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.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
MADISON - A federal appeals court has upheld Republican Gov. Scott Walker's public union restrictions.
The restrictions stripped most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. Two unions representing city of Madison and Dane County public workers filed a lawsuit in 2011 alleging the law violated their right to freely assembly and equal protection.
U.S. District Judge William Conley found the restrictions constitutional in September. A three-judge appeals panel affirmed Conley's ruling Friday, saying the U.S. Constitution doesn't require the state to maintain policies that allow certain associations to thrive.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen calls the ruling ``a victory for the law and for Wisconsin taxpayers.''
An attorney for the unions tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he needs to talk to his clients before deciding whether to appeal.
Wisconsin court to decide on testing drunk drivers
MADISON - The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to decide whether police can legally draw suspected drunken drivers' blood without a warrant or driver consent.
The court said it would hear three drunken driving cases, two of which involved a homicide. That announcement came nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a Missouri case that could call into question Wisconsin's law.
Wisconsin since 1993 has granted police authority to draw drunken driving suspects' blood without a warrant or consent.
About 5,000 people refused to comply with police tests in 2011 and 2012.
The eventual rulings in the three cases are expected to clarify how law enforcement can gather evidence in some Wisconsin drunken driving cases.
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