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News from around Wisconsin (8:46 p.m. 11/26/09)

Wis. soldier hurt at Fort Hood home for holiday

LODI, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin soldier injured in the Fort Hood shootings spent Thanksgiving with his family, reminding all of everything they have to be thankful for.

Army Reserve Specialist Grant Moxon was shot in the leg when Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire Nov. 5, and three of Moxon’s friends died. Moxon told WISC-TV in Madison the memories are still raw, and Thanksgiving at home means a time to recover emotionally as well as physically.

“(I’m) definitely coming to terms with it now, but with it’s not easy,” Moxon said.

The 23-year-old had been planning to go to Afghanistan with the Madison-based 467th Medical Detachment to counsel soldiers. That trip is off while he recovers, giving him the chance to spend the holiday at his family’s home in Lodi, just north of Madison.

“It’s just an extra special thing to know that he’s safe and he’s home,” said his mother, Kathy Moxon. She was busy making apple pie while Moxon played with the family cat, Shadow.

Moxon had been at Fort Hood less than 24 hours when the shootings started. He was sitting with other unit members when he heard shouting and then, gunshots. Like many, he thought it was a military exercise.

Then a bullet hit his leg; it felt “like a sledgehammer,” he recalled. Moxon briefly played dead, hid behind a desk and then ran out of the building with others.

Iowa woman badly lost in Wis. relies on strangers

CAMBRIDGE, Wis. (AP) — Puzzled and tuckered out, 81-year-old Audrey Hogan drove into the lighted parking lot of Chris’ Curve Cafe in Cambridge one night last month and asked two strangers: “Could you help? I think I’m lost.”

All she knew was that she had been driving for 14 hours and she wasn’t in Iowa anymore.

That’s where she had been when she decided to go to the John Deere retirees’ breakfast at the Perkins in Waterloo, Iowa, with her friend Karen Price.

Hogan was to drive the 29 miles from her home outside of New Albin, Iowa, to meet Price in Waukon at 6 a.m. From Waukon, Price would drive the two women to Waterloo, about 95 miles to the southwest.

How then did Hogan end up in Cambridge, Wis.?

Hogan is not sure, and her friends, family and anyone who consults a road map are baffled. They are also thankful a story that could have ended sadly instead took a few extra turns for the better.

Hogan started showing signs of mild dementia about three years ago, said her niece, Sally Neeb.

Americans give thanks, see parades, feast in space

NEW YORK (AP) — Giant balloons, floats, marching bands and clowns with confetti brought smiles to hundreds of thousands of revelers eager to catch a glimpse of a parade as steeped in Thanksgiving Day tradition as turkey and pumpkin pie.

Crowds six to seven people deep lined the streets of Manhattan on Thursday for the 83rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as merrymakers gathered nationwide for massive parades in cities such as Detroit and Philadelphia.

Soldiers in war zones received phone calls of appreciation from President Barack Obama, while astronauts hovering above the Earth’s surface feasted on turkey smuggled aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.

In New York City, Miss America Katie Stam waved to crowds from a Statue of Liberty float she shared with Meb Keflezighi, the first American in 11 years to win the New York City Marathon.

Shailesh Dighe and his family came to the fabled parade to snap pictures of celebrities including rapper Jay Sean and singer-actress Keke Palmer. Despite the crowds, Dighe said the parade is “totally worth it.”

“When you watch it on TV, you don’t get that feeling,” said Dighe, who splits his time between Manhattan and Princeton, N.J.

For the first time, the parade route bypassed Broadway, which cuts a diagonal slice through Manhattan, as it made its way south from the Upper West Side to the finish at Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square.

Milwaukee police spend millions on faulty radios

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A digital radio system that cost the Milwaukee Police Department about $17.5 million since 2003 still isn’t fully operational and uses technology that’s already becoming obsolete.

That’s according to a report Thursday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which quotes police and city officials. City purchasing director Rhonda Kelsey says the radio system was originally to cost $14.9 million and be operational by May 2005.

It’s all part of the department’s shift to all-digital radios. Some of the new digital equipment is already in use, but manufacturer Harris Corp. of Florida has requested an extension until March to try to modify five-year-old equipment so it don’t become incompatible with new technology by 2012.

Milwaukee is not the first client to have trouble with the same system. Earlier this year New York state terminated a $2 billion contract with the company to build a statewide emergency communications network.

Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

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