MERRILL - Police believe a group of men have been driving around north-central Wisconsin trying to scam homeowners through shoddy "improvement" work.
The latest case comes from the Town of Corning in Lincoln County. Sheriff Ken Schneider reports the men showed up at woman's home in the last week offering to seal her metal roof.
The suspect, described as an eastern European man in his 40s, offered to demonstrate the product when two other men got out of their truck and started putting the sealant on her roof.
A family member showed up soon thereafter, confronted the men and they left.
Schneider says similar reports have popped up recently in Marathon County as well.
The men were in a silver GMC truck with a black ladder rack and tinted black windows. The truck may have Indiana license plates, but a piece of carpet hanging off the back covered the plate.
One of the suspects had a cast on his left leg and used crutches.
Schneider warned homeowners the summer months are typically when people posing as contractors randomly appear at homes to scam people out of money. They often charge a much higher price than was initially quoted, do shoddy work, or leave without actually finishing the job.
If you see these suspects or people acting similarly, Schneider asks you to try and safely take pictures to help police track them down.
People needing home repairs should contact licensed contractors referred by family, friends, or neighbors.
You can call Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 715-536-3726 or visit this link to report such cases of contractor scams.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - The Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Living Arts and Culture Center hosted a Native American Arts and Craft Show and Sale Saturday. The event was held at the Lake of the Torches Resort Casino Conference Center.
TUXEDO, N.Y. - The latest weapon in the fight against invasive species is the sniffing power of dogs trained to find noxious weeds before they flower and spread seeds.
The nonprofit New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has trained a Labrador retriever named Dia to find Scotch broom plants in two state parks 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of New York City. The invasive shrub is widespread in the Pacific Northwest but new to New York, and land managers hope to eradicate it before it gets established.
Detection dogs have long been used to sniff out drugs, explosives and disaster survivors. Now there's a growing number being trained to find targeted invasive plants so conservationists can uproot them.
Montana-based Working Dogs for Conservation is training dogs to find invasive insects and mussels as well as plants.
ROLLING MEADOWS, ILL. - A Wisconsin man has been convicted of murder in the drowning death of his wife 19 years ago in the bathroom of their suburban Chicago home.
A Cook County judge announced the verdict Friday against 70-year-old Frank Buschauer, saying he didn't believe Buschauer's claims of a memory lapse over what led up to Cynthia Hrisco's February 2000 death in South Barrington.
The initial investigation ruled her manner of death as undetermined. Buschauer moved to Pell Lake, Wisconsin, before the case was reopened and he was arrested in 2013.
Three forensic pathologists determined Hrisco's death was a homicide, with the autopsy finding numerous injuries to her face, arm and legs indicating a struggle.
Defense attorney Allan Ackerman said an appeal of the verdict is planned.
RHINELANDER - Cancer affects hundreds of thousands of people in Wisconsin.
29-year-old Cora Rizzo is one of the many battling the disease.
On Saturday, the community rallied around Rizzo in the fight for her life.
Dozens of people came to Rizzo's cancer benefit at the Quality Inn in Rhinelander.
Jessica Meinart organized the event to raise money for her sisters' treatment.
"Knowing that you have this support system around you [and] that you can lean on anyone, and people are going to be there to catch you when you fall. I think that's the most important through it all," said Meinart.
Two years ago, Rizzo was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer.
Thanks to extensive treatment, she battled it into remission.
Earlier this year the cancer came back, this time in her stomach.
"You just have to give it all you've got, really," said Rizzo. "You've just got to fight and try to be positive. Half the treatment is just being positive about it."
DES MOINES, IOWA - An Iowa-based grocery chain says it's aware of reports that hacked customer account information is being sold online.
The Des Moines Register was the first to report that credit and debit card information of some Hy-Vee customers is being sold on an internet site for $17 to $35 apiece.
Hy-Vee issued a statement to station KCCI saying it is aware of reports of the stolen information being sold and is working with payment card networks to identify the cards and work with issuing banks.
Hy-Vee acknowledge earlier this month that it detected unauthorized activity on some of its payment processing systems linked to card payments at Hy-Vee restaurants, fuel pumps and drive-thru coffee shops. The company doesn't believe the breach extended to payments systems used inside its grocery stores, drugstores and convenience stores.
Hy-Vee operates more than 240 retail stores across Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
MILWAUKEE - The American Farm Bureau Federation says that July 2018 through June 2019, Wisconsin farmers filed 45 Chapter 12 bankruptcies. Data show the total was five fewer than the previous 12-month period but still No. 1 in the nation.
In Minnesota, bankruptcy filings increased by 11, to 31.
North Dakota had nine filings, up one from the previous period. South Dakota increased by 12, to 13.
The Journal Sentinel reports that with depressed milk prices besetting Wisconsin's thousands of dairy operations, the state has led the country in farm bankruptcies in recent years.
Ronald Wirtz, regional outreach director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, also has pointed to Wisconsin's smaller average farm size as a factor.
According to the Farm Bureau, which used U.S. Courts data to compile the report.
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