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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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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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