Mississippi still on the rise; Worker's disappearance ends with grim discovery; more state news
Not a single town on the Mississippi River is relaxing even though most managed to head off flooding as the river was rising in the last few days.
The growing accumulation of snow in the upper Midwest and a forecast calling for more rain suggest river waters could start rising again. In some locations, the Mississippi is now 10 to 12 feet above flood stage.
Just a few weeks ago, the river was so low barge operators were calling for federal help. The National Weather Service is forecasting significant rain Monday evening and Tuesday for much of the Midwest. Though most rivers in the region have crested, they could start rising again.
Meanwhile, with Earth Day falling on a Monday this year, many activities were carried out over the weekend.
Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the day 43 years ago as a way to put focus on protecting the environment. It's held on April 22 every year.
Earth Day events have already been held at 20 Wisconsin state parks the past two Saturdays with volunteers planting trees and shrubs, digging up invasive plants, picking up litter and helping improve those facilities.
Many places have scheduled Earth Day activities for this coming weekend, too.
Decommissioning of nuke plant will span 60 years
After the Kewaunee Power Station shuts down, owner Dominion Resources will have 60 years to clean up the location and turn it into what is called a "greenfield site."
Experts are putting the cost of decommissioning the nuclear reactor at almost $1 billion. The plant is scheduled to close May 7, ending hundreds of well-paying jobs for that part of eastern Wisconsin.
All buildings will be torn down and low-level radioactive waste shipped out of state.
Spent fuel will be held at the site until 2021 when the U.S. Department of Energy says it will start accepting nuclear waste from commercial reactors.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is holding a meeting Wednesday in Kewaunee.
Worker's disappearance ends with grim discovery
MILTON -- Rescue personnel from 16 fire departments helped in the effort to find a missing worker at the United Ethanol plant in Milton last Friday.
After almost 13 hours, the body of 27-year-old Jerad Guell was found in a grain silo.
Guell had gone missing that morning at about 10:20 a.m. More than 100 public safety personnel were involved in the effort. Guell's body was recovered at 11:11 p.m.
It was the first significant industrial accident to happen at the plant since it opened. Guell had worked there for seven years.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is working with Milton police to investigate the fatal mishap.
Law would restrict employer access to personal sites like Facebook
MADISON -- A Democratic state representative from Madison is sponsoring legislation which would keep employers from making their employees or job applicants provide access to social media accounts.
Rep. Melissa Sargent's bill has bipartisan sponsorship by Republican state Representative Gary Bies.
He says social media access should be protected. Schools or landlords would also be prevented from gaining access to the personal Internet accounts of students or tenants.
Almost three dozen states are considering similar laws, with nine already having them on the books.
Residency debate said to be slowing police, firefighter contract talks
MILWAUKEE -- Officials with the Milwaukee police and firefighters unions say contract talks take time. They say they aren't delaying the process, but Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's chief of staff has another take.
Patrick Curley says the unions are avoiding contract talks as they wait to see whether the Wisconsin Legislature gets rid of residency rules.
Contracts for both unions expired at the end of last year and there has been little interaction with the city's labor negotiator since.
Milwaukee has had a residency rule in place for 75 years.
Local governments say the state should stay out of the discussion, calling where those workers live a matter of local control.
DA promises thorough review of police killing
MENASHA -- The Winnebago County district attorney says he will conduct a thorough investigation into the fatal shooting of Wilson A. Lutz. 66.
The DA will determine whether a Town of Menasha police officer was justified when he shot Lutz twice at an apartment complex last Friday night.
Lutz was armed and had threatened to harm himself over the ending of a relationship. Police say an officer with 17 years of experience shot Lutz when he refused to drop his weapon and pointed it at officers.
District Attorney Christian Gossett says the investigation will be completed as quickly as possible based on community interests and the needs of the police department. The officer is on paid leave.
Ryan discussing immigration reform in Chicago
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan was expected to talk about immigration reform during an appearance in Chicago Monday.
The Janesville Republican will be speaking at a luncheon at the City Club of Chicago.
Also appearing will be Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Chicago, one of the so-called "Gang of Eight," which is putting together a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Though not offering his total support, Ryan has saluted the group's effort on a broadcast last week. He says its work is getting this country closer to a solution to a problem which has dominated the national debate.
DNR urges homeowners to search out gypsy moth nests
MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says gypsy moth eggs will start hatching over the next few weeks so now is the time to find and destroy them.
The DNR wants homeowners to search trees, houses, firewood piles, play sets and any other outdoor surfaces for the egg masses which are tan in color and about the size of a quarter.
Homeowners can use horticultural oil -- like Golden Pest Spray Oil - designed to kill them or just scrape the egg mass free and drown them in soapy water.
Just scraping the eggs onto the ground, stepping on them or breaking them apart could leave too many of the eggs to survive.