Saturday, July 3, 2021

COVID-19 cases rising in California, health officials report

Virgin Orbit CEO on the billionaires' race to space

Ransomware attack hits at least 200 US companies | Russian revil group behind the attack? World News

Canada heat dome: More than 100 wildfires rage across west | DW News

Gas leak sparks "Eye of Fire" in Gulf of Mexico

Tucker investigates the reason Kamala Harris is always cackling

Advocates call for farmworker protections after heat wave death

Officials say remaining part of Surfside condo building will be demolished

Racine Zoo's last tur dies

From Fox6Now:

Tavek, the West Caucasian tur from the Racine Zoo

The Racine Zoo on Friday, July 2 announced the death of one of its most beloved animals – Tavek, a West Caucasian tur.

The zoo said in a news release that Tavek died June 29. He lived at the top of tur mountain and was a favorite of guests who loved to watch him climb around on his mountain or scratch his back across one of his many toys.

Tavek was born at the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park on May 18, 2005 and moved to the Racine Zoo in October of 2006 at just over a year old. At just over 16 years old, Tavek far outlived the average tur life expectancy of 12 years. He was the final tur living at the zoo.

The tur had exhibited signs of arthritis for years that had been managed by the zoo’s expert animal care team, the news release said. In the latter half of June, his condition rapidly progressed, leading to loss of appetite, and the decision was made to humanely euthanize Tavek to ensure a comfortable end of his days. 

"Tavek was our majestic king of the mountain. He was always one of the first animals I saw when starting my day, on top of the mountain, watching over the Zoo," said Angie Sagert, the zoo’s animal care supervisor and Tavek’s primary caretaker. "He was a great dad and sired two offspring during his time here." 

Tavek’s role as an ambassador to West Caucasian tur, a species few have even heard of, was critical to bringing attention to the little-known species. With only about 2,000 West Caucasian tur remaining in the wild and their population decreasing rapidly, they are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. 

Read more:

Racine nurse practitioner starts 'non-retirement' to serve others in Liberia

From TMJ4:

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 6:23 PM, Jul 02, 2021

After a 45-year nursing career, a Racine woman decided to move to another continent to help others.

Louise Omdahl has clocked 45 years in nursing, 34 of them with Ascension Wisconsin. Omdahl just wrapped up her final days as a family nurse practitioner at the Mount Pleasant clinic.

"Very bittersweet, it really is. I don’t feel old enough to be retiring, but it’s OK because I’m non-retiring," Omdahl said with a laugh.

Over the years, Omdahl completed more than a dozen medical missions around the world. Four of them were in Liberia, Africa. Her office is filled with keepsakes.

"When I went in 2010, I really fell in love with the country and I said, 'yup, Liberia is where I belong,'" Omdahl said.

Limp Bizkit - Re-arranged/Killing in The Name (Live at Budapest, Hungary, 2015) [Official Pro Shot]

Megadeth - Peace Sells

Open Blog - Weekend

It's a long one.

Friday, July 2, 2021

State: First West Nile virus-positive mosquito sample found in Middlesex County

Canada’s ‘hottest village’ consumed by forest fire after suffering days of extreme heat

Newsom Recall Election Set for Mid-September

Supreme Court Upholds Arizona’s Restrictive Voting Laws

Friday tropical update: Hurricane Elsa forms, tracks toward Florida

Last U.S. troops leave Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan

Trump Organization, CFO Indicted On Sweeping Tax Fraud Scheme

Planning to set off fireworks at home? After record sales last year, vendors are struggling to meet demand.

From JSOnline:
Anne Mattea and Jay Stahl
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Gannett Wisconsin

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.

Terry Walters, left, Jonathon McCray, center, and Quamay Daniels, all from Kenosha, show off their fireworks purchases at Phantom Fireworks of Racine. They said lighting fireworks at their homes is a family tradition. They were also planning on going to Extreme Fireworks a few miles away.

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.

Read more:

Prosecutors file motion to use evidence of alleged Kyle Rittenhouse assault, Proud Boys association

From TMJ4:

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.

Read more:

Façade falls off Racine building, nobody hurt

From Fox6Now:

Façade falls off Racine building

Parts of a historic building in Racine fell to the ground early Thursday, July 1. Inspectors say the damage appears to have been caused by stormy weather overnight.

"There was a big bang, and this thing just come tumbling down," said Roger Orlowski, who heard the collapse.

Shortly after midnight, chunks of marble façade from a vacant historic downtown Racine building on 5th and Main came crashing down. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.

Façade falls off Racine building

Façade falls off Racine building

The building, owned by developers Mount Royal Capital, is being renovated on the inside for multi-use office space. City officials say there are no annual inspections done on building façades. It is the responsibility of the owner to maintain and now, clean up what has fallen.

Façade falls off Racine building

Façade falls off Racine building

Inspectors on the scene say the marble façade was built in the early 1900s over an older brick façade from the 1800s. They believe since then, water has eroded the space between the two materials.

Façade falls off Racine building

Façade falls off Racine building

The nearby intersection will be closed while cleanup continues. City officials say they expect to have it opened again in time for Monday's 4th of July parade.

Open Blog - Friday


Thursday, July 1, 2021

Alderman Carrie Austin, chief of staff, indicted for bribery

From WGN:

DHEC concerned about another COVID-19 surge as Fourth of July weekend approaches

James Franco to Pay $2.2 Million Dollars to Settle Sexual Misconduct Suit I THR News

America loves its sex crime celebrities.

Bill Cosby conviction tossed

America loves its sex crime celebrities.

Canada wildfire forces evacuation of hottest place in the country - BBC News

Indigenous leaders seek apology during Vatican visit

America loves its pedophiliac and murderous Catholic Church.

Heat dome across western Canada and US linked to more than 60 deaths | ITV News

‘Not a healthy environment’: Kamala Harris’ office rife with dissent


There is dysfunction inside the VP’s office, aides and administration officials say. And it’s emanating from the top.

When Vice President Kamala Harris finally made the decision to visit the Mexico border last week, people inside her own office were blindsided by the news.

For days, aides and outside allies had been calling and texting with each other about the political fallout that a potential trip would entail. But when it became known that she was going to El Paso, it left many scrambling, including officials who were responsible for making travel arrangements and others outside the VP’s office charged with crafting the messaging across the administration.

The handling of the border visit was the latest chaotic moment for a staff that’s quickly become mired in them. Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials. Much of the frustration internally is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, a veteran of Democratic politics who began working for her earlier this year.

In interviews, 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and Biden described a tense and at times dour office atmosphere. Aides and allies said Flournoy, in an apparent effort to protect Harris, has instead created an insular environment where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out. Often, they said, she refuses to take responsibility for delicate issues and blames staffers for the negative results that ensue.

Read more:

Miya Ponsetto Pleads Not Guilty To Charges In SoHo Hotel Incident

Chinese president Xi says China won't be ‘bullied’ by foreigners during anniversary speech

Bodies of 2 children found at site of South Florida condo collapse site

Seventeen hurt after an illegal fireworks cache explodes in Los Angeles

Trump Organization and CFO indicted in tax probe, AP reports

From WGN:

It won't be safe to swim in Lake Michigan Thursday and Friday as high waves, strong currents will make conditions dangerous

From JSOnline:
Sophie Carson
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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.

More:Wear a life jacket, check boat lights: DNR offers safety tips to boaters and swimmers

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.

Check current beach conditions here.

More:Alarming spike in Great Lakes drownings tied to COVID-19, study finds

More:Lake Michigan drownings set a record in 2020


Wisconsin lawmakers pass bill that labels legislators' discipline records 'confidential'

From JSOnline:
Molly Beck
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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."

Read more:

Milwaukee girl dies after being pulled from Lake Michigan in Racine: Official

From TMJ4:

She was pulled from the water nine days ago and sent to the hospital in critical condition

Posted at 5:07 PM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 5:07 PM, Jun 30, 2021

RACINE — The 14-year-old Milwaukee girl who was pulled from Lake Michigan in Racine and sent to the hospital in critical condition over a week ago has died, authorities say.

A Racine County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson tells TMJ4 News Wednesday that she passed from her injuries on Tuesday.

As TMJ4 News reported, authorities responded to North Beach in Racine on June 21 for one to two girls in the water.

When deputies arrived, officials say a strong current seemed to pull the girls into deeper water and into the rocks. Officials say one girl was rescued with cuts and scratches, and the other received medical attention on scene before being taken to the hospital.

The girl who passed away was not identified, outside her age and home city.

TMJ4 News crews saw the rescue unfold while they were at North Beach Monday afternoon following up on another story. TMJ4 saw a rescue boat come close to the shore, where crews carried the girl to an ambulance and started chest compressions. Several squad cars, two fire trucks and an ambulance could be seen at the beach.

Officials say 10-year-old Eisha N. Figuereo Colon, who went by "Naomi," drowned at Zoo Beach just two days before, on June 19. Minutes later that Saturday, crews went down the shore to North Beach, where they say they found 17-year-old Yaadwinder Singh unresponsive after they pulled him from the lake. Officials took him to the hospital, and now say he died early Monday of "injuries consistent with drowning."


21 vaccinated Wisconsinites die of COVID

From Fox6Now:

Racine baker frosts cupcakes with love

From TMJ4:

Posted at 4:43 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 4:43 PM, Jun 28, 2021

RACINE — A sweet treat has a way of turning a bad day around.

Roshan Elias does not cut corners when she makes her cupcakes. All of her ingredients are high quality and fresh, and don't forget the most important addition:

"A lot of love!" Roshan says.

Roshan's love for baking started at an early age growing up in Malawi, in southeast Africa. But, the cookbook that got her started came from America.

"It was a book my aunt had," Roshan says. "I still remember, it was orange. I just, out of curiosity, picked it up, started looking. But, because I like baking, I went straight to the baking section."

Roshan's family encouraged her to learn and grow her baking skills. As an adult, she mostly sold her cupcakes at farmers markets.

"I had a lot of customers asking me, 'when are you opening?' And I'd always say, 'nope! I'm not opening!' I didn't want to have a store."

But when Roshan started getting huge orders for hundreds of cupcakes at a time, she reconsidered. Her customers have made it all worthwhile.

"They become family."

Despite opening the winter before the pandemic started, Roshan says those customers -- their love for her and her cupcakes -- helped her keep the business running.

"You have to build a relationship with your customers, because those are the people who support you on a daily basis," she says.

But at the end of the day, much of the success of Sugar and Spice Cupcakes comes down to Roshan's commitment to her craft.

"Don't give up," she says. "If you believe in what you are doing, keep going and someday it will happen! Just keep trying. Keep trying to make it better."


Open Blog - Thursday

Today only.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Conviction Overturned By State Supreme Court

Kim Jong Un scolds officials for pandemic lapse

Nearly 100 COVID-19 cases linked to Illinois summer camp, officials say

Nearly 100 cases of coronavirus have been linked to a camp in Illinois where indoor masking was not required and vaccination status was not checked, officials said Monday, adding that one unvaccinated young adult required hospitalization. 

The majority of 85 cases involved teens who attended the mid-June camp session, although some involved adult staff members. 

Read more:

Central Coast Public Health Departments closely monitoring dangerous Delta variant

Russia launches cargo ship to space station | AFP

Watch: SpaceX launches Transporter 2 rideshare mission

Black hole swallows neutron star, and scientists spotted it happening again 10 days later | ABC News

Kyle Massey Charged With Felony For Allegedly Sending Explicit Content To Minor

Putin's Promises: A History Of Empty Assurances

The Chinese Communist Party’s economic legacy | CNBC Explains

Boy, 7, slammed nearly 30 times during judo class has died, report says

 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.

The BBC, citing the Taipei Times, reported that the coach has been charged with assault and using a minor to commit a crime. 

The boy was not identified in the report but he suffered a brain hemorrhage, slipped into a coma and was on life support for 70 days. The news site reported that the boy’s uncle filmed the incident that reportedly showed the boy being thrown by older classmates acting on orders from the coach. The coach even allegedly took a turn, the report said.

The report identified the coach by his surname, Ho, and said he has since been released on bail.


Venomous pet zebra spitting cobra on the loose after escaping home in Raleigh

Family Holds Prayer Service For Slain East LA Children; Mother Arrested On Suspicion Of Murde

Lie Witness News – Are You Enjoying the Olympics?

Man avoids condo collapse after girlfriend requests he stay with her

What North Korean Propaganda Tells Us About Kim Jong Un’s Weight Loss | WSJ

Florida officials pledge multiple probes into condo collapse

Gov. Tony Evers vetoes bill that would end extra unemployment benefits

From JSOnline:
Molly Beck
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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."

Read more:

State Supreme Court rules former Kenosha woman can practice law despite drug conviction

 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.

The court ruled 4-3 Tuesday to reverse a Board of Bar Examiners decision that Abby Padlock was unfit to practice law in Wisconsin, directing the board to certify Padlock’s admission to practice law in the state.  "We again choose to exercise our prerogative and afford this applicant the benefit of the doubt," the court wrote.

The state bar had earlier ruled that Padlock did not have the “character andfitness” to practice law in the state because she did not fully disclose the circumstances of her arrest on drug smuggling charges on her law school application or when she applied for admission to the Wisconsin State Bar.

Padlock was an all-state volleyball player at Tremper High School who went on to play volleyball at college. When she was 24, Padlock and a friend were driving from Oregon to Wisconsin in October 2015 when they were stopped by a Minnesota police officer who found 76 individual packages of marijuana that, all together, weighed 114 pounds. During the subsequent investigation, police found $30,000 in cash in Padlock’s home, that cash seized in a civil forfeiture.

Read more: