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Wisconsin roundup: Packers fans ponder future after Rodgers injury; lawmaker takes aim at roadmaps; more state news stories

Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers sustained a broken collarbone Sunday in the Packers' loss to Minnesota. The injury cast doubt on the Packers' chances for the year among analysts, fans and Las Vegas odds makers. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia

In bars and living rooms throughout Wisconsin Sunday, Packer fans wondered about the team's future after quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his right collarbone.

Analysts say the two time MVP could be out for the year because the collarbone is tied to his throwing shoulder — unlike in 2013, when Rodgers missed seven games after breaking the opposite collarbone. On social media, fans' views spread the gamut both during and after the Pack's 23-10 loss at Minnesota.

Some wanted to see second stringer Brett Hundley get at least one full week of practice, knowing he'll start next Sunday against New Orleans — and Packers' coach Mike McCarthy said he would go with Hundley and practice squad player Joe Callahan, and not bring in an experienced quarterback from the outside.

Green Bay has made the playoffs for eight straight years, tied with New England for the most in the NFL — but that could be in jeopardy. A Las Vegas sports book has dropped Green Bay's chances of winning the Super Bowl from 5-1 to 12-1.


Lawmaker proposes bill to reduce state road map distributions

MADISON — A Wisconsin lawmaker says it's getting harder to give away paper copies of state highway maps.

GOP Rep. Scott Allen of Waukesha has proposed a bill to nullify a 1979 law that each legislator get 500 folded paper maps to give people — along with 50 laminated wall maps. Allen also wants to end the mandate to give 300 maps to the Legislative Reference Bureau.

Allen tells the Wisconsin State Journal that a lot of people use smartphones for their road maps these days — but his bill would still let people get the folded maps at rest stops, motor vehicle offices, or by contacting their lawmakers. The state would save about $20,000 with Allen's bill — a miniscule part of the state's $76 billion budget, but he says cuts should be considered when necessary.


State, sheriff investigate Menomonie police incident

MENOMONIE — Two outside agencies are investigating an incident in which a Menomonie Police car struck and injured a man lying on a roadway.

The State Patrol and the Dunn County Sheriff's Department are investigating the mishap, which occurred about 1 a.m. Sunday. Officials say the squad car tried swerving to avoid hitting the victim, but struck him anyway — and he was taken to an Eau Claire hospital before being sent to a facility in Rochester, Minnesota. No names were immediately released, and there was no word on the man's injuries.


Former Packer helps raise money for new library

COLBY — Former Green Bay Packers linebacker George Koonce helps raise money for a new library in central Wisconsin.

He was in Colby during the weekend, where he promoted his new book "Is There Life After Football; Surviving the NFL" — and he raised funds for a new Colby Public Library where a former school administration building used to be. The 49-year-old Koonce, who won a Super Bowl with Green Bay in the 1996 season, says he drank too much and suffered from depression after he retired from the Packers in 2000.

It affected him at UW-Milwaukee, where he was the athletic director for a little more than one year ending in 2010 — and he lost his first wife to cancer. He and his current wife Gina now live in Fond du Lac, where he's a senior vice president at Marian University after he earned a Ph.D. degree from Marquette.


Survey: Waukesha is state’s most livable city

NEW YORK — A survey says Waukesha is the most livable city in Wisconsin, and the 36th most livable in the United States.

That's according to the New York financial website 24/7 Wall Street, which put out a ranking of 50 communities. It says the Milwaukee suburb has higher numbers of fitness centers, movie theaters, restaurants, and taverns than the national average — with only one third of the crime of similar sized communities, and a lower than average poverty rate.

Appleton is the 48th most livable city in the survey, as twice as many residents walk to work than the national average — and the city has seven colleges and universities for every 100,000 residents. The survey rated Carmel, Indiana as the most livable in America with Centennial, Colorado second.


Fatal crash victims ID’d

The names of two people killed in traffic crashes in eastern Wisconsin have been released.

Brown County sheriff's deputies say 33-year-old Samuel Kuehl of Appleton died in a fiery crash late Thursday near Greenleaf. Officials say his car drove through a stop sign when it slammed into a dump truck, and both units started on fire.

In Dodge County, deputies say 90-year-old Iva Schwoch of Burnett was killed Friday when her car hit struck on the right by another auto at the corner of two county roads near Beaver Dam. Schwoch died at a hospital, and the Watertown man who drove the other car was not hurt.


Eau Claire recognized for solar energy advancement efforts

EAU CLAIRE — The city of Eau Claire is being recognized for its solar energy advancement efforts.

Leaders gathered at Chippewa Valley Technical College yesterday afternoon to celebrate as the city was awarded a gold designation from the state's SolSmart program. The award recognizes a city for adopting efficient solar energy practices.


Madison man accused of killing wife planned to marry Russian woman

MADISON — Madison police say their investigation shows a murder suspect had plans to marry a Russian woman after killing his wife and causing their house to explode.

Investigators say they learned of the plan when they used a search warrant to examine the phone and tablet owned by Steven D. Pirus. The Russian woman named Olga planned to travel to the United States.

Police say Pirus shot his 50-year-old wife, Lee Anne, to death weeks — if not months — before an explosion flattened their home. Four of the family pets died in the Sept. 13 blast.


Competency exam ordered for mom accused of burning son, 4

MILWAUKEE — A 23-year-old Milwaukee woman, accused of setting her 4-year-old son on fire, will undergo a mental competency exam.

Amelia DiStasio is charged with first-degree intentional homicide. She made a court appearance Friday and had her preliminary hearing postponed. The competency report is to be submitted next month. When authorities responded to a smoke report, they found the boy's burned body in a bathtub. A witness told officer about seeing DiStasio climb out of an apartment window and running away.