MADISON, WI - Purdue came to the Kohl Center and beat No. 17 Wisconsin at its own game.
D.J. Byrd scored nine of his 22 points during a decisive second-half run as the Boilermakers upset the Badgers 69-56 to all but eliminate Wisconsin from contention in the tightly contested Big Ten race.
Terone Johnson added 16 points for Purdue (14-15, 7-9 Big Ten), half of which came in the 21-3 surge that carried the visitors to their first win in Madison since January 2009.
And the Boilermakers did it the way the Badgers have won many games: Tough defense, rebounding and hustling for loose balls.
``I think the numbers show that they did a better job on some of those hustle plays,'' Wisconsin's Jared Berggren said. ``That's something we normally take pride in controlling and getting more than our fair share of rebounds, loose balls, things like that. We didn't do a good job coming away with those and that cost us.''
Purdue, which had lost three straight road games and four of five overall, outrebounded Wisconsin 39-27 _ including a 12-6 advantage on the offensive glass _ and limited the Badgers to 29.6 percent shooting (8-for-27) after halftime.
Wisconsin (20-9, 11-5) missed its final 18 3-pointers, including all 12 of its attempts in the second half. Berggren scored 13 points and Ryan Evans and Sam Dekker had 10 apiece for the Badgers, who had won six of their previous seven.
``I thought our guys did a good job taking them out of rhythm, and when they had a couple that were open, I thought they rushed them a little bit,'' Boilermakers coach Matt Painter said. ``Sometimes that happens when you fight to get an open one.''
Meanwhile, Wisconsin couldn't handle the combination of Johnson slicing through the lane and Byrd connecting from beyond the arc.
``We kept getting shots in the paint, and that opened things up for D.J. on the outside,'' said Johnson, who scored 10 points in the second half. ``It was a snowball effect. Guys started making shots, guys started rebounding harder.''
Byrd hit three 3-pointers and Johnson added four baskets in the big run for Purdue. Wisconsin, meanwhile, missed five of six shots from the field and committed four turnovers in the 7:31 stretch as it fell behind 54-45.
``I thought we really did a good job rebounding, offensively and defensively,'' said Byrd, who hit six of nine 3-pointers and matched his season high for points. ``It gave us extra opportunities to knock down shots and extra opportunities just to have the ball in our hands.''
The Badgers, who won their previous three games by at least 20 points, opened up a 13-point lead in the first half and led by nine early in the second half.
``We had them down, and we just didn't step on their throats like we needed to,'' Wisconsin's Mike Bruesewitz said.
Sandi Marcius complemented Byrd and Johnson, scoring eight of his 10 points in the second half to reach double figures for just the second time this season.
``We kept battling back,'' Painter said. ``For this team, it's only happened one time all year. It's a real tribute to our guys just staying with it this time of year.''
Wisconsin is still mathematically alive in the Big Ten chase, but it seems highly unlikely the Badgers will claim their first title since 2007-08. They'll need to win their final two games, Thursday at No. 9 Michigan State and next Sunday at Penn State, and get a lot of help to claim a share of the championship.
It also was the first time in Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan's 12-year tenure that the Badgers lost on Senior Day.
Evans, one of five seniors honored before and after the game, started and extended his streak to 132 consecutive games played despite suffering a right knee sprain in practice Thursday.
RHINELANDER - If you never met Monica Bartishofski, you would have loved her smile.
“Oh it was contagious, you couldn’t not smile when Monica greeted you into the store,” says Patti Pazera, Rhinelander Trigs Employee.
These are the aisles Monica used to walk during her days bagging groceries for the people of Rhinelander.
“You always knew if it was going on close to 1:00 in the afternoon, and we would go here comes Monica and we’d always just see her bright smiling face,” says Anne Cline, Rhinelander Trigs Employee. “She’d come and visit us before her shift and she just enjoyed coming down and seeing us girls.”
Monica was killed in a car accident on Valentines Day.
“It was Valentines Day when she had her accident,” says Cline.
“At first it didn’t hit me you know it didn’t comprehend and then I’m checking out a customer and of course we’re busy and the tears start coming down,”says Christa Stolzman, Rhinelander Trigs Employee.
“We all just stood there in shock and the day stopped for a bit,” says Cline.
“I had to apologize to my customers because I had tears in my eyes and I said I’m sorry I don’t mean to be crying but we just lost Monica and I tell you what, a lot of those customers couldn’t believe it and they teared up with me,” says Stolzman.
“After her accident customers were all coming up saying how they missed her smile that it always made even if they were having a bad day it made it a good day whenever they came in and saw Monica,” says Pazera.
Monica’s coworkers decided to raise money in memory of Monica. They sold carnations for donations and raised over $2,700 toward Special Olympics.
Monica Bartishofski worked here inside the Rhinelander Trigs for 17 years but it was her commitment to the special Olympics that coworkers, friends, and family will remember most.
“You could call her Monica “Special Olympics” Bartishofski,” says Tony Bartishofski, Monica’s dad. “She always had a good time bowling. She was really outgoing, bubbly.”
Monica lived life to the fullest.
“You just remember her with her smiling face, her laugh was just you know a great laugh that she had and just bright eyed always happy to be at work,” says Stolzman. “So I think that would be a good way of remembering her.”
ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Senate and House Representatives hope a wildfire disaster bill will help the U.S. Forest Service battle forest fires and still have funding to do its job.
The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2013, SB 1875, would treat extreme forest fires like a natural disaster. That would trigger access to separate pool of funding that would help some lawmakers believe would substantially help the Forest Service.
President Obama included the reforms in his proposed 2015 budget released earlier this week. The reforms would change how the government pays to fight wildfires.
Since 2002, The Forest Service has spent nearly $3 billions dollars of its funding to fight forest fires.
According to the department, Congress paid back the majority of that money, but that still delayed services from the department because payments were done after the fact.
That meant the Forest Service had to pull money away from programs like timber management and fire prevention programs to pay for fire suppression.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin-(D) Wisc. believes that is hurting the department and ultimately businesses and workers that rely on timber harvests in the national forests.
"Because we have had so much severe wildfires, it has left the rest of the forest service with insufficient resources to do their job," Baldwin said.
The Forest Service says funding is one of their key obstacles to increasing timber harvests.
The Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest(CNNF) stretches across parts of Northern Wisconsin. The forest's land management plan allows more than 130 million board feet of timber to be harvested every year, but only half of that allowable level has been harvested each of the past few years.
Baldwin believes the proposal would give the department more resources to improve harvest and land management.
"That will in my mind, in my mind if we are successful in seeing this through," Baldwin said. "We'll safeguard the funding that is really supposed to be used for other purposes to maintain healthy forests in the United States."
That will allow the Forest Service to use resources for the purpose they were intended for.
Baldwin hopes the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act gives leaders at the CNNF the resources to harvest levels closer to the allowable levels.
"The idea here is to that when we have an extreme wildfire event that they will be treated as the natural disasters that they are," Baldwin said. "And that a separate stream of funding will be used."
According to a American Forest Foundation report, the proposal would creates a budget cap adjustment for a 30% portion of wildfire disaster funding for USFS and DOI. They compare the structure to what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses for other natural disaster response.
Most of the senators and representatives that are sponsoring the legislation come from states impacted by wildfires and the timber industry.
"We'll be leading this effort and we're just hopeful that we'll be able to see some progress," Baldwin said.
The proposal is in committee in both the House and Senate. Baldwin says she’s confident they’ll see progress with it this year. Rep. Reid Ribble-(R) Wisc. is a co-sponsor of the House version of the bill.
MADISON - A Wisconsin Rapids woman will spend three years on probation for threatening to kill a federal administrative law judge.
51-year-old Norma Prince was sentenced Thursday. Prince pleaded guilty in December.
Prosecutors say the incident happened Jan. 31, 2013, when Prince appeared at a Social Security disability benefits hearing in Wausau.
Administrative Law Judge Thomas Sanzi was presiding over the hearing by teleconference from Madison. Prosecutors say Prince became upset and threatened to shoot Sanzi and cut off his head. The hearing was halted and Prince was escorted from the courtroom.
Prince's husband told a federal agent that his wife had bought two .22-caliber rifles about a month before the disability hearing.
At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman said Prince's mental health issues can be controlled through medication and supervision.
ROTHSCHILD - Wisconsin farms play a key role in our economy, but today's farm owners aren't getting any younger.
One apprentice program hopes to change that.
The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program is building and preparing the next generation of farmers. It gives young farmers hands-on training and a path to a career in dairy farming.
"There's a lot of farms that are going to be transitioned and transferred in the next decade or so, and what we really need is somebody to be able to take these farms over," says program director Joe Tomandl. "We don't have that training program in place, and that's what the dairy grazing apprenticeship is about."
A recent government census of American agriculture found the average age of a farmer is 58 years old. Leaders believe the apprentice program has already seen success with new farmers over the past few years.
"We have a number of new producers just in the last four years in Marathon and Lincoln counties now running their own dairy farms using managed grazing techniques," says Paul Daigle of the Marathon County Conservation, Planning, & Zoning Department. "It's still a struggle no matter what, but it offers a profitable way to get into farming today."
Cattle farmers met at the 20th Annual Winter Grazing Conference today in Rothschild.
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