MERRILL - Three men will sit in the Lincoln County jail this weekend while they wait to be charged in a string of burglaries Friday morning.
The burglaries happened on East Main Street in Merrill.
Merrill Police can't release many details yet, including their names.
So far, we've learned from neighbors they stole an F-150 truck and something they probably didn't expect to.
"God does work in mysterious ways sometimes," said Clifford Baker, who lives on East Main Street.
It seems that both God and three burglars were at work in Baker's neighborhood early this morning.
"About 5:30 this morning, my brother went down to let his dog out before he went to work and noticed his truck was gone," said Baker's neighbor, Amy Laflin. "He called the police right away, they showed up a few minutes later responding to a number of calls in the area."
Laflin called Baker around 6:30 to tell him about the robbery, but it wasn't until about two hours later he noticed the burglars had come to his property, too.
"They were actually in our garage and in our vehicles, and that's a little unnerving, because they're not invited and then they helped themselves to things they thought were important – which are important to us," Baker said.
The burglars Baker's SUV, probably thinking that the backpacks inside had laptops. But they were in for a little surprise.
"Well we are Jehovah's Witnesses, and what we had in our vehicles that were taken were our book bags that we carry with us when we go out in the door-to-door ministry," he said. "I'm assuming that the perpetrators that got into the vehicles, when they saw the bags, of course they're laptop computer bags, they probably assumed there were laptops in the bags and off they went with them. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't laptops."
By 9:15 Friday, police found Laflin's brother's car in Shawano County. They also have Baker's backpacks, but they're holding them for evidence.
Maybe they got the news that we often try to spread from door-to-door," Baker said. "As long as we have our things back, we're content with that."
The three suspects are due in Lincoln County Court Monday afternoon.
THREE LAKES - The DNR hopes it won't find more Northwoods deer with chronic wasting disease.
Last year, a deer on a game farm near Three Lakes tested positive for the deadly disease. Although it hopes that incident is isolated, the DNR wants more data on the health of the Northwoods deer herd.
The agency is urging hunters near Three Lakes to give their deer heads to the DNR for CWD testing.
The Boulder Junction Town Board voted two to one Tuesday night to move forward with a town plaza plan. The plan will now go to a design phase.
The board estimated the cost of the design phase to be between $30,000 to $50,000, but it was dropped to about $25,000 at the meeting.
Town Chairman Dennis Reuss and Town Supervisor Dennis Duke voted in favor, with Town Supervisor Denny McGann voting against the plan.
A little more than $1 million may not seem like a lot of money to a city like Madison or Milwaukee. But for a town of fewer than one thousand people, it's a lot. The Boulder Junction Town Board could vote Tuesday whether or not to move onto the next phase of a $1.26 million town plaza project.
Dennis Duke has a vision of what Boulder Junction could look like in a few years.
"This one has a much more artistic flair, this has a more engineering flair if you will," said Duke while looking at potential design plans.
RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander will be able to cast their November election ballots starting on Friday. It's the earliest people in Wisconsin have ever been able to vote.
The absentee ballots are stacked and ready for Friday at the Rhinelander City Clerk's office. To make the early voting process go as smoothly as possible, you will need to come prepared.
"When you come in make sure that you're registered. That is important. Make sure you're registered in the city if you're coming into us," said Clerk Valerie Foley.
Registering is easy; all you need is a photo ID and proof of residence. The registration form takes a couple of minutes, and then you will be able to fill out an election ballot.
"I think it is going to be a very busy day. I think people are pretty interested in the issues. And I think a lot of them would like to get and make sure they can vote if they're not certain they're going to make it to the polls in November or not," said Foley.
The clerk's office has already sent out about 200 ballots to people who have requested them.
Now, it is preparing for the early voter in-person rush.
If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote or where to go for early voting, the clerk's office suggests voters visit myvote.wi.gov for more information.
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