November 25, 2014

‘Original Famous Dave’s’ destroyed by fire

A northern Wisconsin landmark has burned to the ground. The original Famous Dave’s BBQ Restaurant, the first location for the successful barbecue chain, was destroyed in a fire early Monday morning.

The Sawyer County Record reported that dispatchers began receiving 911 calls around at 4:30 a.m. Flames being seen jumping from the bar area of the restaurant on Round Lake near Hayward. Fire crews from the Town of Hayward and Town of Round Lake Fire Departments responded and found the structure engulfed. No one was inside the building at the time the fire was discovered.

Famous Dave’s founder Dave Anderson expressed his sadness in a Facebook post early Monday.

“At 4:30 AM I was awakened by a call that my first restaurant The Original Famous Dave’s in Hayward Wi was ablaze. 20 years of memories. We will rebuild,” wrote Anderson. “For all our employees– Kathy and me and our GM Dave Von Rueden…we will find a location to be open ASAP. Maybe even in one of our pole barns at the family farm. Just know we will reopen and start serving great BBQ all over again! Please let everyone know this is only a temporary setback and we will begin anew!!!”

Anderson opened the original restaurant on Round Lake in 1994. The chain has expanded and now has locations in 34 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and one Canadian province.

Suspect jailed in Packers ticket scam

A Marshfield man is under arrest for scamming fifteen Green Bay Packers fans out of $46,034 dollars. Patrick Blachut, 37, was arrested by Marshfield Police Wednesday. Lieutenant Darren Larson said Blachut approached people in personal and business settings claiming to be an agent selling tickets for players and others associated with the team, offering “tickets essentially at face value at very desirable locations of Lambeau Field.”

Blachut earned their trust and made the sales, but never had the tickets. Police have identified victims in several communities, including Auburndale, Chippewa Falls, Fond du Lac, Marshfield, Plover, Wausau, and Wisconsin Rapids.

The victims lost between a few hundred dollars up to over $6,000 dollars each. Most of the money is gone and cannot be recovered. Investigators believe the money was used for online gambling.



Report says Wisconsin worst state in nation to be a black child

Photo: Wisconsin Council on Children and Families

Photo: Wisconsin Council on Children and Families

A new report says Wisconsin is the worst place in the entire United States to be a black child.

The study, released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, found the Badger State ranks overall last in the nation, based on 12 measures for the well-being of African American children. Those include poverty, parental support, and performance in school.

The Council said four out of every five Wisconsin black children live in low-income families, 70 percent live in single parent homes, and just 10 percent of black eighth graders are proficient in math.

Council executive director Ken Taylor says one of the biggest problems is a general indifference toward the plight of African American youth, which he calls “one of the core challenges we need to face.” Taylor says the lag among black children hurts the state’s economy and quality of life. It also makes Wisconsin “less competitive and less desirable.”

The Council’s report was an extension of the annual Kids Count survey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which was released earlier this spring. It showed that Wisconsin was the 13th-best overall for children’s well-being.

Brewers win in New York; head back for home

Jonathan Lucroy, having the best year of his career, was 0-for-5 with a strikeout on a lousy weather day in New York.

But, in a dramatic turn of events, Lucroy stepped up in the top of he thirteenth inning at Citi Field, Lucroy crushed a hanging Carlos Torres curveball; the ball landed almost 10 rows back for the eventual game-winning margin.

Brewers righthander Kyle Lohse and Mets southpaw Jon Niese were both brilliant; Lohse went 8 innings of 4-hit ball, Niese went 6 2/3 innings, scattering just 6 hits and only one earned run.

The Brewers are back home Friday night, opening up a three-game circus against Cincinnati.

The Ice is Heating Up

Today the puck will drop for the Wisconsin Men’s hockey team (22-10-2, 13-6-1 Big Ten). Earning a first round bye with their 2nd-seed, Wisconsin will face Penn State in the second round. The 6th seeded Nittany Lions won their opening match against 3rd-seeded Michigan 2-1 in double overtime.

Wisconsin is undefeated (4-0-0) against Penn State this season.

The NCAA Division 3 Frozen Four Ice Hockey Championships are on tap this weekend.  Semi-final action this afternoon has top ranked St. Norbert College facing Geneseo State at 3pm. St. Norbert has been to the Frozen Four 8 times and won 3 National titles.

UW-Stevens Point faces Oswego State in the other semi-final.