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A popular hot air balloon will return to the Hudson Hot Air Affair Feb. 1-3 -- the RE/MAX balloon. The familiar red, white and blue aerostat representing the real estate company has been part of Hot Air Affair for more than 20 years. The winter festival and hot air balloon rally is presented by WESTconsin Credit Union-Hudson and features about 30 commercial, regular and special-shaped hot air balloons.
A northwest Wisconsin woman was killed Tuesday when her car slammed into an oncoming semi-truck. Barron County sheriff's deputies said Cheryl Baglien, 52, of Turtle Lake was heading west on Hwy. 8 when she entered an opposite lane on a curve and hit the oncoming semi. Baglien's 17-year-old daughter suffered serious injuries. She was flown to a hospital in St. Paul, Minn. The trucker, a man from Exeland, was not hurt. Traffic on Hwy. 8 was detoured for eight hours yesterday so the crash could be investigated and the wreckage could be cleared out.
MADISON -- Gov. Scott Walker will deliver his third annual State-of-the-State address at 7 p.m., Tuesday. The speech will be carried on all Wisconsin Public Radio stations. It will also be live-streamed on Walker's web site. He's expected to discuss his priorities in general, without giving specific details until he releases his next two-year state budget proposal in February. Walker has talked the most recently about tax cuts.
MENOMONIE -- A Saturday night fire of unknown origin destroyed the 99-year old St. John's Lutheran Church, a Wisconsin Evangelical Synod parish with about 60 members. Firefighters from Colfax got the call from a passerby that flames were visible at the Dunn County church, about 10 miles north in the town of Grant, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported Monday. The church, which was unoccupied at the time, was a total loss. The congregation would have celebrated the church's 100th anniversary next year.
MADISON -- The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a dress code for its members, and imposed new restrictions on spectators at its meetings. The changes were made as part of the Assembly's operating rules for the new session. Men must wear coats-and-ties at their desks on the Assembly floor and women must wear appropriate business attire. If they don't, they won't be allowed to take part in that day's debates. In the last session, Democrats showed their opposition to public union bargaining limits by wearing orange solidarity T-shirts on the Assembly floor.
The Hudson Brewing Company LLC of Hudson and NDT Solutions, Inc. and Bosch Packaging Technology, Inc. of New Richmond have been named emerging business, small business and business-of-the-year for 2012, respectively, by members of the St. Croix Economic Development Corp. Current EDC president Roger Humphrey announced the winners Thursday afternoon. Larry Knegendorf, former manager at Baldwin Telecom and a community volunteer, is the recipient of the 2012 Director's Award. All the companies will be honored at a banquet on Thursday, Feb.
Starbuck (Luke Reidenbach, Arden Hills, Minn.), a charismatic con man, offers hope to a Midwestern town beset by a severe drought, and to Lizzie (Katie Gherty McNabe, St. Paul), a woman whose life is at a crossroads in The Phipps Center for the Arts production of "The Rainmaker," by N. Richard Nash. Other favorites from Phipps productions include Jim Reidenbach as H.C. (Norman Thayer Jr.
Comedian Scott Novotny will offer Acting for Adults - Improvisation/Comedy on six Mondays, Jan. 21 through Feb. 25, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., culminating in a performance on Thursday, Feb. 28, at The Phipps Center for the Arts. Using the fundamentals of improvisation, participants will learn how to help create scenes, improve their acting confidence, and develop interesting characters while working on improvisational exercises and games. "Bring out the inner child in you. Come have fun and learn how to be an improvisational actor at the same time," encourages the instructor.
WASHINGTON D.C. -- Experts blame Wisconsin's slow employment growth on high taxes, a lack of job training, and a vulnerable manufacturing climate. The federal government said Wisconsin's total private sector employment grew by only 1.5 percent for the year ending last June. That's the ninth-lowest growth rate among the 50 states and the numbers are based on the most accurate data available, a nearly complete survey of U.S.
MADISON -- If Wisconsin Republicans want to give money away, Democrats say public schools and the working poor should be the first in line, ahead of other taxpayers. Gov.