Tag Archives: headlines

WiGWAG: Seeing Trump in butter and brewing papal pale ale

Trump’s image appears in tub of butter

A Wildwood, Missouri, woman is said to have nearly lost her lunch when she opened a new tub of Earth Origins Organic Spread and saw the image of Donald Trump staring back at her. “I needed to put on my glasses to make sure it was him,” Jan Castellano, 63, told The Huffington Post. Castellano briefly considered selling the butter tub on eBay and donating the proceeds to Hillary Clinton. But hunger won out over politics, and Trump’s face ended up on her breakfast toast.

The cat’s meow

The mayor in St. Paul, Minnesota, threw out a ceremonial ball of yarn to mark the opening of an annual festival for cat videos that drew thousands of feline fanatics to a city stadium. Mayor Chris Coleman said 13,000 people were at CHS Field for the Internet Cat Video Festival. Videos played on the stadium’s large scoreboard as people watched from the stands and blankets in the outfield. Selections included clips of a cat startling a bear and a scene from Jurassic Park edited to include giant cats. 

Papal pale ale

Cape May Brewing Co. in Cape May, New Jersey, has concocted a special beverage for when Pope Francis visits the United States in September. The brewery is producing 500 gallons of YOPO — You Only Pope Once — a hoppy pale ale available only on draft. A CMB sales rep said the ale pairs well with Argentinean beef.

Worse than bedbugs?

A Days Inn employee said her boss instructed her to flip a mattress rather than replace it after she reported a guest died in the bed. The revelation was part of a racial discrimination lawsuit filed July 30 by a dozen former African-American employees against a Tampa, Florida, Days Inn franchisee. They accuse Jamil Kassim of using racial slurs against them and firing them because of their race. The employees also say they were told to ignore health and safety policies and to clean up blood, vomit and other hazardous fluids.

Walking down the aisle

A vow renewal ceremony for high-wire daredevil Nik Wallenda and his wife Erendira was featured on the TLC show Say Yes to the Dress. When the couple originally married, income limited them to a simple courthouse ceremony. Since then, Wallenda’s become famous for televised skywalks across Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and Chicago skyscrapers. He’s now rich enough to have a lavish wedding, which he did in January at a museum in Sarasota, Florida. In August, Wallenda completed his longest tightrope walk — 1,576 feet — during an appearance at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Tournament of rednecks

An event that was known as the Redneck Olympics before the Olympics threatened legal action took place in Maine earlier this summer. “Athletes” competed in a greased watermelon haul, tossed toilet seats, bobbed for pigs feet, and held a tug-of-war in a mud pit. They also had an event called a “wife haul.” Hmm. Were they uniformed in dingy white tank tops?

Miracles of nature

University of Wisconsin students are returning to campus for the fall term, but don’t think researchers took the summer off. A bulletin arrived from UW-Madison in mid-August under the headline, “More details on origin of favorite beer-making microbe.” Genetics scientist and yeast expert Chris Hittinger has led a team that says the crucial genetic mashup that spawned the yeast that brews the vast majority of beer occurred at least twice. And both times without human help, despite what those 15th-century Bavarian monks may have claimed.

High on his own selfie

Police say a 25-year-old man was arrested after he climbed a 10-story construction crane in downtown Madison and took a selfie. The man was arrested for criminal trespass on a construction site.

Creepy real estate

A Pennsylvania couple is looking to sell the three-story Victorian that was used as the home of psychotic killer Buffalo Bill in the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs. The basement dungeon where the killer kept one would-be victim, however, doesn’t exist. Those scenes were shot on a soundstage. Still, agent Dianne Wilk is hopeful someone will pay $300,000 for the home. “People love to be scared. I could see somebody doing something fun with this,” she said.

Making headlines

Sometimes the headline tells the story. And here’s one from The Associated Press bureau in North Carolina: “Man in ax-wielding clown case turns himself in.”

Datebook: What news might you be reading about in early August?

Some events likely to make headlines in August include:


The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meets in Washington, D.C.

The Labor Department releases employment data for July. The Commerce Department releases personal income and spending for June. The Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for July. The Commerce Department releases construction spending for June.

Automakers release vehicle sales for July.


The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meets in D.C.


Congress is on break until the week of Sept. 8.


President Barack Obama holds a summit with African leaders.


President Barack Obama holds a summit with African leaders.

The Republican National Committee’s summer meeting takes place in Chicago through Aug. 9.


President Barack Obama vacations on Martha’s Vineyard through Aug. 24.

So they said… Quotes from the news

“Well, something that shocked me about Russia – and I’m surprised this is not a huge story – suddenly, homosexuality is against the law. I mean, this seems like Germany: Let’s round up the Jews, let’s round up the gays, let’s round up the blacks. I mean, it starts with that. Why is not more of the world outraged at this?”

– JAY LENO speaking with President Barack Obama on the “Tonight Show.”

“It is a shame and it is a sin but it is a personal choice. It is not normal but a person cannot be punished in Russia for being homosexual, or to live with a dog, with a horse, with a sheep, whatever.”

– Russian politician VITALY MILONOV speaking to the BBC about the “sin” of homosexuality. Milonov is behind St. Petersburg’s anti-gay law, which was later adopted by the nation as a whole.

“I applaud the Russians for taking a stand for children!”

– National Organization for Marriage spokesperson REV. BILL OWENS praising Russia’s persecution of LGBT people.

“Our (Russian) problem with homosexuals is that they behave in a provocative, victim-like way. They are aggressively foisting minority’s values on the majority. It is likely that society would counteract this. Naturally, right? In various ways, including brutal ones. … They should be prohibited from donating blood, sperm. And their hearts – in case of a car accident – should be buried or burned as unfit for extending anyone’s life.”

– Russian state television host DIMITRY KISELYVOV during a radio interview. He was promoted shortly after making the remarks.

“You go to jail in Russia for being gay. Someone better arrest those nesting dolls. They’re ladies inside other ladies!”

– STEPHEN COLBERT tweeting a comment about Russia’s crackdown on homosexuality.

“Reince Priebus, when I got engaged, congratulated me at the White House Correspondents’ weekend. Last year, Sean Spicer (RNC communications director) congratulated me on getting married to my husband. Yet they incorporate into the platform of the RNC their stance against marriage equality.”

– MSNBC host THOMAS ROBERTS speaking on “Morning Joe.”

“My mother’s illegal abortion marked a time in America that we have worked long and hard to leave behind. It was a time when women were seen as second-rate citizens who were not smart enough, nor responsible enough, nor capable enough to make decisions about their lives. It was a time that deserved to be left behind.”

– Kenosha native MARK RUFFALO speaking out for reproductive rights in a letter read during a rally outside of Mississippi’s last abortion clinic.

“I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.”

– New Jersey GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE explaining why he signed a bill on Aug. 19 banning “ex-gay” therapy for children in his state.

Recall, elections dominated Wisconsin headlines in 2012

Wisconsin’s governor survived a recall attempt and Janesville’s congressman had a shot at becoming vice president. There were five statewide elections in seven months, making it nearly impossible to escape robocalls and campaign ads. A white supremacist killed worshippers at a Sikh temple, a judge struck down a contentious collective-bargaining law and three Wisconsin soldiers were killed.

Some of the names and stories that defined the state in 2012:


• Scott Walker: He became the nation’s first governor to win a recall election when he turned back a Democratic effort to oust him for pushing to end collective-bargaining rights for most public workers. Walker beat Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by 7 percentage points, in a rematch of the 2010 governor’s race. Walker’s lieutenant governor and three GOP state senators also survived recall attempts, but state Sen. Van Wanggaard of Racine was defeated.

• Paul Ryan: Ryan’s political career got a major boost when he was selected as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate. Although Romney lost, Ryan retained his House seat and will resume his role as Budget Committee chairman. Ryan has hinted at a presidential run in 2016.

• Candidate visits: As Wisconsin’s importance as a presidential battleground state grew more evident, politicians from both parties logged visits to Milwaukee, Madison and the Fox Valley areas. There were stops from Barack and Michelle Obama, Biden and former President Bill Clinton. Romney, Ryan and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made appearances as well.

• We approve this message — again: The presidential race capped off a seemingly endless election cycle, with five statewide elections between April and November. All those campaigns, along with outside groups, spent millions of dollars on TV ads, glossy mail and robocalls. But in the end little changed: Obama carried Wisconsin again, Walker held on, all seven congressional incumbents won, the U.S. Senate seat remained in Democratic hands and Republicans maintained the Assembly and regained the state Senate.

• Tammy vs. Tommy: Sen. Herb Kohl’s pending retirement triggered the most expensive U.S. Senate fight in state history. Fellow Democrat and former U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin won, becoming Wisconsin’s first female senator and also the first openly gay candidate ever elected to the chamber. She defeated former Gov. Tommy Thompson, who had never before lost a statewide race.


• Collective bargaining: The issue that prompted the entire Walker recall got sidelined by Dane County Judge Juan Colas. The law limited collective bargaining for most public employees, but Colas ruled in September that it violated union members’ constitutional rights to free speech and equal representation. Republicans have said they’ll ask the state appeals court to place the ruling on hold.

• Voter ID: A new law favored by Republicans went into effect requiring voters to show photo identification at the ballot box. The law was in place for a February primary but two judges blocked the measure for any subsequent election in 2012. Republican state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen pledged to continue fighting to have the law upheld.

• Health Exchanges: Staying true to his longtime opposition to Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Walker joined with other Republican governors in deciding to hand off creation of an online health exchange to the federal government.


• Sikh temple: For reasons that remain unknown, a white supremacist opened fire at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek in August. Wade Michael Page killed six people and injured four others, then took his own life. Michelle Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were among the dignitaries who paid their respects.

• Spa shooting: About two months later, another gunman took innocent lives in southeastern Wisconsin. Radcliffe Franklin Haughton, who had terrorized his wife for years, killed her and two other women at the spa where she worked. Four other women were wounded before Haughton killed himself.

• John Doe: A secret investigation into six former Walker aides and associates appears to be wrapping up. Five of the six were convicted on charges ranging from theft to doing campaign work on county time. The John Doe investigation, which involved allegations against people close to Walker during his time as the Milwaukee County executive, began six months before Walker was elected governor. Walker has not been charged.

• Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy: About 500 men and women filed sex-abuse claims against the Milwaukee Archdiocese by a February deadline, a step that came after the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy the previous year. The archdiocese said pending sex-abuse lawsuits could leave it deep in debt.


• Unemployment: Wisconsin’s unemployment rate continued to track better than the national level. The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October was 6.7 percent, compared to 7.7 percent in November for the U.S. However, according to PolitiFact, Wisconsin has created about 25,000 jobs on Walker’s watch, far from the 250,000 he promised as a candidate.


• Thirsty crops: A persistent drought took its toll across much of the nation. In Wisconsin, harvests of tart cherries and maple syrup were decimated. But the heat was good for consumers who like their peppers potent, because certain vegetables grown in overheated conditions produce more of the chemical that gives peppers their spicy kick.

• Heavy rains: A summer storm dumped as much as 6 inches of rain in parts of northern Wisconsin. The June storm caused more than $23 million in damage at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where nearly every building sustained flooding damage.

• Snow-free Milwaukee: Milwaukee set a record by going 288 consecutive days without measurable snowfall.


• Night deer hunt: A federal judge in December blocked the state’s Chippewa bands’ attempt to allow tribal hunters to go after deer at night, a move that flew in the face of the state’s long-standing ban on the practice.

• Wolf hunt: Lawmakers created the state’s first organized wolf hunt. The goal was to harvest 116 wolves during this year’s inaugural hunt. Those goals will likely be reached before the official end of the season Feb. 28.

• Mining: The Legislature failed to pass a mining bill that would have jump-started an iron-ore mine in northwestern Wisconsin. The GOP-authored bill died in the state Senate after Republican Dale Schultz broke ranks. But Republicans’ majority grows to 18-15 next year and they plan to reintroduce the measure.