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More courts closed Wednesday, some Thursday (UPDATE)

The Wisconsin Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and dozens of state courts around Wisconsin were closed Wednesday because of subzero temperatures.

The wind chill on Wednesday was forecast to be as cold as minus 40 to minus 55 degrees throughout the day. The National Weather Service forecast plunging temperatures from one of the coldest air masses to be seen in years. It also noted that a wind chill of minus 25 degrees could freeze skin within 15 minutes.

The administrative offices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals were closed for public business on Wednesday but remained open for employees. The director of State Courts, Randy Koschnick, decided the extreme temperatures pose an “imminent threat to the well being of the public,” according to the Wisconsin Court System website.

The following counties’ courthouses were closed on Wednesday:

  • Brown
  • Clark
  • Calumet
  • Columbia
  • Crawford
  • Dane
  • Fond du Lac
  • Forest
  • Green Lake
  • Lafayette
  • Lincoln
  • Marquette
  • Menominee
  • Milwaukee
  • Outagamie
  • Oneida
  • Outagamie
  • Ozaukee
  • Racine
  • Richland
  • Trempealeau
  • Vernon
  • Washburn
  • Waukesha
  • Waupaca

The following counties’ courthouses will be closed on Thursday:

  • Calumet
  • Dane
  • Lafayette
  • Milwaukee
  • Outagamie
  • Ozaukee
  • Richland
  • Trempealeau
  • Waukesha

Some courts will be closed only for part of Thursday. The courthouses in Marquette, Oneida and Green Lake counties will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Racine County’s courthouse will open at 1 p.m. on Thursday.

Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order on Tuesday calling on all non-essential public offices to be closed Wednesday, saying the weather presents “an imminent threat to the well-being of the public.” Most emergency-response, public-safety and public-health employees are reporting to work.

The state Capitol was open on Wednesday.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

About Erika Strebel, erika.strebel@wislawjournal.com

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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