- Associated Press - Sunday, February 1, 2015
Winter storm could dump up to foot of snow on SE Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The first big winter storm of the season walloped southern Wisconsin with several inches of snow Sunday, prompting some cities to declare snow emergencies.

As of mid-afternoon, the National Weather Service reported 9.9 inches of snow in Kenosha and an estimated 9 inches in Caledonia. Other reports included 8.2 inches of snow in Janesville and near Lake Geneva and 7.5 inches in Madison.

Far southeastern Wisconsin could see 10 to 12 inches of snow before the storm moves on, said meteorologist Sarah Marquardt with the National Weather Service in Sullivan.

“This is the first big storm for our area” of the season, Marquardt said. Southern Wisconsin has seen only a few inches of snow so far this winter, she said.

The cities of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha have declared snow emergencies, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Blizzard warnings were out for Racine and Kenosha counties through Sunday evening.

Despite the snow, general manager Mark Lombardo of Matty’s Bar & Grill, a sports bar in New Berlin, still expected a strong turnout for Super Bowl Sunday.

“Here in Wisconsin, with the snow, we’re pretty used to it,” Lombardo said. “Lots of folks have the big four-wheel trucks. The snow doesn’t really slow them down.”

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Rural school officials: Walker’s proposed aid won’t cut it

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - As Gov. Scott Walker is set to propose a $19 million increase in money for rural schools, education officials say it doesn’t go far enough to help struggling districts in less populated parts of the state.

As state aid to schools has dropped in recent years - including a $1.2 billion cut four years ago - schools have struggled to make ends meet. Rural schools have faced their own challenges, with fewer students spread out over a larger distance.

The plight of Wisconsin’s 259 cash-strapped rural schools was the focus of a bipartisan task force that traveled the state last year, hearing concerns from teachers, superintendents, parents and students.

Its report and myriad recommendations came too late for the Legislature to act on last year. But Walker is picking up on two of its suggestions - spending more on transportation and broadband access.

Walker is calling for spending $6 million more to expand broadband access, something rural school advocates have said is a particular need.

“That will at least help us catch up to where we need to be,” said Jeff Jacobson, superintendent of Dodgeville School District.

Walker also said he would propose $5 million more to help pay for transporting students more than 12 miles to school.

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Storm blankets Midwest in snow, creeps toward Northeast

CHICAGO (AP) - A slow-moving winter storm blanketed a large swath of the Plains and Midwest in snow Sunday, forcing the cancellation of roughly 2,000 flights, making roads treacherous and forcing some people to rethink their plans to attend Super Bowl parties.

Blizzard conditions developed in Chicago - where more than a foot was expected by evening - and other Midwest locales as the system slowly crept eastward into Pennsylvania and western New York state. Parts of New England still digging out from a storm early last week were readying for yet another round of snow to arrive Sunday and last through Monday.

Here’s the outlook:

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THE STORM

The snowstorm was expected to be the most far-reaching of the season to date, stretching from Nebraska to Maine, according to the National Weather Service.


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