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Ripon College senior Jordan Baitinger threw his first collegiate no-hitter Wednesday night in a 4-1 win over St. Olaf in the first round of the NCAA Division 3 baseball tournament. Ripon is the third-seed in the Wisconsin Rapids regional and will play No. 2 St. Thomas tonight (Thursday). Baitinger's no-hitter is only the second in tournament history. The first was in 1980, thrown by Norm Charlesworth of Rowan. Also at Rapids, top-seeded University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point pounded St. Scholastica 11-3. The Pointers will play St.
The search continues today (Thursday) for three of the four boaters missing on the Mississippi River in the La Crosse area. Cha Kong Yang of St. Paul is still missing, along with youngsters Amanda and Joshua Xiong. After four days of searching, rescuers were relieved Wednesday to find the body of the children's mother. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service boat picked up Cee Her, 34, on the Minnesota side of the river near the Interstate-90 bridge. She and the others fell into the water last Saturday when their fishing boat hit rough waters and got sucked into a lock and dam at Dresbach, Minn.
AirTran is close to declaring victory in its effort to take over Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines. The Florida discounter said this morning (Thursday) that 57 percent of Midwest's shares have been tendered to AirTran, and Joe Leonard, chief executive officer, calls it a clear message in favor of AirTran's bid. Midwest stockholders had until midnight to say if they'd sell to AirTran, but that deadline is now extended until June 8.
A Madison Democrat says Gov. Jim Doyle's plan to tax the oil companies probably won't work. Rep. Terese Berceau says she'd rather bring back the annual automatic increase in the gas tax to pay for new roads. Doyle's state budget includes a tax on oil profits and it would be against the law to pass the tax onto consumers. But Republicans say big oil would just reduce the supply and let the growing demand justify a price increase, thus paying for the tax that way.
Wisconsin's Natural Resources Board is expected today (Thursday) to expand the areas where special rules are in place to fight the fish-killing VHS virus. Anglers on the Great Lakes and Mississippi River are already required to drain their boats, bait buckets and other items when they leave. The board will consider those same rules for the Lake Winnebago system where viral hemorrhagic septicemia was found last week for the first time in the Badger State. Previously, the virus was no closer than Lake Huron.
The Wisconsin Assembly has voted to let school districts fire or not hire school employees who've been convicted of felonies. Democratic opponents held up the measure a week ago but it was approved Wednesday on a 64-29 vote. It now goes to the Senate. Jerry Petrowski, R-Marathon, has been trying for several years to pass it. Right now, schools cannot discriminate against felons unless their crimes are directly related to the jobs they'd be doing. Petrowski says the schoolhouse is not the place to rehabilitate felons.
Supreme Court Justice-elect Annette Ziegler has agreed to pay the biggest state ethics penalty in 14 years. She settled her conflict-of-interest allegation Wednesday by agreeing to pay the state $5,000, plus the state's cost of investigating her. The total payment could be around $17,000. Ziegler admitted breaking the ethics code as a circuit judge in West Bend by ruling on cases involving a bank in which her husband sits on the board. The settlement averts a hearing on the allegation planned for today (Thursday.
Brett Favre has changed his mind about staying away from the Green Bay Packers' mandatory mini-camp this weekend. His agent Bus Cook says the veteran quarterback will show up because it's the right thing to do and he's eager to meet some of the new players. Even though Favre is still recovering from ankle surgery, Cook told ESPN Favre will take part in the practices. The team won't confirm that and General Manager Ted Thompson won't say if Favre was ever excused from the camp.
The Green Bay Packers will hold their seventh annual Family Night on Saturday, Aug. 4 at Lambeau Field. The event features an inter-squad scrimmage, a fireworks show, a jersey giveaway, and other entertainment and is designed for families who cannot get into Lambeau Field for a game. "Now in its seventh year, Family Night is a great training camp tradition. Seeing our younger fans experience a game-like atmosphere in Lambeau Field is always a treat and we'll be welcoming fans from all over the state for the evening.
With Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers still hurt, the Packers brought in another quarterback Wednesday, signing free agent Paul Thompson of Oklahoma. General manager Ted Thompson said his staff had an eye on him at the NFL Scouting Combine and they wanted to get another look. He's expected to share playing time with Favre and third-stringer Ingle Martin at this weekend's mini-camp in Green Bay. Paul Thompson started all 14 games last year when Oklahoma won the Big 12 Conference title. He threw for almost 2,700 yards and 22 touchdowns, and completed 61 percent of his passes.