Alan Bushey, 58, refreshes the state's credentials as a haven for whackjobs (Gein, Dahmer, Cheney, etc.). The Necedah religious leader pleads no contest to instructing a follower to keep the dead body of a 90-year-old woman perched on a toilet for two months in a home with two kids in order to continue collecting her Social Security checks. As the saying goes: Jesus Christ!
Gov. Jim Doyle says he wants the UW-Madison's Charter Street heating plant to switch from coal to biomass by 2012. The move is hailed by environmentalists, who sued over pollution from the current plant.
Fresh from a recent wave of staff cuts, the Wisconsin State Journal implements austerity measures including suspended 401(k) payments and five mandatory days off without pay, which must be taken by May 30.
The board of the Madison Surgery Center approves a plan to offer second-trimester abortions. The move fulfills a local health-care need - and gives anti-choice activists something to squawk about. (For Ruth Conniff's opinion column on the center, see page 10.)
Several Week in Review-worthy news events occur but, due to media staff cutbacks, we don't know what they are. (In other news, a tree falls in a forest - or so we hear.)
Some 1,300 MGE customers on Madison's west side lose electric service for about two and a half hours, tragically during HBO's airing of Big Love. The governor fails to call out the state National Guard. Those poor people are just going to have to watch it On Demand. Oh, the humanity!
Campaign finance filings reveal that Shirley Abrahamson, chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, has an enormous fundraising lead over her rival, circuit court Judge Randy Koschnick. As of Feb. 2, Abrahamson has raised more than $1 million, and has $904,000 on hand; Koschnick has raised $53,000, with $45,000 on hand.
Madison sets a record high temperature of 54 degrees, busting the previous record of 53 degrees set in 1876. It was so warm that the ice on Vicky McKenna's heart melted.
The Madison Public Safety Review Board unanimously approves a proposal to fine drivers who thrust their car doors into passing bicyclists without looking. Not only is this now not illegal, but, as Isthmus reported, bicyclist Linda Willsey was given a $10 citation (later dismissed) for passing too close after it happened to her, sending her to the emergency room. The Common Council will likely take up the measure next month. In the meantime, leave those bikers alone.
Brett Favre announces his retirement from football - again - telling the New York Jets not to expect him back next season. We'll see.
Compiled (in part) from local media