has to put them in a blender.


Man accused of shooting alleged thief at scrap yard

MILWAUKEE -- A man who lives at a scrap yard has been charged with killing a teenage boy.

David Helton said he heard noises outside his trailer last Monday night so he took his shotgun outside.

Shelton Smith, 16, and three other people were apparently stealing motors from H&R Scrap Metals a little after 9 p.m. Helton, 53, said he tripped and his gun went off. Smith was later found shot in the neck.

Helton has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide. Bond was set at $250,000 cash. A court appearance is set for May 17.


Gas prices falling

Wisconsin gas prices have been falling since their record highs four days ago.

The American Automobile Association says the average statewide price is $4.035 this morning for a gallon of unleaded regular. That's three cents lower than Sunday and eight cents less than the all-time high of $4.115 last Thursday. reports an average of just over $4.08 a gallon in the state's biggest metro area. That's the same as Sunday, and it's down by over nien cents since last Monday.

Crude oil prices have dropped, and that represents two-thirds of what you pay at the pump.

Also, Pam Moen of the Wisconsin AAA said a number of refineries that provide gasoline to the Upper Midwest were out of production due to the severe storms from late April. Most are back on line.

Some experts say we could see a 50 cent decline in gas prices about a month from now.