DNR vacancies hinder CAFO enforcement

Water-quality advocates say the state Department of Natural Resources’ regulation of large farms, known as concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs, is too lax. DNR acknowledges low staffing levels have strained enforcement efforts, and described the program.

Sex offender awaits second chance
Sex offender awaits second chance

Eric, 39, has been locked up for more than half his life. He finished his criminal sentence and was committed to the state as a sexually violent person in 2002. He has been confined more than twice as long as his original sentence and is now held for the future risk he poses, not for past crimes.

Inside the walls of Sand Ridge: ‘We have a huge challenge here’
Inside the walls of Sand Ridge: ‘We have a huge challenge here’

From the outside, Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center looks like a maximum security prison. Inside, more than 300 men live there, committed there by juries and judges throughout the state as “sexually violent persons.” The challenge, for staff, is to treat and reintegrate them into communities.

Photos: Inside Sand Ridge, where the sexually violent are treated
Photos: Inside Sand Ridge, where the sexually violent are treated

Center reporter Nora Hertel and Wisconsin Public Radio reporter Gilman Halsted were the first journalists since 2007 to tour Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center, the Mauston facility that houses sex offenders who have been committed to the state.

Project: Rethinking Sex Offenders
Project: Rethinking Sex Offenders

Stories, photos, audio and data from a three-day series examining Wisconsin’s changing methods of dealing with sexually violent persons.

Wisconsin freeing more sex offenders from mental lockup
Wisconsin freeing more sex offenders from mental lockup

Wisconsin officials have nearly quadrupled the number of offenders released from state custody after they were committed as sexually violent persons. The risks to residents are reasonable, officials say, because the state’s treatment programs are working and new data suggest these offenders are less likely to reoffend than previously thought.

Begging his pardon: Scott Walker gets earful on Pizer case

Through Jan. 1, Gov. Scott Walker received at least 19 written communications from citizens regarding the effort of Cpl. Eric Pizer to obtain a pardon so he can pursue his goal of becoming a police officer. All of these communications, mostly emails, urged the governor to grant Pizer a pardon.

State pays scofflaws over hound deaths
State pays scofflaws over hound deaths

From 2004-2013, the DNR’s wolf depredation program approved nearly $390,000 in payments for lost hunting dogs. The deaths typically occur when hounds with electronic tracking collars are released to hunt or pursue other animals, especially bears.

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