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Our birds of prey

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Up to 2,500 bald eagles winter near the Mississippi River’s locks and dams because open water makes it easier to fish for dinner. That’s why we consider this the time of year to seek out the once-endangered raptor.

The population estimate comes from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and most bald eagles head north to nest as weather warms toward the beginning of spring.

Are 2,500 bald eagles a lot? That depends. Up to 500,000 lived in the U.S. during the 1700s. Fewer than 450 nesting pairs existed 50 years ago in the lower 48 states. Now there are at least 4,000.


A pro’s advice for travelers

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So many travel stories concentrate on exotic and extravagant destinations that have huge budgets for marketing and promotion. We all know they are off-limits to average people because of the excess and expense.

Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel columns, magazines and books are a longstanding exception. His guidebook “Europe on $5 a Day,” published in 1956, was the first title of almost 180 that bear his name. (“Europe on $95 a Day was published in 2007.)

Beer on the menu

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Cooking with alcohol used to mean little beyond a splash of beer in a crock of cheese soup or tub of simmering brats. Now ales, stouts and spirits show up in almost all courses, if you know where to look.

The Brown Bottle, a tasting room and tavern for Milwaukee’s Schlitz Brewing Co. since 1938, recently reopened after four years of closure.

Big city, farm food

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Downtown Chicago might seem about as far away as you can get from rural America, but think again.

At Farmhouse Chicago restaurant, an antique tractor grill covers the hostess stand, steel pipes are stairway handrails and simple cotton kitchen towels are napkins. On display are collectible toy tractors, walls are whitewashed and accoutrements include a salvaged Toledo scale.

Winter romance

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What cracks the deepest freeze of winter? A warm heart, and February is just the time to stoke up a little romance. Here are some ways to woo your Valentine.

— Cave of the Mounds, Blue Mounds, opens its Cathedral Room and more to couples from 5-7 p.m. Feb 14. This by-reservation opportunity is only for people at least 21 years old.

Rosemont tempts O’Hare travelers

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I am a fickle consumer when it comes to airline transportation and spend way too much time weighing fares and gateways. I favor no airline but repeatedly head to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport because of often-remarkable price differences compared with Wisconsin options.

When a deep discount means spending a night in the area because of odd flight times, I typically book cheap lodging, hold my breath and get in and out fast. Now the rejuvenated village of Rosemont, Ill., tempts travelers to consider doing more and staying longer.

Paralympic skiers to race in Cable

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If you look at winter as a season of limitations, head to Cable and the Chequamegon National Forest in southern Bayfield County for a profoundly different perspective.

I’m not talking about the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski races in February, held since 1973, although the demonstration of athleticism, endurance and grit is bold.

So many ‘Places to See’

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Patricia Schultz was raised in Beacon, N.Y., a Hudson River town with some of our nation’s earliest settlements and the late folkster Pete Seeger as a hometown icon. She calls the city “a real Norman Rockwell corner of the world.”

“I had a lovely childhood, but it wasn’t quite enough for me,” says the author of the 2003 bestseller “1,000 Places to See Before You Die,” an ambitious book that was a fast hit and published four years before “The Bucket List” was released as a film.

For the love of bratwurst

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You say you love bratwurst? Germany’s Bavaria is centuries ahead of us in that regard, and now a new exhibit in Nuremberg’s local history museum is devoted to the sausage.

The show about Nuremberg Rostbratwurst fills the first level of Stadtmuseum Fembohaus and is a first step toward deciding whether the city should open a permanent bratwurst museum.

For the love of bratwurst

6

You say you love bratwurst? Germany’s Bavaria is centuries ahead of us in that regard, and now a new exhibit in Nuremberg’s local history museum is devoted to the sausage.

The show about Nuremberg Rostbratwurst fills the first level of Stadtmuseum Fembohaus and is a first step toward deciding whether the city should open a permanent bratwurst museum.

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    Somers prepares mass mailing on incorporation

    The Town of Somers wants to be a village.

    News briefs: Numerous accidents reported during snowfall

    An unexpected snowfall created a hectic Thursday morning for local commuters and emergency crews as Kenosha Police and Kenosha Sheriff’s responded to 56 calls from 4 p.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday.

    Firefighter who died of cancer honored by area departments

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    A fallen Kenosha firefighter was honored by more than 20 departments during a 34-mile procession from Milwaukee to Kenosha late Wednesday night.

    More than 1,000 new apartments going up in area

    3

    Driven by the shortage of multi-family rental units, developers are coming to the forefront with plans for more than 1,000 new apartment units to be built over the next two years.

    Salem to consider funding for splash park, rec study

    SALEM — A feasibility study for construction of a zero-depth splash park and a recreation facility is on a list of items the town is considering funding as part of its 2015 capital improvement plan.

    Trolley Dogs owner must move exhaust fan

    4

    Trolley Dogs owner Joe Catuara has until June 30 to move his exhaust fan, after a Kenosha County circuit judge ruled the fan is a nuisance to the abutting property owner and her tenants.

    Co-defendant testifies in drug deal murder case

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    A man testified Thursday that he knew an April drug deal was going to be a robbery, contrary to what he told police after his arrest nearly a year ago.

    $10,000 bond set in arson case

    4

    A $10,000 cash bond was set Thursday afternoon for a Somers man accused of fighting with his live-in girlfriend and burning down his mobile home earlier this month.

    Bell addresses President’s Task Force on Policing

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    Back home in Kenosha after testifying before the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing in Washington, D.C., Michael M. Bell reflected on what it meant to him and his determination to seize the opportunity.

    Fix It: Gateway-area red light takes its sweet time

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    Today’s problem: A reader contacted Fix It with a complaint about the length of time it takes for the red light to change on the traffic signal for westbound traffic on 35th Street to turn left onto 30th Avenue near Gateway Technical College.

    Kenosha prosecutors seek leeway in Zelich case

    Prosecutors want to be able to tell jurors that the man accused of killing a woman here and dumping her body several years later is suspected of doing the same thing to someone in another state.

    Wisconsin Senate passes right-to-work bill amid protests

    1

    MADISON — The Wisconsin state Senate passed a right-to-work bill Wednesday with just enough votes to send it on to the Assembly, where the Republican majority is wider, keeping the measure on a fast track that could put it before Gov. Scott Walker for his signature next week.