Get Wisconsin news you need straight to your inbox.
Sign up for our free story updates and Friday news roundups. 
Posted inEconomy, Health & Welfare

Bowing to pressure, fireplace makers step up safety measures

To stave off regulation and lawsuits over severe burns to toddlers, manufacturers will provide protective screens as standard equipment with new gas fireplaces. The industry has revised its voluntary guidelines to call for the addition of mesh screens to be permanently attached to new fireplaces to prevent contact with the scorching glass fronts, which get hot enough to melt skin.

Posted inGovernment, Justice & Safety

Fatal blast at Wisconsin ‘model workplace’ raises questions about OSHA program

American Packaging Corp. in Columbus is supposed to be one of the safest places to work. In 2009, the company was recognized as a model of safety when it joined other Wisconsin workplaces, now totaling 49, in a voluntary compliance program run by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. But accidents happen, even in the safest places.

Posted inEconomy, Government

Should raw milk sales be legalized?

For farmer Brian Wickert, the raw milk bill is about having the freedom to live without interference from the government. But for health officials in America’s Dairyland, it’s about potentially exposing unsuspecting citizens to disease-causing bacteria. At the crux of this debate is the age-old question: How much should government protect its citizens from possible hazards?

Posted inEconomy, Health & Welfare

Burn cases turn up the heat on fireplace makers

In September, a family’s vacation in Wisconsin Dells turned tragic when an infant touched the glass front of a fireplace and suffered third-degree burns at a resort hotel. Manufacturers of gas fireplaces are being buffeted by lawsuits and the threat of federal regulation amid heightened concerns about the risk of burns from the appliances, which can get hot enough to melt skin.

Posted inEnvironment, Justice & Safety

Deer, coyotes and turkeys, oh my!

Just as Doug Drost was landing at the Shell Lake airport, his wife, Karen Drost, saw something hurtling out of the darkness toward their Cessna 210. Something big. “Deer, deer, deer!” she screamed. That hit on the northwestern Wisconsin runway — which caused $12,000 in damage — is a story that plays out over and over in this increasingly deer-ridden country.