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To try to combat the spread of harmful insects into state forests the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is telling campers that they can only use wood from Wisconsin for campfires. As the weather warms and outdoor enthusiasts get ready for camping and campfires, state park and forestry officials are reminding campers that transporting firewood can also transport dangerous pests.
LUND -- The St. Paul Saints don't hire just any mascot. They have to be good around people, especially children, enjoy the game of baseball and not mind a silly costume or two. They also have to be a pig. "You kind of want an easy going one that picks up things quickly and trains well," said Dennis Hauth, the man who's trained the Saints' pigs for 15 years. That's where Wisconsin pig farmer Gene Gullickson comes in. Gullickson has supplied Hauth and the Saints the last three mascots.
In trees, on the water and soaring overhead -- birds of all sizes, colors and varieties will be on display this weekend at the annual Great River Birding and Nature Festival. The event runs May 11-13 in communities around Lake Pepin. Presented by volunteers from Mississippi Valley Partner communities, the festival is endorsed by the Audubon Society as a unique educational experience to connect people with nature.
A state Senate committee will vote today (Tuesday) on three bills aimed at cleaning up the court system. One would increase public funding of Supreme Court elections to lessen the influence of the special interests who dominated this spring's court contest. The second bill requires groups who sponsor so-called "issue ads" to say where they get their money. And the third bill requires parties in court cases to be told how to check whether their judges may have a conflict of interest.
Green Bay Packers' coach Mike McCarthy wants to spend at least a couple more days with just his rookies. They had the stage all to themselves this past weekend at McCarthy's first rookie-only camp. He said he gave them Part 1 of the Packers' offensive and defensive schemes. He'll introduce Part 2 when the whole team is required to be at Green Bay's first full-fledged mini-camp on May 18. McCarthy wants the rookies back two days before the veterans, so they can get a head-start on the rest of the system.
Mark Green did not break federal laws last year when he transferred $1.2 million from his old U.S. House campaigns to help him run for governor. The Federal Election Commission dismissed a complaint from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign which questioned the legality of the Republican Green using his old House contributions on his state race against Jim Doyle last fall. The State Elections Board said $468,000 of that money was raised by special interests not registered in Wisconsin.
Four Wisconsin schools earned bids this morning to play in the NCAA Division 3 softball tournament. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host one of eight regionals and all of them are double-elimination events. The Blugolds, who won the WIAC tournament, got the No. 6 seed. UW-Eau Claire will play CCIW champion Augustana of Illinois, the No. 3 seed, on Thursday. The winner will face either No. 7 St. Norbert or No. 2 Illinois Wesleyan. UW Oshkosh has the top-seed and a first-round bye and will play either Coe College or Chicago late Thursday afternoon.
Gas prices in southeast Wisconsin actually went down a half-cent a gallon this morning (Tuesday). But around the state, they still went up less than half a penny. WisconsinGasPrices.com said a gallon of regular unleaded averaged $3.14 a gallon today, 36 cents more than a month ago. In Milwaukee the average price is $3.27, up 42 cents from this time last month. Experts have blamed Middle East tensions and U.S.
Wisconsin's youngest boaters would have to wear life jackets under a bill winding its way through the Legislature. The Senate's Natural Resources Committee has voted to make kids 12 and under actually wear the so-called personal flotation devices. And it would not be enough for boat owners just to have them available. Mark Miller, D-Madison, the committee's chairman, says 85 percent of those who drown in boating accidents did not wear life jackets.
The Jacksonville Jaguars released former Packers' corner Ahmad Carroll Monday after he was arrested Saturday on weapons and drug charges. Police said Carroll was spotted in the middle of a restaurant disturbance in his home town of Atlanta. Officers said Carroll admitted having a 9mm pistol and a search of his car turned up 11 pills of what apparently was Ecstasy. He faces charges of carrying a weapon without a license, possessing a firearm in the commission of a felony, and drug possession. He's free on a $7,000 bond for the moment.