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The second wave of the H1N1 flu in Wisconsin is almost at its peak. That's what state health officials believe, anyway. Spokesman Seth Boffeli says all five public health regions reported fewer cases this week. But the total number is still climbing. Wisconsin has had just more than 3,300 confirmed swine flu cases since the end of August, plus another 1,400 probable cases. Two-hundred eighty-eight Wisconsinites have been hospitalized for at least a day with the H1N1 virus since late August, and 20 people in the state have died from it this year.
Money continues to trickle in from Washington to help those still recovering from last year's massive floods in southern Wisconsin. The state's conference of the United Methodist Church will distribute $6 million from a federal block grant for social services. Spokeswoman Michele Virnig says there are lots of people who still need to repair flood damage or replace things like furnaces destroyed by the flood waters. The church has hired 25 social workers to determine the needs in 30 counties which were declared federal disaster areas from the floods.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend a visitation in Kiel today for Army Sergeant Amy Krueger, one of the 13 soldiers killed at Fort Hood. The visitation and Saturday's funeral will both be held at Kiel High School, where the 29-year-old Krueger graduated in 1998. Krueger and Capt. Russell Seager, 51, were the two Wisconsinites killed in the Fort Hood massacre. About 60 people attended a candle-light vigil for Seager last night at Bryant and Stratton College in Milwaukee, where he taught in program for medical assistants.
The Green Bay Packers handed Tampa Bay its first win yesterday, 38-28 at Raymond James Stadium. Aaron Rodgers was sacked six more times for a league-high season total of 37. He tossed three interceptions, including one for a touchdown. Rodgers did throw for 266 yards and a pair of scores, including a 79-yarder to James Jones in the opening minutes. And Rodgers had a 12-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, putting Green Bay up by 11.
The Wisconsin football team kept marching up the polls, after hanging on for a three-point win at Indiana. The Badgers rose one place to 20th in the BCS Standings, two places to 20th in the coaches' poll, and three spots to 21st in the AP survey. Wisconsin improved to 7-2 overall, matching its win total from a year ago. And they're 4-2 in the Big Ten. This Saturday, Wisconsin hosts a Michigan team which has lost four of its last five games, and is just 1-5 in the conference.
The Dallas Cowboys will come into Green Bay with a four-game winning streak, after beating the Eagles in Philadelphia Sunday night 20-16. Burlington native Tony Romo threw for 307 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Miles Austin caught the game-winning touchdown on a 3rd and 14 play from the Eagles' 49. Dallas improved to 6-2, and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
"On Wisconsin," the state's official song, turns 100 years old this week. Tomorrow, the University of Wisconsin-Madison band will perform the song at a birthday party at the campus union, complete with cake. Then on Friday, the UW concert choir will perform a version written by doctoral composition student Jerry Hui. "On Wisconsin" was written by Carl Beck and W.T. Purdy in the parlor of a boarding house in Chicago. The earliest known performance was on Nov. 10, 1909, by the campus glee club. Two days later, Purdy performed it at a pep rally before a Badger-Minnesota football game.
Wisconsin deer hunters are gearing up for the gun season which starts a week from next Saturday. And the DNR is trying to prepare them for the prospect of a lower harvest this year. Ecologist Keith Warnke says the fawn production has been below-average the past two years. And because the Earn-A-Buck program is virtually gone, he says hunters will take fewer antlerless deer - thus resulting in a lower harvest total. Warnke says hunters might take more bucks this time.
The U.S. Census Bureau will hire 47,000 people in Wisconsin to help conduct next year's census. Most will visit the homes of people who don't return the forms they'll get in the mail next March. The nation's annual population count takes place every 10 years. It not only tells us about ourselves. It determines how much federal aid each state and community gets, and it's used to help create new congressional and state legislative districts. To get a job with the Census, you must be 18, pass a basic skills test and undergo a background check.
The head of the U.S. Senate's Homeland Security committee wants to know if the Wisconsin-based soldier behind the Fort Hood massacre had a growing extremist view of Islamic ideology. Joe Lieberman said on Fox News Sunday that the Army should have removed Nidal Hasan, 39, if he what he told people was true. Hasan was training with a Madison Army Reserve unit, the 467th Medical Detachment, when he opened fire at Fort Hood last Thursday and killed 13 people and wounded 30 others. Three of the dead and three of the injured were part of Hasan's unit.