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Over 6,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that slain Wauwatosa police officer Jennifer Sebena be added to a national memorial for fallen officers. State law enforcement leaders were outraged after the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund decided not to include Sebena in the memorial because she died from domestic violence. Sebena was on duty last Christmas Eve when she was allegedly gunned down by her husband, Ben Sebena, 30, who has pleaded insanity.
Today is the first day of spring. But Wisconsinites are still chattering their teeth and shivering in their coats as wind chills plunged into the minus-teens overnight. Medford, at minus 14, had the state's coldest wind chill as of 6 a.m. Winds have died down from yesterday, but they're still in the 10 to 20 mph range. Gusts hit 52 yesterday in Sheboygan and 47 in Kenosha. In Madison, strong winds created snow drifts up to 20 feet on the west edge of town. It snowed heavily yesterday close to Lake Superior. A winter storm warning remains in effect until 7 p.m.
MADISON -- Officials from President Obama on down have high praise for the nation's commerce leader who was picked Monday to be the new chancellor at UW-Madison. Rebecca Blank was chosen by UW President Kevin Reilly and a special Regents' committee to replace Biddy Martin, who left two years ago to become the president of Amherst College. Blank, the acting U.S. commerce secretary since 2009, was one of four finalists to run Wisconsin's flagship public campus.
The first spring shipping boats will appear later than normal on the Mississippi River in western Wisconsin. On average, March 20th is the first day that boats can muscle their way through the season's final ice, and head north past Prescott into Minnesota. But the Army Corps of Engineers says this year's ice is still too thick, and spokesman Patrick Moes says it's hard to predict when shipping can begin. The Corps' official ice measurements are on Lake Pepin just south of Red Wing. The most recent measurements came last Wednesday.
St. Croix Animal friends will hold its annual dinner dance Saturday, March 23. A social hour begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6. Activities and contests start at 7:30 p.m. and the dance is from 9 p.m. to midnight. "A Night of Country" with music by The Ricks will feature a silent auction, raffle prizes, line dancing lessons and awards for the best Western cowboys and cowgirls. Those whose behavior is questionable may find themselves in the Dog House Jail. Tickets for the dinner and dance are $25.
The new Catholic pope is putting his humility on display, and former Milwaukee Archbishop Tim Dolan says he's seen it firsthand. Tim Dolan said the new Pope Francis rejected a ride in a special sedan yesterday and joined the cardinals who elected him on a bus to their Vatican hotel.
One thousand five hundred people die each year because of a "problematic alcohol culture" in Wisconsin, according to Paul Krupski of the Health First Coalition. His group released a UW-Madison study yesterday showing that excessive alcohol consumption costs Wisconsinites $6.8 billion dollars a year. At news conferences around the state, health and law enforcement experts cited the high cost of continuing Wisconsin's long and deep traditions with alcohol.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given its blessing to a new four-lane bridge over the St. Croix River near Hudson. The Corps has issued a permit that includes required authorizations under the federal Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act. The approvals were granted about a year after Congress and President Obama granted an exception from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to allow the new structure. Foundation work will begin next month and will be completed by the summer of next year. That's when the main structure will start being built.
Gov. Scott Walker will sign Wisconsin's mining incentive bill this afternoon at two factories that could supply equipment for the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine. The governor plans to sign the package at the Oldenburg Group in Rhinelander.
Officials say there were no high levels of toxic or hazardous chemicals in 25 barrels of old military waste pulled from Lake Superior last summer. But all but three barrels had thousands of tiny explosive devices and were thrown back into Lake Superior because there was no specialized landfill in the region where they could be buried. The Red Cliff Indians and the cleanup firm of EMR hope to get a federal waiver this summer to bury the explosives at a dump in the region.