February 27, 2017
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NOW: 38°
HI 46 / LO 38

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Today's forecast: Calm, slightly warmer

Today's weather will be calm and still cool, warming as the day goes on, with periods of sun and clouds; high temperature 48.

For more weather details, see today's Kenosha News. Visit this website regularly for up-to-the-minute weather data. You can also sign up for News Now weather alerts.

Up to the minute forecast

'Moonlight' named Best Picture

"Moonlight" named Best Picture at Oscars. Casey Affleck ("Manchester by the Sea"), Emma Stone ("La La Land") take top acting trophies.

Best supporting actor is Mahershala Ali ("Moonlight"); best supporting actress is Viola Davis ("Fences").

Wisconsin troopers not wearing name tags

Seventeen Wisconsin State Patrol troopers sent to North Dakota to help disperse an encampment of Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters aren't wearing name tags or numbers on their uniforms during their nine-day assignment.

The state Department of Transportation says the anonymity is intended to protect the officers' privacy in an emotionally charged situation but the decision faces criticism from civil rights advocates.

The Wisconsin State Patrol sent the 17 officers last week under a multi-state compact that allows state and local governments to request police assistance from other states and pay reimbursement for help.

"When individuals are peacefully exercising their rights to free speech and assembly, law enforcement should be trained and supervised so that they do not intimidate free-speech rights by covering up name tags - an implicit threat that police will engage in practices for which they do not want to be held accountable," said Molly Collins, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin.

Dairy farm choices soured by mergers

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's most recent statistics reports show the number of dairy cooperatives in Wisconsin continues to shrink, leaving dairy farmers in the state with fewer options for selling their milk.

The number of agriculture co-ops in Wisconsin dropped from 180 in 2000 to more than 110 in 2015. Of those, dairy co-ops fell from 31 to 21 during the same period.

the shrinkage is that cooperatives across the agricultural industry are consolidating, which is problematic for smaller dairy farms.

Lawmakers push for industrial hemp comeback

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republican lawmakers want to help Wisconsin's once-dominant hemp industry make a comeback, giving farmers the chance to add a versatile and hardy plant to their fields.

Rep. Jesse Kremer and Sen. Patrick Testin are circulating a bill to legalize production of industrial hemp, which has many uses.

Wisconsin was once a leading producer of hemp. At its peak during World War II, the state produced three quarters of the hemp grown in the country before demand plummeted and China seized the market. But states in the U.S. are rejoining the race and Wisconsin lawmakers want in.

Freshman Sen. Patrick Testin said he initially had some concerns because many people don't differentiate between marijuana and hemp. Both are forms of cannabis, but hemp won't get a person high because it doesn't have enough THC, marijuana's active ingredient.

Hemp has a growing number of uses. Hemp fiber strengthens fabric and insulation while its oil and seeds are used in cosmetics and cereal. The plant is also showing up in high capacity batteries and car door panels.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, would require anyone who wants to grow hemp to be licensed by the state through a program overseen by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. People who have drug convictions wouldn't be eligible for licenses. It also includes a provision to ensure a licensed producer's plants don't contain more than 1 percent THC.

Girls basketball: Panthers and Lancers win

The host Wilmot girls basketball team defeated McFarland 64-59 in a WIAA Division-2 regional final Saturday night, while host St. Joseph toppled Lake Country Lutheran 57-43 in a Division-4 regional final.

Both teams will play sectional semifinal contests Thursday night.

For detailed reports of each game, check kenoshanews.com later tonight and Sunday's News.

Schevikhoven leads county wrestlers

Shoreland Lutheran's Lucas Schevikhoven finished second at 113 pounds in the Division-3 State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday. Also wrapping up their state participation were Tremper's Noah Jackson, who was second in D-1 at 152 pounds; Bradford's Jake Deates, who was fourth in D-1 at 160 pounds; and Christian Life's Caden Calabrese, who was fifth in D-3 at 120 pounds. See tomorrow's Kenosha News or visit www.kenoshanews.com later for more.

Duffy Dyer to return to Kingfish this summer

The Kenosha Kingfish announced on Saturday that Duffy Dyer will return to manage the team for a fourth season this summer. Dyer has been the team's manager since its inaugural season of 2014. He's 119-100, including a Northwoods League championship in 2015. For more, visit kenoshanews.com or pick up Sunday's edition of the News.

Storm-lashed California roads, dams could cost $1B to fix

The bill to repair California's crumbling roads, dams and other critical infrastructure hammered by an onslaught of storms this winter could top $1 billion, including nearly $600 million alone for damaged roadways that more than doubles what the state budgeted for road repair emergencies, officials said Friday.

Adding to the problems, many communities have drained their emergency budgets and are looking to the state and federal government for help. But on top of the latest damage, the nation's most populated state is struggling with a $6 billion annual backlog of repairs for roads, highways and bridges that leaders can't agree on a way to fund.

Winter storms have dumped enough rain and snow on the northern part of the state to end a five-year drought. But with the wet weather, comes a host of problems for crumbling infrastructure.

NASA weighing risk of adding crew to megarocket's 1st flight

NASA is weighing the risk of adding astronauts to the first flight of its new megarocket, designed to eventually send crews to Mars.

The space agency's human exploration chief said Friday that his boss and the Trump administration asked for the feasibility study. The objective is to see what it would take to speed up a manned mission; under the current plan, astronauts wouldn't climb aboard until 2021- at best.

NASA is shooting for an unmanned test flight for late next year. Putting people on board would delay the mission and require extra money. The space agency's William Gerstenmaier said if adding astronauts postpones the first flight beyond 2019, it would probably be better to stick with the original plan.

Today's forecast: Windy, snow

The weather outlook for today calls for a morning snow shower and windy conditions. The high will be 30 degrees, the low 20.

Kenosha News takes honors in state contest

The Kenosha News took second place in the General Excellence category en route to 19 total awards in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation's 2016 Better Newspaper Contest.

The contest recognizes outstanding work from the state's newspapers, with nearly 60 categories evaluating reporting, photography, ad and page design, and special sections. Awards were presented Friday night at the WNA Convention and Trade Show in Middleton.

The Kenosha News earned five first-place awards and four second-place awards competing in the top circulation category in the state.

See more in Saturday's Kenosha News.

City hires operations supervisor for Kenosha Transit Department

A former United Parcel Service official has been hired as operations supervisor, the No. 2 job in the Kenosha Transit Department.

Jerrad Jones, who in 19 years worked his way to a supervisory position with the UPS warehouse in Oak Creek, will begin March 13.

Jones, 36, was one of 27 candidates for a position that was vacant for several months.

See more in Saturday's Kenosha News.

Aldermen want body cameras for city police

Two Kenosha alderman want the city to buy body cameras for city police officers for 2018, but the mayor and police chief say the legalities of recording police interactions are still uncertain.

Aldermen Kevin Mathewson and Mitchell Pedersen introduced their resolution Wednesday, asking $200,000 be included in the 2018 capital improvement plan to fund the purchase of body cameras and implementation of a program for the police department.

See more in Saturday's Kenosha News.

Pleasant Prairie to pay $37.5M for land

Pleasant Prairie intends to spend $37.5 million to purchase 458 acres of land on the northwest corner of Interstate 94 and Highway 165, across the street from the Uline headquarters.

The land is owned by Abbott through a subsidiary. The village plans to turn it into a new corporate park, Prairie Highlands, with a focus on manufacturing, office and commercial uses.

See more in Saturday's Kenosha News.

Tremper's Jackson falls in state semifinal

Tremper senior Noah Jackson lost a 5-4 sudden victory decision to Waukesha West senior Shane Gantz in a WIAA Division-1 152-pound state semifinal match Friday night. Jackson will face Pulaski senior Jake Gille in a consolation bracket match Saturday morning and still has a chance for third place. See tomorrow's News or check www.kenoshanews.com later for more.

Schevikhoven advances to state final

Shoreland Lutheran junior Lucas Schevikhoven beat Ladysmith sophomore Trent Vollendorf 8-2 Friday night to advance to the WIAA Division-3 finals at 113-pounds. Schevikhoven faces Coleman sophomore Caleb Gross at 5 p.m. See tomorrow's News or check back later for more.

Second man charged in Chicago shooting death of 2-year-old

Chicago police said a second man has been charged in a shooting captured on video that killed two people, including a toddler, and wounded a pregnant woman.

Dionel Harris was charged today with first-degree-murder in a shooting on Valentine's Day that killed 2-year-old Lavontay White and Lavontay's uncle, 26-year-old Lazaric Collins.

DHS report disputes threat posed by 7 nations in travel ban

Analysts at the Homeland Security Department's intelligence arm found insufficient evidence that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries included in President Donald Trump's travel ban pose a terror threat to the United States.

A draft document obtained by The Associated Press concludes that citizenship is an "unlikely indicator" of terrorism threats to the U.S. and that few people from the countries Trump listed in his travel ban have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the U.S. since Syria's civil war started in 2011.

U.S. to seek extradition of ex-Guatemalan vice president

The United States government will seek the extradition of former Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti and ex-Interior Minister Hector Mauricio Lopez Bonilla on drug trafficking charges, the U.S. embassy said in a statement today.

Baldetti and Lopez Bonilla were indicted in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday, according to the statement. Each faces a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and knowing that it would be imported to the U.S.

SpaceX makes good on space station delivery a little late

SpaceX made good on a 250-mile-high delivery at the International Space Station on Thursday, after fixing a navigation problem that held up the shipment a day.

Everything went smoothly the second time around as the station astronauts captured the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship as the two craft sailed over Australia. On Wednesday, a GPS system error prevented the capsule from getting close enough to be grabbed by the station's big robot arm.

The Dragon - loaded with 5,500 pounds of supplies - rocketed away Sunday from NASA's historic moon pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Now leased by the SpaceX, the pad had been idle since the close of the shuttle program almost six years ago.

The station's six-person crew will accept another shipment today, this one from the Russians.

Counting the county's homeless

A recent overnight count of homeless in Kenosha County found 184 people total on the streets, in shelters and transitional housing or rapid re-housing programs.

The count was part of the nationwide Point in Time campaign to count every homeless person and bring them needed resources. Lisa Haen, with Kenosha Human Development Services Inc, said 17 volunteers canvassed the county from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. one night last month.

Volunteers survey the homeless to determine if they ever served in the military and if this is the first time they have been homeless, for example. They also bring them a care package with hygiene items, water, snacks, socks, hats and scarves.

See more in today's Kenosha News.

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