Wednesday, April 25th

Local

A driver died after rear-ending a semi-truck early Wednesday on Interstate 94 near Black River Falls, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol.

The 48-year-old man, whose name was not released, was driving a U-Haul about 3:20 a.m. when he drove into the back of the truck.

The crash remains under investigation.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two influential Republican senators said Wednesday that a proposal the Assembly passed quickly that would allow a Georgia mining company to destroy wetlands containing rare hardwoods in western Wisconsin is dead.

Republican Sen. Alberta Darling, co-chairwoman of the powerful budget-writing committee, and Sen. Rob Cowles, chairman of the Senate's Natural Resources Committee, both told The Associated Press the votes aren't there to pass the bill exempting Meteor Timber from environmental regulations for its $70 million frac sand processing plan.

Cowles called the bill "ridiculous" and "outrageous" because it would allow Meteor Timber to proceed with its project even as an appeal to its state-issued permit was pending.

"I believe the votes are there to stop it," Cowles said. "I've talked to enough people who understand what this means."

Meteor Timber is an Atlanta-based company that's planning a $70 million plant to process industrial sand near Interstate 94 in Monroe County and ship it to Texas.

BLACK RIVER FALLS — Durry Kennedy, 48, of San Antonio, Texas, was identified Thursday as the driver killed early Wednesday after rear-ending a semitrailer on Interstate 94 near Black River Falls, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Kennedy was driving a U-Haul about 3:20 a.m. when he drove into the back of a semi driven by Barry Berry, 59, of Jersey City, N.J.

Both men were wearing seat belts. The crash remains under investigation.

TOWN OF ALMA — A 27-year-old man escaped serious injury after driving into a train early Thursday in the town of Alma, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

Damian Benedict of Merrillan was driving west on Garage Road about 7:30 a.m. when he struck a moving Union Pacific train. The impact sent Benedict’s car into a ditch, where it rolled.

Benedict had minor cuts and scratches. Speed, inattentive driving and heavy fog appear to have contributed to the crash, according to the department.

It takes a special person to manage a schedule as busy the one Andrew Antony faces almost every day.

After rising at 4 a.m. to milk cows, the Melrose-Mindoro High School senior then joins his classmates for a full day of schooling. Then, depending on the season, Antony heads to either the gridiron, the court, or the diamond for practice. Add in some weightlifting, dinner and homework, and there’s only a few hours left of shuteye before starting it all over again.

To Antony, however, it’s a lifestyle he’s not only accustomed to, but one that he thrives in and enjoys.

“I’ve always enjoyed just working hard,” said Antony, who will graduate from Melrose-Mindoro this spring and embark on a career working for Mathy Construction.

With his final athletic campaign — he pitches and plays middle infield for the Melrose-Mindoro baseball team — just getting underway, Antony will soon turn to that life after sports and school, a life of more long hours and more hard work.