This Hour: Latest Wisconsin news, sports, business and entertainment - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

This Hour: Latest Wisconsin news, sports, business and entertainment

Posted: Updated:

CARGILL-BEEF PLANT

Cargill to close beef plant, cites cattle shortage

NEW YORK (AP) - Cargill says it plans to close a Milwaukee beef-processing plant which employs about 600 people on Friday due to a shortage of cattle.

The meat producer says a Midwest drought in 2011 and 2012 hurt cattle levels. Now, many herders are breading the cattle they have and not selling them. Cargill says US beef cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1951.

The Milwaukee plant which is being closed slaughters live cattle and packages beef products.

Employees were told about the closure on Wednesday. A separate plant at the site, which produces ground beef and employs about 200 people, will remain open.

Cargill says the 600 people losing their jobs can apply for work at other facilities in the region.

Minneapolis-based Cargill has about 143,000 employees around the world.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT-VOTING RIGHTS

Justice Dept. weighs in on OH, WI voting cases

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department has sided with challengers of voting laws in Wisconsin and Ohio, saying measures in those states unfairly affect minority voters.

At issue is a Wisconsin law that requires voters to present photo ID at the polls and an Ohio law that limits when voters can cast an early ballot.

The Justice Department has warned of legal actions against states after the Supreme Court last year wiped out a major provision of the Voting Rights Act. Last year the department sued Texas and North Carolina.

But the government didn't sue in either Ohio or Wisconsin, instead submitting court filings joining with challengers who want the measures declared invalid.

MISSING NEWBORN-WISCONSIN

Jury deliberations to begin in kidnapped-baby case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Jurors are set to begin deliberating in the federal trial of a Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew in Wisconsin and abandoning him in freezing temperatures.

The testimony phase finished Wednesday. The prosecution and defense will give closing statements Thursday, and jurors will begin considering a kidnapping charge against 31-year-old Kristen Smith.

Smith testified that she took the 4-day-old boy in February because his parents were planning to move into her Denver home within a few days, and the father suggested she take the boy ahead of time. She says she planned to bring the child back when she realized the mother was distraught.

But prosecutors say Smith repeatedly denied knowing where the boy was.

A police chief found the child safe after he spent 29 hours in subfreezing temperatures.

MISSING NEWBORN-WISCONSIN-DEFENDANT

Kidnapping defendant wails on stand, prompts break

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The federal trial of a Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her half-sister's newborn in Wisconsin and abandoning him in Iowa has been halted briefly after the defendant began sobbing uncontrollably on the witness stand.

Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colorado testified Wednesday that she took the baby at the father's urging, since the parents were planning to move in with her.

Under cross-examination, she had trouble answering even simple questions. She said she didn't know where she was born, whether she had any previous convictions or whether she lived in Wisconsin in 2010.

Frustrated prosecutors held a private meeting with the judge and defense attorney, while Smith sat with her sweater covering her eyes. Before questioning resumed she asked for a break, then began wailing as jurors were led from the courtroom.

JOURNAL-SCRIPPS DEAL

Journal Communications, Scripps Co. announce deal

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Journal Communications Incorporated of Milwaukee and E.W. Scripps Company of Cincinnati have announced an agreement to merge broadcasting operations while spinning off newspaper holdings into a separate public company.

As part of the deal announced by the companies Wednesday, the newspaper component, Journal Media Group, will be headquartered in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Journal Media Group will include the Journal Sentinel and Scripps newspapers, including the Memphis Commercial Appeal, and others.

Meanwhile, Journal Communications' broadcast assets will be folded into Scripps, with headquarters remaining in Cincinnati.

The newspaper reports Scripps will emerge from the deal as the nation's fifth-largest independent TV group, with 34 stations.

News releases say both companies' boards of directors approved the deal. It is expected to close in 2015.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WXOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Theresa Wopat at 507-895-9969. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.