News Digest

Minnesota firm to rebuild rail line

North Shore Track Services of Duluth, Minn., has been awarded the contract to reconstruct the 11-mile rail line from Plymouth to Sheboygan Falls and Kohler, at a cost of $17.1 million.

Rick LeMahieu of Aecom informed the Sheboygan Falls City Council of the decision at their meeting last week.

North Shore was the lowest of four bidders on the project, scheduled for completion this year, according to LeMahieu.

The winning bid of $17.1 million to rehabilitate the long-unused line was about 10 percent below the original estimated cost of $19 million for the project, LeMahieu said.

Lawn care MG lecture topic

Lawn care is the topic of the next talk in the Master Gardener Lecture Series to be held Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Bruce Schweiger, manager of the UW Turf Diagnostic Lab in Madison, will discuss low maintenance lawns and the do’s and dont’s of spring lawn care. His two topics explore myths and commonly held turfgrass maintenance ideas that can be more detrimental than advantageous to quality lawn management. He will explore irrigation techniques, renovation ideas and the early spring mad rush to grow grass that can all be damaging to home lawns. He will also explore how environmentally beneficial proper turfgrass maintenance can be to our environment.

The talk is open to the public and will start at 6:30 p.m. in UWEX room 5020 on the UW-Sheboygan campus. Due to construction, access to this area is through the Brotz Family Science Center located on the campus East Parking Lot. For more information call Sue at 458-1848.

Agronomy Day set for Feb. 19

Assessing crop production inputs, evaluating Bt-CRW technologies, managing herbicide resistant weed populations, and exploring grain market outlooks are among the topics for the 2015 Agronomy Day scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 19, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Five Pillars Restaurant, Random Lake.

“Agronomic Practices that Generate the Greatest Returns in Corn Production systems,” and “Can I Reduce My Corn Inputs Without Sacrificing Yield?” will be discussed by Joe Lauer, UW-Extension corn specialist.

Mike Ballweg, UW-Extension crops and soils agent, shares information on, “Suspected Glyphosate and PPO Resistant Waterhemp populations in Area Soybean Fields.”

Thomas Butts and Liz Bosak, UW-Madison Department of Agronomy, will discuss, “The Nuts & Bolts of Managing Herbicide Resistant Weed Populations”, and “Herbicide Modes of Action 101.”

Bryan Jensen, IPM UW-Madison, will share research regarding, “Management Guidelines for Rootworm,” and “When Should I Use Insecticides on Bt-CRW Corn.”

Naomi Blohm, Steward Peterson Group Inc., will provide a “Market Outlook for 2015.”

For more information and/or to make reservations, contact the Sheboygan County UW-Extension Office at (920) 459-5904. Registration information is also available on line at

The 2015 Agronomy Day is sponsored by the UW-Extension Offices of Sheboygan, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties, with support of local farm supply businesses and crop protectant companies.

January traffic deaths down

Last month, 36 people died in traffic crashes in Wisconsin, which was the fourth safest month of January in terms of traffic fatalities in the last 10 years, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT).

Last month also was tied for the ninth safest month of January since the end of World War II when the modern highway transportation system originated.

Since monthly traffic fatality figures were first compiled in 1937, the safest month of January occurred in 2010 with 20 deaths, and the deadliest was in 1964 with 82 fatalities.

Traffic deaths last month were three more than January 2014 and equaled the five-year average for the month of January. Traffic fatalities in January included 24 drivers, five passengers and six pedestrians.

“With gas prices down and the economy improving, we expect an increase in traffic volume this year measured by vehicle miles traveled,” says David Pabst, director of the DOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Unfortunately, with more vehicles on the road traveling longer distances, the overall risk for traffic crashes increases. Last year, Wisconsin had fewer than 500 traffic fatalities for the first time since 1943. All of us need to do everything possible to maintain a steady decrease in fatal crashes until we reach the ultimate goal of zero preventable traffic deaths in Wisconsin.”

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