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Century-old bridge replacement delayed by endangered bats

It’s a stretch you don’t just hear, but feel, from the driver’s seat. “It's like an old washboard, you know?” Thunder also comes to mind when you hear a car drive over the bridge 34 feet above the railroad tracks on County Road M. The boards shake and rattle with every car that passes over it. Columbia County Highway and Transportation Commissioner Chris Hardy said while historic and unique, the bridge is not fit for modern transportation. Hardy ensures that it passes regular safety inspections, but with a speed limit set at 5 miles per hour and a weight limit of 5 tons, it’s not conducive for use as a county corridor. Hardy also has concerns about emergency vehicles having to use the rickety bridge. “You come up over this hill and you don't realize this deck laying there until you hit it, so it surprises you,” Hardy said. The bridge was built back in 1910, when the railroad companies constructed those structures, Hardy said. There are three others around the county, like the one near the intersection of County Road M and E in the town of Randolph, but this one was the top priority. "It'll all be concrete bridge, it'll be a concrete deck. You won't have the boards anymore. Some people will probably miss it," Hardy said. Hardy said the county has worked for four years to finish the design and contract with the railroad to take over ownership of the bridge. The project totals about $1.2 million, most of which will be funded by the state Department of Transportation. The county had to pay for a quarter of the engineering costs, and the railroad paid the remaining balance, Hardy said. This will make this a bigger thoroughfare than it's been in quite a few years. About three weeks ago, Hardy said an engineer contacted him with another bump in the road on the way to a new bridge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the northern long-eared bat is now considered an endangered species. Hardy said bridges like the one on County  Road M can be optimal habitats for the animals, so his crew had to inspect every crevice beneath the bridge for signs of the animals. Alyssa Barrette, ecologist and wetland biologist with the Wisconsin DOT, said bats rely on structures like bridges for a habitat. She said there are techniques to continue construction on a structure even if bats are living there, such as rescheduling the project during a season with less impact, netting around a bridge or bat houses. Barrette said with the recent listing of the northern long-eared bat as endangered, bat inspections are becoming a common aspect of state bridge projects. “There are quite a few of these inspections planned for around the state, many of which are for projects planned for construction in the near future,” Barrette told News 3 in an email. Hardy and his team found no signs of bats, but that inspection pushed the project back a few more months. “The county road itself needs construction as well, but we've been kind of holding out for that because obviously the road is restricted to 5 tons by this bridge, so what it does is it pushed our work another year back into 2017,” Hardy said. But Hardy chooses to see the comedy in the fact that bats delayed his project. “I mean, the bridge is 105 years old. A three-month delay for some bats isn't a big deal,” Hardy said. “It's just kind of funny. It's irony in the whole thing.”

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 12:18:03 GMT

Silver Alert issued for missing 78-year-old man

A Silver Alert has been issued by the Wisconsin Department of Justice for a missing 78-year-old Algoma man who disappeared after he was expected to drive to his daughter’s residence in Madison Monday. Robert Cook owns a camper in the city of Algoma. He was driving a 2010 Silver Mercury Mariner with Arizona License Plate BLL0125 when he disappeared. Cook is 5 feet 7 inches tall, 155 pounds with gray hair and brown eyes, with a slightly hunched back. He was last seen in Algoma at 10 a.m. Monday. Anyone who has seen Cook is asked to call the Algoma Police Department at 920-388-7108.

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:36:02 GMT

Playboy to eliminate nude photos from the magazine

Soon "I read it for the articles" will be more believable. The iconic men's magazine Playboy said Monday that it is planning to drop fully nude female photography from its pages. The news, first reported by The New York Times, is bound to send shock waves through the magazine industry, since Playboy has been a part of American popular culture since its debut in 1953. The magazine's redesign, which will reportedly take place next March, appears to be a reaction to the ever-growing accessibility of online pornography. "You're now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free," Playboy's chief executive Scott Flanders told The Times. "It's just passé at this juncture." Playboy executives did not immediately respond to CNNMoney requests for further comment. The revolutionary publication, which was founded by Hugh Hefner, told The Times that "Playboy will still feature women in provocative poses" but no longer fully nude. Social media pointed out that the removal of nude photography may help boost the magazine's other known elements. "The Playboy Interview has long been one of the greatest columns in the magazine world," Politico media reporter Alex Weprin tweeted. "In some ways the rest of the magazine held it back." As for young men going through puberty everywhere, they will now have to actually read Playboy for the articles. "Don't get me wrong, 12-year-old me is very disappointed in current me," Cory Jones, Playboy's top editor explained to the paper.

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 02:33:51 GMT


Published: Tue, 10 May 2011 13:51:57 GMT

WISC-TV's Live at Five moves to 4 p.m., expands to one hour

WISC-TV's popular Live at Five news program is moving to 4 p.m. weekdays and expanding to one hour. The new show, Live at Four, will include a familiar mix of news and weather with engaging lifestyle stories and conversation with hosts Mark Koehn, Susan Siman and Karin Swanson. "We're excited to expand our commitment to serving southcentral Wisconsin, " said WISC-TV news director Colin Benedict. "Live at Five has been a unique part of the Madison landscape for more than three decades. This is the perfect opportunity to build on that heritage and offer our viewers more of what they have come to expect." Live at Four will be followed by News 3 at 5 with Eric Franke, Susan Siman and Gary Cannalte. The new 5 p.m. newscast will focus on breaking news and highlight the top national, international and local news of the day. In addition, viewers will see the station's signature franchises like Reality Check, Call for Action and News 3 Investigates. “So many people in journalism are cutting back but, with these changes, we're building a bigger newsroom with more reporters in the community,” Benedict said. The new programs launch Oct. 26. Dr. Oz, which currently runs on WISC-TV at 4 p.m., will move to 3 p.m. weekdays.

Published: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 22:30:17 GMT

Anheuser-Busch InBev agrees to buy SABMiller in biggest beer deal ever

Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to buy its main rival SABMiller for £68 billion ($104 billion), creating a super brewery with sales of $55 billion. The combined firm will be the world's largest beermaker by far, with nine of the world's top 20 beers by volume. AB InBev will offer most SABMiller shareholders £44 ($67.59) per share for the maker of Miller Lite, Pilsner Urquell and Peroni, a premium of roughly 50% over the share price before acquisition rumors started flying. The two biggest shareholders -- Altria and Colombia's Santo Domingo family -- will have to opt for a cash and shares alternative worth £39.03 ($60) a share. Altria, a U.S.-based cigarette maker, had been pushing SABMiller's board to make a deal with AB InBev. The companies described the agreement, which must be approved by regulators, as a "possible deal." SABMiller's board members have indicated they will recommend the offer to shareholders. If the deal falls apart, AB InBev will pay a $3 billion penalty to SABMiller. If completed, it would be the biggest beer deal ever and among the top five acquisitions of all time. SABMiller had been playing hard to get. The brewer turned down at least four previous offers from AB InBev -- its first approach was worth £38 ($58) a share. SABMiller shares jumped 8.5% to £39.30, while AB InBev shares gained 1.8% to 100 euros. Antitrust regulators are likely to put the deal under a microscope. The concern is that the combined company would wield too much power in key markets, resulting in higher beer prices for consumers. In order to get the merger past the the U.S. Department of Justice, the firms could be forced to sell some of their assets in the country, including SABMiller's stake in the MillerCoors joint venture. Regulators similarly compelled AB InBev to shed some of its ventures following its bid for Grupo Modelo in 2013. Before that deal could be approved, Modelo's U.S. assets -- including Corona -- were sold to a smaller rival. As younger drinkers turn in ever greater numbers to independent breweries, the global market leaders have been trying to defend their market share. AB InBev has swallowed Seattle's Elysian Brewing, Oregon's 10 Barrel Brewing and Chicago-based Goose Island in the last year or two. SABMiller has also tapped into the craft beer scene, buying one of the UK's most successful independents, London's Meantime Brewing Company.

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 12:18:43 GMT

Suspected OWI driver crashes twice while driving with daughters

A 23-year-old Kenosha woman faces felony charges for crashing her car while under the influence of a controlled substance with her daughters in the car, Dane County officials said. Andrea M. Parise was driving with her 6-year-old and 18-month-old daughters when she crashed on County Road T and Town Hall Road, officials said. Her vehicle went about 200 feet into a soy bean field. Witnesses told police she drove her 2009 Mitsubishi out of the field and continued driving sometime around 6 a.m. About two hours later, another driver reported seeing Parise’s vehicle swerving all over the road on County Road N, and then crashing into a guardrail at County Road N and Breezy Lane in the town of Sun Prairie, according to the release. Dane County sheriff’s deputies responded to the crash at 8:25 a.m. and arrested Parise for first-offense operating while intoxicated causing injury, officials said. The felony charge has been enhanced for having two children under the age of 16 in the vehicle. Parise and her daughters were transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. After being treated, Parise was booked into the Dane County Jail, and the Dane County Department and Human Services is working to reunite the girls with other family members.

Published: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 19:32:17 GMT

McFarland mom fights back against metastatic breast cancer

Photojournalist Kathy King introduces us to a woman named Heather who hopes her story will help others.

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 00:25:02 GMT

Stolen trailer with $20K worth of tools found; Highland man arrested

A Highland man faces theft charges in connection with a work trailer stolen from Prairie du Chien that was found in Stoughton, according to a release. Officers from the Prairie du Chien Police Department went to Stoughton Wednesday to follow up on a lead about a stolen work trailer that had about $20,000 worth of tools inside of it, authorities said. The officers found the trailer parked at a hotel in Stoughton and, with the assistance of the Stoughton Police Department, seized the trailer, according to the release. The trailer was towed back to Prairie du Chien Friday and taken to a secure location for further investigation. Scott E. McCalister, 43, was arrested and charged with theft in connection with the stolen trailer, police said.

Published: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 20:36:31 GMT

Senate committee to take up fetal tissue research ban

The state Senate's health committee is set to vote on a bill that would outlaw research using tissue obtained from aborted fetuses. The Republican-controlled committee is slated to consider the bill Tuesday in the state Capitol. Passage looks all but certain and would clear the way for a vote in the full Senate. University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers and private scientists oppose the measure. They argue it could end ground-breaking medical research that relies on fetal tissue cells. Republicans have amended the bill to outlaw research on fetal tissue cell lines obtained from abortions after Jan. 1 of this year, but the researchers say they need new lines. It's unclear how much support the bill has in the Senate. The state's largest business group, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, opposes the measure.

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:47:30 GMT

Eliminating nonpartisan Wisconsin elections board considered

Dissolving the nonpartisan board that oversees elections and government ethics laws in Wisconsin is the subject of a public hearing in the Legislature. The bill to be heard at a joint Senate and Assembly hearing Tuesday would replace the Government Accountability Board with a pair of commissions headed by partisan appointees. One would oversee ethics laws, the other would deal with elections. The change is being pushed by Republicans who feel the current board, created in 2008, has been biased in favor of Democrats. They are particularly upset with its role in a now-closed investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's recall campaign, and the activity of conservative groups backing him, in 2012. Another bill being heard Tuesday would rewrite campaign finance laws and double how much can be given to candidates.

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:42:38 GMT

Madison man gets 7 years in fatal shooting at party

A 29-year-old man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for fatally shooting another man at a party last year in Madison. Tyrone Isaac Jr. of Madison was sentenced Monday for second-degree reckless homicide in the death of 25-year-old Darren Goodwan. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that Isaac decided to take a plea agreement reached in July instead of going to trial on an original charge of first-degree intentional homicide. Prosecutors said Isaac shot Goodwan twice on Aug. 30, 2014 after a fight between Goodwan and Isaac's friend at a party on Madison's south side. Isaac fled to Colorado, where he was arrested, and then was extradited back to Wisconsin.

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:18:49 GMT

Mom leaves girl in locked SUV outside casino, police say

A woman left her daughter in a locked SUV outside a Madison casino, according to a release from Madison police. Officers were called to Ho-Chunk Gaming at 4002 Evan Acres Road at 7:15 p.m. Saturday when someone spotted the girl crying in an SUV. The first officer on the scene said the 3-year-old was in a car seat, screaming and crying. The fire department responded to open the SUV, and the girl was put in a squad car while her mother was paged to come to the parking lot. The 26-year-old woman told police she had been gone for only 15 minutes, but police said witnesses reported that the girl had been left for an hour. The woman had been gambling and told police she had come to the casino to pick up a friend. The woman was arrested on suspicion of child neglect. A police said the girl was picked up by a trusted adult and taken home.

Published: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 18:38:44 GMT

Senate panel to vote on stripping Planned Parenthood funding

The state Senate's health committee is expected to vote on a pair of bills that would strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding and raise its Medicaid expenses. One measure would require the state to apply for $3.5 million in federal Title X grant money, which currently all goes to Planned Parenthood. The bill would forbid abortion providers from getting any of that money and instead give it to the state's Well Woman program that provides breast and cervical cancer screenings. The bill passed the full state Assembly in September. The other proposal would cost Planned Parenthood about $4 million annually by raising the cost of birth control drugs it receives through Medicaid. The Senate committee is expected to take up both bills during a hearing Tuesday in the state Capitol.

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:49:04 GMT

Skateboarder injured, causes ?significant dent? in crash with food cart

A skateboarder was injured after he reportedly crashed into a food cart Monday morning, Madison police said. The food cart was being towed behind a pickup truck at the intersection of West Washington Avenue and South Carroll Street just before 11 a.m. when the skateboard hit it, according to a release. The 19-year-old was on a sidewalk on South Carroll Street heading north and could not stop in time to avoid the crash, police said. The crash caused a significant dent to the cart, police said.

Published: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 20:46:58 GMT

Senate panel to take up anti-heroin bills

A legislative committee is poised to vote on three anti-heroin bills. The Senate's health committee is expected to vote on a bill Tuesday that would require opiate dispensers to enter prescriptions in a statewide database within 24 hours; create methadone and pain clinic registries; and require treatment programs that use methadone to report the number of people receiving the medication, plans for tapering patients off it and relapse rates. Rep. John Nygren, a Marinette Republican whose daughter is struggling with a heroin addiction, introduced the bills. He has introduced a fourth bill that would require police who discover an opiate prescription at an overdose scene to enter the prescription in the database and notify the prescribing physician. The health committee isn't taking that up since it deals with law enforcement.

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 13:20:12 GMT

City, officer ask judge to toss federal shooting lawsuit

The city of Madison and a police officer who killed an unarmed biracial man this spring have asked a judge to toss the man's mother's civil lawsuit. Matt Kenny shot 19-year-old Tony Robinson in an apartment house stairwell in March. Investigators said Robinson was high on mushrooms and attacked Kenny. Prosecutors cleared Kenny of any criminal wrongdoing and an internal investigation found he didn't violate any policies. Robinson's mother filed a federal lawsuit in August alleging Kenny violated Robinson's constitutional rights and the city doesn't adequately train its police. The city filed a reply on Monday demanding the lawsuit be dismissed, arguing Robinson's death resulted from his own actions. Kenney filed a reply on Friday making the same request on the same grounds.

Published: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 20:51:39 GMT

Bill would allow concealed carry on public college campuses

Two legislators are circulating a bill that would allow students and faculty to carry a concealed weapon on UW System campuses, according to the bill memo. Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, and Sen. Devin Lemahieu, R-Oostburg, are circulating the Campus Carry Act for co-sponsorship at the Capitol. Current law allows public colleges and universities to prohibit concealed weapons in campus buildings, but the bill would revoke that exception for the UW System and technical colleges. “The unfortunate reality is that campus gun-free zones merely serve to concentrate populations of vulnerable targets on campus and surrounding areas,” the memo said. “Students attending our taxpayer-funded colleges and universities should not be denied their Second Amendment right to carry a weapon for self-defense.” University of Wisconsin officials said they are still evaluating the proposed bill, and might be releasing a statement Tuesday.

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 00:31:40 GMT

Cranberry harvest in full swing in Wisconsin

The fall harvest of Wisconsin's official state fruit is in full swing. Cranberries are the state's number one fruit crop and are grown on 21,000 acres in 20 counties in central and northern Wisconsin. This year federal agricultural officials expect Wisconsin's cranberry industry to produce five million barrels of fruit. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says eight million barrels of cranberries are expected to be harvested across the country. The cranberries that are made into juice, sauce or sweetened dried fruit are 'wet harvested.' The cranberry beds are flooded with water and a machine moves through the marsh and removes the berries from the vines. The cranberries that float to the surface are corralled and pumped out of the bed.

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 12:23:39 GMT

What you need to know: Tuesday

It's Tuesday, Oct. 13 and here is your day ahead: Want to get a push alert when we publish "What You Need to Know" each day? Sign up on our app. In local news... WEATHER: Today will start with mostly cloudy skies and windy conditions. It will be much cooler this afternoon with highs only in the upper 50s. Clouds and winds will diminish late today.  Full forecast 1. BELOIT POLICE DEPARTMENT Changes: We will learn more about the fate of the top two ranked officers in the Beloit Police Department. Police Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin were put on administrative leave in June after a report raised questions about their tenure. They say the city manager wants them fired and she's scheduled a news conference this morning to discuss the issue. More on this story 2. METASTATIC BREAST CANCER DAY Fighting back: Today is Metastatic Breast Cancer Day. 110 women die every day from this form of breast cancer. In Madison today, a program is taking place outside the State Capitol to recognize the day and a "die-in" in planned to represent the number of lives lost. For s mother in McFarland, the day his close to home. Heather McManamy is battling metastatic breast cancer. She hopes that sharing her story will help others.  More on this story 3. STATE CAPITOL Planned Parenthood vote: The state Senate's health committee is expected to vote on several measures today. The committee is set to vote on a pair of bills that would strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding and raise its Medicaid expenses. More on this story Fetal tissue vote: The state Senate's health committee is set to vote on a bill that would outlaw research using tissue obtained from aborted fetuses. The Republican-controlled committee is slated to consider the bill Tuesday in the state Capitol. Passage looks all but certain and would clear the way for a vote in the full Senate. More on this story 4. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD Eliminate?: Dissolving the nonpartisan board that oversees elections and government ethics laws in Wisconsin is the subject of a public hearing in the Legislature. The bill to be heard at a joint Senate and Assembly hearing Tuesday would replace the Government Accountability Board with a pair of commissions headed by partisan appointees. One would oversee ethics laws, the other would deal with elections. More on this story 5. KOATS FOR KIDS Distribution: The grand total in our Koats 4 Kids campaign is a whopping 6,560 items this year! News 3 wants to thank everyone who donated to our campaign this year. For those who want to get a hold of a coat or winter items, our distribution starts today at the Community Action Coalition's Clothing Center. It's located at 1717 N. Stoughton Road. Coats will be handed out on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Plus, special hours on Thursday and Saturday for the next two weeks. In national news... 1. DEMOCRATIC DEBATE Bernie vs. Hillary: We've already heard an awful lot from the Republicans who want to take up residence in the White House. Now it's time for the Democrats to belly up to the bar. Tonight's debate pits longtime frontrunner Hillary Clinton against upstart Bernie Sanders. And then there's that unanswered question: Will Joe Biden still join the race? CNN coverage begins tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET More on this story 2. MH17 RPEORT Missile: A missile warhead that exploded outside the cockpit brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, a Dutch report released Tuesday found. All 298 people aboard the aircraft died in the July 2014 crash. Dutch Safety Board chairman Tjibbe Joustra said the warhead fit a Buk rocket system, referring to Russian military technology. But Russian officials who participated in the investigation said it was not possible to confirm the warhead or type of system, according to Joustra. More on this story 3. CUBS One win away: The Chicago Cubs are just one win away from the National League Championship series. The Cubs' win last night puts them up 2-1 over the Cardinals heading into game four tonight at Wrigley Field. The Cubs set a franchise and MLB record for a playoff game with 6 home runs last night. The Cubs will try to close out the series this afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 3:30 p.m. More on this story 4. CECIL THE LION How to get away with murder: The Minnesota dentist who caused all that uproar when he killed Cecil the lion won't face charges. A Zimbabwean government minister said there's already been plenty of publicity surrounding the beloved big cat's death. Walter Palmer and his family went into hiding when a conservation group reported that Cecil was lured out of a national park and killed. Two Zimbabweans have been charged in the case. More on this story 5. PLAYBOY COVERS UP Where's the skin?: It's finally going to be a valid excuse. "I just read Playboy for the articles." The iconic men's magazine said yesterday it's planning to drop fully naked women from its pages. With porn absolutely everywhere on the Internet, Playboy's chief executive Scott Flanders told The New Times. "It's just passé at this juncture." But we ask: What's next, no roast beef at Arby's. No ham in hamburger. Oh, wait ... More on this story

Published: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 13:08:26 GMT