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Through a chorus of boos and a smattering of cheers, Brett Favre threw four touchdown passes in his return to Green Bay. And the Minnesota Vikings took a two-and-a-half game lead in the NFC North Division with a 38-26 win over the Packers Sunday. Favre completed 17 of 28 passes for 244 yards. It was the 21st time he threw for at least four TDs in a game, tying Dan Marino for the NFL record in that department. Favre said he expected the boos. But after playing 16 years in Green Bay, he said he knows deep down inside how the fans really feel.
The Wisconsin football team is back in the Top 25 after its 37-0 home victory over Purdue on Saturday. The Badgers moved into the AP poll at No. 24. They're also 22nd in the USA Today coaches' poll, and 21st in the BCS standings. Wisconsin became bowl-eligible with its sixth overall victory. They're now 6-2 on the year, and 3-2 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin will play at Indiana on Saturday. The Hoosiers have lost double-digit leads in their last two games, and they're now 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the conference.
Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank today announced the results of an online survey to help gauge the popularity of four potential designs for a new Wisconsin Endangered Resources license plate. More than 23,000 votes were cast to help select the license plate design to benefit Wisconsin's endangered resources "Hands down, this has been the most popular survey to date for the DNR. We know University of Wisconsin students, using social media, lobbied hard for their school mascot," Frank said.
Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, says she's happy that Congress approved an expansion of the federal hate crimes law. Criminal suspects already face enhanced penalties for choosing their victims on the basis of race or ethnicity. Now, sexual orientation will be added to that list. The measure was added to a major defense policy bill. Many Republicans voted against the package because of the hate crimes provision. But Baldwin, one of three openly gay members of Congress, says hate crimes often terrorize groups with the same characteristics as the victims.
Wisconsinites are still spending a lot less money than they did a year ago. The Revenue Department said it collected 8 percent fewer taxes from July-September than at the same time in 2008. Sales taxes were down 8.7 percent, which reflects a big drop in consumer spending. Individual income taxes were down 8.1 percent, reflecting the big rise in unemployment. But corporate taxes rose 9.2 percent.
Wisconsinites have no shortage of ideas on how to welcome Brett Favre back to Green Bay on Sunday, when he plays for the Vikings. The mayor's office asked for "tasteful" suggestions earlier this month, and about 1,600 people have e-mailed their ideas. The top-four will be announced later this week. But one suggestion is to plan a ceremony to retire Favre's No. 4 jersey and call it off at the last minute. Another fan would hold the ceremony on Sunday, and retire No. 4 in honor of Chuck Fusina, who wore it while throwing 32 passes in seven games for Green Bay in 1986.
The Wisconsin football team will try to break a two-game losing streak on Saturday against a Purdue squad that's won two in a row. The Boilermakers had lost five straight before upsetting No. 7 Ohio State a week and a half ago. Then last Saturday, Purdue evened its Big Ten record at 2-2 with a 10 point victory over Illinois. Senior quarterback Joey Elliott threw for 166 yards, and ran for 62 more with a touchdown against the Illini. Purdue coach Danny Hope said a lack of turnovers was a big factor against Illinois.
Minnesota Senate Democrat Amy Klobuchar says it might be "the ultimate case of distracted driving." That's how she describes last week's Northwest Airlines flight which overshot its Twin Cities' landing site by 150 miles into Wisconsin. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board interviewed the two pilots Monday. They said they were using their lap-top computers, talked about a new scheduling system for flight crews, and lost track of time. The plane lost radar contact for an hour and 20 minutes Wednesday night. It was heading to Minneapolis-St.
State Democratic chairman Mike Tate still expects a competitive governor's race, after the party's only announced candidate suddenly withdrew just over a year before the election. Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton was campaigning full-speed on Saturday in La Crosse. But Monday morning, Lawton e-mailed supporters to say she was quitting for quote, "very personal reasons." And her campaign did not explain further. State Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus blamed Gov. Doyle and the White House.
The Green Bay Packers will take an improved defense into their Sunday contest against Minnesota at Lambeau Field. But defensive coordinator Dom Capers says he may still be conservative with his blitzes, to keep running back Adrian Peterson in check. Peterson was held to 53 yards in Green Bay's loss to the Vikings on Oct. 5, at the Metrodome. But quarterback Brett Favre sat in the pocket all night and he burned the Packer defense for 271 yards and three touchdowns.