Sheriff: Remains are those of 2 missing Wisconsin brothers
KINGSTON, Mo. (AP) — Northwest Missouri authorities say human remains found in Missouri and Nebraska are those of two missing brothers from Wisconsin.
Caldwell County Sheriff Jerry Galloway announced in a news release Friday that remains found Monday in a livestock trailer in Lincoln County, Nebraska, are those of 24-year-old Justin Diemel, and remains recovered from a farm in Caldwell County, Missouri, are those of 35-year-old Nicholas Diemel. The brothers, from Shawano County, Wisconsin, were reported missing July 21.
Galloway said dental remains were used to confirm the identifications.
Garland Nelson, of Braymer, Missouri, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and other charges in the brothers’ deaths.
Court records say the brothers’ father, Jack Diemel, said his two sons were at Nelson’s farm to collect a $250,000 debt when they went missing.
CITY HALL SEARCHED
Rhinelander city administrator is subject of search warrants
RHINELANDER, Wis. (AP) — Authorities say the Rhinelander city administrator is the subject of two search warrants executed at City Hall as part of an investigation into public records tampering.
The search warrants executed Thursday allege Daniel Guild failed to release public records that had been requested by media and law enforcement. Authorities also allege he altered an email and presented it as an original.
According to the Wausau Daily Herald and WSAW-TV, the search warrants sought emails between Guild and various council members and city employees, as well as copies of disciplinary records involving a former public works director.
The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is ongoing.
Guild was named city administrator in September 2018. He has not been charged and did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
Evers signs bill defining autocycles, setting fees
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers has signed a bill that defines autocycles in state law and establishes registration fees for the vehicles.
Autocycles are three-wheeled vehicles that seat one or two people.
The Republican-authored bill defines autocycles as vehicles with three wheels in contact with the ground, seating that doesn’t require straddling and a steering wheel. The bill establishes a $45 annual registration fee.
Evers signed the bill privately Friday.
According to a state Department of Transportation estimate, 1,030 vehicles that fit the autocycle definition are currently registered in Wisconsin as motorcycles for a $23 biennial fee. That fee generates about $11,845 annually.
The department projects it will cost about $160,000 to re-program computers to implement the $45 fee and create autocycle license plates. The new fee should generate about $46,350 annually.
Sheriff: Man in bunker by Milwaukee river had weapons stash
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Authorities say a man living in an underground bunker with a stash of weapons along a Milwaukee river had been there for a “considerable period” but it’s unclear for how long.
The Milwaukee Sheriff’s Office on Friday identified the man they arrested Wednesday as 41-year-old Geoffrey Graff. Sheriff Earnell Lucas says Graff came to their attention when residents reported shots fired in the area.
Lucas says when officers found the bunker Graff immediately incriminated himself by saying he had fired the shots into the river because he was angry at his dogs for running away.
It’s not known whether Graff has a lawyer.
Lucas says the bunker was 8 feet (2.4 meters) deep, 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide, and 20 feet (6.1 meters) long. Officials say inside they found two shotguns, a pistol, a long rifle, and a bow and arrow.
Milwaukee prosecutors are considering charges.
SEX OFFENDER PLACEMENT
Evers vetoes allowing sex offenders to live near schools
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed a bill that would have allowed violent sex offenders to live within 1,500 feet of schools and other places where children are likely to be present.
Former Gov. Scott Walker vetoed the same law change in 2018.
The intention was to give counties more flexibility in where to place sexually violent people who are placed on supervised release.
Evers says in his veto message Friday that he objects to weakening protections in the law keeping sexually violent offenders away from schools, day care centers and other similar facilities. He says providing safe spaces for children is one of the most vital responsibilities of society.
Supporters argued urban areas in particular needed more flexibility to find housing for the offenders in areas where the 1,500-foot restriction was too limiting.
Sexually violent offenders are a small subset of the larger population of registered sex offenders.
PROSECUTING JOURNALISTS-WATER STUDY
More results from contentious well study set for December
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Researchers plan to release more findings from a contentious southwestern Wisconsin pollution study next month.
Scientists sampled 840 wells in Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties in November 2018 and April 2019. About 32% showed evidence of bacterial or nitrate pollution. They tested 35 of those wells and discovered 91% were contaminated with human and animal fecal matter.
Lafayette County officials accused media outlets of reporting 91% of the region’s wells are polluted. They drafted a resolution that warned journalists who report on future study results without quoting a county news release verbatim would be prosecuted. The board ultimately tabled the resolution amid a firestorm of criticism.
Study leader Ken Bradbury says researchers plan to test three more 35-well subsets. He says the next round of results will be released the first week of December. He didn’t have a date.
Chronic wasting disease spreads in northwestern Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin wildlife officials say chronic wasting disease has spread to Dunn County.
The Department of Natural Resources said Friday that a wild deer killed during the 2019 archery season near Menomonie has tested positive for the disease. The infection is the first detected in Dunn County.
Five wild deer have tested positive for CWD in neighboring Eau Claire County over the last two years.
Wisconsin’s traditional nine-day gun deer season opens Saturday. DNR officials are asking hunters in northwestern Wisconsin to turn in samples from any deer they kill in the region for CWD testing. A list of sampling stations can be found on the DNR’s website at https://dnr.wi.gov/wmcwd/RegStation/Search.
Evers signs bill to ease voting for people with disabilities
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers has signed into law a bill designed to make it easier for people with disabilities to vote.
The bipartisan measure Evers signed Friday creates accommodations for people who have disabilities that make it difficult for them to communicate verbally.
Under the new law, those who have physical disabilities affecting verbal speech or those who communicate non-verbally will no longer have to state their name and address to an election official before being allowed to vote. Instead, they can present their personal information in writing and delegate the task for someone else.
Evers says he was proud to sign the bill that ensures voting is fair and accessible to everyone. The Democrat says it sends a message that Wisconsin is committed to protecting and preserving the right to vote for everyone.