N7502 Radio Rd.  - Ripon WI 54971 Phone:  920.748.5111 or 888-478-WRPN

Last Updated:  April 23rd 8:30a.m.

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N7502 Radio Rd.
Ripon WI 54971
P:  920.748.5111
F:  920.748.5530


Madison's interim police chief is expressing concerns, after a state mental institution in that city said it might move psychiatric patients from civil court cases to Oshkosh.  Randy Gaber says it would mean a three-hour round trip for his officers whenever an emergency civil commitment is needed -- plus time to get medical clearance for those patients.  The state says it's trying to create more room at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison for commitments ordered by criminal court judges.  A state spokeswoman says adult males at the Mendota Mental Health Institute were moved from a civil secure treatment unit to community facilities.  Jennifer Miller of the Health Services agency says the discharges were coordinated with county mental officials, to make sure the individuals are in settings that can best meet their needs.  She says officials are looking at consolidating civil patients at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute in Oshkosh.  Criminal patients would go to Madison, along with geriatric patients.


This is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin.  A statewide tornado drill is set for Thursday to help schools, businesses, and homes practice their responses to a real twister.  Also, the National Weather Service has daily lessons about pitfalls to avoid.  Today's topic is something lots of folks know all too well about -- flash flooding.  It's the Number-One killer during thunderstorms.  Eighty-four Americans died from floods a year ago.  It's a timely lesson, since thunderstorms are in the forecast statewide -- and thousands of Wisconsinites live along rivers that are swollen from melting snow.  The Weather Service notes that two-feet of water is enough to make most cars float, so people should steer clear of all flood waters.  Also, authorities warn people about boating or canoeing in rapid rivers.  At least a couple people in Wisconsin have had to be saved from raging waters this month.  This morning, the Weather Service said the Mississippi River was a half-foot over its banks at Prairie du Chien.  The Fox River at Berlin and the Wolf at Shiocton were all above its flood stages at last word.


Two more people announce their candidacies for the Sixth District U-S House seat to be given up by long-time G-O-P incumbent Tom Petri.  As expected, state Senate Republican Joe Leibham of Sheboygan became the third Republican in the race.  Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris of Oshkosh was the first Democrat to join the field.  Leibham joins state lawmakers Glenn Grothman and Duey Strobel in the Republican field.  Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickles has said he's considering a Democratic bid.  It's the first time in 35 years that Petri's House seat has opened up.  


Fox Valley Technical College of Appleton says it will take a closer look at its plans to create a so-called "body farm."  In a letter to the project's neighbors, vice president Christopher Matheny says it won't be considered until the middle of next year at the earliest.  The proposed body farm is an outdoor research facility to find out how human bodies and animal carcasses wear down in the dead of winter.  The two-acre facility is planned at Greenville, near Appleton's airport.  It was part of a 35-million dollar public safety training facility for Fox Valley Tech that was approved by voters in 2012 -- but the voters were never told about this part of the project before the referendum.  Since the word got out in late March, residents have voiced concerns about odors, airport safety, and possible reductions in their property values.  School officials say the fenced-in site would not be readily accessible, and neighbors would not smell the bodies.  They say it would help forensic investigators around the country improve their skills.  



Winning lottery numbers:
Mega Millions:  2-18-19-49-50, Mega Ball 1, Megaplier 3
Five-Card Cash:  Q-hearts, Q-diamonds, 6-hearts, 8-hearts, 9-hearts
Pick-3:  8-7-3
Pick-4:  9-2-6-3
Badger-5:  9-15-17-20-30

Here are the details:

Scott Walker's office denies that the governor essentially removed David Deininger (dy-ning-er) from the state Government Accountability Board because of the panel's support of the John Doe probe into the recall elections.  A recent court filing unveiled that the Board voted unanimously last June to approve the state's current investigation.  It's looking into alleged illegal coordination between outside groups and G-O-P recall election candidates -- including Walker in 2012.  Last fall, the governor pulled back Deininger's re-nomination to the accountability board.  Deininger, who had chaired the board, won't comment on a possible political link.  He tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he doesn't know why his appointment was pulled.  Deininger noted that two other board members -- Tim Vocke and Gerald Nichol -- also backed the John Doe probe, and their re-appointments are still pending in the Senate.  Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick told the paper that Deininger simply did not have the Senate's support.  She said the idea that the John Doe was a factor is quote, "a bogus political argument" that holds no merit.


The second-largest campus in the U-W System will lose its chancellor earlier than expected.  Outgoing Milwaukee chancellor Mike Lowell will leave on May 31st, instead of August first as originally planned.  Lowell is moving his office across town, as he becomes the first lay president in the history of the Jesuit Marquette University.  Yesterday, the U-W named Milwaukee associate business school dean Mark Mone (mo'-nee) as the school's interim chancellor.  He has played a major role in drafting the U-W-M strategic plan.  System President Ray Cross says the plan is far enough along for Mone to complete it while he fills in as the school's top leader.  Lovell said he was hoping to wrap up several projects at the Milwaukee campus, including the strategic plan.  But he says he has lots of vacation to use up -- and he's not sure when he'll start at Marquette.  Lovell was Milwaukee's interim chancellor for eight months before he won the job permanently, and kept it for three-and-a-half years.  The 54-year-old Mone says he's not sure if he'll take the same path. 


Nobody was hurt after a two-hour hostage situation yesterday in Wittenberg, about 30 miles east of Wausau.  It all started just before 2 p-m, when an armed 28-year-old man from Gillett (jill'-ett) walked into a combined McDonald's and Shell convenience store.  Shawano County Sheriff Randy Wright said the man allowed almost everyone to leave the building except for a male McDonald's employee.  The worker was held captive for an hour before law enforcement negotiators convinced the suspect to let the worker go unharmed.  The suspect surrendered about an hour later without incident.  Wright said the man had severe depression symptoms, and he was being checked out at a medical facility.  The suspect did not demand money, and was not related to the hostage.  Nearby schools went under a lock-down, and Highway 45 was closed during the standoff.

(Thanks Larry Lee, WSAU, Wausau)


One of Wisconsin's hottest tickets this spring is for something you can see for free.  The former Johnson Wax research tower -- designed by Frank Lloyd Wright -- will open two of its 14 floors to public tours starting on May second at the S-C Johnson household products' complex in Racine.  Most of the available spaces have already been reserved for May and into June.  The research facility was used from 1950-through-'82.  Glass tubes circle around the tower, showing off its original purpose and achieving Wright's goal of having people work in a pleasant-looking environment.  Johnson's Greg Anderegg said the building that drove people to be innovative.  Glade air freshener, Pledge furniture polish, and the Off insect repellent were all created there during its first eight years.  The glass tubes provided warmth, plus light that was so bright that many workers had to wear sunglasses.  Johnson kept the building closed to tours until a renovation in recent years.  Tours of Johnson's administrative building and research tower will be conducted from 9-to-2:30 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  More information is available online at SCJohnson-Dot-Com-slash-visit.