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Wisconsin roundup:Feds suggest revised rules for Upper Mississippi River; Amery man accused of animal mistreatment; more state news stories

The Mississippi River at Hastings, Minn. File photo

LA CROSSE — Just one year after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service updated its 10-year comprehensive plan for the Upper Mississippi River, the feds are proposing some changes.

Recently released draft rules would impose new fee schedules, but limit the amount of money fishing floats and commercial hunting, fishing and wildlife guides would have to pay. Fees for wildlife observation guides would be capped at $300 a year. Fees for the other professionals would be limited to $500 a year.


Amery man charged with mistreating animals

AMERY — Wardens with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have arrested an Amery man for allegedly trapping wild raccoons, then letting them loose for his dogs to attack.

An anonymous tip led authorities to pictures of dogs killing the raccoons on a Facebook page. Jason Armbruster is charged with ten felonies in Polk County. They include mistreating animals and instigating fights between animals. Armbruster apparently told investigators he didn't think it was a big deal when he admitted his actions. He has a court appearance next month. A conviction could mean up to 35 years in prison.


Men suspected of leading deputies on high-speed chase found in bar

ELEVA — The Trempealeau County Sheriff's Office arrested three people who are accused of leading deputies from a neighboring county on a high-speed chase.

Eau Claire County called off the chase on Highway 93 north of Eleva due to safety concerns. Authorities got a call from an Eleva resident about a half-hour later. That led deputies to discover the abandoned suspect vehicle and a search of the area turned up two of the men at a local bar. A Jackson County police dog tracked the third suspect to his hiding place in an abandoned foundation west of Eleva where he was also taken into custody. No names have been released.


Wis. voters to decide state treasurer’s fate next month

MADISON — Wisconsin lawmakers have been trying to eliminate the office of state treasurer for decades, but always fell short.

This time, enough support was generated to put the question on the statewide ballot April 3. The position has existed since Wisconsin was a territory, but Republican legislators say it's not necessary anymore. Most of the duties of the office have been eliminated over the last 10 years. Defenders of the position say the state treasurer is a needed check on executive powers. They say it needs to exist as a strong, independent watchdog for the people and its powers should be restored.


Six counties awarded funding to combat fatal overdoses

MADISON — State officials are awarding $200,000 to six Wisconsin counties to help find ways to stop drug overdose deaths.

Dane, La Crosse, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Sauk and Winnebago counties will use the funding to review fatal overdose cases. State Health Officer Karen McKeown says getting a full picture of what brought each person to the moment of overdosing is the key to finding intervention and prevention strategies. The program is part of Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to end the opioid epidemic.


Shots fired at underage drinking party

TOWN OF VIENNA — Dane County deputies saw several people running away as they drove up on the scene of an underage drinking party Saturday night.

They were responding to the home in the town of Vienna after a report of a gun being fired was called in. Witnesses say a fight broke out before someone fired the shot. An 18-year-old woman was injured and was taken to a hospital for treatment. She is expected to survive. The shooting suspects had left by the time deputies arrived. They are not in custody and no names of suspects or victims have been released.


Police look for 50- to 60-year-old lotto theft suspects

MENOMONEE FALLS — Menomonee Falls Police say an elderly woman created a distraction while two men stole 113 scratch-off lottery tickets at a convenience store Saturday.

The woman in her 60s drew the clerk to the rear of the store by dropping and breaking a glass bottle. Investigators say the theft may be connected to a similar case which is being handled by Grafton Police. All three suspects are described as 50-to-60 years old and white. The two men took 18 Crossword Craving tickets and 95 Wild Bingo tickets from behind the Speedway store's counter.