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NEWS STORIES

Family's Vacation Home Wasn't Just Vandalized-- it Was Torn to PiecesSubmitted: 01/24/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

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MONICO - Vacation homes should be an escape from reality; a place to be stress free.

But a family with one near Rhinelander got a strong dose of both stress and reality this week.

"The Sheriff's Department said the house had been burglarized and extensively damaged," says Brian Wierzbicki.

Brian and his wife Lynn have shared this vacation home on Venus Lake with their family since the 1970's. When they came to see the damage from a burglary this week, they found a lot more devastation than broken glass.

"Virtually every single room was destroyed. There isn't anything that isn't damaged," says Wierzbicki.

"Through that door there, they came through the screen porch and kicked that door open, or smashed it with some heavy object. Once inside they used the axes on the ceilings, the walls, all of the paintings, the prints, the front of the stove and the microwave. They used the axes on all of the cupboard doors and the counter top."

That wasn't all. The vandals chopped up the furniture, tore light fixtures from the ceiling, smashed the TVs, and shattered doors, and windows.

"My wife is an oil paint artist. They tore all of the art in the house, just like this one," says Wierzbicki while holding one of his wife's paintings that's now torn to shreds.

The Wierzbicki's don't even know where to start with the cleanup. But Brian did all the original remodeling, and guess there's at least $50,000 worth of damage.

"We're thinking the entire house has to be gutted. Floor, walls, ceiling in every room have to be removed and redone," says Wierzbicki.

It's a devastating loss of family history and memories. And the Wierzbicki's think these vandals might have serious issues.

"Our friends and others that came through said it was like an axe murder did this. That it was the mentality of an axe murderer," says Wierzbicki.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the break-in. We'll keep you updated as details become available.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
No charges in Milwaukee Police shootingSubmitted: 12/22/2014

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County district attorney says he's confident the public will see he made a fair decision in not charging a white Milwaukee police officer in the shooting death of a black man.

John Chisholm said the officer, Christopher Manney, was justified in using deadly force when his encounter with Dontre Hamilton turned into a fight last April. Manney shot Hamilton 14 times after Hamilton got control of the officer's baton.

Chisholm said the release of the full investigative file will help people understand what went into the decision.

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Lincoln County landfill expansion project complete; landfill operating efficiently Submitted: 12/22/2014

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IRMA - The Lincoln County landfill began construction on a new landfill almost two years ago.

The $11.5 million dollar project is destined to hold 1.2 million cubic yards of waste.

The new landfill construction was completed in November 2013.

About 54,000 tons of clay was used to line the landfill.

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UPDATE:DOJ to review Milwaukee police shootingSubmitted: 12/22/2014

MILWAUKEE - Federal officials say they'll review the shooting of a black man by a white police officer in Milwaukee for a possible civil rights violation.

Dontre Hamilton, a 31-year-old man whose family said he was mentally ill, was shot to death last April in a downtown park after he struggled with Officer Christopher Manney. The Milwaukee County prosecutor announced Monday that Manney's use of force was justified self-defense, and he wouldn't be charged in the case.

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Helpful Holiday Tips: how to cook on a budgetSubmitted: 12/22/2014

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MINOCQUA - When we think of the holidays, we often think of giving gifts and sharing big meals with our loved ones.

Buying gifts can put a big dent in your bank account, but hosting a Christmas dinner doesn't need to be costly.

There are a few things you can do to save money.

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Browns to leave Extension for unique, rare opportunity with State DepartmentSubmitted: 12/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - Tim Brown will soon leave his job at Oneida County's UW-Extension.

He doesn't know where he'll be going, but it will be to one of more than 270 embassies and consulates worldwide.

"It's always been a dream," Brown said.

His dream has been to live and work abroad. That dream will be realized in just a matter of weeks.

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Credit card purchase leads to Rhinelander burglary arrest Submitted: 12/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - A 23-year-old Wausau woman faces three charges for allegedly stealing a purse and using a stolen credit card in Rhinelander. Those charges include burglary, theft and credit card fraud.

Prosecutors accuse Brienna Persike and Andrew Washburn, 25, of Wausau, of stealing a purse from an unlocked home on South Rifle Road in Rhinelander. The criminal complaint shows that Persike told investigators they broke into the home. She said it was after visiting Washburn's grandmother early on December 17th.

The two then went to Wal-Mart and spent more than $500 using the stolen credit card. The criminal complaint shows that the two bought a car installation kit, a car amplifier, a black BB gun, cat food, ice fishing equipment and other items just hours after the reported burglary.

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WXPR: One of only a few public radio stations in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 12/22/2014

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RHINELANDER - You can't find public radio stations as easily as you can find commercial radio stations in the Northwoods. That's because they're funded mostly by donations. However, one Rhinelander radio station has found a way to make it work for more than 30 years.

"The station came about as the result of a dream, really, of a fella named Peter Nordgrin who came from northern Minnesota at a station very similar to this one," said Ken Krall, news director and interim station manager at 91.7 WXPR in Rhinelander. "He realized that there was a hole in northern Wisconsin for public radio."

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