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NEWS STORIES

Zarda Will Serve Four Years for Mole Lake StabbingSubmitted: 11/26/2012
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


CRANDON - The first Mole Lake stabbing suspect was sentenced Monday. 18-year-old Melvin Zarda is one of six charged in the beating and stabbing of a Wausau Man back in February.

"He has clearly indicated that he is part of the Latin Kings. This whole interaction that is before the court is gang-based," says Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono.

Facing attempted murder charges, Melvin Zarda took a plea deal with the state. It required him to tell prosecutors what happened the night of an attack in Mole Lake, and specifically who did what.

"Mr. Zarda is incredibly dangerous. Why? Because he doesn't think for himself, he just acts," says Simono.

Simono detailed for the court the role Zarda admitted to playing in the stabbing.

"That's when Mr. Zarda was told to initiate the first strike. According to Mr. Zarda he asked Mr. Craig McGeshick and Preston Krustensterna to do it and they said, 'No, you were ordered to do it'," says Simono.

Defense attorney Stephen Sawyer said while it's not an excuse, Zarda's choice to join the gang wasn't out of a desire for a life of crime.

"To that point it had been a way to hang out with a bunch of guys that he thought cared about him, he thought would watch his back, protect him," says Sawyer.

Simono did note Zarda came forward with information knowing it could put him at risk, without any guarantee of an easy sentence.

"Part of his agreement is he has to testify truthfully at any forthcoming hearing or trial against any of his co-defendants," says Simono.

Judge Leon Stenz sentenced Zarda to nine years: four in prison, with five years extended supervision, for the second degree reckless injury charge. Then he'll also get three years probation for false imprisonment.

"No one has showed up to support Mr. Zarda and that speaks both ways. Number one, maybe they don't believe he deserves to be supported. Number two, maybe he's the way he is because no one has supported him. But to blame everything on the fact that he had alcoholic parents and a rough childhood ignores the fact that he was given opportunities," says Judge Stenz.

Craig McGeshick will be sentenced Wednesday, and Preston Krusensterna December 7th. The other three suspects are scheduled for jury trial in January.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
2 men on sinking boat are rescued on Lake MichiganSubmitted: 11/22/2014

- One Wisconsin man is recovering in a hospital after he and another man were rescued from a sinking boat on Lake Michigan Friday morning.

The Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office responded to a call from a man who said his boat was taking on water at about 11 a.m. The boat was less than a mile off the coast of Belgium, Wisconsin, according to the sheriff's office.

The men and their boat were recovered and brought back to shore.

A 31-year-old man from Oak Creek was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. A 24-year-old Neshkoro man was uninjured. Neither man has been identified.

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2 injured, 1 dead in Taylor County crashSubmitted: 11/22/2014

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TAYLOR COUNTY - Slippery road conditions could have caused the death to one person and injured two others in a car crash in Taylor County Friday.

The Taylor County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened around 4 p.m. on County Line Road and 11th Avenue in the Town of Roosevelt. Deputies say the driver of a 1997 Ford Explorer lost control while trying to turn North onto 11th Ave. The truck sled into the ditch on the Northeast corner of the intersection. It then struck a utility pole as it was overturning.

The 58-year-old driver, Laverne Palms, was airlifted from the scene with serious injuries.

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Empty Bowls event fills Rothschild with soup, hopeSubmitted: 11/22/2014

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ROTHSCHILD - The Rothschild Pavilion couldn't easily hold the huge number of people on Saturday who wanted something simple " soup.

Lines snaked out the door for the 7th annual Empty Bowls event.

Everyone who tried one of 41 different soups will help fight hunger for others in northcentral Wisconsin.

"It's a true reflection of the caring quality of Marathon County," said The Neighbors' Place Executive Director Tom Rau.

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Wives and girlfriends enjoy Holiday Open HouseSubmitted: 11/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - The start of the deer hunting season normally leaves wives and girlfriends at home by themselves, but an organization in Rhinelander wants to get them out of the house.

This was the first time Downtown Rhinelander Inc. hosted Holiday Open House Saturday. Businesses along Brown street welcomed wives, girlfriends and families into the their stores.

The owner of Hext Theater in Rhinelander believes this is kind of like a kick-off for the holiday season.

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Steps to prepare for freezing rain Submitted: 11/22/2014

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NORTHWOODS - We could see freezing rain in the Northwoods Sunday. If we do, leaders in Oneida County want people to be prepared.

The Oneida County Emergency Management director says it's hard to tell when the roads are slippery. So they want you to take your time on the roads and on the sidewalks.

"Freezing rain, a lot of times you can't tell that it's actually frozen. The ground is frozen," said Oneida County Emergency Management director Ken Kortenhof. "So even when you're walking on your sidewalks, stuff like that, be careful not to slip. Make sure if you have salt you can salt your sidewalks so you don't have problems there as well."

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Wisconsin gun hunt beginsSubmitted: 11/22/2014

MADISON - A Wisconsin tradition is continuing as the state's nine-day gun deer hunt gets underway.

The season opens as the sun rises Saturday and will run through Nov. 30. Forecasts for opening weekend called for freezing rain and fog with highs ranging from the upper 30s to the low 40s both days.

As of Wednesday the state Department of Natural Resources had sold 615,644 licenses, about 15,400 fewer than at the same point last year. The agency sold 635,165 licenses in all last year.

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Deer donation an option as gun hunting season beginsSubmitted: 11/22/2014

WISCONSIN - Gun hunting season started across Wisconsin Saturday.

Most hunters shoot for sport.

But some donate their catches to help families in need.

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