RHINELANDER - Two years ago, Gov. Scott Walker moved to cut 18 positions from the DNR's scientific research staff.
Last December, the DNR removed language about human causes of climate change from its website.
A state group, which will launch Saturday, calls moves like those a "threat" to science.
Former DNR employee Bob Martini, who lives in Rhinelander, is on the board of Wisconsin Green Fire. The former water resources scientist said DNR employees are under a gag order.
"I've never seen such a group of demoralized people," Martini said. "They feel that they can't use their scientific expertise to do what they were hired to do."
Green Fire is a group of about 70 retired and active scientists from organizations including the DNR and the UW System. Martini said Green Fire experts will make themselves available to the Legislature, local officials, and the media.
"We hope to try to fill the gap that was created when the DNR scientists could no longer speak," he said. "They can't even talk to the press, even if they're a world expert on a subject."
Martini says the group includes experts in almost every natural resources field.
"Many of our members already have a presence in the state government, local government, [and] the press. Many of them are already recognized as experts," he said.
Green Fire intentionally planned its launch for Saturday, which is Earth Day.
WAUSAU - Police arrested a Florence County man in connection to a Wausau homicide case this week. Online court records show Lee Franck, 56 doesn't face homicide charges, but instead domestic abuse counts.
According to the Wausau Pilot and Review paper, the criminal complaint shows Franck got into an argument with Lyle Leith a few days before the 77-year-old was found dead at his Wausau home on Kickbusch Street.
MINOCQUA - A Lakeland Union High School student could face punishment for putting a shooting threat in a bathroom last week.
According to a press release, the Minocqua Police Department believes the girl officers talked to today is likely the person who left graffiti referencing the Parkland, Florida school shooting in an LUHS girls' bathroom on Thursday.
MERRILL - Trinity Lutheran School in Merrill doesn't have room for any more kindergarten students next year.
Its class is already full, partly because some families can send their kids to Trinity for free.
For the third straight year, Trinity will participate in Wisconsin's private school choice program.
This year, the state pays tuition for about 30 of Trinity's 120 total students.
"Parents like the Christian base, obviously. That's the main reason people send [their kids] here," said School Administrator Kathy Yahr. "They're keeping them here more now because of the opportunities that we offer."
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