Flooded Wisconsin village prepares to move to high ground
Gays Mills (AP) — Gays Mills is finally ready to move to high ground.
Flooding in 2007 and 2008 devastated the village on the banks of the Kickapoo River. Village leaders decided last November to buy 30 acres of high ground and build new homes and businesses on it.
The village plans to break ground Friday morning. Plans call for 35 new lots for single-family homes and townhouses. The village also expects to move its community center, library and government offices to the new area.
Wisconsin judge upholds law regulating managed forest lands
Madison (AP) — A Dane County judge has upheld a new law that bans owners of private land enrolled in a state managed forest program from leasing the land for hunting. But the judge says a portion of the law that immediately scrapped existing leases was unconstitutional.
Court records say the Legislature passed the managed forest lands law in 1985, allowing landowners to either open the property to the public for recreational activities or close it to public access. The property tax break is less for land that is closed.
A new law effective Jan. 1 banned landowners from leasing land to others for hunting or other recreational purposes and declared all existing leases as void.
The Tigerton Lumber Co., with 22,000 acres in the program, sued the state.
EPA to review health risk from popular weed killer atrazine
Washington (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is re-evaluating the health effects of a popular weed killer that has been found in drinking water supplies.
According to the EPA on Wednesday, the agency will take another look at the science on atrazine, an herbicide commonly used on corn and other crops, and decide whether more restrictions are needed to protect human health. Research has shown that runoff after rainstorms can wash the chemical into streams and rivers, where it can enter drinking water supplies. New studies have shown that even at low levels atrazine in drinking water can cause low birth weights, birth defects and reproductive problems.
In 2003, under the Bush administration, the EPA allowed atrazine to continue to be used with few restrictions.
FBI arrests dozens for ‘phishing’ ID theft scheme
Los Angeles (AP) — The FBI is arresting dozens of people in the United States and overseas to crack an identity theft ring that victimized thousands of people.
Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman in Los Angeles, said agents were making arrests Wednesday in Southern California, Nevada, North Carolina and overseas.
She said about 100 arrests were expected, many in the Los Angeles area.
Eimiller said an indictment accuses the suspects of running a “phishing” scheme. They allegedly used computer intrusion and fraud to obtain personal information that allowed them to withdraw money from bank accounts.
In “phishing,” people answering an e-mail are directed to a bogus Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and account numbers.
Labor Department solicitor nominee clears divided Senate panel
Washington (AP) — A sharply divided Senate panel has approved New York state’s labor commissioner for the No. 3 post at the Labor Department, despite GOP claims that she gave lawmakers inaccurate testimony.
The 13-10 vote Wednesday in favor of Patricia Smith as solicitor of the agency was split along party lines.
Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi said he will place a hold on Smith to delay a confirmation vote on the Senate floor.
Enzi said Smith misled lawmakers about her role in a New York pilot program that recruits unions and consumer groups to help uncover wage and hour violations in work places.
Smith concedes that she “misspoke” in explaining how the program was created and about plans to expand it. Democrats say there is no indication Smith was trying to hide anything.