Gov. Tony Evers is declaring a statewide state of emergency in Wisconsin in response to flooding from the rapid snowmelt and rains.
The order directs state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard to provide additional personnel and resources to assist in emergency response and recovery operations. Evers said the flooding that has impacted homes, businesses, and cities and towns across Wisconsin. High water caused power and gas outages in several communities and prompted multiple evacuations. The Red Cross has opened shelters to assist displaced residents. Temperatures are supposed to cool the next few days which will slow the melt and allow the water to disperse.
State health officials expect long flu season in Wis.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is warning this will be one of the longest flu seasons in a while.
A new influenza A H-3 strain is currently affecting young and old people in the state. DHS influenza coordinator Thomas Haupt says the average peak for flu activity is the first week in February, but he expects this season to extend through at least the end of March. The H-3 type of virus is more powerful than the influenza A H-1 strain that circulated earlier this season. Haupt says H-3 is covered by this year's vaccine and it's not too late to get a flu shot. There have been 36 influenza-related deaths in Wisconsin this season.
Medical examiner: Missing Wis. girl died of head injuries
A medical examiner has ruled a missing 2-year-old Wisconsin girl died of head injuries.
The body of Noelani Robinson was found wrapped in a blanket and placed in a ditch about one mile north of Blooming Prairie, a community about 40 miles southwest of Rochester, Minn. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says a bystander told them where to look. The child was the subject of an Amber Alert after being reported missing last Monday in Milwaukee. Her father, Dariaz Higgins, is being held on murder charges for killing the girl's mother.
Higgins made an appearance in Milwaukee County Circuit Court Sunday, where his bond was set at $1 million. Investigators say he fatally shot 24-year-old Sierra Robinson and wounded a second woman last week. Higgins is the father of two-year-old Noelani Robinson, whose body was found in Minnesota Friday night. That death is still being investigated.
Facing eighth OWI charge, man allegedly tries taking a drink in front of cop
A Columbia County sheriff’s deputy was investigating a wrecked car in the town of Fountain Prairie Saturday night when the owner returned to the scene of the crash.
That deputy says 56-year-old Robert G. Koehler of Cambria tried to grab an open bottle of liquor from his car and drink from it when he was told he was going to be arrested. Koehler now faces a charge of operating while intoxicated, eighth offense. A driver who had given Koehler a ride home from the original crash site had called authorities saying something "wasn't right with him."
Madison teacher involved in altercation with student resigns
The Whitehorse Middle School teacher accused of punching and pulling the braids of an 11-year-old female student last month is stepping down.
The Madison School District said Friday that veteran educator Robert Mueller-Owens resigned. Mueller-Owens is white and the student is black. He was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in the incident. The school board responded to Mueller-Owens' resignation in a statement, saying, "We are fully committed to creating welcoming and safe schools for all, where every child is valued and cared for, and we are more resolved than ever to move forward in that work. It is our responsibility to support our students of color and to create the environments that all of our students deserve." Mueller-Owens will continue to receive his salary and benefits through the end of the school year.
Man, teen arrested after fight involving frying pan
Madison police say a 15-year-old girl belted a man in the head with his own frying pan last week.
She and the 40-year-old man have both been arrested and their names haven't been released. Investigators say the man routinely allowed neighborhood kids to use his television and gaming system. That man got mad when a 14-year-old boy used his credit card to buy video gaming content. He told police he meant to hit the boy in the chest, accidentally hit him in the head and had apologized. The girl retaliated by using the frying pan to hit the man in the head several times.
U.S. Sens. Johnson, Baldwin introduce bill to delist gray wolf
Wisconsin’s two U.S. senators, Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin, are co-sponsoring legislation that would delist the gray wolf in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Wyoming.
The Interior Department is moving forward with a rule to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species List and a 60-day public comment period opened today (Friday). Their bill would allow states and tribes to manage the wolf populations. Johnson said gray wolf delisting decisions should come from state wildlife experts, not partisan judges. Baldwin says the population has recovered in the Great Lakes region and that's why we should return management to the state of Wisconsin.
Lieutenant governor in Eau Claire: Wisconsin must do better at gender equity
Wisconsin's lieutenant governor joined small business owners at a weekend gathering to hear how the Red Letter Grant has helped female entrepreneurs.
The grant provides start-up capital and the help of a network to guide them to success. Mandela Barnes pointed out that women own about 31 percent of the businesses in Wisconsin and they make up 50 percent of the population. He says the state has to do a better job of making things equal. The Saturday event was held in Eau Claire.