September 2, 2014

Football season can kickoff gambling problems

ProblemgamblinglogoBetting on football can be no fantasy. With NFL and college games now underway, Rose Gruber with Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling said people should know that its prime time for sports betting – and when that gets out of control, the impact can be devastating.

“It isn’t always just for fun, and if you have someone in the family who tends to gamble a lot, you just want to be really cautious,” Gruber said. Most sports betters move from sport to sport as the season progresses, but football is particularly popular, and calls to the group’s gambling hotline often spike around Super Bowl.

Gruber identified some rules to follow for responsible gambling:

  • · If you decide to gamble, do so for entertainment purposes
  • · Look at the money that you lose as the cost of your entertainment
  • · Always set a dollar limit and remember to stick to it
  • · Expect to lose more than you win
  • · Promise yourself that you won’t gamble on credit
  • · Be sure you have some balance in your life – don’t make gambling your one and only activity
  • · Avoiding “chasing” lost money
  • · Don’t look to gambling as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain
  • · Become familiar with the signs of problem gambling

“Probably 50 percent of the calls to our helpline are from family members who are noticing issues with a family member or a loved one,” Gruber said. And those issues often come to light through family finances. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission estimated that illegal wagers – mostly on sports – reach about $380 billion annually in the U.S. The Council on Problem Gambling Helpline is available at 1-800-GAMBLE-5.

Kind wants chemical stabilizer used in oil shipments

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)

A Wisconsin congressman is continuing to urge oil shippers to chemically stabilize the oil before sending it on trains.

Third District Democrat Ron Kind (D-WI) of La Crosse says there are perils with shipping oil, either by pipeline or by railcar, but a relatively low-cost additive makes the oil much less volatile. It’s an additive that is already used in pipelines and is required for all oil shipped in Texas.

Kind wants to see that additive used nationwide for both pipelines and trains. “There is a plant being built right now in North Dakota for this very purpose. I hope they move forward as quickly as they can, and hopefully get some more competition in the marketplace, too, for the development of this agent, but that too can go along ways to stabilizing this oil, making it less dangerous.”

Right now, regulations require railroads to notify emergency management officials if a train has over a million gallons of oil. Kind thinks the threshold is too high, and local officials need to know about smaller amounts and everything that could require an emergency response from local officials.  “More disclosure. You know, I think people have a right to know what’s being shipped through their neighborhoods and our communities so that we’re prepared to deal with it, and there’s a larger public conversation over this, too.”  He adds, “The sheer volume, the number of cars, things of that nature I think the community has a right to know, and that way you know what type of resources you need to prepare for something if there is a derailment.”

Kind says the pipelines have concerns, but he’s encouraged by new technology to monitor them, and is pleased they already use the oil stabilizing agent.


ATV driver killed in Marathon County crash

File photo

File photo

The driver of ATV is dead, following a crash in Marathon County that involved multiple vehicles. The crash happened at about 9:30 p.m. Monday in the westbound lanes of Highway 29, near the Town of Rib Falls.

Sheriff’s deputies say an ATV and two cars were involved in the crash. The driver of the ATV died at the scene. His name has not been released. One of the other drivers suffered minor injuries and was taken from the scene by ambulance.

The crash remained under investigation until about 2:30 this morning, causing traffic to be detoured. More details are expected to be released later today.


Father arrested after daughter eats marijuana-laced candy bar

Marijuana plant (file photo)

Marijuana plant (file photo)

A Chippewa Falls parent is facing charges, after his daughter ate a marijuana-laced chocolate bar she reportedly found in his dresser.

38-year-old Jason Hetke  is scheduled to make an appearance in court Tuesday for misdemeanor child neglect and possession of marijuana. Prosecutors allege his daughter ate an entire candy bar that contained 22.5 doses of marijuana; the equivalent of 225 milligrams of THC.

Authorities said the girl who ate it appeared intoxicated in school.  When a police officer and a school official examined her, they could barely detect a pulse. Police later executed a search warrant and found a bag with the “Colorado Bar” label, and another bag with butane hash oil — a concentrated form of the main THC ingredient in marijuana.

Marijuana infused foods are legal in Colorado, but cannot be shipped to other states. It also cannot be sent within Colorado by U.S. Mail, since the federal government still outlaws marijuana and the postal service is a federal agency.


Police identify suspect in shooting that stopped football game

Harrison Davis (Photo: Taylor County Sheriff's Department)

Harrison Davis (Photo: Taylor County Sheriff’s Department)

Taylor County officials have identified a man arrested for firing a gun at a house over the weekend, prompting the evacuation of a nearby football game.

19-year-old Harrison Davis of Medford was arrested Saturday afternoon on charges of first degree recklessly endangering safety, discharging a firearm within a school zone and discharging a firearm into a building.

Police say Davis fired a handgun at a home  just after 3 p.m. on Saturday. The shooting took place within 1000 feet of the Holy Rosary Catholic School and caused the lockdown and evacuation of the football game between Chippewa Falls and Medford.

Davis then fled the scene and was tracked by tips and electronic tracking to a ditch on Highway M in Chippewa County.

He remains in custody in the Taylor County jail awaiting an initial appearance and formal charges.