(AP) – Sheriff’s officials say two prisoners have escaped from the state maximum-security prison in Portage.
Residents in the area received automated phone calls about the prison escape about 6 a.m. Thursday and were urged to lock their doors.
Columbia County Sheriff Roger Brandner said numerous law enforcement officers are looking for 37-year-old James Newman and 46-year-old Thomas Deering.
Authorities did not say how the two escaped from the Columbia Correctional Institution.
According to online records, Deering has convictions for kidnapping, sexual assault and burglary from a case in Milwaukee County in 2000, plus battery by a prisoner and escape.
Newman has convictions for kidnapping, escape, theft and discharging a firearm.