Saturday, October 2, 2021
You can find the best-tasting Wisconsin water in the City of Oak Creek, association says
If you’re drinking bottled water in Oak Creek, you may want to switch to the tap because the city has the best-tasting water in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Section American Water Works Association on Sept. 22 awarded that title to Oak Creek at a conference in Madison. The AWWA is a nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water. Oak Creek won both the award for best-tasting surface water and the best-tasting overall Wisconsin water for 2021.
In June 2022, Oak Creek will compete for the title of best-tasting water in America.
“Great water comes from great employees and we certainly have that at Oak Creek,” said Mike Robe, plant manager for the Oak Creek Water Utility.
The Oak Creek Water and Sewer Utility, which provides water to Oak Creek, Franklin and Caledonia, pumps on average 7.5 million gallons of water each day from Lake Michigan.
“This win is also a testament to our great resource, we are so fortunate to have Lake Michigan water,” said Mike Sullivan, the general manager of the Oak Creek Water and Sewer Utility.
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Representatives lugged at least two quarts of their city’s water to the Madison conference. A panel of judges blindly drank samples of the room temperature water and took color, odor and taste into consideration. Judges this year included AWWA CEO David La France, 2020 AWWA President Melissa Elliott and UW-Madison professor Manny Teodoro.
Surface waters such as lakes and rivers went head-to-head with ground and well waters. Once all points were tallied, Oak Creek flowed to the top.
The event has been an annual tradition for more than 30 years — though the competition was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The Oak Creek Water and Sewer Utility serves about 60,000 people over an 83 square-mile service area, according to the city website.
Contact Erik S. Hanley at (262) 875-9467 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter at @ES_Hanley.
Some wonder if Racine County even had a chance after losing Foxconn's electric car plant
RACINE COUNTY, Wis. — Mount Pleasant has lost out on an electric car manufacturing plant to the area’s Foxconn facility. The Racine County campus was was originally supposed to build LCD panels for TVs. But now with the electric vehicle option off the table, elected leaders are not sure what could come next.
“I met with the officials from Fisker, they were here and I know they were serious," said Republican State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. "Wisconsin can’t win every single one even, though I think we have one of the best workforces and best development sites. They need to make the decision that is right for their company."
Foxconn listened to a pitch from Wisconsin on why it should bring Fisker, the electric car automaker, to the Racine County campus it already owns. Instead the company went to Lordstown, Ohio and is set to purchase a manufacturing plant already there.
Democrat and House Minority Leader Gordon Hintz says he doesn't think Fisker was ever going to come to Wisconsin when the Ohio option was on the table.
“It was unclear how serious that deal was, especially given how many things have fallen through. They usually mentioned that they were out there. I think the reality is there's an existing auto production facility in Ohio,” said Hintz.
Wisconsin also currently has a law in place that does not allow car manufacturers to sell directly to a consumer, which is how Fisker and other electric car makers like Tesla sell their vehicles. Instead, Wisconsin says you have to buy through a dealer. Republican State Senator Dale Kooyenga proposed a bill that is trying to change that. But he believes it didn’t help Wisconsin bring in Fisker.
“Bottom line is why would you move your manufacturing to a state where you can’t sell your product. It’s ridiculous,” said Kooyenga.
As it stands now, Foxconn is currently paying $5 million a year in property taxes, and that is set to increase to $30 million in 2023 until 2047. A spokesperson for Mount Pleasant and Racine County said they already spent $307 million by the end of 2020.
“My hope is that they will continue to look at the Foxconn site," said Speaker Vos. "I mean we know there is almost 1,000 people working there now. The company is up and running, there are good things that are happening there. It is one of the best development sites in the entire country, so there is no doubt in my mind the investment will take off. It will just take a little longer."
“My criticism of Foxconn would be mostly, you know at this point, they should be, you know, their credibility is damaged, and they should be more straightforward with people to manage expectations. Obviously the new contract terms are significantly more in line with what a realistic plan might be,” said Hintz.
Open Blog - Weekend
Friday, October 1, 2021
Foxconn to buy Ohio plant to make electric vehicles, future for Wisconsin facility uncertain
MOUNT PLEASANT — Foxconn has chosen an assembly plant in Ohio for the initial production of electric vehicles in the U.S., a decision that keeps its Racine County complex from entering electric auto manufacturing, at least in the short-term.
Foxconn announced Thursday it is working to purchase a production and assembly plant from Lordstown Motors Corp. in Lordstown, Ohio to help the Taiwanese conglomerate build electric vehicles for the startup automaker, Fisker. Foxconn and Fisker announced in February they had come to an agreement to make the vehicles.
But the companies did not say then where those vehicles would be made, and some hoped Foxconn would use its existing Wisconsin facility - initially made to build TV screens - as the site for electric vehicle production.
The agreement with Fisker states Foxconn would build more than 250,000 of these vehicles every year, with production to begin in the 4th quarter of 2023. The vehicles would be sold in North America, Europe, China, and India.
On Thursday Foxconn said it had come into a non-binding agreement to purchase Lordstown Motors’ 6.2 million square-foot production and assembly plant in Lordstown for $230 million, according to their initial agreement.
Lordstown has been attempting to begin production of an all-electric pickup truck called the 'Endurance' at the facility. But it appears the company ran out of money.
"Existing automobile manufacturing facilities, infrastructure, employees, and location in Ohio with robust supply chain resources will give Foxconn speed to market that meets our customer’s needs for production by end of 2023," according to a spokesperson for Foxconn.
But Foxconn says there is still potential for similar electric vehicle efforts in Racine County.
"Foxconn’s assets in Wisconsin will continue to serve as a potential location for additional investment for Foxconn’s electric vehicle growth in the United States," the spokesperson said. The company adds that the Racine County facility will continue to be the location for "data infrastructure hardware and Information and Communication Technology production."
Foxconn originally planned to build a Gen 10. 5 LCD facility to produce large screens in Mount Pleasant after former Gov. Scott Walker offered more than $3 billion in tax incentives. But that project was scaled back to a Gen. 6 factory to build smaller screens for phones, TVs, and tablets.
Since then, Foxconn has faced criticism for not holding up to its promise of creating 13,000 local jobs as local and state governments spend hundreds of millions of dollars to usher in what was initially seen as a possible manufacturing resurgence in the state.
Then last October, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. announced Foxconn did not qualify for the local and state tax incentives. The WED concluded the company did not hire enough employees or make enough investments in the Mount Pleasant facility, per the agreement the company signed with former Gov. Walker.
Foxconn contends it has hired more than 530 full-time employees and invested $750 million at the facility.
The agreement with California-based Fisker would mark Foxconn's first foray into the production of vehicles. Foxconn is the world's largest contract maker of electronics and a large supplier of iPhones.
Open Blog - Friday
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Mount Pleasant police: Illinois man injured, held onto moving car
MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. - Mount Pleasant police were called to an accident Wednesday, Sept. 29 after a report of a man hanging from the side of a vehicle before falling onto the road.
A preliminary investigation found a 25-year-old Illinois man stopped near the intersection of Sunnyslope and Kelsey, got out of his running vehicle and walked into the intersection.
A vehicle driven by an 84-year-old Racine woman was trying to turn onto Sunnyslope but was forced to stop due to the Illinois man's presence. Police said the two talked until the Illinois man became argumentative and grabbed onto the open rear passenger window as the woman began to slowly drive away.
The man then fell to the ground and sustained significant injuries. He was taken to the hospital for initial treatment before being taken to another hospital via Flight for Life due.
Police said the man and woman did not know each other prior to the incident.
The Wisconsin State Patrol was called to assist with the accident reconstruction. This incident remains under investigation by the Mount Pleasant Police Department and Wisconsin State Patrol.
Milwaukee child shootings, trauma 'devastating'
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee broke its homicide record in 2020. But the number of people shot and wounded was also hard to fathom – more than 750 people, 72 of which were children.
According to the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission, through August 2021, there have been 646 non-fatal shootings and 82 child victims. For doctors who see those victims, it is a devastating reality, but they say there is more that can be done to prevent that kind of trauma before it happens.
"The best trauma for us to see is the one that doesn’t happen," said Dr. Michael Levas, Children's Wisconsin pediatric emergency medicine physician and Project Ujima medical director.
Levas said it is hard to fathom the number of kids being injured by gun violence.
"Most of us in the health care world, it’s hard to take care of little kids who have holes in them from bullets. It’s just devastating," Levas said. "That bullet does a lot of damage. And depending on where the wound is, it can result in life-long physical disability."
When a child is able to leave the hospital, the wounds they take with them are more than just physical. There is emotional and psychological trauma, too.
Project Ujima works to support kids and families to try to break the cycle of violence.
"We need to think about what we invest on the front end," said Levas.
Groups like WestCare help connect youth and families with the resources they need to try to stop the factors that contribute to violence – be it housing, food scarcity or other crime reduction programs.
"Tired of seeing people being shot by guns through negligence," said Travis Landry, WestCare Wisconsin regional vice president.
WestCare has been running a free, no-questions-asked gun lock program – Love Up, Lock Down – for the past five years. Landry said the purpose is to do more than prevent an accident.
Milwaukee non-fatal shooting statistics
"The whole purpose of the gun locks is to really make you think, again, about the gun that you have in your possession. Are you using the gun to protect you, or are you using the gun for something you shouldn’t be doing?" Landry said.
The free gun lock program was started by youth who were tired of seeing others being shot because of negligence.
Landry admits there are no dbout people who won't use locks, as they have other intents or purposes for carrying a weapon. He hopes that using one can not only protect a child in a home, but on the street as well.
Open Blog - Thursday
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Teaching cursive would be required under Wisconsin bill
The bill's sponsors, including former teacher Republican State Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, said teaching cursive will stimulate different parts of the brain and improve the education of students.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) —
All Wisconsin elementary schools would be required to teach cursive writing under a bill passed Tuesday by the state Assembly.
The bill's sponsors, including former teacher Fond du Lac Republican State Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, said teaching cursive will stimulate different parts of the brain and improve the education of students.
"When you're educating students, the more mental gymnastics you can get them to do, the better training it is for their mind," Thiesfeldt said.
But opponents, including groups representing school boards, superintendents and administrators, oppose the measure, saying it could be a costly mandate and that instructional time would be better spent teaching more modern forms of communicating, like keyboarding.
"This is not about cursive writing. This is about allowing our teachers to teach, allowing our teachers to be the professionals that they are and restoring local control," former teacher and Whitefish Bay Democrat State Rep. Deb Andraca said.
Teaching cursive is included in state standards for education set by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
However, those are a model and not a requirement.
The bill would make the teaching of cursive mandatory.
No one registered in support of the measure, while a host of school-related groups were against it.
The Assembly passed the measure last year but it died in the Senate.
The Assembly passed the new bill Tuesday on a 59-39 vote.
It now heads to the Senate.
It would have to pass the Senate and be signed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in order to become law.
Evers is a former state superintendent of schools. The governor's office did not respond to WISN 12 News request for comment.
The state education department which he used to lead said in written testimony that the requirement could prove difficult for students with disabilities.
Critical race theory ban passes Wisconsin Assembly
MADISON, Wis. - The national debate over critical race theory (CRT) erupted at the Wisconsin Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 28. The Assembly debated and then voted on a bill to crack down on certain teachings in schools, including that one race or sex is superior.
The bill passed the chamber on a 60-38 party-line vote: Republicans for it, and Democrats against it. The Senate has not picked up the bill, and it is likely Gov. Tony Evers would veto it.
One thing not in the bill – the phrase "critical race theory." The theory holds that racism and oppression can be embedded into systems, including the American founding and society.
"I’ve been a teacher a long time, social studies. (CRT is) not something I taught my students, not something that I observed teachers teaching, because it’s a law school concept," said State Rep. LaKeshia Myers (D-Milwaukee) Critical race theory is just that – a theory that's derived by lawyers.")
"If people on the left say it’s never occurring, it’s a red herring, it’s not happening, what is the harm in ensuring that we make every single person in the state realize that we don’t want sexism, we don’t want racism, we don’t want stereotyping taught in our schools," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).
The bill would ban school districts and charter schools from teaching that a person bears responsibility for past acts committed by people of the same race or sex. It would also ban teaching that a person is inherently racist or sexist by virtue of their race or sex.
"We also have the white supremacy preservation act, which is part of a national movement to create sort of a new boogeyman in the culture wars. And use fear and resentment to motivate base voters," said Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh).
"In the testimonies, they kept saying you are going to prohibit the teaching of history, we can’t say certain words, and (the Wisconsin Legislative) Council said no, the bill does not do that," said State Rep. Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego).
The bill would make the state superintendent take away 10% of state funds from school districts that break the law. It would also allow parents to sue.
Racine County pot bust; suspect accused of driving 100+ mph
YORKVILLE, Wis. - A 29-year-old man from Minnesota was taken into custody in Racine County on Saturday, Sept. 25 after marijuana was found in his vehicle during a traffic stop. It happened around 8:30 a.m. in the Village of Yorkville.
According to the Racine County Sheriff's Office, deputies were monitoring traffic on I-41 when they observed an SUV "rapidly changing lanes" and swerving between vehicles while traveling 103 mph.
During the traffic stop, a K-9 alerted on the vehicle, and a search of the vehicle yielded a bag containing 499 grams of marijuana. This bag was hidden in a rear compartment of the SUV.
Marijuana found in vehicle during Racine County traffic stop
The driver said that the marijuana must have been left in the vehicle by the previous owner.
He was taken to Racine County Jail where he was held for possession with intent. He was also issued traffic citations for speeding on the freeway, reckless driving, and operating while suspended.
Open Blog - Wednesday
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Open Blog - Tuesday
Monday, September 27, 2021
Taliban Hang Body in Public; Signal Return to Past Tactics
Gee, who'd'a thunk it?
Open Blog - Monday
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Despite guidance from health officials, Ron Johnson says vaccinating people during a pandemic 'could be dangerous'
MADISON - U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson suggested this week that vaccinated Americans could be perpetuating the coronavirus pandemic and that distributing vaccines during a pandemic "could be dangerous."
But Johnson also said that he hopes the vaccines play a "key role" in ending the pandemic and that he supports them.
The contradictory comments from Wisconsin's highest-profile Republican come as state health officials prepare to distribute booster vaccine shots to help combat the worst effects of a surge of new COVID-19 cases. The new infections are being fueled by a more transmissible variant of the virus that took hold as vaccine rates stagnated.
In a Tuesday appearance on the John Solomon Reports podcast, Johnson suggested vaccinated Americans could be worsening the pandemic though recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services show the unvaccinated are more likely to become infected.
It is the latest example of comments from Johnson on COVID-19 that are contrary to advice from health professionals and scientists. His comments have been criticized by some medical professionals and Democrats as undermining efforts to get the pandemic under control.
"If you walk around asymptomatic with 250 times the viral load, are you the super spreader? Is that what's happening here?" Johnson said, referring to a study on vaccinated Americans that has been misrepresented and used to spread misleading information.
Read more: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2021/09/24/despite-guidance-health-officials-ron-johnson-says-vaccinating-people-during-pandemic-could-dangerou/5826762001/