Latest Wisconsin news, sports, business and entertainment

HOME INVASION-BELOIT

Pit bull killed by gunfire in Beloit home invasion

BELOIT, Wis. (AP) — Police say a pit bull was killed by gunfire after a home invasion in Beloit.

Authorities say masked gunmen entered the home Wednesday night in a robbery attempt. Shots were fired and the pit bull was killed. The people in the home were not injured and the suspects fled before police arrived.

Police say it appears this was not a random act of violence. Authorities are still investigating.

BOY'S DEATH MILWAUKEE

Death of 5-year-old boy investigated as homicide

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police say they are now investigating the death of a 5-year-old boy as a homicide — and a 25-year-old man was arrested as a suspect.

Police say the boy was found in his apartment on Milwaukee's north side shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday. An autopsy was being conducted and the cause of death was not released.

No other details were released Thursday.

MISSING MAN

Fond du Lac police: Body may belong to missing man

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — Fond du Lac police say investigators have found a body believed to be that of a man who has been missing since November 1st.

Police released few details Thursday, and didn't say where the body was found. But they did say they believe it is 37-year-old Timothy Nance.

Positive identification will be confirmed pending an autopsy.

Officials say they plan to release more information at a news conference Tuesday.

Two women were arrested in connection with Nance's disappearance after his wife reported him missing on November 5th. At the time of the arrests, police said they suspected foul play.

GOVERNOR'S MANSION-TOURS

Wis. gov releases mansion holiday tour schedule

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — People will get a chance to tour Wisconsin's governor's mansion next month.

Governor Scott Walker has released the 2013 holiday tour schedule for the mansion. They'll run on December 4th, December 5th, December 11th and December 12th from noon to 2 p.m. They'll also run on December 7th and December 14th from 9 a.m. until noon.

The tours are free but visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items or gently used winter clothing that will be donated to the needy.

Tours will include views of the main rooms on the first floor and a brief description of the decorations, including the mansion's Christmas trees.

MILWAUKEE MUSEUMS-FREE ADMISSION

7 Milwaukee museums to offer free admission

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Seven Milwaukee museums are offering free admission to each other's members.

The museums are the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Betty Brinn Children's Museum, the Discovery World, the Harley-Davidson Museum, the Grohmann Museum, and the Pabst Mansion.

They do it twice annual as part of "Member Swap Day." It will be on December 8th.

Organizers say it's their way of promoting arts and culture in Milwaukee.

Non-members can sign up for membership that day and receive the benefits.

WISCONSIN MAN-SEX TRAFFICKING CHARGES

Wisc. man faces sex trafficking charges in Utah

(Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Wisconsin man faces federal sex trafficking charges in Utah for allegedly forcing four women to travel across several states for prostitution.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports 34-year-old Ontario Lowery of LaCrosse, Wisconsin pleaded not guilty to nine counts on Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Prosecutors say that among other things, Lowery and his accomplice forced two women to travel between Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nevada, California and Utah to engage in prostitution in July 2011.

The indictment unsealed Tuesday says a 17-year-old female accomplice from LaCrosse was also charged. She remains at large.

Emails sent to Lowery's attorneys were not immediately returned Thursday.

KIDNAPPED SQUIRREL RETURNS

Squirrel once hosted in Wisc. now at Utah refuge

OGDEN, Utah (AP) — A squirrel that was kidnapped from Utah by a truck driver and then rejected by her adopted family in Wisconsin has returned home for the holidays.

The yet-unnamed critter returned to Utah on Friday and is now recuperating at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden.

The Wisconsin State Journal first reported the squirrel's saga, which began when a truck driver at rest stop near the Utah-Wyoming state line lured her into a box.

When she arrived in Wisconsin, she was given to a family near Madison as a pet. They surrendered her to a wildlife sanctuary after two months.

Sanctuary officials realized she might not survive since the Uinta ground squirrel isn't naturally found in Wisconsin, and enlisted a former wildlife center employee to shuttle her back home.

NO PET PRESENTS

State warns against giving pets as presents

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin state veterinarian is encouraging people not to give pets as gifts this holiday season.

Doctor Yvonna Bellay says giving a pet as a gift is a serious commitment and should never be a surprise. She is issuing her warning as shoppers prepare to hit stores in a big way on Friday.

Bellay says even if someone wants a pet, it's better to delay bringing them home until after the chaotic holiday season.

Bellay says another problem is that people often choose species or breeds during the holidays that are a fad. Those pets often end up in animal shelters a few months later.

Bellay suggests giving pet supplies and other material during the holidays, and hold off on the pet itself until January.

NATURE CONSERVANCY

Milwaukee family sells island to conservancy

(Information in the following story is from: Press-Gazette Media, http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — A Milwaukee family has sold an island off of Door County to the Nature Conservatory, to ensure that it is protected.

Fred Luber is former chairman and chief executive of Super Steel Products. He and his family sold 94 percent of St. Martin Island to the conservancy for $1.5 million — about 60 percent of its fair market value.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports the island will soon belong to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The remaining 6 percent of the island is owned by another private landowner and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. The conservancy has contacted both about preservation.

The island is technically in Michigan waters. The conservancy's Wisconsin and Michigan programs partnered up to acquire it.