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Tuesday is the 34th anniversary of the "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" on Lake Superior. And the nephew of a man who died in that shipwreck is trying to save another boat whose crew tried to help those on the Fitzgerald. The Arthur M. Anderson was recently spared, when Congressman David Obey won an exemption from a proposed federal rule to have that ship and others make an expensive conversion to cleaner-burning fuel.
If Tom Barrett runs for governor and wins, don't be surprised if he still spends a lot of his time in Milwaukee. Journal Sentinel columnist Dan Bice quotes the Milwaukee mayor as saying he won't move his kids out of their current high schools and he'd still have to be able to spend a lot of time with his family at home. Bice says Gov. Jim Doyle and his Democratic strategists are trying to convince Barrett that he can govern the state and still live where he is.
The U.S. Senate may not pass health care reform any time soon. Moderates and conservatives say they have the votes to wage a filibuster against the government-run insurance option approved by the House on Saturday night. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is looking for middle ground, including a public option states could opt out of. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., says he won't vote for a plan which doesn't have a public option. But neither Feingold nor Herb Kohl, D-Wis., have said what they might approve in terms of a compromise. The House package was approved by just five votes.
President Obama will attend a memorial service tomorrow honoring 13 soldiers killed and 30 others wounded at Fort Hood last Thursday. Two soldiers from Wisconsin died and four others from the Badger State were injured. And all but one of those soldiers were members of the same Wisconsin-based unit the alleged shooter was a part of the Army Reserve's 467th Medical Detachment from Madison. Psychiatrist Nidal Hasan is the only suspect. He remains in critical but stable condition at an Army hospital.
A group that brings injured birds back to life is asking deer hunters to donate the hearts of their animals. The Raptor Education Center of Antigo takes care of dozens of birds at a time. And director Marge Gibson says deer hearts are great food for them. She says birds cannot digest a lot of fat, and the deer hearts are all muscle, and they're full of the protein birds need. The raptor center relies on donations, and it spends thousands of dollars in certain months to care for the injured birds which are sent their way. Zillman's of Wausau is collecting the deer hearts.
Wisconsin continues to have fewer traffic deaths. Four hundred forth-one people were killed in state crashes going into the Halloween weekend. That's down 57 from the same time in 2008, when the Badger State had its lowest traffic death toll since World War II. Five hundred eighty-seven motorists were killed last year, only half as many as in 1972, when the state had its all-time death toll of 1,168. Officials say we're driving less because of the recession. They also credit tighter enforcement for the big drop in road deaths.
Wisconsin has closed the book on one of its coldest and wettest Octobers ever. The National Weather Service said La Crosse had its fourth coldest and wettest October in history. The average temperature for the month was 44 degrees, more than six degrees below normal. And La Crosse had 5 and-two-thirds inches of rain and melted snow, more than 2 inches above the norm. A cold front is leaving the Badger State, leaving continued cold temperatures behind. Clearing skies are expected today except near Lake Superior.
More and more Wisconsinites are falling behind on their mortgages. In Green Bay, just more than 4 percent of homeowners were more than three months behind on their mortgage payments as of August. That's according to First American CoreLogic, which also said 1.9 percent of Green Bay area homeowners were in foreclosure. That's up from 1.3 percent the year before. K.C. Maurer, head of the Northeast Wisconsin Realtors Association, says the increase in delinquent mortgages may keep going all the way through 2012.
A baby was born Sunday just before his mom could enter a hospital in Eau Claire. Kellen Kohl emerged on the sidewalk outside Sacred Heart Hospital. The baby's grandmother drove Tiffanie Kohls in from Stanley but she couldn't hold back as the car pulled up. The grandmother ran into the hospital, grabbed a wheelchair, and asked two security guards for help. But it was too late. The baby arrived on the sidewalk before the maternity room nurses could race to the front door. Kohls and her new son Kellen were both doing fine at last word.
A number of Wisconsin families would get an immediate tax increase under the Senate Finance Committee's version of health care reform. It would start taxing health plans which cost $21,000 a year for family coverage, and $8,000 for singles beginning in 2013. The House Democratic package unveiled last week does not contain the proposed tax. But it could still be included once the two versions are combined. The current national average premiums are well below the taxing threshold.