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Wisconsin roundup: Storm damage estimated at $209M — and climbing; more state news stories

Three weeks of storms and flooding have caused damage estimated at nearly $209 million  in Wisconsin.

State officials say that number will continue to go higher. More than 1,500 private homes have been damaged in Dane County alone, with five destroyed. Lake Monona set a new record high water level Thursday. The region now faces a dry period, but more rain is on the way — and it will likely arrive in southern Wisconsin before the flood waters have receded. Local officials say only 2 percent of the homes and businesses damaged are covered by flood insurance.


Western Wis. businessman offers tech-school tuition payments for students

Thirty-four seniors attending a welcome-back assembly at Luck High School got a big surprise this week.

Local businessman Dennis Frandsen is offering to pay their tuition if they attend a two-year technical college after graduation. High school principal Brad Werner says Frandsen has been very supportive of the school. A parent meeting will be held next month to explain the details of the offer.


Senate’s Fitzgerald: Teen prison a mess, Walker didn’t address appropriately

The Republican leader of the state Senate is blaming Gov. Scott Walker's administration for not addressing problems at the youth prison.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Wednesday that Walker should have addressed the "mess" at Lincoln Hills teen facility. A Racine judge sent Walker a letter in February after a young inmate was sexually assaulted by his roommate and knocked out, saying workers responded with indifference. Walker aides say an adviser received the letter but didn't pass it on to the governor.


Johnson questions credibility of op-ed author

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says any person serving in the Trump administration who doesn't agree with its policies should resign.

The Wisconsin Republican is questioning the credibility of the author of an op-ed piece in the New York Times. The highly-critical article was written by someone who chose to remain anonymous. Johnson says President Trump is "pretty much as he appears on camera." He says Trump doesn't change when he goes behind closed doors.


State gets $91M from feds for road projects

The Federal Highway Administration is sending almost $91 million to Wisconsin for its road projects.

That's about three times the normal amount the state gets through a federal redistribution program. It doesn't fix Wisconsin's overall funding problem since about $3 billion is spent on transportation every year. State officials had expected to get about $44 million this year. This week's announcement is more than double that — and it sets a record.


Firefighters rescue infant from burning apartment building

When firefighters arrived at the scene of a burning apartment building in Menasha Thursday afternoon, they quickly entered the building. They had been told an infant was inside. The two-man rescue crew was able to find the child and bring it outside. The infant wasn't breathing, so paramedics performed CPR, and the child was taken to a nearby hospital. The child’s medical condition hasn't been released. A man and two other children had escaped the flames before emergency responders arrived. One of them suffered minor burns.


Wis. Younkers stores could rise from the (economic) dead

The company that bought the bankrupt Bon-Ton stores chain is moving quickly to reopen some of the closed retail outlets.

CSC Generation is said to be discussing the idea with landlords in Wisconsin and three other states. When the parent company declared bankruptcy, a dozen Wisconsin Younkers stores closed their doors, putting 2,200 workers out of a job. CSC reportedly plans to reopen some of those stores, if the court gives its approval. Its website claims CSC is "saving companies from Amazon." Younkers stores were financially successful at their Wisconsin locations.


Manitowoc school cancels classes after ceiling collapse

School district officials say classes were canceled at Lincoln High School following a ceiling collapse.

Authorities say a classroom ceiling gave way Wednesday afternoon, but fortunately no one was in the third floor classroom at the time. An engineer is inspecting the structural integrity of the school Thursday. Classes were expected to resume Friday.