Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries
3/9/14 - Your weekend is now one hour shorter. Daylight savings time began at 2am Sunday morning. Beaver Dam Fire Department Public Education Coordinator Russ Johnson says it is especially important when you set your clocks ahead one hour to also replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The U-S Consumer Product Safety Commission says about 16-million homes around the country have smoke detectors that do not work -- due mainly to dead and missing batteries.
Drought Conditions Linger Despite Snow
3/9/14 - With all the snow on the ground, you may find it hard to believe that just over a third of Wisconsin is still officially in a drought. The U-S Drought Monitor says 35-percent of the state's land area is abnormally dry or worse. That's only about five-percent less than in early December. Instead of seeping into the ground, mountains of snow are piling up next to roads, parking lots, and driveways. Average snow-depths range from four-inches at Cedarburg to 34-inches at Phelps. Most of the southwest quarter of Wisconsin is abnormally dry, along with a south central region as far east as Ripon. Sizable parts of nine counties are in a moderate drought west of Eau Claire and in the Adams-Friendship area. Columbia and Green Lake counties are both abnormally dry with sections of moderate drought.
Farmers Look To Drones For Field Reviews
3/9/14 - Wisconsin farmers will soon be able to use drones to get a better look at their fields, with the goals of solving problems and producing more crops. One of the state's largest John Deere dealer chains, Riesterer and Schnell, is teaming up with Precision Drone of Indiana. They'll soon unveil a hexa-copter that can take digital images of fields and crops from 400-feet in the air. The new machines will be unveiled a week from today at the Partners in Progress event at the E-A-A Grounds in Oshkosh. Riesterer and Schnell has 11 locations from Antigo and Medford in the north, to Westfield and Fond du Lac in the south.
Cold Temperatures Impacting Construction
3/9/14 - You've heard that "time is money." This winter, you could say "temperature is money." Wisconsin's construction industry is seeing dollars disappear under the weight of the state's coldest and snowiest season in decades. David Pekel, who heads the Milwaukee chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, says most people understand when renovations are delayed. Still, he tells W-U-W-M Radio that people's patience is wearing thin as some projects are reaching six weeks of delays. Construction workers must file for unemployment if they're not working -- and Pekel says it's a hassle for them, too. He says a number of builders have put off their own expenses as they tighten their belts. Pekel says the top-priority work is still getting done -- like emergency repairs, and plumbing-and-heating problems. In most cases, customers are paying 5-to-15 percent more for moving to the front of the line. Pekel says suppliers and contractors often absorb some of the extra costs, which may include breakdowns from tools that cannot handle the extreme cold.
Great Lakes Water Levels On The Rise
3/9/14 - Wisconsin's two Great Lakes continue to recover from dramatically-low water levels in the past decade and a half. New forecasts from the Army Corps of Engineers show that Lake Superior will rise by one-inch this month -- and the lake's average height for March will be larger than normal for the first time since 1998. By August, Lake Superior is projected to be 13-inches higher than the spring of 2013. Lakes Michigan and Huron expect to be 9-to-12 inches higher during that time period. This is all welcome news to shippers whose boats have sometimes run aground as water levels have hovered below normal since the late '90's. The newly-rising waters are mostly because of our bitterly cold winter, and the near-record ice cover on the Great Lakes. The lakes' environmental research lab said 91-percent of the five Great Lakes were covered by ice as of Tuesday -- the most since 1979, when a record 95-percent was covered.
New Phone Scam Charges $20 Per Minute
3/9/14 - Police in Fond du Lac are warning residents about a phone scam targeted at cell phone users. Police Officer Steve Olson the scam originates out of the Caribbean, which like the U.S. has a three-digit area code. He says your phone will ring once and the caller hangs up. He says people who call that number back are put on hold and are charged $20 a minute while they wait for someone to come back on the other end of the line. He recommends not returning the call.
Snowmobile Business Booming In Northwoods
3/9/14 - Snowmobiles are a booming business in Wisconsin's Northwoods. It's the best-known place for visitors to ride, and growing numbers of local residents are joining in. The D-N-R said snowmobile registrations have grown by 163-percent over the last dozen years in north central Wisconsin. Licenses in Vilas County have almost doubled since 2002, to more than 10-thousand machines. Neighboring Oneida County has nine-thousand snowmobiles registered. Forest County had the smallest increase in the region, at 124-percent. All told, Wisconsin has almost a quarter-million snowmobiles registered with the D-N-R. They ride on almost 25-thousand miles of groomed trails -- although many in south central Wisconsin are closed due to low snow-depths. Travel Wisconsin-Dot-Com says trails in the northern half of the state are about the only ones still in excellent condition. A few counties in the north report good snowmobiling conditions for now.
Lt Gov, Revenue Secretary In Fond du Lac This Week
3/9/14 - Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler will be in Fond du Lac this week for a roundtable discussion on tax reform. The event will be held Thursday at the UW-Fond du Lac in Room 113 of the University Center from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Attendees will be welcome to provide comments on Wisconsin’s current tax climate and their ideas for tax reform.
Cheese Production rebounding in Wisconsin
3/9/14 - A recent drop in Wisconsin's cheese production may be a blip on the screen. The U-S-D-A says the nation's top cheese-maker rebounded in January, producing two and a half percent more cheese than the same month the previous year. That followed a one and a half percent decrease in December. Cheese factories in the Badger State churned out 242-million pounds of products in January. Wisconsin made three and a half percent more Italian cheeses. Cheddar and American cheese output was down. Second-place California still caught up a little, increasing its output by four-point-six percent to 204-million pounds. Number-three producer Idaho and Number-four New Mexico also had increases.
New Lottery Game Starts In April
3/9/14 - State Lottery Director Mike Edmonds says for the first time in 11 years the state lottery will be introducing a new lotto game in April. He says the daily Five Card Cash game will start then. Edmonds says players will have two chances to win, instantly and then through a nightly drawing. The top prize in the game will be $250,000. It will begin on April 6th.
- Fox Lake Man Nabbed In Child Predator Sting
- Authorities: Brandon Shooting Not Random
- State Traffic Deaths Below Average
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