Escaped inmate is high risk to public, says sheriff; Launched GPS trackers may be used to nab fleeing suspects; 11 more state news stories
BROCKWAY -- Authorities in Jackson County are asking for the public's help to find an inmate still missing from the Black River Correctional Center.
Kaeden Timothy James Dumholt, 20, was last seen Sunday night near the Ho-Chunk Casino in Brockway. Authorities believe he stole a car Monday morning, and a nationwide warrant is out for his arrest.
Dumholt is five feet, ten inches tall, weighs about 145 pounds and was last known to be wearing a gray t-shirt and green pants. He may be driving a gray 1996 Chevy Lumina with Wisconsin license plates 273 VUG.
The Jackson County Sheriff says Dumholt is a high risk to the public.
Launched GPS trackers may be used to nab fleeing suspects
Milwaukee police think they've found the answer to catch fleeing vehicles without high-speed chases.
Chief Ed Flynn has unveiled new technology in which small GPS devices can be launched onto escaping vehicles, either from squad cars or by hand. Police can then track the vehicle in real time and arrest the motorists when it's safe to do so.
Five years ago, Milwaukee police decided to allow high-speed chases only when the motorists are suspected of felonies or are considered to be threats to others. The policy followed police chases in which four bystanders were killed in a three-month period.
Critics say the policy makes it easy for criminals to get away unchecked. So far this year, Milwaukee police have reported almost 1500 incidents in which officers did not chase suspects. That's more than twice the total from all of last year.
Two cougar sightings confirmed
ELCHO -- Wildlife experts have confirmed Wisconsin's first cougar sightings of the year.
The mountain lions were spotted on two trail cameras July 9 near Elcho in Langlade County. The sightings were six miles apart in a stretch of 20 hours.
Landowners later gave separate images to the Department of Natural Resources, which recently verified the animals.
Specialist Dave MacFarland says it's likely -- but not certain -- that the sightings were of the same animal.
There was an unconfirmed sighting of a cougar in Beloit recently. MacFarland said there's not enough evidence to indicate the Beloit animal was the same as the one at Elcho.
Previous evidence showed Wisconsin's wild cougars are part of breeding populations to the west, mainly the South Dakota Black Hills.
Wisconsin had three confirmed sightings last year. Officials say there's no evidence that cougars are breeding in Wisconsin.
Man convicted of murder over money
A Wausau man has struck a plea deal on charges that he killed another man over an argument about money.
John Lewis, 32, pleaded no contest yesterday in Marathon County to a first-degree intentional homicide charge.
Twenty-five other counts were dropped, but they'll be considered when Lewis is sentenced Oct. 14. He faces automatic life in prison, but Judge Jill Falstad can set a future date for a possible supervised release if she chooses.
Lewis was accused of using a silencer to shoot KC Elliott in January of last year outside of the Sidetracked Bar in Wausau.
Another man was sentenced to over five years in a federal prison for selling the silencer to Lewis, plus guns and grenades to others.
Bill would let undocumented immigrants drive legally
MADISON -- Another effort is being made to let undocumented immigrants drive legally in Wisconsin.
Assembly Democrat JoCasta Zamarripa of Milwaukee is asking colleagues to co-sponsor a bill to let immigrants have "driver's cards" with no risk of being flagged for deportation. Zamarripa says it would make the roads safer because many immigrants are driving without proper instruction or insurance.
Wisconsin used to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, but that ended in 2007 when a tougher federal licensing law was passed to help fight terrorism. That was the "Real ID law" drafted by Wisconsin House Republican Jim Sensenbrenner. It allows states to issue immigrant cards, but Wisconsin said no to that in the 2007 session.
Republicans said at the time that illegal immigrants should not have the same privileges as those who are in Wisconsin legally.
PETA wants lion killer's dentistry license revoked
MINNEAPOLIS -- An animal rights group wants an agency to consider revoking the license of a Minnesota dentist who shot a protected lion in Zimbabwe.
The PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) says Walter Palmer's previous Wisconsin conviction partially makes a revocation justified.
Authorities in both the U.S. and Zimbabwe have been looking for the 55-year-old Palmer, 55, since last week when he was identified as the hunter who shot Cecil the Lion during a guided trip in July in which he paid $50,000.
PETA president Ingrid Newkirk says folks around the world are outraged. She said the Minnesota dentistry board should "spare their profession further discredit by showing this miserable trophy hunter the door."
In 2008 Palmer admitted lying to investigators about a black bear he killed in an unauthorized zone in western Wisconsin.
DNR considers selling 118 more parcels
MADISO -- The state Department of Natural Resources is starting to work on a second round of land sales to meet a state budget requirement from two years ago.
Officials are looking at selling 118 parcels with 8,300 acres in 40 counties. The general public could buy almost 5,400 acres. Another 2,600 others could be offered to county forests and the other 325 acres to Indian tribes.
The DNR's Doug Haag said none of the sites are at parks where people camp or at other major state facilities.
The reviews will take place over the next three months, and the Natural Resources Board will approve the sites to be offered.
The state owns about 1.5 million acres of land. The 2013 budget requires the sale of 10,000 of those acres to reduce large debts from land purchases in the state's Stewardship program.
Wisconsin crews help battle California wildfires
RHINELADER -- Wisconsin crews are helping control the ravaging wildfires in northern California.
Suzanne Flory of the U.S. Forest Service office in Rhinelander is with the River Complex detail near Willow Creek, Calif. It's a group of 330 personnel handling several wildfires.
Lightning and extreme drought are said to be behind the wildfires. Flory is a veteran public information officer for those types of operations, and she says steep terrain prevents crews from reaching current fire lines.
Flurry is overseeing a fire that has burned 3,000 acres as of yesterday, and it could keep burning for a while. The fire was slowed yesterday when a large air mass settled in the mountains, but that's likely to change.
--Ken Krall, WXPR, Rhinelander
Walker target in first John Doe probe
MADISON -- Despite his constant denials, Gov. Scott Walker was indeed under criminal investigation in 2011 for an office-leasing contract when he was the Milwaukee County executive.
In a court filing yesterday, Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm said his John Doe investigators believed Walker and two others committed felony misconduct in negotiating a lease for the county's Department of Aging. None of the three were charged.
Chisholm's office looked into possible bid rigging as three bids were considered to house the new office space. They were later rejected.
The DA also looked into Walker campaign donations from officials of a company that won a contract to clean Milwaukee County buildings. It was part of the first Walker John Doe that ended two years ago after scoring six other convictions against former Walker associates.
AshLee Strong of Walker's presidential campaign calls Chisholm's court filing a political stunt.
“People who could not prove things in a court of law are attempting to win in the court of public opinion,” said Strong.
Police kill suicidal suspect
GREENFIELD -- Suburban Milwaukee police say an officer shot a suicidal man to death after he tried stabbing multiple officers with a knife late yesterday afternoon in Greenfield.
Police Chief Brad Wendlandt said officers were called to an apartment complex for a report of a distraught man. A police negotiator and a crisis intervention specialist talked with the man for an hour and a half before other officers entered.
The chief said the man made "several suicidal statements," and he tried stabbing the officers who attempted to take him into custody.
A Greenfield officer with two years of experience shot the suspect. None of the officers were hurt.
Recovered body may be man who jumped from tour boat
MILWAUKEE -- Police have recovered a body from the Milwaukee River close to where a man jumped from a tour boat last weekend.
The medical examiner's office has yet to confirm the body's identity. Officials said it was found just after 7:15 p.m. Wednesday near Water Street in downtown Milwaukee.
Police said a cruise by the Miss Wisconsin tour boat was almost finished when a man jumped overboard and started swimming late last Saturday night. He refused a grab a life ring and soon went under.
Police say man stole another car a day after release
BLACK RIVER FALLS -- A car theft suspect is back in a Jackson County jail, less than a day after his release for another car theft.
Andrew Bae, 21, of Garden City, New York, was arrested for vehicle theft out of Minneapolis July 30.
He was released yesterday morning. Bae then stole a car from a local dealership and led deputies on a high speed chase at times driving 100 mph, weaving through traffic and driving through construction zones. The chase ended near Tomah when the car got two flat tires.
Bae now faces charges of operating a motor vehicle without the owner's consent, recklessly endangering safety, felony fleeing an officer and theft of a vehicle.
164th Wisconsin State Fair opens
WEST ALLIS -- The 164th annual Wisconsin State Fair is getting underway this morning in West Allis.
Gov. Scott Walker will speak at a mid-morning ceremony to kick off 11 days of animal judging, livestock sales, rides, games, music and the fair's famous cream puffs.
The state fair has had rising attendance in each of the past two years. Just over a 1,031,000 people went through the turnstiles in 2014 -- the most since 1969.
The rock band Boston performs at the fair's main stage tonight.