Wisconsin roundup: Trump's approval sinks to 43 percent in state; Walker seeks aid for Arcadia; 8 more state news stories
WASHINGTON — Another poll shows that President Donald Trump continues to lose some of the support he had when he won Wisconsin last November.
A new Gallup Poll shows that 43 percent of Wisconsin adults approve of what Trump's doing — while 52 percent disapprove. Gallup says Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania essentially decided last November's election, mainly because all three states carried the GOP nominee for the first time since the 1980s.
And the poll shows Trump's approval in all three states is now just slightly above the national average of 40 percent, with 54 percent disapproving. However, Gallup has Trump doing a little better in Wisconsin than his 41 percent approval in the Marquette Law School poll of registered voters about one month ago.
Walker endorses budget aid to prevent future Arcadia floods
MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker says he wants lawmakers to add almost $15 million to the new state budget to help a western Wisconsin city prevent future flooding.
Arcadia was among numerous places in western and southern Wisconsin hit with massive floods this month — but the Republican Walker has told the Joint Finance Committee that the extra state aid would help a city that has grown with recent expansions from Ashley Furniture and the Mayo Clinic.
Republican Reps. Warren Petryk of Eleva and Treig Pronschinske of Mondovi asked for the additional aid. The new two-year budget was supposed to take effect July 1. But it's been delayed by GOP disagreements that involve highway funding, and income limits for the private school choice voucher program.
Historic church vandalized twice in 3 months
GLEASON — A small, historic church in north central Wisconsin has been vandalized twice in the last three months.
Lincoln County sheriff's deputies are trying to find out who splattered paint and put a satanic star and other symbols on the walls of the Estonian Evanglical Martin Luther church near Gleason. In May, doors and pews were damaged — and it's been holding up a restoration of the 110-year-old building that began in 2014 after the facility fell into disrepair.
Project director Bill Rebane tells WSAW-TV in Wausau that a cross valued at $3,000 was damaged, and he's not sure it's "local kids" pulling a "prank." On its website, the church says it was North America's first Estonian church — and it has become what it calls an "historic icon for Estonians and Latvians who left their homeless to escape from tyranny, war, and religious oppression."
Harley seeks ‘sleeping license holders’ for future business
MILWAUKEE — An estimated 8 million Americans have motorcycle licenses without having their own bikes.
And as Harley-Davidson's current sales tumble, the Milwaukee motorcycle maker is looking to that group to keep its 115-year-old business going. The Journal Sentinel says Harley wants to attract 2 million new riders in the United States during the decade, which would represent a 25 percent increase in the numbers motorcycles registered throughout the nation.
But Cycle World magazine says Harley has some big social and demographic hurdles to cross. It says the median age of an American motorcyclist is 45 — and the industry's current hurdles are that baby boomers are cutting back on their spending just before they retire, and millennials wonder if it's worth spending thousands on a new bike while they're struggling with student loan repayments.
Foxconn could announce a Wis. plant site this week
MILWAUKEE — Several reports say Foxconn will announce this week that it chooses Wisconsin for a plant that would make display panels for big screen TVs.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and WISN radio say Foxconn will probably not announce a location for the plant, which would employ thousands of people. Racine and Kenosha counties are reported to be the leading candidates.
WISN talk show host Mark Belling says an announcement is set for Thursday at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The Taiwanese tech giant has been meeting with officials in several states, and state lawmakers have said the Walker administration is working on a memorandum of understanding that could give Foxconn millions of dollars in incentives for locating in Wisconsin.
USDA: Storms damage crops, but not everywhere in Wis.
MADISON — Heavy rains and floods have caused a lot of damage to Wisconsin's farm crops.
The USDA says crops, barns, and trees blew down during multiple rounds of thunderstorms last week — and many of the agriculture reporters cited damage from floods and oversaturated soils. The southwest part of the state got the most crop damage, and other parts of the state had varied precipitation as conditions for the state's two largest cash crops also varied.
Seventy percent of the Wisconsin corn was rated good to excellent, four points above last week — and 72-percent of the soybeans were good to excellent. Officials say it was the sixth straight week that Wisconsin farm fields had excessive rains somewhere in the state.
Air show: Craft shows people what it’s like to be an astronaut
OSHKOSH — The EAA's AirVenture Show enters its second day in Oshkosh.
On Monday, visitors lined up to get a tour of the Blue Origin, a spacecraft designed to show what it's like to be an astronaut — including the weightlessness in which astronauts float as they perform their duties in "zero gravity."
A company started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos brought the civilian astronaut capsule and its New Shepard boosting rocket, named in honor of Alan Shepard, the first American in space. The company is planning future flights of about 11 minutes each, that will give people an even better experience.
Ryan: Concentrate on domestic issues — not Russia probe
MILWAUKEE — U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville wants people to focus on tax reform and solving problems instead of zeroing in on the Russian probe.
On WISN radio Monday, the Republican Ryan was asked what he thought of what host Jay Weber called a "witch hunt with Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating alleged interference by Russia in last year's elections. Ryan says the former FBI director is not a "biased partisan," and the "facts will vindicate themselves.”
Ryan says he wants to shove that aside in the political arena, and get Republicans to focus on what Congress is doing. With the same party in charge of Congress and the White House, Ryan says they've passed more bills in six months than in the last four presidencies."
State records first West Nile horse infection
MADISON — A Standardbred cross gelding from central Wisconsin is the first horse in the state to be infected with the West Nile Virus this summer.
State equine veterinarian Julie McGwin says the wet summer has contributed to growing problems with the mosquitoes that carry West Nile. She says 90 percent of horses die from the virus, but horses cannot carry it to other horses or humans.
McGwin says the Clark County horse was not vaccinated. But even with horses that have been vaccinated, McGwin says they should check with their vets to see if a booster should be given. As of last week, the state health agency says 36 birds have been found infected with West Nile. There have been no human cases yet, but they don't normally begin until August or September.
Former Milwaukee firefighter sentenced in deadly crash
MILWAUKEE — A former Milwaukee firefighter will serve prison time following a deadly crash last year on Opening Day near Miller Park.
Josh Larson was sentenced last week to 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty in May to multiple charges, including homicide by use of a vehicle. Prosecutors say he was heading home from a Brewers game April 4, 2016, when he slammed into two vehicles in West Allis, killing two people. His blood alcohol level was above the legal limit at the time of the crash.