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Accused driver had received license only weeks before deadly crash, case moves forwardSubmitted: 07/31/2014

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CRANDON - The case against an 18-year-old Laona man will go ahead after a Forest County judge found enough evidence to move forward Wednesday.

Austin Ginter, 18, faces reckless homicide charges in Forest County after a car crash killed 15-year-old Chance Harcus. Another 16-year-old girl was also injured in the July 13th car crash on Old 8 Road west of Crandon.

New information from a preliminary hearing Wednesday shows that Ginter only had his driver's license for two weeks before the crash.

Wisconsin State Patrolman Justin Bender testified for the prosecution. He was the officer that reconstructed the car crash. He says the car was going at least 114 miles per hour when the driver lost control, but could have been going as fast as 126 miles per hour.

The Special Prosecutor Jodie Bednar-Clemens argued that Ginter was driving the car without thinking of the passengers' safety.

"Clearly, when you are going 120 miles an hour, on a 35 mph road, which is extremely hilly, you're traveling over the center line, you've got somebody in the vehicle who is begging you to slow down and refusing to do it, I think that is criminal recklessness," Bednar-Clemens said.

The criminal complaint shows that the 16-year-old surviving passenger told an officer she had her eyes closed and didn't want to be there before the crash. It also said that she had told Ginter to slow down earlier in the car trip, which he did in that instance.

But the 16-year-old testified for the defense in court, and testified she never said a word to Ginter about speed or anything.

"I never begged, I never said a word (to Ginter) until I felt the car swerve," the girl said in testimony.

Brian Bennett, Ginter's defense attorney, argued that was enough to stop the case.

"That witness has been subpoenaed, she is out in the hall today and she will testify that, what the state just said is not in fact the case," Bennett said.

The surviving passenger also said the car felt like it was going 60 mph before the crash, even though her eyes were closed, but the re-creation expert from the state patrol put the speed at 114-126 mph.

The criminal complaint had also showed that the 16-year-old girl had told an officer her eyes were closed before the crash because she was nauseous.

The prosecution attributes that sickness to the extremely high speed they believe Ginter was driving, but the girl testified that was out of context.

She said she always gets nauseous while riding in cars, so she frequently closes her eyes to deal with the sickness. That became an issue with Judge Leon Stenz.

According to testimony, the car that was crashed was under the girl's father's name, but she said she was making payments for it. Stenz asked if she had the same type of nausea while she was driving. She said it did happen, but she could control it, and if she couldn't she would pull over to the side of the road.

There had also been testimony from the 16-year-old girl that Ginter was her best friend, and that he had recently moved into her family's home.

After more than an hour in court, Judge Stenz decided there was enough evidence for the case to go ahead. Ginter could spend 60 years in prison if convicted of the charges. He'll be back in court in August.



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 LOCAL NEWS
Rock throwing case moves forward for one of the accusedSubmitted: 07/31/2014

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CRANDON - Prosecutors in Forest County accuse a group of four people of throwing rocks off of a bridge and damaging a car. Victims Wednesday described the sound like a bomb going off.

19-year-old Thomas Hines is one of four people facing charges for throwing rocks off of a Forest County bridge just after 3 a.m. June 3, 2014. The other three facing charges include 18 year-old Mariya Tuckwab, 20 year-old Ryan Kitchmaster, and 21-year-old Dillon Votis.

All four face multiple felony charges for recklessly endangering safety and criminal damage to property.

Prosecutors say those rocks hurt a woman inside of the car.

Hines was in court Wednesday for his preliminary hearing.

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Yard maintenance being recognized in Rhinelander Submitted: 07/30/2014

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RHINELANDER - Summertime can mean a lot of yard work for homeowners. It's a time for people with green thumbs to show off their skills and to make flowers bloom.

A group in Rhinelander wants to recognize people and businesses for their exceptional yards.

Yard of the Month was introduced to Rhinelander by former city administrator Bill Bell. The community where he used to live had a similar program. So he approached Master Gardeners of the North to see if they would be willing to partner with the city.

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Man who stashed meth under his seat in court will spend 60 more days in jailSubmitted: 07/30/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - Oneida County prosecutors couldn't believe how stupid a Tomahawk man was to try and pull a stunt while in court in April.

They say 30-year-old Kurtis Cline tried to stash a bag of meth under his seat cushion in court. Now, Cline will be punished on those charges.

Cline is already serving a six-month jail sentence for theft. Now, he'll have to spend 60 more days in jail for the meth incident.

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Classic and antique boat showSubmitted: 07/30/2014

TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk Classic Motor and Boat Show is a chance for people who love outboard motor boats to come together each year. The show is hosted by the Northwoods Chapter of the Antique Outboard Motor Association and is now celebrating the 35th anniversary of the show.

"A lot of these people have had them, because this is boating country up here," said Northwoods AOMCI President Bob Dalle Ave. "Even the younger ones will say my grandpa had a motor like that or my dad has a motor like that at home. So it's the motors that draw them in."

The show hosts swap meets, boat shows, boat parades, and boat cruises. Out of the more than 200 registered show boaters, many of them planned to do more than just display their boat.

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Wisconsin Valley Fair Continues to Showcase TraditionsSubmitted: 07/30/2014

WAUSAU - You can find tradition around every corner at the Wisconsin Valley Fair.

Some of those traditions keep vendors coming back.

First English Lutheran Church runs a food booth. 15 to 20 volunteers report to their stand every day.

They've served fair-goers homemade favorites for more than 90 years.

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More jail time for man accused of stashing meth in courtroomSubmitted: 07/30/2014

RHINELANDER - Oneida County prosecutors couldn't believe how stupid a Tomahawk man was to try and pull a stunt while in court in April.

They say 30-year-old Kurtis Cline tried to stash a bag of meth under his seat cushion in court.

Now, Cline will be punished on those charges.

Cline is already serving a six-month jail sentence for theft.

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Possible changes for the Oneida County board Submitted: 07/30/2014

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Oneida County could get a county administrator in the future. The county is reaching out to other counties with an administrator for input.

The board wants to know how the change might help the county. They'll take input into consideration during an August meeting.

The idea stemmed from a former supervisor in March.

Committee members talked to counties, including Marathon, who already have county administrators.

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