CLOSESkip in Skip x




Wedding gowns are transformed into gifts by volunteer group Sweet Send Aways for families who lose children.

Buy Photo

Susan Capozzi (from left), Dawn Meisinger, Terri Nowicki and Marge Allender show off their creations for Sweet Send Aways.(Photo: Rick Wood / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

TWIN LAKES - Joseph Robert Meisinger came into this world on Jan. 9, 2006.

His parents knew something was wrong.

Joey, as they called their 7-pound son, struggled to breathe regularly. He had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. Doctors determined he had been born missing most of his brain stem, the result of a genetic abnormality. Joey was one of only 34 known cases in the world.

His mother, Dawn Meisinger, dressed him in a Chicago Bears onesie she had bought for him to wear home.

CLOSESkip in Skip x




Do political views color perceptions of the economy? Washington Bureau Chief Craig Gilbert fills us in.

Having Donald Trump in the White House has had a revolutionary effect on the economic outlook of Wisconsin’s most partisan voters, recent polling suggests.

In a flash, it has turned Republicans into rosy optimists and Democrats into dour pessimists, reversing the mood of voters in both parties.

You probably didn’t need a poll to tell you that.

But the polling also tells us something more stark and fundamental about the partisan prism through which many voters see the world.

Trump’s election did more than change the expectations of Republicans and Democrats about the economy’s future performance.

It altered their assessments of the economy’s actual performance.

When GOP voters in Wisconsin were asked last October whether the economy had gotten better or worse “over the past year,” they said “worse’’ — by a margin of 28 points.

CLOSESkip in Skip x




Priorities must be set for local and state road projects in the next budget bill. Wochit

John Hanz, Pepin County highway commissioner, crosses County Road Z, which is badly in need of repairs.(Photo: Bill Glauber / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Jeff Polenske is the city engineer in urban, bustling Milwaukee while John Hanz is the highway commissioner in rural, sparsely populated Pepin County.

Separated by more than 250 miles, they are dealing with the same problem — the relentless need to fix, patch and reconstruct local roads during an era when budgets are stretched to the breaking point .

"Approximately 30% of our streets are in poor condition," Polenske said. "The other side of that is 40% are in fair condition and 30% are good."

"My county system is probably a third of it is in good shape, a third of it is adequate.

The conservative website Wisconsin Watchdog, which led the attack on recent John Doe investigations targeting Gov. Scott Walker, may be in financial trouble.(Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The conservative website Wisconsin Watchdog, which led the attack on recent John Doe investigations targeting Gov. Scott Walker, may be in financial trouble.

A former reporter for the website, which is run by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, tweeted that it and the Franklin Center are closing.

"The Franklin Center is shutting down," James Wigderson, who covered education, tweeted early Friday.

That was a follow-up to his previous tweet from Thursday night that read, '"Email account closed. And with that, shall publish no more."

@jessieopie The Franklin Center is shutting down.

— James Wigderson (@jwigderson) April 14, 2017

But a Franklin Center spokeswoman said in a statement that the center and will continue.

"The Franklin Center has not shut down; it continues to operate and we expect growth as we progress through 2017," said Franklin Center spokeswoman Laurel Patrick, who previously worked for Walker.

The FBI released an enhanced image (right) of what Joseph Jakubowski (left) would look bald in the belief that the fugitive may have altered his appearance.(Photo: FBI)

Authorities said Friday they found fugitive Joseph Jakubowski huddled in a makeshift tent on a rural farm in southwestern Wisconsin, ending a nationwide manhunt without the use of force.

A tip Thursday night from a farmer in Vernon County, 125 miles from Jakubowski's hometown of Janesville, led to his arrest shortly before sunrise. Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden said Jakubowski had set up a "primitive camp site" on a farmer's land. Authorities recovered four handguns, one long rifle, ammunition, a helmet, a ballistic vest, a samurai-style sword and a copy of a manifesto.

“It really was just basically a tarp he was living in," Spoden said. "He looked disheveled. It appeared that he hadn’t slept in some time.”

Jakubowski spent 10 days on the lam after authorities said he mailed the 161-page manifesto threatening violence, stole 18 weapons from Janesville's Armageddon Guns and torched his vehicle.