WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Second wolf hunt begins next Tuesday
Wisconsin's second wolf hunt begins a week from tomorrow. About 25-hundred permits were issued. As of Friday, the state D-N-R said just over a-thousand hunters are bought their licenses. Wolf hunting continues to be controversial. State officials jumped on the opportunity almost two years ago, because of all the livestock and crop damage caused by a Wisconsin wolf population that grew larger than expected. Animal rights activities condemned the idea of a wolf hunts in Wisconsin and elsewhere, and they've filed suit to return the animal to the federal endangered species list. That lawsuit remains pending. Meanwhile, wolf hunters are looking for another wildly successful season. A year ago, one outside expert said the state's terrain and conditions would make it impossible for hunters to shoot their first quota of 117 wolves in a four-and-a-half-month season. Hunters proved the skeptics wrong, as they reached the quota in just two-and-a-half months. This year, hunters will have from October 15th to February 28th to kill 251 wolves -- more than twice the 2012 quota.
State and local authorities continue to investigate the shooting death of a 21-year-old man by a police officer in Sparta. Officers were called to a home on Friday night where the man was allegedly threatening relatives with a knife. Police did not say whether the man lived there. The officer who shot the suspect has been put on administrative leave while the incident is investigated. No names were immediately released.
A judge in Jefferson County will hold a John Doe hearing to determine if criminal charges should be filed in the death of an eight-year-old boy 25 years ago. Officials said Artis Echoles of Racine drowned in June of 1988 while vacationing with his foster family. Authorities received conflicting statements. Some said the youngster walked away with another child -- while others said a man threw him into the pond and pushed his head underwater to make him swim. Artis' mother, Carmin White of Racine, asked that the case be reviewed -- and Circuit Judge Jennifer Weston took her up on it. She'll begin a John Doe hearing December fifth, where witnesses will be called and the extent of the evidence will be reviewed. White tells the Racine Journal Times she's confident an arrest will be made. District Attorney Susan Happ said she found no evidence that a crime was committed -- and because of the statute of limitations, the only charge that be considered today is first-degree intentional homicide. Judge Weston reviewed that contention, and said a second-degree homicide charge could still be sought. Happ again declined to issue charges.
A group that included a Wisconsin man has found what may be the deepest shipwreck in the history of the Great Lakes. Robert Nelson of Eau Claire joined Jerry Eliason of Cloquet Minnesota and Ken Merryman of Minneapolis to get video footage of the "Scotia-doc," which went down near Thunder Bay Ontario in 1953. One person was killed after the freighter collided with another. It was found in over 850-feet of water. Earlier this year, the group found a sunken freighter off the shore of Marquette Michigan with the help of a sonar unit and raw government data. In early September, the team went out again after getting a search permit from Canadian authorities and proper gear -- plus favorable weather. That's when they filed the name of the "Scotia-doc" on the side of the sunken ship. Eliason said the boat came to the group's attention as it was looking for another shipwreck in the same area at Thunder Bay. They've been searching for the Scotia-doc since the early 2000's. Kraig Smith of Rice Lake was among those making occasional search trips over the years.
A Marine corporal from Milwaukee has died in Afghanistan. His family said 19-year-old Lance Corporal Jeremiah Collins Junior died Saturday at Camp Leatherneck in the province of Helmand. He served as an intelligence specialist. His mother Shannon said the cause of his death is still being investigated, and is body is expected to be returned to the U-S today.
A former high school football standout in western Wisconsin died on Saturday -- the day he was supposed to get married. 22-year-old Jacob Gronemus of Cashton was injured in a welding accident last Tuesday, with burns over 75-percent of his body. He died late Saturday night -- one night after he was honored at his alma mater's high school football game. Cashton players wore Gronemus' number-32 on their helmets. And although Cashton beat Bangor 20-to-16, the final on the scoreboard read 32-32 as players from both teams gathered for a prayer. T-shirts were sold to raise money for the Gronemus family. Jacob graduated from Cashton in 2010. His funeral will be held next Saturday in Middle Ridge.
Green Bay had two of its major bridges closed for almost an hour-and-a-half late yesterday. Officials said an electrical problem caused a temporary shutdown of the Mason Street bridge over the Fox River just south of downtown Green Bay. The Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge north of the downtown on I-43 remains closed after a support pillar sank 12 days ago. On Mason Street, the drawbridge got stuck in a raised position about halfway up. Crews were called a little before six last evening. That almost three hours after the Packer game ended, so it didn't affect the game traffic. Still, drivers were held up as much as 20 minutes as police cleared the span and set up detours. A Green Bay public works official said crews repaired the electrical function that raises the bridge to let boats pass through on the Fox River. The bridge re-opened around 7:15 last night.