News from around Wisconsin at 5:28 a.m. CDT
- Associated Press
- September 30, 2013 - 6:35 AM
GREEN BAY, Wis. — A trucker was crossing the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge in Green Bay in the early hours last Wednesday when he felt something strange underneath his rig — so strange that he reached for his cellphone and dialed 911.
When he reported around 3:45 a.m. that the pavement on the bridge seemed to be sagging, the dispatcher either could not understand him or could not believe it, Press-Gazette Media reported Sunday (http://gbpg.net/16Cc8Ohhttp://gbpg.net/16Cc8Oh ).
"Sagging?" she asked.
The trucker repeated himself and urged the dispatcher to take action.
"I would suggest," he said, "that someone go out there and at least take a look at it."
After being dispatched to investigate, a Green Bay police officer reported about 10 minutes later that nothing appeared unusual. It would be almost another hour before officers realized the 120-foot-tall bridge had, in fact, sagged and that the highway had to be shut down.
Built in 1980, the bridge carries about 40,000 cars a day over the Fox River on Interstate 43. It's one of the city's most vital thoroughfares. Officials have indicated that it could be months or even a year before the bridge reopens. They're still trying to determine why a support pier sank, causing the 2-foot dip in the pavement.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Competition for gamblers' dollars is getting tougher as one Wisconsin tribe seeks to block another from building a casino between Milwaukee and Chicago.
The Midwest gambling market has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. There are now 36 casinos in Wisconsin and Illinois and 9,000 slot machines in Illinois taverns, truck stops and similar venues, with an untold number of illegal slots in Wisconsin bars, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1hd4AADhttp://bit.ly/1hd4AAD ).
Casinos "certainly do reach that point where they just start essentially cannibalizing each other," said Mark Nichols, of the University of Nevada-Reno's Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming. "You're seeing signs of that now."
That helps explain why the Potawatomi tribe is spending millions to block the Menominee tribe from opening an $808 million casino complex in Kenosha.
The Potawatomi fear a casino between Chicago and Milwaukee would siphon many of its Illinois customers. The Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee draws about 35 percent of its customers from the Chicago area.
"A slot machine is a commodity, and if you could travel 20 miles, as opposed to driving 55 miles, to get to a slot machine, you're going to do that," said John Repa, a national casino consultant who is working for the Potawatomi.
The Menominee face an uphill fight to open a Kenosha casino.
TOWN OF NAMAKOGAN, Wis. (AP) — Authorities have recovered the body of a Cottage Grove, Wis., man who drowned in Lake Namakagon (nam-uh-KAH'-gun) in northwestern Wisconsin.
Searchers found the body of Gerald Buss in about 10 feet of water around 12:15 p.m. Sunday on the third day of the search.
The Bayfield County Sheriff's Office says the accident was reported about 3:30 p.m. Friday. Buss and a friend were fishing when he fell into Lake Namakagon.
A seat cushion was thrown to Buss but he was unable to maintain his grip on it and went under. He was not wearing a life jacket. His friend immediately signaled other fishermen and called 911.
The Bayfield County Coroner ruled the death to be an accidental cold water drowning.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A 39-year-old man is dead and a second person is in critical condition after a hit-and-run on the south side of Milwaukee.
Police say the two victims were crossing the street just after 10 p.m. Saturday when a white GMC conversion van with a ladder rack on top struck them.
Police are searching for the van, which should have front-end damage. Anyone with information about the van or the hit-and-run driver is asked to call the Milwaukee Police Department.
The names of the victims were not immediately released.
© 2013 Star Tribune