Sunday headlines from across Wisconsin

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Wis. man charged with impersonating reporter

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (AP) — A man accused of impersonating a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter has been charged after authorities said he called high school female athletes at home and asked to take their pictures.

Sixty-eight-year-old Gary Medrow of Greenfield was charged Friday in Ozaukee County with two misdemeanor counts each of disorderly conduct and unlawful use of a phone.

A Journal Sentinel profile of Medrow in 1998 said he had a fetish for "calling women and trying to persuade them to lift other women and carry them around."

A criminal complaint says Medrow tried to arrange a meeting with two teenage girls at Cedarburg High School so he could photograph them posing on each other's shoulders.

Online court records on Saturday didn't list a defense attorney for Medrow.


2 killed, 3 hurt in central Wis. van-SUV collision

(Information in the following story is from: WAOW-TV,

BEVENT, Wis. (AP) — Authorities in Marathon County say a van collided head-on with an SUV, killing two people and injuring three others.

The Wisconsin State Patrol says the collision happened Friday afternoon near Bevent, about 20 miles southeast of Wausau.

All lanes of traffic were blocked while a crash-reconstruction team investigated. The lanes have all reopened.

A WAOW-TV report says the victims' names haven't been released.


Memorial honors Wis. Medal of Honor recipients

(Information in the following story is from: WLUK-TV,

KING, Wis. (AP) — The state Department of Veterans Affairs has dedicated a monument in recognition of the 62 Wisconsin service members who have ever received a Medal of Honor.

The memorial was dedicated Friday in Waupaca County, just outside the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King. It's in honor of those who received the nation's highest military honor.

A WLUK-TV report says dozens of veterans and residents turned out for the ceremony. One attendee was Gary Wetzel, a Vietnam veteran whose helicopter was shot down in 1968. Even though he was critically wounded he managed to ward off enemy fire and help save several of his crewmates.

Veterans Affairs officials say Wetzel is one of four Medal of Honor recipients still living in Wisconsin.


Low Mississippi River water levels may halt barges

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The gentle whir of passing barges is as much a part of life in St. Louis as the Gateway Arch and the Cardinals. It's a constant backdrop to a community intricately intertwined with the Mississippi River.

But next month, those barges packing such necessities as coal, farm products and petroleum could instead be parked along the river's banks.

The drought that has gripped the Midwest has left the Mighty Mississippi critically low. It'll get lower if the Army Corps of Engineers presses ahead with plans to reduce the flow from a Missouri River dam at Yankton, South Dakota.

Mississippi River economic interests fear the reduction will force a halt to barge traffic at St. Louis, perhaps within weeks.

They warn the fallout could force layoffs, raise fuel costs and pinch the nation's food supply.


Few signs that Doe probe will net more suspects

MILWAUKEE (AP) — When a former aide to Governor Scott Walker is sentenced next week, that will bring to a close the second of six cases that grew out of a long-running investigation into Walker's office when he served as the Milwaukee County executive.

Details of the probe are secret, so everyone from investigators to those being investigated are prohibited from discussing details. So it's not clear how close the so-called John Doe probe is to wrapping up.

But there have been few indications that additional suspects will be named. Online court records that are updated whenever new witnesses are granted immunity in exchange for their testimony haven't been modified in almost six months.

Walker has continually said he's not a target of the investigation, and has not been charged.


State: Warm weather could be harmful to venison

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State officials are warning deer hunters that the relatively warm temperatures predicted for opening weekend across Wisconsin can affect the quality of their meat.

Cindy Klug, manager of the Bureau of Meat Safety and Inspection, says when temperatures are above 40 degrees harmful bacteria can grow quickly.

She says there are some things hunters can do to ensure the venison doesn't spoil quickly.

The state recommends field dressing the carcass immediately after harvest. It also recommends washing the body cavity with cold, clean water and putting it on ice or refrigerating it as soon as possible.

It also recommends not leaving venison or other wild game in a car trunk and avoiding hanging the carcass in the garage in warm weather.


Turkey causes power outage in Sheboygan County

(Information in the following story is from: The Sheboygan Press,

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — Maybe this turkey was trying to launch a pre-emptive strike before Thanksgiving.

Utility officials say a turkey flew into a power line in Sheboygan County on Saturday morning. A Sheboygan Press report says the contact knocked out power for about 1,500 people.

We Energies spokeswoman Cathy Schulze says the outage was reported just before 8 a.m. She says power was restored to all but a handful of homes and businesses within an hour.


Wis. firemen pose half-naked for a good cause

(Information in the following story is from: Leader-Telegram,

WHITEHALL, Wis. (AP) — Firefighters at one department in west-central Wisconsin say they never imagined they'd be posing half-naked for a 2013 calendar.

But because the proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region, several Trempealeau County firemen were willing to bare their chests.

Eleva fire Chief Brett Semingson says six or seven guys posed in front of a controlled burn over the summer. He says the models were apprehensive at first, but "once they got started it went a little wild."

An Eau Claire Leader-Telegram report says 5,000 calendars have been printed. They went on sale Saturday for $15 apiece.

Photographer Cynthya Porter of Winona, Minnesota says the photos are so tasteful that even the firefighters' wives are happy with them.


Even before snow flies, appreciation begins

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The first major snowfall has yet to Wisconsin, but that's not stopping Gov. Scott Walker from asking everyone to be ready for nasty driving conditions.

Monday is "Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day" and Walker is using the occasion to remind drivers about being cautious when they encounter snowplows and to limit driving during bad weather.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has a number of tips to assist drivers during winter weather.

State law requires drivers to be at least 200 feet behind a working snowplow. Caution is urged when passing a working snowplow, as it can create a cloud of snow that obscure a driver's vision.

Drivers can get the latest road conditions by calling 511 or logging on to WWW DOT 511 WI DOT gov.


Racine man convicted in toddler death gets 30 yrs

(Information in the following story is from: The Journal Times,

RACINE, Wis. (AP) — A Racine man convicted of killing an infant through abuse so severe that her skull fractured and her pancreas tore in half has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

A Journal Times of Racine report says 23-year-old Andre Knighton pleaded no contest to first-degree reckless homicide. Before being sentenced Friday, he told the judge he takes full responsibility and that there's no justification for what he did. He asked for forgiveness.

Knighton was watching his girlfriend's daughter, 2-year-old Donnasia Jackson, in 2011 while the mother was at work. Prosecutors say Knighton became enraged when Donnasia soiled herself and began to fuss.

The criminal complaint says Knighton slammed her to the floor 12 to 15 times. Knighton told investigators he was suffering from a migraine at the time.