Leader-Telegram from Eau Claire, Wisconsin on August 30, 2010 · A5
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Leader-Telegram from Eau Claire, Wisconsin · A5

Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Monday, August 30, 2010
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Authorities say the boy failed to negotiate a curve and the utility vehicle rolled down a 6-foot berm, throwing the boy and pinning him underneath. The boy’s father and a farmhand were able to free the boy and begin CPR. The boy was taken to a hospital but later pronounced dead. The Sheriff’s Department says the boy was familiar with the utility vehicle but was not wearing a seat belt. The boy’s name has not been released. The accident remains under investigation but no charges are expected. No Vegas for UW marching band MADISON — It’s no “Vegas, baby” this year for the University of Wisconsin marching band. The band has traveled to Las Vegas for previous Badger football games. But this season, the band doesn’t have enough money to make the trip. The Badgers will play UNLV on Saturday. Earlier this month, band director Mike Leckrone said the band was short about $40,000 to $50,000 to get the entire group to the game. He blamed the recession hitting donors as well as the game falling on Labor Day weekend, since hotels are less willing to provide complementary hotel rooms on the holiday weekend. Leckrone said any money raised for the trip will be put toward paying for any bowl game trips later this season. Officials to discuss waiver denial MADISON — Wisconsin election officials today plan to discuss how to proceed now that the federal government has denied the state’s request for a waiver to comply with a new law related to military and overseas voting. Wisconsin had wanted a waiver because it can’t meet the requirement of the law to provide ballots to military and overseas voters at least 45 days before the Nov. 2 election. The deadline to do that is just four days after the Sept. 14 primary, but it takes about two weeks to finalize that vote. The Government Accountability Board plans to discuss the waiver denial today. The U.S. Department of Justice is working with the state to resolve the issue. From news services Court Report Eau Claire County Found guilty SMITH, Jeremy R., 22, 808 Johnson Road, Cornell, second-offense drunken driving Feb. 6, $1,042 fine, 20 days jail, license revoked 16 months. McILQUHAM, Ted S., 22, 503 ½ Spring St., second-offense drunken driving May 16, $916 fine, 30 days jail, license revoked one year, 25 hours of community service. KNUTSON, Eric R., 27, 1203 Emery St., second-offense operating with a prohibited blood alcohol content May 15, $916 fine, 10 days jail, license revoked one year. SMRECEK-HAYES, Kyle J., 22, 236 First Ave., Chippewa Falls, operating after revocation March 20, $204 fine. GARCIA, Celia, 34, 855 ½ E. Grand Ave., operating without a valid license, second offense within three years, June 16, $236 fine. By La Crosse Tribune LA CROSSE — The SweeTango is everything you could want from an apple. It has crunch and lots of juice. As the name suggests, it’s sweet, with a hint of spice. Already fat and red by August, it’s an early taste of fall. Fred Sandvick picks one off a young tree in his La Crescent orchard and tosses it to a visitor. “It’s a good apple,” he says. But without legal intervention this homegrown apple, invented by scientists at the University of Minnesota, won’t be a money maker for Sandvick, or most Minnesota growers. As the new crop ripens, a lawsuit is working its way through the courts, pitting Minnesota apple growers against one another and the institution that developed much of the fruit on which the industry is based. At the heart of the suit is a contract that gives one Lake City orchard the exclusive rights to market and sell this new apple — and to control who grows it. About a dozen apple growers who joined the suit allege the arrangement effectively shuts them out of what could be the hottest new apple variety since the Honeycrisp and could jeopardize the Mississippi River valley fruit industry. The lawsuit Developed in 2000 by the University of Minnesota’s apple breeding program, the SweeTango is a cross between the popular Honeycrisp and Zestar varieties. The university granted Pepin Heights Orchard an exclusive license to grow and sell the apple. In 2006, Pepin Heights formed a cooperative, called Next Big Thing, comprising 45 growers who would produce SweeTango apples grown on Minneiska trees. An exception allows Minnesota orchards to plant the trees, but with restrictions: They can have no more than 1,000 trees — a fraction of what wholesale growers typically plant — and are forbidden from pooling their crops with other orchards for the wholesale market or selling them outside the state. That limits growers like Sandvick to selling their crop at the farm, in farmers markets and roadside stands, or direct to a grocer. The problem, growers say, is that few grocers will do business with individual orchards with small crops. The only way they can survive is by combining their crops to sell to wholesalers, which the contract prohibits. The lawsuit, filed in June in Hennepin County District Court, alleges the agreement runs contrary to state and federal law as well as to the university’s policy as a Land Grant institution. Mark Rotenberg, general counsel for the university system, disputes that claim, saying public institutions regularly license intellectual property and rely on the revenue to fund future research and inventions. Rotenberg said the managed variety agreement grew from a bad experience with the Honeycrisp. Some growers planted that apple in areas where it wasn’t intended to be grown, undermining the brand. “Our chief concern is the quality of the fruit,” he said. “We want to protect the taste and appearance. This is the best way to do it. There’s nothing unlawful about that whatsoever.” Dennis Courtier, pres- ident of Pepin Heights Orchards, echoes that sentiment. “We’re snack food producers,” he said. “For us it’s about share of stomach. Our competition is Doritos and Snickers bars. The only way to compete is consistency. ... You can’t disappoint consumers.” Deliver an apple that doesn’t disappoint, he said, and people will eat more apples. ‘An even field’ The lawsuit claims a publicly funded institution used tax dollars to develop a new apple that will benefit mostly out of state orchards at the expense of Minnesota farms. “It just isn’t right when you look at it,” Sandvick said. “An even field, that’s all we’re asking for.” Fred Wescott is an apple grower from Elgin, Minn., who runs the Mississippi Valley Fruit Co., which packages and distributes many of the apples grown along the Mississippi River in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The arrangement hasn’t just created an uneven field, said Wescott, also a partner in Fred Sandvick’s Hickory Orchard. “When the university comes out with a new variety and that variety gets leveraged against all the other growers in the area, it takes the playing field and turns it upside down.” Courtier said his orchard won the right to manage the SweeTango in an open process and that all members of the Minnesota Apple Growers Association were invited to contact him about joining the growers coop. “The whole thing is regrettable,” Courtier said. “We have every confidence our agreements are in full conformity with state and federal laws.” Plaintiffs say they don’t begrudge Pepin Heights the right to control the national production and marketing of SweeTango, but they want a fair shot at competing in their home state. “It doesn’t need to be done this way,” Wescott said. “Everybody can win.” Honeycrisp killer? The complaint alleges the university and Pepin Heights marketed SweeTango as a “Honeycrisp killer,” an apple poised to replace one of the market’s most popular varieties. Retailers want what’s popular, and if growers can’t supply it, they’re likely to lose those accounts, as the suit claims some already have. Next Big Thing promoted the SweeTango in a 2008 YouTube video. “I think that it’s one of the best apples we’ve discovered in a hundred years of breeding,” said David Bedford, the apple breeder at the University of Minnesota who helped develop SweeTango and will profit from its success. Bedford, who estimates he’s tasted millions of apples in more than 30 years as a breeder, predicted “it’s going to become one of the top apples in the country.” Sandvick sums up the problem this way: “People hear SweeTango, they’re going to want to come try it.” Others feel the university is taking advantage of the growers who have helped make the horticultural program successful. “The personal feeling is that we’re the marketing arm of any new apple that comes out of the University of Minnesota,” said John Curtis, who runs Southwind Orchard in Dakota, Minn. “We promote the name but we don’t get the benefit.” McClatchy-Tribune Forbidden fruit A new apple, the SweeTango, at center of controversy Ride with Lance Armstrong draws a crowd By Wisconsin State Journal MADISON — One of his favorite memories is the day he first got the training wheels off and experienced that exhilarating taste of freedom, seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong told an adoring Madison crowd Sunday morning at Ride the Drive. Armstrong spoke for nearly five minutes at the top of East Washington Avenue and the Capitol Square before leading the crowd on a leisurely six-mile ride through the closed-off streets of central Madison. He said he remembers riding down the driveway, hitting the street, going left to right and heading down to the corner. “You take that corner and all of a sudden mom or dad or grandma or grandpa is not watching you and you’re totally free.” That moment is clear to him even now as he nears 40, he said. Riding a bike just for fun and for fitness, he still appreciates that feeling of freedom. “As somebody who spends a lot of time on bikes and on roads, the idea that there’s one less car and one more bike on the road is a dang good idea in my opinion,” he said to cheers and applause. The first Ride the Drive event last August drew 20,000 people. The second, June 6, drew an estimated 30,000 riders, before the event had to be shut down before its official end, when a rainstorm passed through. Sunday’s ride with Armstrong attracted even larger numbers. According to the city, Sunday’s ride with Armstrong attracted 50,000. It started under a cloudless sky. Sunday’s high temperature hit 88. Jason Rowland, 37, of Freeport, Ill., a big fan of Armstrong and one of his 2.6 million Twitter followers, heard about Ride the Drive when Armstrong tweeted about it. “It’s pretty cool,” Rowland said. “I never thought I’d see him this close — within 10 feet. It’s great to see him come out and support the event and ride with average people.” Rowland bought a bike in Madison and took up biking seriously after suffering a stroke two years ago, said his wife, Beth, 35. Her whole family has been eating better and exercising more, often biking with Rowland on his shorter rides. “Lance has been an inspiration for the whole family,” she said. The crowd in Madison hung on Armstrong’s every word and cheered wildly during his speech despite the fact that Armstrong entered what he has called his final Tour de France this summer under a cloud of doping allegations by former teammate Floyd Landis. He finished third in 2009, in his first season back after a 3½-year break and after having broken a collarbone earlier in the season. He finished 23rd in this year’s Tour. Still, Armstrong is a symbol of survival to many since his Tour de France victories came after being diagnosed with testicular cancer that metastasized to his lungs and his brain. His Livestrong foundation gave out $31 million last year on behalf of cancer patients. McClatchy-Tribune Armstrong www.leadertelegram.com/business.asp Check out up to the minute complete stock information at leadertelegram.com Click on Business S TATE /R EGION Monday , August 30 , 2010 L EADER -T ELEGRAM 5A

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