Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Mount Pleasant officials hope to attract another company to the Foxconn site that they've spent millions to prepare

From JSOnline:


Corrinne Hess
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

STURTEVANT - Using public money, Mount Pleasant improved its infrastructure anticipating a massive Foxconn factory and $1.4 billion worth of investment.

With that not happening, village officials believe they can attract another national or international company to the massive and largely vacant site. 

"We've put in a lot of infrastructure folks," said Claude Lois, Foxconn's project manager hired by Mount Pleasant. "We've sized this at the time for Foxconn Generation 10, but today, actually because of all the work we did we are sitting pretty good for all the work we did for the future." 

Lois spoke during a special meeting of the Racine County Board and the Mount Pleasant Village Board Tuesday — the first time a public update on Foxconn has been given since 2019. Foxconn representatives were invited to participate but declined. 

Residents were not allowed to speak during the meeting but were given a chance to submit questions in advance. Those questions were not answered during the meeting. 

Foxconn land acquired, prepared but what will be built?

After spending eight months wooing semiconductor chip manufacturing giant Intel Corp., Racine County officials learned in December the company chose Ohio instead of the Foxconn site. 

Jim Paetsch, executive director of the Milwaukee 7, helped to negotiate the Racine County Intel pitch. He said Foxconn was cooperative throughout the process.

Paetsch said what Intel liked about Mount Pleasant will be attractive to other companies including farming and battery manufacturers. 

"The really good news is Mount Pleasant and Racine County have a really good site," Paetsch said. "We're looking forward to pursuing more opportunities in months to come. What people don't understand sometimes about economic development is, if you don't have a site, you don't have a deal." 

But some residents say hypothetical deals aren't good enough. 

Kim Mahoney is one of the few remaining homeowners still living on the Foxconn site. Mount Pleasant closed negotiations on buying her property in 2019. 

"People gave up their homes for a $10 billion investment and 13,000 jobs, not for speculation as to what might get built there," said Mahoney, who attended the meeting.

Mount Pleasant and Racine County created a $911 million special taxing district in 2017 to support the Foxconn project.

That money was used to pay for land acquisition, massive infrastructure upgrades and other expenses in Mount Pleasant, according to the agreement. More than 100 homes and properties were purchased — sometimes through the eminent domain process — so Foxconn could assemble its site. 

According to the agreement, the money will be recouped over 30 years with funding and property tax revenue from Foxconn and other businesses in the district.

Local officials have repeatedly said they are protected because Foxconn must make minimum tax payments equal to about $30 million beginning in 2023, regardless of the project’s completion status.

They reiterated this message on Tuesday saying Foxconn has met all of its financial obligations including tax payments and special assessment payments totaling $22 million. 

In December 2021, Foxconn qualified for nearly $30 million in Wisconsin tax credits for creating 579 eligible jobs and investing $266 million in the facility. 

It's still unclear what Foxconn is doing

After much hype surrounding Foxconn's arrival in Wisconsin in 2017, it has been unclear for years what the company's plans are for Wisconsin.

In April 2021, the state revised its $2.85 billion contract with Foxconn to create more realistic goals including the creation of 1,454 jobs — 11% of the original plan — by 2024.

Foxconn has said it has invested approximately $900 million in Wisconsin, which includes a nearly 1-million-square-foot "advanced manufacturing" facility in the Village of Mount Pleasant, a 300,000-square-foot "smart manufacturing center," a 120,000-square-foot "multipurpose building" and a 100-foot tall "high performance computing data center globe."

But it has been unclear what type of day-to-day work is actually being done in those buildings. 

From: https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/2022/03/22/foxconn-site-mount-pleasant-drawing-interest-other-companies/7126136001/

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

COVID-19 linked to brain shrinkage and tissue damage, study shows | Coronavirus | 9 News Australia

NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft Prepares for Trip to Asteroid by Testing Solar Arrays

Gas Prices Skyrocket Across U.S. As National Average Passes 2008 Record

Minneapolis teachers strike announced I KMSP FOX 9

Convoy Meeting Senators Tomorrow, Preparing For Another Ride Around Beltway

1 teen dead, 2 others critically injured after shooting outside of Iowa high school

Ukrainian President pleads with US, NATO to establish no-fly zone over country

Amid Protests, 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Expected To Be Passed In Florida Senate

Supreme Court Rejects Republican Redistricting Pleas In Pennsylvania, North Carolina

Crisis deepens as Ukraine accuses Moscow of 'medieval' tactics

Oh yeah.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Russia detaches from International Space Station | Watch video shared by Roscosmos | Oneindia News

Pope Francis refers to Ukraine as a 'Martyr' country amid the ongoing Russian invasion | WION

Two major wildfires spread through Florida Panhandle

Colorado man shares his reason for participating in DC trucker convoy

Horrific scenes in battle for Kyiv as families killed fleeing Russian onslaught - BBC News

More than 4,300 detained at anti-war protests in Russia

At least 7 dead after tornadoes rips through Iowa

Ukrainian reservists' wedding lifts spirits in Kyiv

Schiff signals "strong bipartisan support" for banning Russian oil and gas

COVID-19 community levels remain high in Racine, Kenosha counties

From TMJ4:

Photo by: CDC
Posted at 9:57 AM, Mar 06, 2022
 
and last updated 9:57 AM, Mar 06, 2022

WISCONSIN — In recent weeks, we have reported good news out of Milwaukee County in regard to COVID-19. Cases and hospital needs are declining, and the county has officially entered the 'green zone' with a positivity rate of less than 5%.

That case isn't the same in Racine or Kenosha counties, though. The online CDC map breaking down community levels by county shows Racine and Kenosha aren't doing as well as the rest of southeastern Wisconsin.

While areas like Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, and Walworth County all show low community levels, Kenosha and Racine are high.

Along with the map, the CDC also lists recommendations for preventing COVID-19 based on the community levels in your area.

When levels are low, like they are in Milwaukee County, the CDC recommends staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines and getting testing if you show symptoms. However, if community levels are high in the area, the CDC recommends wearing a mask inside, in addition to staying up to date with vaccines and getting tested if you have symptoms.

A few other counties in Wisconsin also show high transmission rates. They are Barron, Rusk, Iron, Vilas, Oneida, and Forest counties.

From: https://www.tmj4.com/news/coronavirus/covid-19-community-levels-remain-high-in-racine-kenosha-counties

Man fatally shot in Racine, vigil honors his life

From Fox6Now:



Members of the community gathered Sunday, March 6 to remember a life lost to gun violence in Racine.

Demond Hicks, 36, was shot near 16th and Cleveland early on Saturday, Feb. 26.

Officers were dispatched to the neighborhood around 3:45 a.m. and found Hicks laying in the middle of the street with multiple gunshot wounds. He later died at the hospital.

Racine police investigators are interested in any additional information that anyone may have about this incident. Any witnesses or citizens with information are urged to call the Racine Police Department Investigations Unit at 262-635-7756.

Those who wish to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 262-636-9330, or through the Crime Stoppers app by using the p3 app.

From: https://www.fox6now.com/news/man-fatally-shot-in-racine-vigil-honors-his-life

Open Blog - Monday

I hate snow.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

What Causes Long Covid and Who Is Most at Risk? | WSJ

Gas Price Spike

Zelensky and Musk say more Starlink terminals to come

Polish officials scramble to welcome refugees

North Korea test fires missile before South Korean election

Putin says Ukraine's future in doubt as cease-fires collapse, compares sanctions to 'declaring war'

DeSantis: National Guard poised to combat fires in Florida Panhandle

Alleged kidnapping victim arrested, charged in deadly crash

Mastercard and Visa Suspend Operations in Russia

Procession held for Massachusetts State Trooper Tamar Bucci

Local Lawmakers Hop On Call With Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Racine man charged, drank beer in jail lobby: prosecutors

From Fox6Now:

Shawn Londre

A Racine man is charged with one count of disorderly conduct – accused of drinking a beer in the Racine County Jail's lobby on Thursday, March 3.

Prosecutors allege Shawn Londre, 47, repeatedly refused to leave the lobby upon request.

A criminal complaint states police were called to the Racine County Jail after it was reported that a man was drinking a beer in the lobby and refusing to leave. When they arrived, officers recognized the man – identified as Londre – from prior encounters. The complaint states Londre has previously been convicted of multiple offenses, most recently in December 2021.

The complaint states Londre had an open can of beer in his hand. After several officer commands to leave, he complied. During their interaction, officers said Londre was slurring his words and struggling to walk straight. He also smelled of intoxicants.

When officers issued Londre a citation for having the open beverage, the complaint states he crumbled it up and refused to leave. As he continued to refuse to leave, he was ultimately arrested. A search of Londre's person revealed a pint-size bottle of vodka in his pants pocket.

Londre was taken to the hospital for medical clearance because of his alleged intoxication. There, he allegedly pulled away from officers and refused to sit on the hospital bed – screaming at emergency room staff and yelling that he was going to kill officers, the complaint states. 

Londre made an initial court appearance on March 4, and a judge set cash bond at $200. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 2. 

From: https://www.fox6now.com/news/racine-jail-lobby-beer-charges

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Launching a New Earth-Observing Satellite on This Week @NASA – March 4, 2022

Suicide bomb at Shiite mosque in Pakistan kills dozens, wounds hundreds | DW News

Woman faked kidnapping, defrauded California, federal officials say

'Take this guy out': Lindsey Graham on the 'only way' to stop Russia

NYC, former pandemic epicenter, rolls back its COVID restrictions

Federal appeals court rules US can continue removing migrant families under emergency pandemic rule

Russia And Ukraine Agree To Create Humanitarian Corridors To Evacuate Citizens

Pentagon holds briefing after Russia seizes Europe's largest nuclear power plant

Racine Firefighter Christopher Lalor funeral, service remembered

From Fox6Now:



Longtime Racine Firefighter Christopher Lalor was laid to rest Friday, March 4 after he was found killed in his home last month.

People who worked alongside Lalor remember him as helpful, hardworking and caring toward his community. His community cared for him, too, and came out for a service in his memory at Racine's Festival Hall.

There, a procession began – paying tribute to the firefighter who had more than 20 years of service with the Racine Fire Department. While firetrucks lit up the streets, a reception awaited outside his old station.

Lalor was like a brother not just to Racine firefighters, but to those from surrounding departments as well.

"When a tragedy like this happens, it reminds us that we lost a brother today," said South Shore Firefighter Nathan Elderbrook. "Tragedy like this reaches deep enough – they felt the need to come out here and pay their respects."

Christopher Lalor

Christopher Lalor

Friday's funeral procession was an example of solidarity.

"We might not have known him, (but) we can imagine if we did how hard that would be," Elderbrook said. "I can only imagine what the guys that worked with him every day are feeling."

Elderbrook and other South Shore firefighters were not part of the procession. After the loss of Lalor, they had another role to fill. The department took over services at Lalor's old station, so the firefighters he worked with could attend Friday's services.

"If that would happen with one of our crew members, we’d love to be able to do the same thing," said South Shore Firefighter Corey Pipp.

It was a helping hand they were glad to extend.

"It was sad but very rewarding at the same time, knowing we’re giving the members that served with him their time to grieve undistracted," South Shore Fire Lt. John Omelina said.

Procession for Racine Firefighter Christopher Lalor

That time to grieve was all made possible by those in service – keeping the lights on at Lalor's old station.

"Though we might not all work together under the same roof, or even know each other personally, when a tragedy like this happens it reminds us all we all serve the community in the same purpose," said Elderbrooks.

As to what led up to Lalor's death, his family told police that the suspect was a long-time friend and former roommate. That suspect, identified as Peter Lui, is also dead – found in Florida with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

From: https://www.fox6now.com/news/racine-funeral-firefighter-christopher-lalor-honored

Open Blog - Weekend

It's supposed to hit 60 today!

Friday, March 4, 2022

New Study: COVID Can Infect Men's Genitals, Cause Infertility and Erectile Dysfunction

It's been some months since Nicki Minaj and others amplified the falsehood that COVID vaccines made men's testicles swell up. And now some researchers have found that the COVID-19 virus gets into the penis, prostate, and testicles of some men, and can cause long-term problems with their sexual health and fertility.

There's a good deal of Venn diagram overlap between anti-vaxxers, COVID deniers, and macho Republican and libertarian men who think the virus is no match for them and their great, Trumpian personal strength. But wait til they hear their bouts with COVID might give them some trouble getting their dicks hard!

A pre-print, non-peer-reviewed study in the journal Northwestern Medicine reveals that "multiple tissues of the male genital tract can be infected with SARS-CoV-2," and the finding is based on PET scans of COVID-infected rhesus macaques. (The primates have been found to have similar disease progression to humans when infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and are therefore used as study subjects.) Researchers say they expected mostly to find the virus present in the upper nose and brain area — which would be the reason that COVID patients often lose their sense of taste or smell. But they found it also present in 10 to 20 percent of male subjects' genitals — specifically in the prostate, the vasculature of testicles, the penis and the testicles.

Read more: https://sfist.com/2022/03/02/new-study-covid-can-infect-mens-genitals-cause-infertility-and-erectile-dysfunction/

New batch of Starlink satellites launched

Rocket crashes into moon today | What will be impact of collision? | Oneindia News

Tesla CEO Elon Musk invites UAW to hold union vote at California factory

How high will oil prices go? | Inside Story

More than one million refugees have fled Ukraine - BBC News

Pelosi calls for ban on Russian oil

Owners of OxyContin forced to pay $6 billion in opioid settlement

0:06 / 2:26 U.S. imposes new sanctions on Russian oligarchs

Florida Senate passes controversial bill banning most abortions after 15 weeks

Maryland apartment building collapses after explosion

DeSantis scolds high school students over masks

Macron: Putin chose war in Ukraine

Jan. 6 panel claims Trump engaged in ‘criminal conspiracy’

Green Bay Common Council reduces penalties for possession of marijuana

From TMJ4:



Posted at 1:00 PM, Mar 03, 2022
 
and last updated 1:00 PM, Mar 03, 2022

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — The Green Bay Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday to lower the penalty for possession of marijuana. The council approved an ordinance that reduces the citation for possession of 28 grams or less down to $0, excluding $61 in court costs. The same change applies to the citation for consumption of marijuana so long as it’s in a private space. 

The penalties for consumption of marijuana in public and possession of more than 28 grams, which both carry a maximum citation of $500, will remain the same.

In addition, the ordinance also sets a new penalty for possession of marijuana paraphernalia. While it previously carried the same penalty as possession of all other drug paraphernalia, this ordinance will make it so that the citation for possession of marijuana paraphernalia is equivalent to the citation for possession of marijuana.

A separate section of the ordinance addresses persons under 21 years of age. Anyone under 21-years-old who is in possession of 28 grams or less, is in possession of marijuana paraphernalia, or who consumes marijuana may receive a maximum citation of $100, or $187 including court costs, regardless of whether they are in a public or private space.

One reason why many support loosening the penalties for marijuana use is that they disproportionately affect people of color. Last week, the Green Bay Law Department released demographics surrounding the city's marijuana charges. While the Black community represents just 5% of Green Bay’s population, they make up about 26% of cannabis related-arrests.

However, others may be more hesitant to relax the restrictions. Alderperson John Vanderleest voiced his concern about reducing the fines at a Protection and Policy Committee meeting last week, citing an accident involving marijuana consumption that killed two on Packerland Drive two years ago.

"We should keep it a little bit higher so that people realize that it’s not really a legal drug to be using,” Vanderleest said.

Lieutenant Steve Mahony says the Green Bay Police Department will continue to enforce marijuana penalties as normal. Although fines may be lower, he says officers will continue to use their discretion when issuing citations.

“We’re not going to change any of our enforcement action," Mahony said. "We’re going to instruct our officers to enforce it the way they have before. We don’t set the fines, we just enforce the ordinances.”

Assistant City Attorney Rachel Maes says the amended penalties need to have a second reading, which will take place on March 15th. The changes would go into effect upon publication within a few days of the second reading.

From: https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/green-bay-common-council-reduces-penalties-for-possession-of-marijuana

How close is Wisconsin to legalizing medical marijuana? TMJ4 takes a 360 look

From TMJ4:


Posted at 5:41 PM, Mar 03, 2022
 
and last updated 6:33 PM, Mar 03, 2022

MILWAUKEE — More people than ever in Wisconsin want to see pot legalized, according to a new poll. The Marquette Law School poll shows 61 percent of voters want marijuana to be legalized compared to 50 percent of voters back in 2013.

When it comes to legalization of marijuana by party affiliation, 51 percent of Republicans and 75 percent of Democrats support it.

Marquette did not ask specifically how people felt about medical marijuana like it has done in the past. There are two competing bills by Democrats and Republicans in Madison over whether to legalize medical marijuana. Both offer different restrictions on legalizing pot for medical purposes.

Megan Lowe.png
Megan Lowe sits with her daughter Nora who has Rett Syndrome.

TMJ4 News takes a 360 look, examining all sides of the issues of medical marijuana, by talking to a local sheriff worried about the legal problems it could bring to the state, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who have now put up bills, and a mother whose daughter suffers from a rare disease and wants to try marijuana as a treatment.

Megan Lowe’s 13-year-old daughter Nora likes butterflies and gardening. Nora also suffers from a rare neurological disorder called Rett Syndrome.

“My daughter could be seizure free if we drove 75 miles in either direction“ said Lowe.

Megan says her daughter, who is confined to a wheelchair, faces a variety of symptoms along with seizures, including uncontrollable hand motions, painful involuntary muscle contractions, breathing issues and gastrointestinal problems. Megan says Rett Syndrome attacks every system of the body, but there have been children who have seen their symptoms improve with medical marijuana.

"If she could get off some prescriptions that she's on that make her a complete zombie during the day, and then she's up all night,” said Megan Lowe.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth understands those concerns, but also worries medical marijuana could be a gateway drug leading to more drug-related crimes.

"You have the black market. You have the cartels from Mexico coming up, and rather than shipping it up, they start producing it in those home states and they just do black market. They don't do it like Wisconsin would like to do or like Illinois likes to do,” said Beth.

Screen Shot 2022-03-03 at 3.32.40 PM.png

On top of that, Beth anticipates Wisconsin’s problem with driving under the influence to get worse with more drugged driving.

"Legalizing it is not going to make Wisconsin better, and for the legislators that are looking forward to one point, whatever billion dollars that Illinois makes in throwing that into the coffers here in Wisconsin, you're just adding more complications,” said Beth.

Wisconsin is one of 13 states where marijuana is not legalized either medically or recreationally.

In a 2019 Marquette Law School poll, 83 percent of Wisconsin voters said they support legalizing medical marijuana. And so do many top Democrat and Republican leaders.

Republican State Representative Pat Snyder sponsored a bill that would create a medical marijuana regulatory commission.

"The commission would then be able to certify licenses to medical doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners,” said Snyder. “This has to be certain considers, ALS, cancer, PTSD and some things the medical society deems fit under this."

Patients would be able to get marijuana in either pill, liquid or ointment form, but they would not be allowed to smoke it or grow it in homes.

A bill sponsored by Democrat Senator Jon Erpenbach allows both of those things. His bill also would include a licensing process overseen by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

"There would be regulation involved, there would be oversight involved. There would be a list of what would qualify and what wouldn't. And that would be decided by doctors,” said Erpenbach.

The Democratic sponsored bill would not include a tax. The Republican sponsored bill would tax producers who sell to dispensaries. But not patients.

"I don't know why you would call something medical and then tax it. If you call it somebody's medicine you shouldn't be taxing it,” said Erpenbach.

Neither party’s bill has received a hearing in Madison, which is a crucial next step.

“If we get a hearing and hear the positives and negatives we might be able to really attack it next January and get it done,” said Snyder.

The Assembly has already said they are done with floor session for the year. The Senate plans to be in session until March 9th. But it remains unlikely that either will be get a hearing. That means any medical marijuana law is unlikely to be voted on before 2023.

From: https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/how-close-is-wisconsin-to-legalizing-medical-marijuana-tmj4-takes-a-360-look


First Black historical museum, cultural center being planned in Racine

From TMJ4:

Photo by: mahoganygallery.com/aboutmbacc
Posted at 8:18 PM, Mar 03, 2022
 
and last updated 8:18 PM, Mar 03, 2022

RACINE, Wisc. — A Racine non-profit is planning to build the city's first Black historical museum and cultural center.

Mahogany Black Art & Cultural Center Incorporated is planning to create Racine's first permanent and physical home for the preservation, research, and exhibition of Racine County Black history.

According to a news release, a lot of historical contribution of the Black experience in Racine County has disappeared or not sufficiently been documented and preserved.

The center will feature physical exhibits, artifacts, photographs, art, literature, an archive of digital oral histories.

"Now is an exciting time to reinvigorate the legacies by educating and sharing our historical experiences as a Black community. We have been an integral part of the history of Racine County since its humble beginnings and now, more than ever is the time to create a permanent, physical home for the preservation, exhibition and research of Racine County Black history" states CEO and founder Scott Terry.

From: https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/first-black-historical-museum-cultural-center-being-planned-in-racine

Open Blog - Friday

 May we soon have birds and flowers.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Study: Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine did not protect younger children well from Omicron

Weather-monitoring satellite launched

Former Nissan Executive Kelly Gets Suspended Sentence

WEB EXTRA: President Biden Announces U.S. Will Close American Airspace To Russian Flights

Rep. Van Taylor admits affair, abandons U.S. House reelection bid

ACLU Sues Texas For Alleged Investigations Of Transgender Kids' Families

Oil could end up at $120 or $130 a barrel, says Raymond James' Molchanov

Current, former Illinois politicians react to indictment of Madigan

From WGN:


Russia reportedly captures Ukrainian city of Kherson, explosions reported in Kyiv

January 6th Committee says Trump engaged in "criminal conspiracy"