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a.MKE: Extended Splash Pad & Pool Hours in Milwaukee & MATC's Wind Turbine Project: Today's Top Stories

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MATC is planning on installing a small wind turbine at its Oak Creek campus, which is the home of the college’s center for energy conservation and advanced manufacturing. The turbine will provide the college with, “a comprehensive portfolio of renewable energy sources at the Oak Creek campus.” The college has solar power at that particular campus and it also has a wind turbine at the Mequon campus. Now the plan just needs approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Devastation continues for families and residents that live near Colorado Springs. The Colorado wildfires have destroyed hundreds of homes and burned over 17,000 acres. Over the weekend, President Obama made a visit to the state to witness the damage first hand. Obama said that “a major disaster” exists in the state. Last Friday the first death was confirmed from the raging wildfire. Officials don’t expect to have it totally contained until July 16th, but some residents are being allowed to return to their neighborhoods to assess the damage to their homes.

Democrat John Lehman did indeed defeat incumbent Republican State Senate Van Wanggaard in the June 5th recall election, that’s according to the Racine County Clerk’s Office. The initial tally showed Lehman won by 834 votes, but the recent recount puts his margin of victory at 819 votes. Wanggaard requested the recount because of the close outcome after nearly 72,000 people voted. The Government Accountability Board must now certify the results of the recount before Lehman can take office.

Wisconsin recently received a federal bonus of $2.1 million for making accurate payments in its food assistance program for the poor. The state’s Foodshare Program actually ranked fourth for the best payment accuracy in the country. Executive Director of Milwaukee’s Hunger Task Force, Sherrie Tussler, said the award showed the program is well run in that respect. The State Department of Health Services said the agency has still not decided how to use the money.

Earlier this week, the Obama Administration announced plans to move forward with a program that would award funding to companies looking to build biorefineries to produce advanced biofuels for the military. The air force would provide up to $30 million to be awarded to companies that apply to participate in the program. The first phase calls for submission of a design package and business plan for a commercial scale biorefinery that would indentify potential biorefinery locations. So far, Virent Inc, a Madison-based company, has stressed interest in the program.

With Milwaukee expected to experience a heat wave all week long, the Milwaukee County Parks Department has extended hours at several splash pads and outdoor pools, that includes at Carver, Clarke Square, Gordon and Madison parks. In addition, the City’s Department of Public Works will attach industrial-strength sprinklers to the fire hydrants at seven Milwaukee recreation playground ‘cool spots’. The cool spots open from 1 to 6 on hot days such as today. Officials recommend that people drink more fluids, spend the hottest part of the day in an air-conditioned location, keep pets inside and avoid strenuous activity during this heat.