- Associated Press - Sunday, July 20, 2014
NEW Zoo says red wolf pups offer hope for species

SUAMICO, Wis. (AP) - The NEW Zoo in Suamico is among those across the country that are breeding red wolves in an effort to rebuild the endangered species in the wild.

Two months ago, a red wolf named Mayo gave birth to healthy pups at the zoo, Green Bay Press-Gazette Media reported (http://gbpg.net/1kGyqjAhttp://gbpg.net/1kGyqjA ). On Friday, the six pups poked their heads out of their shelter to peek at a zoo worker who put out bowls of food.

“They’re just now getting to the state where they’re all over the place and spending more time awake and wrestling,” said Carmen Murach, the zoo’s curator of animals.

Murach said it’s not yet decided whether the pups at the Green Bay zoo will be released back into the wild. They may be relocated to other zoos once they’re mature adults in a couple of years.

But to prepare them for success in case they are released into the wild, the zoo limits human interaction and does not feed the babies by hand.

“These little pups are adorable and cute but also so important,” she said.

In 1973, the red wolf was declared endangered in the wild, said Will Waddell, the red wolf species survival plan coordinator from Point Defiance Zoo in Washington state.

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12 men seek to join lawsuit over strip searches

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Twelve men who claim Milwaukee police officers violated their rights by conducting illegal strip and cavity searches under the pretense of looking for drugs are seeking to join others who already have sued the city and police department.

In their motion to join one of several federal lawsuits, the men allege the officers and supervisors of District 5’s anti-gang unit engaged in a “racially motivated conspiracy” to deprive black residents of their rights. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports it’s the first motion to make that allegation.

The motion, filed late Thursday, says the conspiracy arose out of Chief Edward Flynn’s “proactive policing” strategy, which “encouraged and rewarded high volume traffic stops, field interviews, searches and arrests in the African-American ‘high crime’ neighborhoods of District 5.”

The 12 men are black. All the accused officers are white.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1nIYSc0http://bit.ly/1nIYSc0 ) a total of 47 people have already sued the city and police department over the searches, which plaintiffs say happened from 2008 through 2012. All of those plaintiffs are also black, and all but one are men.

Police spokesman Mark Stanmeyer has said the department does not comment on pending litigation.

The motion says no black officers were part of the district’s anti-gang unit. Two supervisors who worked in District 5 during the years the illegal searches were occurring are black.

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$3.4 million in lottery prizes unclaimed last year

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin Department of Revenue said about $3.4 million in lottery winnings were not claimed by lucky ticket holders during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

Since 1997, nearly $55 million in winning tickets have gone unclaimed, the Appleton Post-Crescent Media reported (http://post.cr/1pospKMhttp://post.cr/1pospKM ). Jennifer Western, assistant deputy secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, said the in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013, unclaimed lotto winnings amounted to roughly $2.8 million.

“This is within the window of where we typically see unclaimed lottery prizes - somewhere between $2 and $4 million annually,” she said.

The figures represent only lotto games similar to Powerball, Mega Millions or Badger 5. The unclaimed winnings don’t include prizes from Wisconsin Lottery scratch-off tickets.

Western said unclaimed winnings go toward property tax relief in the state and show up as a credit on property tax bills.

In Wisconsin’s history, there have been only a few unclaimed $1 million payouts and a small number of $10,000 prizes. Most of the unclaimed tickets fall in the $4 to $100 range. Ticket-holders have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim their winnings.

Karen Trom, public relations supervisor for Festival Foods stores in Wisconsin, said there are generally two types of lottery players: those who play lotto regularly and know all the rules, and those who only participate when there are mega-jackpots. She said some of the winnings probably go unclaimed when people don’t check their tickets completely.

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Domestic abuse shelters emerge from shadows

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Domestic abuse shelters, often tucked away in the protective privacy of an obscure neighborhood, have begun moving out of the shadows with more public profiles aimed at generating more community support and better access for victims.

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services in Madison is among the latest to make the move, opening a 56-bed shelter on July 30 in a commercial and high-density residential neighborhood on a bus line and close to health and job placement services used by its clients. The shelter has been in a nearly 100-year-old house in a low-profile neighborhood.

DAIS leaders said they consulted with nearly two dozen shelter programs around the country and visited several in Wisconsin before deciding to move. They learned that abusers were more likely to show up at hidden shelters, and workers and clients felt safer and received more community support in visible locations.

“When the community knows where the shelter is, they’re another set of eyes and ears to make sure people are safe,” said Shannon Barry, DAIS executive director.

Many shelters date to the 1970s, when the problem of domestic violence began to gain attention. Advocates sought to create refuges for victims who can face great risk when they separate from their abusers.

“The thinking at the time was really to create a safe space that an abusive partner couldn’t find,” said Patti A. Seger, executive director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, a Madison-based advocacy organization for victims of domestic abuse. “This is a person who is fleeing danger.”

Many shelters started in houses that blended in with others in residential neighborhoods. They included Wisconsin’s first shelter, Woman and Children’s Horizons, which opened in Kenosha in 1976.

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