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Category “Only in WI…”

Insert “Sticky” Pun Here

It’s been quite the past cou­ple of days for strange spills on Wis­con­sin roads.  Paint was all over I-43 yes­ter­day near Cleve­land and this morn­ing, honey spilled in Fond du Lac.

Approx­i­mately 200 gal­lons of honey spilled onto the road­way in Fond du Lac early Fri­day morning.

The Wis­con­sin State Patrol said a bee farmer some­how lost at least one bar­rel of honey while dri­ving near US 41 & Wis. 23 around 5 a.m.

That’s a pretty well-traveled area of Fond du Lac, so hope­fully no one gets too stuck for long.

(Sorry, couldn’t help myself there.)

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Cartoon of the Day

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Yahoo Steals from Google to Save Itself from Oblivion

She’s a Cheese­head, was Google employee No. 20, and now head­ing over to Yahoo to run the place.

Not bad for a 37 year-old from Wausau.

Pub­lished reports say Yahoo is hir­ing Google exec­u­tive Marissa Mayer to be its next CEO.

Mayer has been involved with Google’s search, gmail and Google news features.

The New York Times says she’s start­ing at Yahoo Inc. on Tues­day. Mayer was one of Google’s ear­li­est employees.

Ross Levin­sohn, who joined Yahoo in late 2010, has been run­ning the com­pany on an interim basis and had been thought to be the lead can­di­date. Levin­sohn filled in after Scott Thomp­son lost his job in a flap over mis­in­for­ma­tion on his offi­cial biography.

Mayer is 1993 grad­u­ate of Wausau West High School.

It was the New York Times blog, “Deal­Book” which first broke the news.  Meyer also serves on Walmart’s Board of Directors.

Mayer also becomes pos­si­bly the most attrac­tive CEO in Sil­i­con Val­ley.  Here is a pic­ture from 2009 when she was named Glam­our Magazine’s Woman of the Year.

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Is 7-Eleven Finally Coming to Wisconsin?

I never went to a 7-Eleven in my life until I lived across the street from one in Arling­ton, VA around March / April 2007.  Never knew what it was about either the fran­chise or the state of Wis­con­sin, but there are no 7-Eleven’s in the state.

Hope­fully, that now will change.  I’ve been mildly crav­ing a Big Gulp for a while now.

Dallas-based 7-Eleven has com­pleted the pur­chase of 18 Open Pantry con­ve­nience stores in Wis­con­sin, the com­pany said Mon­day. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Three of the stores are in Madi­son, at 2201 S. Park St., 2703 W. Belt­line and 1401 Regent St. Other stores that are part of the sale are in Mil­wau­kee, Kenosha, Wauke­sha and Win­nebago counties.

A few exist­ing Open Pantry loca­tions were not included in the deal, 7-Eleven said. Open Pantry Food Marts of Wis­con­sin is based in Pleas­ant Prairie, near Kenosha.

The acquired sites will be company-owned stores. Remod­el­ing and rebrand­ing will begin soon with most of the work com­pleted by the end of the year, 7-Eleven said.

Job offers will be extended to about 190 Open Pantry employ­ees who are affected by the acquisition.

Now…if we can get some Chick-Fil-A in this state.

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Dear UW-Madison, Let Uthoff Leave

Let me begin by say­ing that what Bo Ryan is doing at UW-Madison in regards to the trans­fer of Jar­rod Uthoff is well within the legal rules and reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing NCAA schol­ar­ship athletes.

That doesn’t make it right though.

For those who haven’t heard, Wis­con­sin men’s bas­ket­ball coach Bo Ryan is doing all he can to stop red-shirt fresh­man Jar­rod Uthoff from trans­fer­ring to another school, but he sure isn’t mak­ing it easy. Uthoff, a schol­ar­ship player and one-time “Mr. Bas­ket­ball” in his home state of Iowa, has decided that after a year under Ryan, his style of play doesn’t work under Coach Ryan and he wants to go.

A trans­fer would strip a year of col­lege eli­gi­bil­ity from Uthoff, but being red-shirted his fresh­man year, he’d have three years left to play with his new school.

Mean­while, Ryan has put together a list of schools he will not allow Uthoff to go to.  NCAA rules allow for that, after all, a school is los­ing a schol­ar­ship ath­lete they spent the time and money recruit­ing the player, con­vinc­ing his fam­ily your school was the right place for them and so on.

Mind you, I would under­stand if Bo Ryan said to the kid, “You can trans­fer, just not to another Big Ten school.”  That’s under­stand­able.  Your school did all the work, and the last thing you want to see if another school in con­fer­ence poach off of that.

But what Ryan’s doing — which he said in an inter­view on ESPNRadio’s Mike and Mike is not all that uncom­mon in big-time col­lege sports — is bar­ring the kid from play­ing on any team which might appear on Wisconsin’s sched­ule.  So far on a list which was made pub­lic, Ryan barred trans­fers to all Big Ten schools (under­stand­able) and Mar­quette (In-state rival…okay, fine).

Then it just gets strange.

Uthoff grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but since Iowa is a Big Ten schools, Ryan also barred Iowa State Uni­ver­sity — which plays in the con­fer­ence for­mally known as the Big 12.  He’s also barred Uthoff from going to Florida, in the South­east­ern Con­fer­ence or SEC (it just signed con­tract for a home and home series with Wis­con­sin), as well as the entire Atlantic Coastal Con­fer­ence, or ACC, because any of that conference’s schools could play Wis­con­sin in future “ACC / Big Ten Challenges.”

Uthoff is set to meet today with UW Ath­let­ics Depart­ment offi­cials to deal with an appeal of Ryan’s con­di­tions of the transfer.

What exactly is Bo Ryan so afraid of with this kid?  I have no idea.

While this sort of thing hap­pens more often then we care to admit, it’s the Wis­con­isin — Uthoff case which has ele­vated it to national promi­nence.  Such so, that turn on a national sports / talk show over the last two days and you’ll hear Bo Ryan get­ting crucified.

Part of the rea­son Ryan’s get­ting creamed is his atti­tude about it.  He’s never been good with deal­ing with a hos­tile media and it’s show­ing in spades these past few days.

Sec­ondly — and most impor­tantly — the Wis­con­sin — Uthoff case is being used by peo­ple (myself included) who think the NCAA is a bro­ken, money-grubbing, hyp­o­crit­i­cal, and unfair orga­ni­za­tion when it comes to its treat­ment of student-athletes.  For many big-time sports pro­grams, the ath­letes who play the games are noth­ing more than replace­able cogs to the money machine in which the play­ers will never receive a dime from.

Then to add insult to injure, if they take a dime from any­thing, they’re ruled inel­i­gi­ble.  Mean­while, the school is cash­ing checks from tele­vi­sion and apparel deals worth mil­lions. In the case of the Big Ten schools, the Big Ten Net­work has the poten­tial to make that amount billions.

As for the coaches them­selves, the sys­tem is set up to ben­e­fit them for suc­cess, but pun­ish a recruit who wants to fol­low the very coach they know and trust to their next gig.  Say if Ore­gon, Wis­con­sin native and Vir­ginia Commonwealth’s head coach Shaka Smart got the Illi­nois men’s job (was rumored, didn’t hap­pen) and a num­ber of his cur­rent play­ers wanted to come with him.  Chances are, VCU would block them all, and those they did allow would have to sit out a year of eligibility.

Mean­while, Smart can prob­a­bly cash a big­ger pay check, enjoy a larger office, and have bet­ter recruit­ment ameni­ties like the big­ger arena and so on to fur­ther his career.

Now, I don’t begrudge the coaches or the schools for the sys­tem they’re exploit­ing.  It’s how they treat their play­ers (who are unpaid and there to get an edu­ca­tion — in the­ory) like they’re their employ­ees which needs to end.  Bo Ryan is treat­ing this kid’s schol­ar­ship like it’s a non-compete clause in an employee contract.

The sim­ple real­ity is despite what all ath­letes do for the school money-wise, they are kids.  And these kids are not employees.

The NCAA needs to remem­ber that some­times.  That they’re deal­ing with kids most of the time and these kids are going to make dumb, self­ish, and other such deci­sions like any­one else — but with­out the mil­lions of dol­lars at stake.  Because of that, they should change these insane rules and only allow a coach to for­bid inter-conference trans­fers and not be able to hold a recruit who wants to leave hostage.  They should also allow for kids to trans­fer with­out penalty if their coach leaves their school for a bet­ter job elsewhere.

As for every­one else, let the kid leave Madi­son.  He clearly has des­ig­nated he wants out and is only ask­ing to go to where he wants to go to school, like any other col­lege stu­dent.  There’s no guar­an­tee he’s even going to make the bas­ket­ball team or get a schol­ar­ship at his new school for the time being.

As for Bo Ryan, do for your­self what you ask your play­ers to do on the court, that you do what’s right and nec­es­sary to achieve the best out­come possible.

Oh, and that you finally man up.

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Cartoon of the Day

For many, the only vot­ing that counts at the moment.

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The Booms are Back

So much for a reprieve for Clin­tonville.

CLINTONVILLE — The booms have returned in Clin­tonville, report­edly louder and longer than before.

Between the times of 10:35 and 10:50 p.m., we received 60 phone calls from res­i­dents indi­cat­ing that they were again hear­ing very loud, boom­ing, rumbling-type noises,” said Clin­tonville City Admin­is­tra­tor Lisa Kuss to News­ra­dio 620 WTMJ’s Nick Iannelli.

Some were indi­cat­ing that it was even louder than it was last week.”

Last week, Kuss announced that geol­o­gists had dis­cov­ered earth­quakes of as high as 1.5 on the Richter scale in an area not known for them.

Accord­ing to Kuss, these may have been more pow­er­ful, and extended for a longer period of time.

Some­one indi­cated that it seemed worse than last week.  It also appeared that the rum­bling dura­tion lasted longer,” said Kuss, who explained that the quakes of recent weeks had sub­sided over the weekend.

It seemed like it was a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent in dura­tion.  Clearly, the inten­sity is back, whereas Fri­day, Sat­ur­day, Sun­day and Mon­day, there (were) no events that gen­er­ated that vol­ume of calls.”

Kuss tells us that the U.S. Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey had not given any infor­ma­tion yet to show that these were earthquakes.

No infor­ma­tion yet if these were earth­quakes, huh?

I’m return­ing to my orig­i­nal the­ory that it was aliens.

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And the Beer Survived!

That’s all that really mat­tered here.  If you go with this Cap Times’ article.

A semi-trailer truck loaded with beer crashed on U.S. 151 Sat­ur­day morn­ing, but to the relief of local beer drinkers, none of the beer was spilled.

The crash was reported at 7:53 a.m. Sat­ur­day on 151 just east of Inter­state 39/90/94, accord­ing to Madi­son police.

The police news release said the beer truck had just got­ten off the inter­state and was head­ing north on 151 when the truck rolled onto its side and slid into the median guardrail.

Traf­fic was reduced to one lane as crews worked to right the truck; there were no sig­nif­i­cant traf­fic delays, police said.

While the beer stayed intact, a slight amount of diesel fuel leaked from the truck’s fuel tanks.

No one was injured, and no cita­tions were issued.

You have to snicker at how the fact no one was injured — beer can be replaced, peo­ple can­not — is just an after-thought here.

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NOW Stereotype About the NFL">This Blows Up Every NOW Stereotype About the NFL

Remem­ber when it was in vogue to say that watch­ing pro foot­ball caused hus­bands to beat their wives.  Remem­ber how once upon a time it was said men hit their wives more when their teams lose games.

Remem­ber when it was in vogue to say spousal abuse went up after a Pack­ers defeat.  I don’t doubt there are nuggets of truth to all that, but some­thing tells me this sort of news wasn’t what those push­ing those sto­ries for years had in mind.

APPLETON — Police say a drunken woman twice choked her 11-year-old daugh­ter on Sun­day after becom­ing angered by the Green Bay Pack­ers game.

The 36-year-old Grand Chute woman was charged Mon­day in Out­agamie County Court with felony child abuse and mis­de­meanor counts of bail jump­ing and dis­or­derly conduct.

Police were called about 8:15 p.m. Sun­day to a Grand Chute hotel where the girl told police her mother grabbed her by the neck dur­ing the foot­ball game. The woman was drink­ing alco­hol and became upset because the team was los­ing. The girl said that after the Pack­ers lost, her mother choked her again with enough force that the girl couldn’t breathe, and her mother said, “Do you want to die?” the crim­i­nal com­plaint says.

Police saw red marks and scratches on the girl’s neck.

The Post-Crescent is not nam­ing the woman to pro­tect the iden­tity of the child.

The woman’s hus­band told police she also threw her din­ner on the floor, broke a lamp and attempted to punch him in the face because she was upset about the game, which marked the Pack­ers’ first loss in 14 games this season.

The child abuse charge car­ries a max­i­mum sen­tence of 12½ years of impris­on­ment and $25,000 in fines. The woman could face up to nine months in jail if con­victed of bail jump­ing and 90 days on the dis­or­derly con­duct count. She is being held in jail on a $2,500 cash bond.

It’s a game peo­ple, not life or death.  Do take a moment to remem­ber that.

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Notre Dame Professor: Packers Stock Sale a Scam

Have a hard time dis­agree­ing with the man since in more ways than one, it is.  If you read through the team-provided prospec­tus on the stock sale and have a busi­ness degree, you can’t help but laugh at it.

The team’s “buy­back” price — what they would pay you if you own a share and wanted to sell it back to the team — is 2.5 cents.  That is one ten-thousandth of what you paid for it (before the $25 han­dling fee).

I real­ize peo­ple are not mak­ing a finan­cial deci­sion on these stock pur­chases (and I say that as I actu­ally pon­der pos­si­bly get­ting one myself), but the idea that you have any real power, or clout, after mak­ing one of these pur­chases is a joke.  It’s the NFL’s great­est con­ver­sa­tion piece; and it only can hap­pen in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The Green Bay Pack­ers, the country’s only pub­licly owned pro­fes­sional sports fran­chise, today began sell­ing shares to help pay for $143 mil­lion in sta­dium expan­sion and improve­ment projects, and Uni­ver­sity of Notre Dame Finance Pro­fes­sor Richard Shee­han, who spe­cial­izes in the eco­nom­ics of sports, says “This stock sale is pretty much a scam from an invest­ment perspective.”

The author of “Keep­ing Score: The Eco­nom­ics of Big-Time Sports,” Shee­han says, “For $250, you can own one share out of more than 4 mil­lion and you can’t pur­chase more than 200 shares. You receive a stock cer­tifi­cate and the right to vote at the annual meet­ing, but you can’t amass enough shares to give you any mean­ing­ful say in the franchise’s deci­sions. You won’t receive any game tick­ets, div­i­dends, or guar­an­tee the share will be worth any more at any point in the future.”

Shee­han says fans are effec­tively financ­ing the sta­dium ren­o­va­tion through a stock offer­ing he calls “pos­si­bly one of the worst of all times because it offers no mean­ing­ful input and no finan­cial ben­e­fit.” Regard­less, he says the Pack­ers will raise a lot of cash.

It’s like the old Mas­ter­Card ad: pair of Green Bay Pack­ers tick­ets, $200; share of Green Bay Pack­ers stock, $250; being a Green Bay Pack­ers stock­holder, priceless!”

Though that being said.  Get­ting a 10% off deal at the Pro Shop for pur­chases you make, for say, the next 5 or 10 years after buy­ing a share of stock wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world the Pack­ers could for those fork­ing over at min­i­mum $275 so that the team can add more seats, build a cou­ple restau­rants, and relo­cate the Pro Shop and Hall of Fame in its quest to build “Lam­beau World.”

There should be at least some perk for “own­er­ship” I suppose.

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