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Sam Lewis, of LoonWatch, a program of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, will be speaking at the Saturday, Jan. 5, meeting of the St. Croix Valley Bird Club. Meetings will be from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Hudson Public Library. His topic will be "72 Years Listening to Loons. A board member of LoonWatch, Sam is also a member of the St. Croix Valley Bird Club. LoonWatch works to protect common loons and their aquatic habitats through education, monitoring and research. The public is welcome to attend this meeting.
"Thirty Rooms to Hide In," by Luke Longstreet Sullivan (University of Minnesota Press, $24.95) has a subtitle that sort of grabs you: "Insanity, Addiction, and Rock 'n' Roll in the Shadow of the Mayo Clinic." Who's insane at the Mayo Clinic? And who's addicted? That would be a prestigious Mayo orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Roger Sullivan. As for rock 'n' roll, that would be the surgeon's older children that play in a rock group around southeastern Minnesota.
A $1 million cash bond was set the afternoon of Dec. 27 for Benjamin Sebena, the Iraq War veteran accused of killing his wife, Wauwatosa police officer Jennifer Sebena. The 30-year-old Benjamin, of Menomonee Falls, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide. He's due back in court Jan. 3, when a judge will decide if there's enough evidence to order a trial. Prosecutors quoted Benjamin Sebena as saying that he was stalking his wife for days.
It's time for Wisconsin agriculture to stand up and be counted in the USDA's five-year Census of Agriculture. Those involved in the industry are getting Census forms in the mail. The law requires people to fill out the forms - and Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel says ag producers help themselves by doing so. The ag Census provides a detailed view of U.S. farms and ranches, and the people who run them - and it's the only comprehensive source of agricultural data for every state and county.
A Racine businessman rescued Christmas for a local family after police say a thief got into Caylie Cunningham's home through an unlocked door while she was away and took all the presents under her tree. Included were Christmas gifts for her 7-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. Businessman Scott Petersen says he read the story about the crime in "The Journal Times" newspaper. Petersen says he has kids of his own and couldn't stop thinking about Cunningham and her children. He sent both of the children a gift-wrapped present and gave their mother Walmart gift cards worth $500.
The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to decide whether two Brookfield high schools violated the Constitution when they held graduation ceremonies in a large church. The Elmbrook School District has filed a petition asking the justices to consider a federal appeals court ruling from August. It said Brookfield East and Central high schools violated the separation of church and state when it held its commencements in the double-decked Elmbrook Church during most of the last decade.
A Kronenwetter woman was found guilty of making illegal copies of movies. Kimberly Maciaz waived her preliminary hearing and entered a no contest plea. Judge Vincent Howard found her guilty of manufacturing counterfeit DVD movies and selling them online. Kronenwetter Police raided the home of Maciaz and 21-year-old Megan Chenier and seized thousands of blank DVDs, plastic cases, hard drives, and some label making machines.
A former sergeant with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department will spend decades on the other side of the prison bars. Philip Wentzel, 41, was given a 40-year prison sentence yesterday for producing child pornography. The former law enforcement officer pleaded guilty in federal court. Prosecutors say Wentzel took photographs of young girls at a campsite he reserved in Campbellsport. They say the photos were shared on the Internet through a peer-to-peer file sharing network. There were seven felony counts, each involving a different female victim.
MADISON -- While no one really knows what the new year will bring, everyone can take steps to make sure 2013 doesn't start with a drunk-driving arrest or crash. To crackdown on drunken driving on New Year's Eve, the Wisconsin State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin will be stepping up their patrols. "Drunken driving is a serious offense, and law enforcement officers don't give warnings or second chances to drivers who are impaired," says State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Safety.
Police in northwest Wisconsin are looking for two holiday scrooges who stole a trailer with tools and building materials where a Habitat for Humanity home was being built. The Wild Rivers Habitat group said the trailer was stolen late the night of De. 15 in Grantsburg; a witness did not realize that a crime was going on. Habitat for Humanity builds homes for lower-income families - and those families help build the homes they'll eventually live in. The group's local director, Eric Kube, said the stolen items were all donated by the community.