Even though national numbers are at their lowest levels in more than 20 years, a recent study shows that the number of volunteer firefighters in Wisconsin is holding steady. Numbers are down across the U.S. partly because of the economy. Officials from the National Volunteer Fire Council said that when times are bad, people work overtime or take second jobs, leaving them less time to volunteer as firefighters. But they say Wisconsin isn’t seeing the same decline mainly because of geography and that in rural areas, people learn to stick together and answer the call when their neighbors need help.
Wisconsin teachers, Kara Pezzi and Michael Tamblyn were among the 97 teachers nationally named as recipients of the 2011 presidential awards for excellence in math and science teaching. At the end of the month, both teachers will receive a certificate signed by the president and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Pezzi teaches chem at Appleton East High School and Tamblyn teaches AP calc at Whitewater High School. State Superintendent Tony Evers said that both teachers were examples of what the state and country need to train the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and innovators.
The State Department of Natural Resources is looking for public feedback on a report examining outdoor recreation in Wisconsin. The statewide plan is designed to serve as a blueprint for state and local outdoor recreation planning. The draft looks at a number of popular activities and the report’s recommendations include holding an annual forum on outdoor recreation, building more public boating access points, devoting more money to state parks, and creating more city parks. The DNR will take the public’s feedback through July 6th.
A smartphone app is currently in the works that could help out Milwaukee County bus riders. The Milwaukee County Transit System and UW-Milwaukee are working together on technology that could let bus riders use their smartphones or computers to find out how much longer they would have to wait until a bus shows up. Transit officials say that could in turn, boost ridership if passengers don’t have to wonder how much time they need to spend at the bus stop. The County Transit System already has worked with Google to provide online route and schedule information that riders can use to plan their trips.
Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney brought his "Every Town Counts" bus tour through Wisconsin yesterday. Romney was joined by a crowd of 1,000 people during his stop at Monterey Mills in Janesville. Also sharing the stage with Romney was Governor Walker, U.S. Rep Paul Ryan, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and Republican National Committee Chairman Renice Preibus. Romney talked about President Obama and said, "There's no way we're going to let him turn a one-term proposition into an eight-year proposition. It's time to replace Barack Obama." Romney also vowed to repeal the affordable care act, cut financial regulation and take advantage of domestic energy resources.
Yesterday was extremely hot and today isn't going to be any cooler. According to the National Weather Service, this heat is going to continue on through tomorrow, with the highest temps here in Wisconsin, reaching the mid-90's. But today's humidity level is going to make the weather feel like it's in the high 90's. City officials are warning residents to drinks lots of water, stay in the shade, move indoors when they feel faint and the same rules apply to pets. The Wisconsin Humane Society said animals can get a heat stroke and heat exhaustion, but they can't regulate their body temperatures in the same way that people can. The humane society said that residents should not leave pets in their cars because the inside can reach 160 degrees in just a few minutes. The heat wave is expected to break tomorrow night.
Here's David Lowery's open letter to Emily White at NPR Music. It's a long read, but it should be for all the ground it covers.