TODAY’S NEWS BRIEFS – Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Briefs are posted weekday mornings, M-F

A Milwaukee Police detective places his hand on the hood of a Milwaukee squad car covered in flowers at Milwaukee Police Department District 4 on West Sliver Spring Drive to pay tribute to the fallen officer who was shot and killed on the city’s south side in Milwaukee on Tuesday. Photo: Mike De Sisti / The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A Milwaukee police officer was shot and killed early Tuesday while trying to arrest a robbery suspect who hours earlier had been sentenced to probation in a misdemeanor hit-and-run case.

Two officers chased after the 19-year-old man and exchanged gunfire with him, Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said. The 19-year-old also died from gunshot wounds, but it was unclear early Tuesday if they were self-inflicted or from the officers, according to the chief.

Later Tuesday, Norman identified the fallen officer as Peter Jerving, a 37-year-old with four years of service with Milwaukee police. Norman said “his courage in the line of duty should be commended.”

Jerving, who worked out of Police District 4, was recognized by the department in November with a life-saving award. He and another officer saw a car crash last summer and found the driver suffering from a gunshot wound. The two officers provided care to the wounded driver and Jerving used a fire extinguisher to put out flames in the victim’s car, a situation Norman described as “extremely dangerous.”

He was a lifelong resident of Milwaukee and wanted to become a police officer since the age of 13, Norman said.

Jerving “dedicated his life to serving the great people of our city. To his last breath, Peter fulfilled that goal,” according to a statement from the officer’s family that was read by George Papachristou, the Milwaukee Police Department’s chaplain.

Jerving will be missed by his parents, brothers and sisters, friends, and brothers and sisters in the Milwaukee police, firefighter and rescue community, Papachristou said.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gov. Tony Evers will propose next week in his two-year state budget a plan that would increase state funding for local government services by hundreds of millions of dollars and allow Milwaukee County voters to raise their sales tax and divert half of the new the revenue to the state’s largest city.

The plan is an answer to calls from Milwaukee officials and leaders of county and municipalities across the state for more state funding known as shared revenue, which has been flat for years. Evers’ proposal focuses on an idea from Republican lawmakers that would dedicate 20% of the state’s sales tax collections each year to a new fund for municipalities and counties.

In 2024, local officials would see $567.2 million in additional revenue, according to the governor’s office.

About 43% of the total funds available will be dedicated to public safety costs, including paying for police officers, firefighters, emergency responders, courthouse staff, and employees in district attorneys’ offices. No government will receive less than $10,000 under the public safety aid distribution, according to the governor’s office.

The remaining 57% of the funding will be distributed as general aid with 70% allocated for municipalities and 30% for counties. In future years, no local government would receive less than 95% of the prior year’s allocation, according to Evers.

Evers also is proposing to allow Milwaukee County to impose an additional 1% sales tax, if approved by voters through a referendum. The measure would require 50% of the new revenue to be distributed to the City of Milwaukee.

The proposal also allows all counties to impose an additional 0.5% sales tax and cities with populations of more than 30,000 (excluding Milwaukee) to impose a 0.5% sales tax “to diversify local revenue sources and better empower local governments to fund police and fire protection, EMS, transit, roads, and other important services, if approved by local referendum,” according to the governor’s office.

Under state law, counties can adopt a 0.5% sales tax on top of the 5% state sales tax. Milwaukee is one of the counties with that tax, according to the state Department of Revenue.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsinites reach out to the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for many things, including help resolving conflicts with landlords, telemarketers, healthcare businesses, telecom providers, and car warranties.

In 2022, DATCP worked to resolve more than 11,000 complaints, reached settlements in several investigations, and returned millions of dollars to consumers.

Here are the top (5) reasons why people filed consumer complaints with the state agency:

1. Landlord-tenant issues

DATCP received 1,912 complaints, up slightly from 2021. Issues included security deposit returns, evictions, unauthorized entry, mold damage, inadequate disclosures, and unsatisfactory service. DATCP said it had more than 50,000 visits to its landlord/tenant online consumer resources.

2. Telemarketing

1,651 complaints including robocalls, phishing and spoofing, imposter scams and harassment, and violations of Wisconsin’s Do Not Call Registry.

3. Home improvement

1,216 complaints, more than double the year before. The top issues were failure to provide services and materials, failure to honor warranties, failure to properly disclose lien waivers, deceptive and misleading representations, poor workmanship, improper installation, billing disputes, and incorrect charges.

4. Telecommunications

655 complaints including billing disputes, unfair termination of service, deceptive and misleading representations, refund adjustment policies, and failure to cancel services when requested.

5) Identity theft

513 complaints, down considerably from 2021. DATCP says it helps victims recover and secure their identity against further fraud.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Joe Biden took credit Tuesday for what he said was the country’s economic revival while pushing an agenda of reducing prescription drug costs, protecting abortion rights and banning assault weapons.

The economy was reeling two years ago, Biden said in his second State of the Union address delivered in a packed House chamber. In a preview of an expected reelection campaign announcement, he noted that the unemployment rate was at 50-year low while inflation has been easing.

“We’ve been sent here to finish the job,” Biden said, invoking a phrase he used several times in his speech.

But the rancorous atmosphere in the House chamber telegraphed fights ahead, including over budget priorities and avoiding a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt. At several points in Biden’s speech, was interrupted by Republicans, who criticized his handling of border policy and pushed back when he accused them of trying to cut popular entitlements.


Nobody needed the commander-in-chief to take the stage Tuesday night to know the state of the union.

Americans are reminded every time their gas pump clicks off, assuming they have enough money in their latest paycheck to actually fill the tank. Each time they breach the egg and dairy aisle, presuming the shelves are stocked. When they can’t afford to send their kids to college but they also can’t find a single soul to help staff their small business. When they get another “Covid update” letter from their kids’ school or have to screen an elementary health textbook. When their flight gets canceled, their rent goes up, their Facebook account gets suspended, their rural library hosts a family-friendly drag show, their freaking stove gets demonized, and they get called a conspiracy theorist for noticing that the possessors of classified documents get disparate treatment depending who their friends are.

Despite all these failures — or in some cases, if you’re a Democrat, smashing culture war successes — Americans were treated to an evening-long, real-time revisionist take on our state of affairs from President Joe Biden. It was long. And it was ultimately a lie.

Yet in one single sentence of her response speech, Arkansas’ first-term Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders summed up the state of our union better than Biden did in nearly an hour and a half:

“While you reap the consequences of their failures, the Biden administration seems more interested in woke fantasies than the hard reality Americans face every day.”

For an increasing number of Americans, everyday life in 2023 is precisely that: a hard reality. Talk to any dedicated nurse who slaved through the height of the pandemic and was thanklessly fired for declining an experimental shot. Ask any professor who was dragged through the mud for refusing to instill racial division or deny basic biology. Speak to any parents who religiously pled with their school board to keep pornographic books out of their kids’ library and boys out of their daughters’ locker rooms. “Biden and the Democrats have failed you,” Huckabee Sanders summed it up. “They know it. And you know it.”

Biden’s bogus State of the Union address was just one more reminder that the pain and struggle he and his allies have imposed on your family are of no concern to him. According to the Democrat in charge, the economy is roaring. China is shaking. Medicare is saving lives. And you can charge your Tesla from sea to shining sea.

“Most Americans simply want to live their lives in freedom and peace, but we are under attack in a left-wing culture war we didn’t start and never wanted to fight,” Huckabee Sanders concluded.

—Kylee Griswold is the editorial director of The Federalist

President Joe Biden on Wednesday was headed to Wisconsin, a battleground state he won by the slimmest of margins in 2020, to press his economic message and other themes from his State of the Union address in the window before his next big speech: announcing a possible reelection bid.

Biden was set to promote his economic plan at a training center run by the Laborers’ International Union of North America in Deforest, Wisconsin, near Madison, the White House said.

At the union center, the Democratic president will meet with workers and apprentices who are learning how to do the jobs that are being created as a result of several pieces of major legislation, some of them passed with Republican support, that Biden signed into law.

—Associated Press

A new poll has revealed that a majority of Americans believe the Biden administration’s handling of the Chinese spy balloon has “made America look weak.”

The poll, conducted by The Trafalgar Group, found that 59.2 percent of Americans believe the handling of the balloon, which was allowed to travel across America before being shot down off the coast of South Carolina, “made America look weak” on the world stage.

24.2 percent of respondents said that the handling of the balloon “had no impact” on perceptions of America on the world stage, while just 10.1 percent said “it made America look strong.” 6.5 percent said they were unsure.

The largest percentage of Democrats, 43.6 percent, said that the handling of the balloon had “no impact,” while the majority of Republicans and independents, 84.7 and 64.4 percent, respectively, said that it “made America look weak.”

The poll found that 63.4 percent of Americans said the balloon crisis was mishandled or should have been handled sooner, while just 36.6 percent said the crisis was handled appropriately.

The balloon was reportedly known to the Biden administration’s Department of Defense for nearly a week before news of the balloon broke on February 2, but the White House attempted to keep its presence quiet to avoid disrupting Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s scheduled trip to China. The trip ended up being postponed after the public’s discovery of the balloon.

US military officials tracked the balloon as it traveled through Canadian airspace and entered American territory. The day after it entered US airspace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin updated Biden on the balloon, but it wasn’t until Saturday that the Commander in Chief and the military officials could decide on taking action.

—The Post Millennial

With hope fading to find survivors, stretched rescue teams toiled Wednesday in Turkey and Syria, searching for signs of life in the rubble of thousands of buildings toppled by a catastrophic earthquake. The death toll passed 11,000 in the deadliest quake worldwide in more than a decade.

Amid calls for the Turkish government to send more help to the disaster zone, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan toured a “tent city” in hard-hit Kahramanmaras where people forced from their homes are living. He conceded shortfalls early on in the response but vowed that no one would “be left in the streets.”

Search teams from more than two dozen countries have joined tens of thousands of local emergency personnel, and aid pledges have poured in from around the world. But the scale of destruction from the 7.8 magnitude quake and its powerful aftershocks was so immense — and spread so wide, including in areas isolated by Syria’s ongoing civil war — that many are still waiting for help.

At times rescuers were using excavators, at others they picked gingerly through debris to find survivors or the dead. With thousands of buildings toppled, it was not clear how many people might still be trapped underneath the rubble.

—Associated Press

LeBron James is the NBA’s king of scoring.

The Lakers star became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, surpassing Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points, on Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The record-setting points, his 35th and 36th of the game, came on a fadeaway mid-range jumper with 10.9 second left in the third quarter.

James set one of sport’s most hallowed records, one Abdul-Jabbar had held for nearly 40 years.

Abdul-Jabbar presented James with the game ball and the two embraced.

Abdul-Jabbar sat courtside, clapping with each point James scored.


Aaron Rodgers hopes the darkness will help him see the light about his future.

The Green Bay Packers’ quarterback said Tuesday on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he will embark on a four-day/four-night “darkness retreat” soon after the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“I’ve got a pretty cool opportunity to do a little self-reflection in some isolation,” Rodgers said. “And then after that I feel like I’ll be a lot closer to a final, final decision.”

Rodgers, 39, said he has not decided if he will play in 2023, whether that’s with the Packers or another team, amid reports that he could be traded.

“For sure; it’s a real thing, 100 percent,” Rodgers said of retirement. “That’s why it’s going to be important to get through this week and to take my isolation retreat and just to be able to contemplate all things my future and then be able to make a decision that I think is best for me moving forward and in the highest interest of my happiness and then move forward.”

Rodgers said the retreat will be alone in the confines of a small house in an undisclosed location. He said meals are delivered, but otherwise there is no other contact with the outside world. However, he said he could leave at any point during the stay if he chose to do so.


Thinking about taking a Friday off to go to the beach, take a hike, or just sprawl on the couch reading and drinking iced coffee? Do it on a Wednesday instead.

If Monday through Friday is your normal work schedule, you’ll feel more relaxed and refreshed after a mid-week break than you will after a three-day weekend. There’s science to back that up.

The key is giving yourself a beat, a day to make your own pace, and to break the tyranny of the over-scheduled work week. Our human experience of time is ordered by “pacers,” both internal (like being a “morning person” or a “night owl”) and external, like the work week or a deadline, says Dawna Ballard, a communications professor at University of Texas at Austin and a scholar of chronemics, the study of time and communication. “Everyone has a different chronotype. Some people are slower moving, some people are faster moving. Our work, though, just goes and throws that out the window and says actually, this is how fast you have to work, this is when you have to work.”

One of the hallmarks of modern life is that our internal and external pacers are often at odds with one another—one reason Monday mornings are difficult. “You’re coming off from a weekend, where you do have your own pace,” Ballard says, explaining the Monday blues from a social science perspective. “It’s having to go from your pacer, back to this other pacer, there’s that friction.”

A Wednesday holiday interrupts the externally imposed pacer of work, and gives you a chance to rediscover your internal rhythms for a day. While a long weekend gives you a little more time on your own schedule, it doesn’t actually disrupt the week’s pacing power. A free Wednesday builds space on either side, and shifts the balance between your pace and work’s—in your favor.

There are many advantages to taking a Wednesday off: Empty beaches, parks, museums, and movie theaters, for example. But fun isn’t the only reason to take a day to re-calibrate your life so that your internal and external pacers are in better harmony. ”Chronic misalignment between our lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by our inner timekeeper is associated with increased risk for various diseases,” write Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young, the 2017 Nobel Prize winners for their work on body clocks.

This same logic explains why work-from-home-Wednesdays have been so successful for some businesses. It’s a practice that Ballard says has the potential to keep our inner and outer clocks in sync. “You start the week knowing, I only have two days on this rhythm and then I get back to mine” Ballard says, describing the shift in perspective that comes from a Wednesday off.

“There’s a greater sense of calm and control.”

—Get Pocket via Quartz

Anyone going through a tough breakup this Valentine’s Day may find some solace in feeding their ex to a zoo animal. Symbolically, of course.

San Antonio Zoo is going viral for the return of its annual Cry Me a Cockroach Fundraiser, which allows donors to name a cockroach, a rodent or a vegetable to be fed to one of the zoo’s animals.

A recent video of an employee in a full-body cockroach costume, captioned, “When you find out you can name a roach after your ex and get a video of it being fed to one of the animals at San Antonio Zoo,” gained more than 2 million views and generated a flurry of viewer questions.

“Are we limited to the number we can name?” one user commented. “I have a laundry list”

“This makes me so happy!!” commented another.

The event, which runs through Feb. 14, has been a big hit around the world every year since its launch in 2020, with donations rolling in from all U.S. states and dozens of countries.

Each donation includes a digital Valentine’s Day card to send to the targeted individual — which doesn’t have to be an ex, but can be anyone, from a difficult boss to a pesky neighbor. A limited number of people who upgrade to a $150 donation can also send personalized video messages to their not-so-special someone as the roach, rat or veggie meets its demise.

—NBC News

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1960 the first star plaques made of brass were installed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 15 blocks of sidewalks at Hollywood and Vine that now contain 2,500 star-studded terrazzo slabs visited by 10 million people annually

One thought on “TODAY’S NEWS BRIEFS – Wednesday, February 8, 2023

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (02/13/23) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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