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News from around Wisconsin (9:04 p.m. 1/4/10)

Listecki takes over Milwaukee archdiocese

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has a new archbishop.

Jerome Listecki was installed Monday during a ceremony in downtown Milwaukee, taking over from Timothy Dolan. He was installed April 15 as archbishop of New York.

The 60-year-old Listecki stressed to parishioners Monday in his homily the need to protect marriage and family life, and sacrifice for the truth.

The archdiocese has some 675,000 parishioners and 211 churches in 10 southeastern Wisconsin counties. Listecki left the La Crosse diocese, with about 202,000 parishioners in 165 parishes in western Wisconsin, where he served since 2005.

The Chicago native is also a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Cardinals Edward Egan of New York, Francis George of Chicago, and Adam Maida and Edmund Szoka of Detroit were among the U.S. church leaders in attendance.

Traffic deaths in Wisconsin down 5th year in a row

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Traffic deaths in Wisconsin declined in 2009 to its lowest total in 65 years.

The state Department of Transportation reported Monday that last year’s 545 traffic deaths was the lowest in Wisconsin since 526 people died in 1944 when there was gasoline and tire rationing during World War II.

There were 42 fewer deaths in 2009 compared to the previous year, a decline of about 7 percent.

Over the past five years, an average of 676 people have died annually on Wisconsin’s roads.

Dennis Hughes, the chief of safety programs for the state’s Bureau of Transportation Safety, said no single factor can be identified for the drop.

He said drivers should be credited with driving more responsibly and safer.

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