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Latest Wisconsin news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CST

HOLIDAY STORM

Snowstorm could make Upper Midwest holiday travel a mess

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Forecasters say a snowstorm could make Thanksgiving travel a mess in southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin and other parts of the Upper Midwest.

At least 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow is expected to begin falling Tuesday afternoon south of Interstate 94, followed by strong winds on Wednesday.

National Weather Service meteorologist Brent Hewett says Wednesday morning “is not looking great for travel.” Minneapolis-St. Paul could see its biggest November snowfall since 2010.

Hewett says northwestern Wisconsin could be hit by 8-12 inches (20-30 centimeters) or more of snow. He says travel in northwestern Wisconsin “is going to be chaotic.”

Meteorologists say another winter storm could develop after Thanksgiving into the weekend. But they say it’s too soon to tell whether that system will bring rain, snow or a mix.

WETLAND CREDITS

Evers signs wetlands credits bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has signed a bill that requires developers to purchase wetland mitigation credits within the watershed they’re impacting.

The Department of Natural Resources requires creation or preservation of other wetlands as a condition of an individual permit allowing dredging or filling wetlands. Builders can satisfy those conditions by purchasing credits from a mitigation bank located anywhere in Wisconsin. Banks are a stash of credits generated by other developers who created or preserved wetlands.

The Republican-authored bill requires builders buy credits from banks in impacted watersheds. The DNR could allow purchases from other watersheds to better serve conservation goals, however.

Evers signed the bill privately Monday.

LEMONADE STANDS

Evers signs bill legalizing kids’ lemonade stands

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers has signed a bill into law that allows children to legally run lemonade stands.

Evers signed the bill Monday.

It allows anyone under age 18 to run lemonade stands on private property without a permit and without fear of running afoul of the law, which has happened in some states.

The bill would limit sales to $2,000 of lemonade a year, however. That translates to 8,000 cups at 25 cents each. Children would be barred from selling any potentially hazardous food, such as raw meat and egg salad.

The bill passed with bipartisan support.

RED ARROW-RETURN

Last soldiers from Red Arrow group return from Afghanistan

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The remaining 200 or so soldiers from a Wisconsin Army National Guard’s Red Arrow infantry group have returned home from Afghanistan.

About 400 soldiers from the Red Arrow’s 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry were deployed to Afghanistan late last year to provide protection for U.S. advisers, contractors and Afghan troops.

About 200 troops returned to Fort Bliss, Texas, on Nov. 17. The Wisconsin National Guard said Monday that the remaining 200 or so soldiers landed at the base on Nov. 23.

Soldiers from the Red Arrow’s 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry have replaced the troops in Afghanistan.

WISCONSIN LAWMAKERS-ISRAEL

Bipartisan Wisconsin Assembly delegation visits Israel

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bipartisan group of Wisconsin Assembly lawmakers has completed a visit to Israel.

The eight-day trip which concluded Monday was organized by the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the trip allowed for an exchange of ideas and educational experiences.

The 12-member Assembly delegation included both Republican and Democratic leaders.

The group met with elected and civic leaders from Israel and attended educational sessions on water technology, infrastructure, business, education and politics.

POLICE SHOOTINGS-WISCONSIN

Wisconsin sees uptick in fatal police shootings in 2019

(Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, http://www.wpr.org)

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin is ending the year with more fatal police shootings than last year.

Data collected by the Wisconsin Professional Police Association shows police shot and killed 16 people this year. There were 13 fatal police shootings in 2018.

Wisconsin Public Radio reported Monday that 11 of those killed this year were white, three were black and two were Hispanic. U.S. census data shows the state is nearly 87% white, 6% black and 7% Latino.

Of the 28 fatal and nonfatal police shootings so far this year, 26 involved an armed suspect.

Wisconsin is one of 34 states that do not require officers to train in de-escalation, which many departments do not prioritize.

John Roman, an economist who studies police shootings, says de-escalation training leads to fewer shots by officers.

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RANSOMWARE ATTACK-NURSING HOME TECH

Tech service provider for nursing homes a ransomware victim

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee-based company that provides technology services to more than 100 nursing homes in the U.S. is the victim of a ransomware attack.

The Journal Sentinel reported Saturday that the cyberattack is holding data hostage and disrupting internet service until Virtual Care Provider Inc. pays $14 million, which the company has been unable to pay. Some nursing homes can’t access patient records, use the internet, pay employees or order medications.

Virtual Care Provider Inc. informed clients about the attack in a letter Nov. 18, saying that about 20% of its services had been affected and that it needs to rebuild 100 of its servers. The letter says it’s unknown if any client data was compromised.

The company said in a statement that they launched an internal investigation and are “working diligently to restore these systems as quickly and safely as possible.”

TELEHEALTH MEDICAID

Evers signs bill expanding telehealth reimbursement

RICHLAND CENTER, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers has signed a bipartisan bill expanding Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth services.

The governor signed the bill Monday afternoon at Richland Hospital in Richland Center.

Current state law requires Medicaid reimbursement for mental health services provided through telecommunications. The bill expands reimbursement to all Medicaid-allowed benefits for provider-to-provider consultations and transmitting patients’ medical data in both real time and not in real time. The bill also expands Medicaid reimbursements for any services provided through communication technology covered under Medicare.

State health officials have estimated the changes could cost between $15 million and $29.4 million annually but notes the costs will likely be phased in as providers use telecommunication more.

Evers said in a statement that technology can help people struggling with provider shortages in rural Wisconsin.

Associated Press

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