Company asks for injunction to stop work on Stillwater bridge; Lawmakers outraged by $648 million UW surplus; more state news
A Minnesota construction company is asking a federal judge to grant an injunction to stop work on the new St. Croix River bridge project.
CS McCrossan Construction says its bid was illegally rejected by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Last February that company was named the apparent low bidder on the project worth more than $52 million. That bid was later rejected when the agency said McCrossan hadn't made what it called "good faith efforts" to work with woman- and minority-owned businesses.
Two companies, including Lunda Construction of Black River Falls, are doing the work. Work on the approach to the bridge from the Minnesota side is scheduled to start this spring and be completed in fall 2014.
Lawmakers outraged by $648 million UW surplus
MADISON -- Republican lawmakers told University of Wisconsin System President Kevin Reilly they are shocked by revelations of a $648 million surplus now sitting in the bank.
About $414 million of that comes from student tuition. Reilly faced criticism Tuesday at a hearing before the Legislature's Joint Committee on Employee Relations committee at the Capitol.
Senator Alberta Darling of River Hills accused officials with the system of trying to hide the surpluses. Reilly told the lawmakers the surpluses serve as a safety net as the state of Wisconsin reduces the aid it sends to the system.
Report: Voucher-school students trail public school students
A report issued by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction shows students at the state's voucher schools improved their math and reading proficiencies but still trail students attending class in public schools
Supporters of school vouchers say the numbers don't account for the fact their schools serve primarily students from low-income families. Supporters of public schools refute that, pointing out that the two educational approaches use different family income limits.
The arguments have heated up as Gov. Scott Walker considers expanding the state's voucher program.
April rains havoc on minor league baseball
Minor league baseball teams in Wisconsin are battling the weather - and losing.
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have had to cancel five of their first nine home games.
It's a similar story for the Beloit Snappers, who have played just four of their first seven scheduled home games. Beloit team officials say a rain gauge shows 15 to 16 inches of rain in about a week's time.
The cancellations are hitting those teams on the bottom line. They say they haven't had much revenue coming in to pay the bills.
The postponements mean a lot of doubleheaders to come, which will put a big strain on some pitching staffs. On the other hand, those players haven't been able to get too much action so far.
DNR: Recycle, don't pitch, electronics
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says recycling is the way to deal with used electronics. State officials say you shouldn't just throw them out while you're spring cleaning.
The state estimates there are approximately 1.2 million unused televisions in Wisconsin households and another million unused computers.
State law prohibits dumping most electronics in landfills. The DNR reminds you the steel, aluminum, plastic and other metals inside electronics are often very valuable.
You can find out more by visiting the E-Cycle Wisconsin page on the DNR's website: dnr.wi.gov/topic/Ecycle
There are more than 400 collections sites around the state.
Schools raise money to buy police radios
Officials at schools in the New London District say they have an extra layer of security after a fundraising program.
The $16,000 raised has been used to buy 13 new police radios. Every public and private school in the district has at least one radio which can be used to notify police in an emergency.
New London police say they don't want to delay their response - even by 30 seconds. Officials say the eight schools in the district are now prepared.
Fundraising started last January, shortly after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Police firearms instructor shot armed man
The Town of Menasha police officer who shot an armed 66-year-old man to death last week has been identified as 17-year veteran Lt. Gary Cutler. He is the department's firearms instructor.
Cutler was one of several officers sent to an apartment complex last Friday night after Wilson A. Lutz had threatened to harm himself. Lutz was upset over a personal relationship. Cutler reportedly shot Lutz twice when he refused orders to drop his gun and then pointed it at the officers.
The Winnebago County district attorney's office is investigating to determine if charges should be filed. Cutler is on paid administrative leave, a normal practice after a police-involved shooting.
Police search for missing sex offender
The owner of a car found abandoned on a snowmobile trail in the Town of Kewaskum says he doesn't know why his roommate would leave it there.
Deputies have been searching that area of the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. They're looking for Larry Arnold, a registered sex offender who is wanted on felony warrants from 2010. People living nearby have been alerted.
Arnold is described as a 38-year-old white man, five feet, 10 inches tall and 160 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes. The public should consider him to be potentially dangerous.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office says it wants to question Arnold.
Snow cover delays opening of campgrounds
A covering of snow will delay the opening of 53 developed campgrounds in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
Campgrounds and recreational trails in the forest's 1.5 million acres won't be opening until next month. All trails will be shut down due to the snowpack and wet conditions until about May 17.
State agency officials say the trails on the Lakewood-Laona District could open the week before that if conditions improve. Users are being told to check the forest website or call the district offices to check on the new opening dates.