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NEWS STORIES

Human Trafficking Happening Everywhere, Even the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/27/2012
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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RHINELANDER - Human Trafficking: not a problem you'd ever imagine having in the Northwoods.

But one local group is saying it is here; people just don't know how to identify it.

"The injustice, the outrage of human trafficking must be called by its true name: modern slavery," said President Obama in an address on trafficking.

Slavery fueled by crimes against Americans. Eighty percent of trafficking victims in the U.S. are U.S. citizens. Eighty two percent of those victims are from sex trafficking. The first step in fighting it is to tackle misconceptions.

"The most common misconception is that trafficking means that it's only a crime if there's some type of international transportation. What we're really talking about is a crime of either forced labor or forced sex trafficking," says John Vaudreuil, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin.

One of the biggest problems is people see those victims as common prostitutes, in the profession willingly.

"What we're talking about is really peonage; involuntary, compelled, in this case, sex trafficking," says Vaudreuil.

The biggest challenge for prosecutors is they don't get self-reporting victims.

"They're terrified of the police, they're terrified of the person who's controlling them. So the challenge for us is to see people as victims when they are not going to report themselves as victims," says Vaudreuil.

"It's very important, I felt, to bring the information to not only law enforcement but to all of the systems that could potentially work with victims to recognize the red flags," says Shellie Holmes, Executive Director of the Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Once Holmes recognized those red flags she was stunned to realize it has already been right in front of them.

"I realized that in the last three years we have had three trafficked women in our shelter. We just didn't know how to identify it," says Holmes.

A problem the council hopes education will solve. For now, they want the community to keep its eyes open and keep in mind things may not always be what they seem.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 10/31/2014

- The mining issue might deicide the winner of the 25th State Senate district. The huge district covers a large portion of northern Wisconsin. Two types of mines have caused controversy in the district: a proposed taconite mine in the north and sand mines in the west. Newswatch 12s Adam Fox sat down with both candidates; he'll have the story tonight.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Drivers surprised by icy roadsSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - Drivers got an icy surprise as they hit the road this morning.

People needed to show a little caution as they got used to driving on snow and ice again.

Some accidents tied up traffic for a time. In Wausau, one lane of Highway 29 was shut down near Highway 51.

An accident caused the problem shortly after 4:00 a.m. The road was fully open again around 6:00 a.m..

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25th Senate candidates differ over mining law, agree on importance of broadband and educationSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - The mining issue might decide the winner of the 25th State senate district. The huge district covers a large portion of northern Wisconsin stretching from parts of Vilas County to parts of Barron County. Two types of mines have caused controversy in the district. A proposed taconite mine in the north, and sand mines in the west.

Gogebic Taconite is proposing a four-mile open pit taconite mine in Ashland and Iron County. Project leaders say the project will lead to 700 direct jobs, as well as numerous spillover jobs because of the construction of the mine.

Republicans rewrote and passed the state's mining law in 2013. Many believe the rule change weakened water protections, but Republican candidate Dane Deutsch doesn't agree.

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Hire me then fire me, Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants to eliminate positionSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - Hire me then fire me.

That's what a Northwoods candidate for State Treasurer wants voters to do.

Jerry Shidell is a libertarian from Rhinelander.

You'll find his name on the ballot for State Treasurer.

He plans on getting rid of the job.

Shidell says the treasurer doesn't have many responsibilities and the position costs too much.

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School District of Rhinelander passes 2014-15 budget; sees increase in enrollmentSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - The School District of Rhinelander will get a little bit more funding from property taxes this year.

Rhinelander passed a referendum in 2013.

The district gets 4 million dollars per year through 2016.

On Monday the district approved the tax rate and mill levy for the year.

Taxpayers will pay $10.99 per thousand dollars of property values.

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100 Yards of Halloween DecorationsSubmitted: 10/31/2014

RHINELANDER - A lot of people in the Northwoods will put out decorations for Halloween. But one Rhinelander woman and her daughter have gone above and beyond. They've grown their display for the past 10 years to extend between their houses and covering more than 100 yards.

"We had four boys and we wanted a girl and she was born on Halloween, so my husband said, 'Look, we finally got our witch!'" said Linda Klaver.

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Man gets 40 year prison sentence for shooting deputySubmitted: 10/31/2014

MEDFORD - A 29-year-old man will spend 40 years in prison for shooting a Taylor County sheriff's deputy after getting sentenced in court Friday.

Police say Alexander Schneider told them he aimed for the deputy's face when he shot him in September 2013.

The deputy went to Schneider's house in Rib Lake to talk with him about a violated restraining order. Schneider refused to come outside. He then shot at the deputy through the front door.

He will be on extended supervision for 20 years once he gets out of prison.

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