Loading
Search
TOP STORY

Guns drawn: Taylor County practices for active shooter situation in courthouseSubmitted: 05/23/2017

Play Video
MEDFORD - The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Virginia Tech University, and Sandy Hook School in Connecticut all stir memories of deep fear and sorrow.

Mass shootings can happen anywhere, at any time.

In rural areas like northern Wisconsin, county courthouses could be prime targets. Taylor County trained for that possibility this week with an active-shooter simulation.


"Obviously, it's difficult going in after an active killer or shooter," said Larry Woebbeking, the chief deputy of the Taylor County Sheriff's Department.

On Monday afternoon, Taylor County shut down its courthouse, had two deputies play armed intruders, and practiced its response. It had never trained live in the courthouse before.

"We have plans in place, but you can only train so long verbally and by paper," Woebbeking said. "We actually took it to a scenario training today."

With a shooter in the building, quick communication becomes key.

"I'd like to see the officers on the radio really trying to feed the information to the responding officers," Woebbeking said.

For years, county courthouses stood as the ultimate people's buildings. People could come and go as they pleased, using any door at any time.

But American shootings and security concerns have forced counties to be more protective of safety in the buildings. In Taylor County, only one courthouse door is open to the public. Like in many other local counties, all others stay locked.

Training in the courthouse halls becomes a necessity.

"Twenty, 30 years ago, we wouldn't have thought about it," Woebbeking said.

Story By: Ben Meyer

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story



 LOCAL NEWS

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - A lot of things need to go right to build a 40,000 square foot addition in just one year.  Workers in Vilas County used a fairly mild winter to their advantage to work toward that goal.

Construction on the county courthouse's addition is both on budget and essentially on time.  Crews have the drywall up on the second floor and are working to do the same on the first floor soon.  Vilas County Clerk Dave Alleman says a rainy spring held some masonry work up, but it's nothing crews can't handle to stay on track.

"Very well disciplined," Alleman said of the workers.  "They're working every day, things are being done on time. I think overall that makes for a good project."

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - A long-serving member of the Rhinelander Public Works Department who spent his entire life in the Northwoods will soon start a new career in a place nearly 200 miles from home.

Streets Superintendent Tony Gilman announced last week he plans to take a job with the city of Baraboo, which is a community of about 12,000 people. It's about an hour northwest of Madison near Wisconsin Dells.

Gilman wrote a resignation letter to Mayor Dick Johns dated May 17. In the two-page letter, Gilman praised the mayor and two aldermen. But he also criticized some of the other city leaders without using specific names.

+ Read More

Play Video

- A Nicolet College club provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and allies to socialize and discuss personal issues related to gender and sexual orientation.

However, outside of the campus, there is no supportive group in the Northwoods. Now, the Rainbow Hodags Club is helping to get a community LGBT group started. Club member Don Schindhelm says he wishes a club like this existed years ago.

"I really felt like I didn't know anyone else who was gay or lesbian. It was frowned upon, so I suppressed it for most of my life. That's why I struggled with it for so many years," said Schindhelm.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - One Rhinelander woman may see a 10-year-old bucket list wish come true.

On Monday the Rhinelander Parks Committee supported having a dog park at Shepard Park in Rhinelander. 

For 10 years Tina Werres has been advocating to get support for a dog park in Rhinelander.

The decision is now left to the Rhinelander City Council, which is scheduled to vote on June 12.

+ Read More
+ More Local News



 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON - The Legislature's budget committee has decided to put off votes on the University of Wisconsin System budget because Senate Republicans can't agree on what to do about tuition rates.

Gov. Scott Walker's budget calls for cutting tuition by 5 percent and giving the system $35 million to offset the lost revenue. It also would give the system $42.5 million in additional state aid. Campuses that do better on new performance standards would get bigger chunks of the funding.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who says he's been appointed an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security, has denied he plagiarized content in his master's thesis on homeland security.

The denial follows a CNN report Saturday saying Clarke, a strong supporter of President Donald Trump, failed to attribute sources at least 47 times in his 2013 thesis.

+ Read More

MEDFORD - Powerful and versatile draft horses are being used in Wisconsin to help a cellphone company upgrade its towers among other jobs in the fields and forests.

Milwaukee Public Radio reports that draft horses can get in and out of spaces some vehicles can't because the animals are agile and lightweight.

+ Read More

APPLETON - Authorities say a police officer fatally shot a person who had a gun at a bar in downtown Appleton.

An Appleton Police Department statement says officers on foot patrol got a report of a shooting inside Jack's Apple Pub just after 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Officers saw people coming out. As one officer went in, the statement says, the officer "encountered a subject with a gun" and shot the individual. Other officers then went inside to aid the person who was shot by the officer. That person later died at a hospital.

+ Read More
+ More Regional News
Search: 









Click Here