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Top Stories December 21, 2014.

BDACT Singing Competition Audition Today

 

12/21/14 - The Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre is holding final auditions today for a singing contest. The winner of the Beaver Dam Singing Star will walk away with $500. The show will be similar to American Idol and feature vocal soloists with contestants judged on skill, artistry, personality, stage presence, and entertainment value. Contestants must provide their own music by mp3 or CD.  All ages are welcome but anyone younger than high school age must have a parent or guardian accompany the child to the audition. Audition times tonight are 7pm to 8:30pm at the theatre’s current building on North Spring Street.  Finalists will be posted on the BDACT website by next Tuesday. Performances dates are January 15th through the 17th with a snow date on January 18 and a rehearsal opportunity the weekend prior.

 

For questions, please email BDACT at info@bdact.org or call 920-885-6891.

 

‘Failure to Obey’ Leading to Wisconsin Road Deaths

 

12/21/14 - Wisconsin drivers are among the worst in the nation in causing fatal crashes by breezing through red lights, not buckling up, and having invalid licenses. That's according to a recent study by Car Insurance Comparison-Dot-Com.  The report says Wisconsin is the ninth worst among the 50 states in what the Web site calls "Failure to Obey."  Badger State drivers get the highest marks for "Careless Driving" -- which means having a relatively-low rate for deaths to pedestrians and bicyclists.  Wisconsin's the 42nd best in that department.  Much has been said about the state's problems with drunk driving.  However, the Car Insurance Comparison report said Wisconsin was only the 16th worst for its percentage of fatal crashes that involve alcohol.  Montana is worst in that category.  Overall, the survey says the Badger State has the 29th best drivers in the nation, slightly below average.  Neighboring Minnesota has the best.  Montana and South Carolina are tied for the worst.  

 

Early Season Flu Numbers High in Wisconsin

 

12/21/14 - Only one of every four Wisconsinites are concerned about getting the flu this winter -- and three of every ten people do not plan on getting flu shots.  That's according to a survey from Aurora Health Care, one of the state's most prominent medical providers.  Aurora recently unveiled its first quarterly report called the "Health of Wisconsin."  Company vice president Anne Martino said the goals are to identify consumer sentiment and health gaps on various topics, and to seek innovative ways to close those gaps with more effective care.  Wisconsin has had an unusually large number of early-season flu hospitalizations, around 200 at last word.  About two-thirds of those patients were 65-and-older.  The Aurora survey showed that 62-percent of those 55-and-older in Wisconsin plan to get annual flu shots.  Only 31-percent of 18-to-34-year-olds expect to do the same.  Aurora also cites national data which shows that Americans as a whole are slightly more concerned about getting the flu, but about the same percentage of people do not expect to get vaccinated for it.

 

Wisconsin Rising up List of Highest Taxed States

 

12/21/14 - Wisconsin is the 12th-highest taxed state in the nation, up from 13th a year ago.  That's according to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, which says the Badger State also has the third-highest taxes among its Upper Midwest neighbors.  Illinois has the highest taxes in the region, and Minnesota is second. The tax alliance used Census data in finding that Wisconsinites paid 11-point-four percent of their average personal incomes in taxes in 2012.  It's nine-tenths of a percent more than the national average. 

 

Key Wisconsin Winter Attraction Still not Open

 

12/21/14 - The weekend between Christmas and New Year's is one of the busiest times for tourism in Wisconsin's Northwoods.  However, one of the area's key winter attractions -- snowmobiling -- remains at a near stand-still due to the recent mild spell.  Forest County Parks Administrator David Ziolkowski (zil-cow'-skee) says it's been impossible to groom snowmobile trails, with only three-inches of snow on the ground and many wetlands still unfrozen.  His office plans to be in touch with local snowmobile groups next week, to predict an opening date for Forest County's trails.  According to Travel Wisconsin-Dot-Com, Vilas County is the only one with trails in fair condition -- and some are so poor that local officials do not recommend using them.  Trails in Bayfield, Sawyer, and Price counties are also in poor shape.  Marinette and Douglas counties only have limited trails open, and they're in rough shape as well. 

 

UW-Extension to Hold Management Training Course in FDL

 

12/21/14 - The UW-Extension in Fond Du Lac will be holding two-day workshop on employee management.  The program entitled, “How Prepared Are You: Managing Dairy Employees Effectively” will inform participants of people skills that enable them to be more successful in their jobs.  Topics will include: communication, cultural barriers, managing conflict, and overall characteristics of a good leader.  The course will be held on consecutive Wednesdays in February, the 4th and 11th.  The cost per person is $100 for both days and $60 for a single day.  Groups of three from the same farm save ten dollars off of the two-day price.  Registration can be completed on the UW-Extension’s website.

 

4-H Groups Win Awards at Local Festival

 

12/21/14 - Two 4-H club plays were performed at the recent Columbia County 4-H Drama Festival.  The event was held at the Portage Center for the Arts and featured shows put on by the North Scott 4-H Club and the Arlington Prairie Producers.  North Scott won a blue first place ribbon and best overall performance for its rendition of the play “Invisible Inventions, Incorporated.”  Arlington Prairie Producers received accolades for best costumes, best set, and best makeup along with a blue first place ribbon.  Over thirty 4-H members were involved in the festival with a handful receiving special recognition.

 

Variety of Small Packet Trees on Sale

 

12/21/14 - Trees and shrubs sold by the Dodge County Land Conservation Department will be available until the end of next month. The annual Small Packet Tree sales program includes several species of trees for sale for the 2015 planting season, including red and white Oak, White Cedar, White Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce, Sugar Maple, Fraser Fir and American Cranberry Bush. Trees and shrubs are sold in bundles of 25 for $25 per bundle. Officials say there are limited amounts of some species, so early orders are encouraged. Orders will be accepted through January 31. For more information or to get an order form, contact the Dodge County Land Conservation Department at 386-3660.

 

Concussion Study to be Conducted in Wisconsin

 

12/21/14 - The U-S military is giving five-and-a-half million dollars to a Wisconsin medical school, to study the causes of concussions -- and to find more effective treatments.  The Medical College of Wisconsin, near Milwaukee, is getting a four-year grant from the Pentagon.  The Defense Department wants to know more about the types of traumatic brain injuries that were fairly common for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Those same concussions have also raised more concerns in both school-and-professional sports.  The Medical College team will review data from head-impact sensors, advanced neuro-images, and blood bio-markers.  They'll also consider genetic and other medical factors to establish a more complete understanding about why concussions take place. Neurosurgery professor Michael McCrea will head the project, which will begin by looking at 900 school athletes before they can sustain concussions.  Those who get injured will receive further examination -- and both groups will be checked at numerous times during the study.  

 

Fee Changes for Wisconsin Landmark Visitors

 

12/21/14 - The National Park Service has approved new fees for visitors who want to see the majestic ice caves at the Apostle Islands -- if they're open to the public this winter.  About 138-thousand visitors walked a two-mile ice path from Meyers Beach near Bayfield last winter, after the path was safe enough for the first time in five years.  The Park Service spent over 450-thousand dollars to deal with things like parking and safety.  Rangers had to monitor the condition of the ice path, and they helped an average of 21 people each day that had various problems due to the extreme cold.  National Lakeshore Superintendent Bob Krumenaker tells Wisconsin Public Radio the fee will cover increased staffing, portable toilets, and medical needs.  The fee will be five-dollars a day for those 16-and-older, or 10-dollars for a season pass.  Officials have said they'll have a decision in January on whether to open the path this winter.  

 

Yesterday's Headlines
    - MPTC President Announces Leave
    - BDFD Ice Rescue Protocol
    - Elks Lodge Ice Skate Program

For those stories and more click here.


For older stories visit our news archive here.