Saturday, July 3, 2021
Friday, July 2, 2021
Planning to set off fireworks at home? After record sales last year, vendors are struggling to meet demand.
After so many Fourth of July celebrations were canceled last summer because of COVID, demand for sparklers, cherry bombs, bottle rockets and more sophisticated amateur fireworks hit a record high.
Now there's a problem this summer: A shortage of fireworks in the United States.
Professional displays are not in danger; municipal shows going on all over the state aren't affected. But for people who want to put on a mini-show in their backyard, or who just enjoy the noise and flash associated with the holiday, it's another matter.
Although sales are fairly concentrated into a tight time period around Independence Day, vendors buy year-round and try to have a buffer if demand is high. Last year, many vendors sold out early and depleted that buffer that would normally have rolled over into 2021. In addition, the supply chain this year hasn't recovered from the pandemic.
Phantom Fireworks, the leading fireworks retailer in the country, has several locations in Wisconsin, including one in Racine that serves the Milwaukee area. The company had a 48% increase in sales of fireworks cases from 2019 to 2020.
KENOSHA — Prosecutors are asking the Kenosha County Court to allow evidence they argue shows Kyle Rittenhouse assaulting a teenage girl two months prior to the Kenosha shooting, and shows him associating with the Proud Boys after he was released from jail.
Rittenhouse, 18, is facing one count of 1st-degree intentional homicide, one count of 1st-degree reckless homicide and one count of attempted 1st-degree intentional homicide in the deadly shooting in Kenosha on Aug. 25, 2020. Prosecutors say Rittenhouse shot and killed two people and injured a third with an assault rifle-style weapon during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse argues he fired in self defense, and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
While prosecutors have alleged Rittenhouse associated with the Proud Boys before, following a visit he made to a Mount Pleasant bar this year, claims that Rittenhouse physically assaulted a female have not been made public.
In Wisconsin, judges must determine if 'other-acts' evidence can be shown to jurors in a trial. Prosecutors made their case that these two packages of evidence should be, even though the incidents themselves did not happen on the night of Aug. 25.
TMJ4 News reached out to Rittenhouse's defense for comment Thursday evening.
Thursday, July 1, 2021
It won't be safe to swim in Lake Michigan Thursday and Friday as high waves, strong currents will make conditions dangerous
Swimmers in southeast Wisconsin should stay out of Lake Michigan on Thursday and Friday because of dangerous conditions in the forecast, the National Weather Service said.
"Life-threatening" waves of 3 to 6 feet, strong winds and dangerous currents are expected, the weather service said in a statement.
Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties have a high swim risk from Thursday afternoon through Friday evening.
"Stay out of the water and away from dangerous areas like piers and breakwalls," the weather service statement reads. "Strong structural and longshore currents are expected. Rip currents are possible."
Beachgoers should obey posted signs and closures, the weather service said.
According to the statement, the beaches most susceptible to dangerous swimming conditions are:
- North Beach in Port Washington
- Harrington Beach State Park in Belgium
- McKinley Beach in Milwaukee
- Grant Park Beach in Milwaukee
- North Beach in Racine
- Wind Point Lighthouse Beach in Racine
- Simmons Island Beach in Kenosha
The high swim risk extends into lakefront counties in Illinois, Indiana and southern Michigan. In the Chicago area, waves are forecast to be 5 to 8 feet high.
Fourteen people have drowned so far this year in Lake Michigan, the most among the Great Lakes, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.
On June 19, a 9-year-old girl was pulled from the water at Zoo Beach in Racine and later died.
Milwaukee County officials closed McKinley Beach this year after three people drowned there last summer, citing flaws in its design that make swimming unsafe.
Because of a severe staffing shortage, no Milwaukee County-run beaches have lifeguards this year, including the popular Bradford Beach.
MADISON - Wisconsin lawmakers on Wednesday sent Gov. Tony Evers legislation that could make it harder to get records about lawmakers who are disciplined or accused of harassment, government transparency experts warn.
The measure would formally create a human resources office for the state Legislature and says disciplinary records and complaints against lawmakers should be treated confidentially, bolstering a legislative practice of withholding complaints against lawmakers.
The proposal passed the Senate Wednesday and goes to Evers just as a Dane County Judge ruled that Assembly leaders violated the public records law by withholding a sexual harassment complaint against a Democratic lawmaker after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other news outlets sued seeking the records.
"This greatly magnifies the concern that I have over the proposed human resources office," Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, said. "The Legislature is trying to change the law after getting caught breaking it."
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
A boy, 7, who was allegedly body-slammed 27 times—by both his judo classmates and coach—was removed from life support in Taiwan, a report Tuesday said.
MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers late Tuesday vetoed a bill Republicans and the state's largest business lobby have pushed for weeks that would eliminate additional unemployment benefits for Wisconsinites who lost work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Republican lawmakers who authored the bill said it would reduce worker shortages, arguing the additional benefits have kept workers home.
Evers in his veto message said he did not trust their argument and that the state's labor force participation has returned to nearly pre-pandemic levels with the benefits in place.
"There is a lack of evidence to support the notion that eliminating supplemental unemployment insurance benefits would bring more individuals into the workforce," Evers wrote. "Many of the most hard-hit areas are located in both rural parts of the state that had slower pre-pandemic changes in business operations."
Adivided Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a former Kenosha woman will be able to practice law despite being less than forthcoming about a past drug charge for attempting to smuggle more than 100 pounds of marijuana from Oregon to Wisconsin.