Friday, December 20, 2013

Wheeler News

Wheeler News Service - Friday, December 20, 2013 - Morning State News #4

Editor on Duty: Thom Gerretsen (715) 389-2373

Story Contributions:

Wheeler Blog:

Here are the headlines:

Thousands of school kids in southern Wisconsin get an early start to their holiday vacations, after freezing rain closed a number of schools today...

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos wants to avoid the usual last-minute rush of bills just before the Legislature ends its session in April...

Whooping cough is on the rise in central Wisconsin...

If you watch Fox T-V's "Animation Domination," you'll probably hear a Wisconsin voice in a new cartoon next month.

Here are the details:

Thousands of school kids in southern Wisconsin are getting an early start to their holiday vacations, thanks to Mother Nature.Many schools from Jefferson westward to the Iowa border are either closed today, or are starting two hours late.Madison and Milwaukee public schools were running as normal -- at least for now.Freezing rain advisories are in effect until three this afternoon for most of south central and southeast Wisconsin.Forecasters say the region will get a mix of freezing rain and light snow throughout the day, in advance of a storm that could bring 4-to-9 inches of snow and more icy conditions to a good share of Wisconsin tomorrow night and Sunday.Parts of Wisconsin's mid-section had up to an-inch-and-a-half of snow overnight, in addition to some freezing rain.Northern areas had up to two-inches of the white stuff.Roads are icy in lots of places -- including Interstate 90-94 from Tomah to Mauston.


The speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly wants to avoid the usual last-minute rush of bills just before the Legislature ends its two-year session this spring.Republican Robin Vos says the house should pass its most important bills during three days in January, 3-to-5 days in February, and one day in March at the most.Vos says he expects the Assembly to approve new tax cuts, school accountability measures, the Common Core educational standards, and measures dealing with heroin addiction.Both the Assembly and Senate are scheduled to return to session on January 14th.The adjournment date is April third.After that, most lawmakers will focus on their re-election campaigns, barring any last-minute special sessions.


Cases of whooping cough are on the rise in central Wisconsin.Wood County health officials say they've had 31 cases of pertussis this year, and all but seven have taken place since November first.Public health nurse Diane Rodd says many of those infected are school youngsters who have not kept up-to-date with their immunizations.She said the protection they got in kindergarten had waned, and it made them more susceptible.Whooping cough can last up to six weeks -- and it can be contagious if it's not treated with antibiotics.Rodd says the medicines can reduce the time period for an illness, but it's important to rest at home until the entire cycle of antibiotics is taken.

(Thanks Larry Lee, WSAU, Wausau)


A former northwest Wisconsin woman will be featured in a new Fox T-V cartoon series next month.Mary Mack will be the voice of Dylan on the new series "Golan the Insatiable."It premiers January 11th as part of a Fox's new "Animation Domination High Def" program schedule.Mack is a comedian who grew up near Danbury in Burnett County.Her character on the show is a young girl whose best friend is a feared monster named Golan.Mack now splits her time between Los Angeles and Minneapolis, where she's a regular headline for the Acme Comedy Company.She landed her T-V role after Golan's executive producer saw her six years ago at the Montreal Comedy Festival.Nick Weidenfeld said Mack has an amazing voice -- and he has never forgotten that.

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