Suspects apprehended after chase
TOMAH — Two suspects are in custody following a police pursuit and manhunt in Monroe County.
The Wisconsin State Patrol says a trooper made a routine traffic stop at an exit in Tomah Tuesday and said he could smell marijuana. The patrol says when he asked the driver to step out of the vehicle the driver sped away.
A chase began and at times reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, according to Patrol Lieutenant Jeramy Foster.
WKBT-TV reported that the vehicle finally exited the highway in Sparta, while being chased by a Monroe County deputy. The vehicle was eventually found abandoned in Sparta where a manhunt began.
The Wisconsin State Patrol Air Support, along with a drone from the Fort McCoy Fire Department and officers with Monroe County, Sparta and Fort McCoy and a La Crosse Police K-9 unit all helped with the search.
Both suspects were tracked down, surrendered, were arrested and taken to the Monroe County jail. The 27-year-old suspects are facing a number of possible charges, including resisting arrest and felony fleeing. Authorities say evidence was thrown from the speeding vehicle and recovered.
Hygiene products available at state offices
MADISON — Feminine hygiene products are now available for free in bathrooms at state office buildings across Wisconsin.
Gov. Tony Evers’ spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said Tuesday that the administration installed or converted menstrual product dispensers in state buildings, including the Capitol.
She did not immediately have details on the cost or how many units were installed.
State Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, heralded the move as a win for all women who menstruate.
Sargent has introduced bills for years to make tampons and sanitary napkins available for free in women’s bathrooms at state office buildings and schools. The bills have gone nowhere in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Sargent argues making the feminine hygiene products available is no different than having soap or toilet paper in any public bathroom.
Plastics found at Boundary Waters, Minn.
EAU CLAIRE — Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have found microplastics in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northern Minnesota.
The researchers say they found microplastics — particularly fibers — in water, soil and worms collected this summer.
Biology professor Todd Wellnitz says they found 80 pieces of microplastics in one earthworm alone. And he says microplastics in worms can impact the entire food chain.
Wellnitz told Wisconsin Public Radio most of the microplastics they are finding are fibers that can shed from synthetic clothing and fabrics.
But he says they also can spread by wind, rain and snow.
Wellnitz describes the research as preliminary since they took around 60 samples from a small portion of the BWCA. He says the results could form the basis for larger future research projects.
Additional contaminated wells found
MADISON — Additional tests show more southwestern Wisconsin wells are contaminated with manure.
Scientists tested 34 private wells in Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties in mid-August and found 25, or 73%, were contaminated with human or livestock manure.
The wells are a subset of 840 wells sampled in November 2018 and April 2019.
About 32% showed evidence of bacterial or nitrate pollution. Researchers have begun testing smaller subsets of those wells to gather more details.
Tests on an initial 35-well subset in April showed 91% were contaminated with human or livestock manure.
Lafayette County officials in November accused media outlets of reporting 91% of the entire region’s wells were contaminated. They threatened to prosecute journalists who reported on the second round of tests without quoting a county news release verbatim but later backed off amid a firestorm of criticism.