Sunday, January 21st

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This is an excerpt from a documentary by Chardanay Hunt and Ed Makowski that shows efforts to reintroduce beavers to the Milwaukee River. Wochit

A sign that beavers are returning to the lower Milwaukee River in greater numbers is this beaver lodge in Lincoln Park.(Photo: Lee Bergquist / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The American beaver is discovering that the lower Milwaukee River is once again becoming desirable real estate.

There are increasing signs of the beaver’s presence: Gnawed trees for miles up and down the shoreline; a ramshackle dam that sticks out of the ice in Lincoln Park; and the most tale-tell sign of all — a beaver lodge near W. Hampton Ave.

The inroads by the largest rodent in North America have been unmistakable, says Cheryl Nenn of Milwaukee Riverkeeper, who has worked for the advocacy organization for 15 years.

“They’re definitely becoming more prevalent,” Nenn said.

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Wisconsin's Capitol.(Photo: Michael Sears / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)Buy Photo

MADISON - Brian Bell removed roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, so the efforts now to force him out of his job as the head of the state Ethics Commission are mild by comparison.

“No one’s — at least not yet — trying to shoot at me or blow me up,” Bell said in a recent interview down the street from the Capitol.

But the risks for Bell — as well as Michael Haas, the director of the state Elections Commission — are real. Republicans who control the state Senate say they plan to vote Jan. 23 to deny their confirmations as a way to push them out of their jobs.

The GOP senators are trying to drive them out of their posts because the pair previously worked for the now-disbanded Government Accountability Board, which spent years investigating Gov. Scott Walker and other Republicans.

Bell and Haas said they have conducted themselves professionally and there is no reason they should leave.

Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, discusses the arrests of two dairy workers during a news conference and protest outside of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field headquarters in Milwaukee.(Photo: Bill Glauber / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Two dairy workers were detained by immigration authorities at separate farms in Washington County Friday, an immigrant rights group said.

Voces de la Frontera identified the men as Agustin Aguirre Villa and Firo Jesus Gamboa Hernandez and demanded their release.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency is not raiding dairy farms. She said officers were looking specifically for the individuals.

The men are married and both have two United States-born children, according to Voces de la Frontera Executive Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz. She led a news conference and protest outside the ICE field office in Milwaukee.

Neumann-Ortiz said Hernandez has been a farm worker for six years and worked at a farm in the Town of Farmington while Villa has lived in the United States for 12 years and has been a dairy manager for nine years.

Razor wire tops one of the fences at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake schools complex in rural Irma in 2013.(Photo: Daily Herald Media)

MADISON - With Gov. Scott Walker planning to close Wisconsin's teen prison, his administration is in settlement talks with the attorneys for juvenile inmates who have sued over conditions there.

"In light of this development, the parties submit this report to inform the court that, at this juncture, the parties are continuing to actively negotiate a potential settlement and still intend to proceed with this case," lawyers for the state and inmates wrote in a court filing Friday. 

Teen inmates represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and Juvenile Law Center sued state officials a year ago over conditions at Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls, which share a campus 30 miles north of Wausau. 

RELATED: Crisis at Lincoln Hills was years in the making

State Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) and Patti Schachtner, the chief medical examiner for St. Croix County.(Photo: handouts from the candidates)

MADISON - Tuesday's election in a northwestern Wisconsin Senate race could yield clues about whether Republicans are keeping their hold on state government or facing a wave that could break their grip this November. 

GOP groups have been aggressive in spending money — and confident in predicting victory — in the Republican-leaning 10th Senate District. Democrats have kept quieter about their own hopes, trying to control expectations in a seat where their party has been disappointed before. 

But with President Donald Trump's state approval rating relatively low, both sides are watching the race between state Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) and Democrat Patty Schachtner, the chief medical examiner for St. Croix County. 

In a first for Americans for Prosperity — the group backed by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers — the Wisconsin chapter is paying for ads and mailings expressly backing a candidate, Jarchow.