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Beef will cost more in 2013 as shoppers pay for the effects of last year's drought. UW River Falls agricultural economist Brenda Boetel told a forum in Madison Jan. 23 that a $5 pound of beef could rise by up to 20 cents during the year. That's because the drought will reduce supplies as consumer demand continues increasing. Boetel says many beef-and-dairy farmers culled their herds last year because feed costs jumped due to the drought. Also, she says U.S. beef supplies will be further limited due to a higher demand for the product in developing nations.
On Thursday, Jan. 31, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., Big Brothers Big Sisters is holding informational events for anyone interested in learning more about Big Brothers Big Sisters. --Hudson: Hudson Public Library, 700 1st St. --River Falls: River Falls Public Library, 140 Union St. As a part of January's National Mentoring Month, Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for volunteers to make the resolution to make a difference in a child's life.
Lawmakers bickered over where to hold public hearings about the pending bill many say will encourage more mining in Wisconsin. Some say hold it where the mining would take place; others want to meet in the north, near affected mining-equipment manufacturers. The Senate rejected the bill by one vote the last time, and some changes are expected to it. Legislators settled on having one public meeting Jan. 23 in Madison. Attorney Kimberlee Wright of the Bad River Indians said lawmakers are not representing democracy by making those who are most affected drive for hours to southern Wisconsin.
Authorities in north-central Wisconsin are looking for the person who abandoned a dog near a freeway exit in subzero weather. Lincoln County sheriff's deputies are treating it as an animal abuse case. A concerned driver found a mixed-breed dog tied to a post Jan. 21, along Hwy. 51 near Merrill. Temperatures at the time were around 10 below zero. Deputies took the pet to the local Humane Society. The male dog had a collar, but no tags. Sheriff's lieutenant Tim Fischer said the pet is in relatively good health but nervous around strangers. Officials say now he just needs a good home.
At one point Jan. 23, people out walking in the Dodge County seat of Juneau were not just cold - they could have been rounded up for jury duty. The flu caused a shortage of jurors for a trial, so Circuit Judge Brian Pfitzinger wanted the sheriff to find six jurors in the street and bring them in. Sheriff Todd Nehls says it has happened before, but the last thing he wanted were irate jurors snatched off the streets.
The American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days campaign is underway in Pierce and St. Croix Counties. Anyone can assist in the fight against cancer and support cancer research, education, advocacy and services by making a purchase. In addition to the traditional bunch of daffodils, $10; options include Gift of Hope, to honor a cancer survivor, $25; Bear & A Bunch, includes limited edition of Boyd's Birthday Bear, $25; Dainty Daffodils, replantable miniature daffies, $15; and more. Direct orders or questions Denise Burkett 715-426-3734 or 715-425-2081 after 5 p.m.
Wisconsin's third state-run nursing home for veterans was dedicated the afternoon of Jan. 17 in Chippewa Falls. Governor Scott Walker and state Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos appeared at the the ceremony. It took a year-and-a-half to build the $20 million facility, which will have more than 70 beds and provide skilled nursing care to veterans their spouses. It took a while to find a site and get the project going, after lawmakers approved funding in 2003 for a veterans' facility to serve northwest Wisconsin.
Governor Scott Walker says his office will meet in a week-or-so with mental health and law enforcement experts, to see what types of mental health services need to be improved. In Hartford yesterday the Republican Walker was asked about President Obama's gun control measures that he announced earlier in the day. The governor said the Obama proposals don't get to the heart of the problem - and neither does the pro-gun view putting armed personnel in schools.
For the first time, more people in Wisconsin are being cremated than are being buried after their lives are done. The state Health Services Department said Jan. 15 that about 47% of people were cremated in 2011, and 46% were buried. About 6.5% were entombed, and fewer than 1% donated their bodies to medicine or science. Barbara Kemmis is not surprised by the new trend. She heads the Cremation Association of North America and says more folks are choosing cremation because it's cheaper and more environmentally-friendly than burials.
Milwaukee County sheriff's officials are crying foul, after an insurance company settled a lawsuit from a jail inmate over the food he was being served. Sheriff David Clarke was hoping to have a trial this week so a judge could back up his decision to serve what prisoner Terrance Prude called a rancid mixture known as Nutraloaf. But sheriff's inspector Edward Bailey said an insurer for the company that makes Nutraloaf settled the case at the last minute. Officials have not said how much Prude will get.