Mixed Bag

Mink Farm Vandal Pleads Guilty

Madison A man accused of releasing thousands of animals from
cages at mink farms in Wisconsin and other states has pleaded
guilty to two counts of animal enterprise terrorism. The U.S.
Attorney’s office in Madison said Justin Clayton Samuel, 21, of
Snohomish, Wash., entered the guilty pleas in federal court. He
faces up to a year in prison on each charge and a fine of up to
$100,000 when sentenced Nov. 3. He also may have to pay
restitution.

The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) took credit for an Aug. 4,
1999, fire that destroyed a feed mill near a Sheboygan County farm
where 2,000 mink were turned loose. The ALF has claimed
responsibility for vandalism at several mink farms nationwide since
1996.

Samuel and Peter D. Young, 22, of Washington, were accused of
freeing about 3,600 mink from farms at Grafton Independence,
Medford and Tomahawk in October 1997.

Anti-handgun Group Gives State C+

Madison A national group that works to stop handgun violence has
given Wisconsin a C+ for its efforts to protect children from gun
violence. Handgun Control, Inc., gave 25 states Ds or Fs for the
last school year. Only three states moved up in their ranking New
York, Maryland and New Hampshire. This is the fourth year that
Wisconsin received a C+.

The report said grades were set by looking at how strict states
were in six areas of law: carrying a concealed weapon, juvenile
handgun possession, juvenile handgun/sales prohibition, child
access prevention, local rights, and secondary sales.

Sarah Brady, chair of Handgun Control said Wisconsin has a child
access prevention law and does not allow people to carry concealed
weapons, but she also said the state doesn’t allow cities and
counties to enact ordinances to prevent gun violence or regulate
secondary sales.

Tony Jewell, spokesman for Gov. Tommy Thompson, defended the
state’s history of gun control and said the C+ grade seemed
low.

“Wisconsin does do a very good job of enforcing its gun laws and
there’s no debating how safe Wisconsin is,” he said.

Anglers Not Tagging Big Sturgeon

Janesville, Wis. The state’s new 70-inch sturgeon size limit on
some rivers is making it tough for anglers to hook a legal fish.
Not because 70-inch sturgeons don’t exist, but because a fish that
big is so old many fishermen don’t want to keep them.

The new length limit was enacted last year to reduce the number
of sturgeon harvested. It mandates a minimum size of 70 inches in
even-numbered years and 50 inches in odd-numbered years on some
rivers, including the Lower Wisconsin.

Since a mandatory sturgeon tagging program took effect in 1983
for the limited hook-and-line season, only nine sturgeon longer
than 70 inches have been registered, said Tim Larson, DNR
biologist.

Lake sturgeon are found in inland waters including the Chippewa,
Flambeau and lower Wisconsin rivers. Sturgeons are also fair game
until Nov. 1 in the Menomonie River bordering Michigan. The
hook-and-line sturgeon season opened Sept. 1 and runs through Oct.
15 for all other state rivers.

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