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If El Niño returns, what does it mean for us?

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — It’s probably the catchiest term in the meteorologist’s lexicon, El Niño. This global phenomena may not directly cause weather extremes in our corner of the world, but it certainly can tip the scales in favor of them.

So what is El Niño and when will we see it again? In some years, warmer than normal water pools in the eastern Pacific Ocean near South America while normal water temps remain near Indonesia and Australia. This is an El Niño event. A La Niña event is nearly opposite with warmer waters in the west (Indonesia) and cooler waters in the east (South America).

The greatest affects of El Niño are generally felt in winter. That’s when NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center believes it could return with full force. The most recent monthly forecast from the CPC states “chances of El Niño increase during the remainder of the year, exceeding 50% by summer.”

Marquette team wins $53,000 at international business plan competition

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- FocalCast, a mobile app that allows users to wirelessly present PowerPoints from their tablet or smartphone directly to a display device, won the $50,000 Trailblazer Capital Start-up Entrepreneur Investment Prize and the $3,000 Gimmal Group Outstanding IT Prize at the Rice Business Plan Competition, currently the world’s richest and largest business plan competition.

FocalCast is a venture of Narsys LLC, a company founded by senior mechanical engineering major Devin Turner (who serves as CEO) and fellow engineering student and chief technology officer Charlie Beckwith. Nicholas Winninger, Narsys’ business analyst and Marquette MBA student, joined Turner and Beckwith at the competition.

Celebrate World Red Cross Day by donating blood in May

MADISON (WITI) – World Red Cross Day is a time to recognize worldwide efforts advocating for the relief of human suffering, whether from disease, disaster, war or famine. It’s celebrated May 8th — the birthday of Swiss businessman and social activist Henry Dunant, who founded the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863. You can celebrate World Red Cross Day by donating blood.

The Red Cross is dedicated to helping people in communities large and small across the country, responding to natural and man-made disasters; offering health and safety training and disaster preparedness education; and assisting military members and their families.

About 40 percent of the country’s blood is also collected by the Red Cross, which meets the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Dodge County

“This is a game changer:” Investors to buy Bucks for $550 million

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Sen. Herb Kohl, Milwaukee Bucks President and Owner, has announced that he has entered into a signed purchase agreement to transfer ownership of the Bucks to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry.  Mr. Edens and Mr. Lasry are highly regarded investors who are firmly committed to the success of the franchise and its importance to Milwaukee.

Furthermore, consistent with his commitment to the Bucks and Milwaukee, Senator Kohl has pledged a $100 million gift for the development of a new arena for the team.  In addition to honoring Kohl’s requirement that the team be kept in Milwaukee, the new owners have committed to contribute at least an additional $100 million towards the development of a new arena in the city.

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Approx. 200 animals die after barn catches fire, collapses

WHITEWATER (WITI) — Approximately 200 animals died in a structure fire on Tri-County Line Rd. in Whitewater early Thursday, April 10th.

Fire crews were dispatched to the scene around 6:30 a.m. When they arrived, the structure had already collapsed and could not be saved.

Roughly 200,000 gallons of water were used to extinguish the fire and prevent it from spreading to other areas. There were no reported injuries to any firefighters or citizens.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com of updates on this developing story.

Usher to headline at Summerfest on Sunday, July 6th

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. officials announced the ninth major show slated for Summerfest 2014.  Usher with special guest Bebe Rexha will headline the Marcus Amphitheater on Sunday, July 6. Milwaukee will be User’s only stop in the U.S. this summer.

Usher is getting ready to release his much anticipated eighth studio album that is due out Fall 2014.  He will also star as boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in the upcoming film “Hands of Stone,” a biopic of boxer Roberto Duran played by Edgar Ramirez that co-stars Robert De Niro due out late 2014.  Usher is also currently enjoying his second season as a coach on NBC’s Emmy award winning hit reality TV show “The Voice.”

Home in Town of Lyons a total loss after fire Monday night

TOWN OF LYONS (WITI) — Fire officials were on the scene of a structure fire in the Town of Lyons on Monday night, April 7th.

It happened at a home on North Road.

Fire officials say the homeowners came home from a school event in Burlington to find smoke coming from their home.

Crews arriving on scene saw flames coming from the basement. At one point, officials say the entire home was engulfed in flames.

Officials say the home is a total loss — and four people were displaced.

Fire officials say they believe the fire started in the basement. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

No one was injured.

The Rochester Fire Department, the Town of Burlington Fire Department, the City of Burlington Fire Department and Burlington Rescue were called in as mutual aid.