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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


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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/01/2015

- A pair of controversial proposals won't make it in the Wisconsin state budget. Lawmakers announced Wednesday that the $500 million Milwaukee Bucks arena and the prevailing wage proposals will instead be voted on in a special session. It's progress after a month of inaction, but we'll tell you why it won't pass as it is written coming up tonight on Newswatch 12.

- Plus, one of the best ways of preserving great trout streams in the Northwoods includes taking out beaver dams. See how explosives and blasting help make that happen.

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

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LINCOLN COUNTY - A mother and her son will need to look for a temporary home.

A fire destroyed part of their home early Wednesday morning near Heafford Junction in Lincoln County. They weren't hurt.

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Area 4th of July Events Submitted: 07/01/2015

- 4th of July Celebrations (Listing alphabetically)

Antigo
-Parade on 10th Ave. at 7 p.m.
-Fireworks at Antigo High School at 9:20 p.m.

Boulder Junction
-Parade on Main Street at 12 p.m.
-Following parade Chicken BBQ, sponsored by the Boulder Junction Fire Department, until 6 p.m.
-Fireworks at Airport Landing Field at dusk

Crandon
-Parade through downtown Crandon at 12 p.m.
-Fireworks in downtown area at dusk

Eagle River
-Parade through downtown on Wall St. at 11 a.m.
-Fireworks near intersection of Hwy 45 and County G at dusk
-High Pines Campground open to public for viewing of fireworks

Manitowish Waters
-Festivities at Community Center on Hwy 51 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
-Parade through downtown area on Hwy W at 1 p.m.
-Fireworks over Rest Lake at dusk

Merrill
-Fireworks at the Marc at dusk

Minocqua
-Kiddie parade at 3:45 p.m. and main parade at 4 p.m. on Hwy 51 south through downtown
-Water ski show at 7 p.m. at the Aqua Bowl
-Fireworks from behind the blue water tower at dark

Phelps
-Parade through downtown at 3 p.m.
-Live music, games, activities, raffles and more in downtown area following parade
-Fireworks over North Twin Lake at dusk

Phillips
-Arts and crafts, food, music and more at Elk Lake from 9 a.m. 4 p.m.
-Parade on Lake Ave. at 2 p.m.
-Fireworks over Lake Duroy at dusk

Rhinelander
-Kiddie parade at 10 a.m. on Brown St. followed by main parade at 11 a.m. on Brown St.
-Hodag water ski show at Hodag Park at 7:30 p.m.
-Fireworks at Hodag Park at dusk

Three Lakes
-Parade on Superior St. through downtown at 9 a.m.
-Crafts, flea market, food, activities and more at Don Burnside Park after parade until 3 p.m.
-Fireworks at Don Burnside park at dusk

Tomahawk
-Lions Club chicken BBQ in downtown area beginning at 10:30 a.m.
-Parade on Wisconsin Ave through downtown area at 1 p.m.
-Fireworks at SARA Park at dusk

Wausau
-Activities and events at Marathon Park on July 1st July 5th
-Fireworks at Grandstand area, Marathon Park, at dusk on July 3rd and 4th

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PARK FALLS - A Park Falls Firefighter fell off a ladder and broke his neck early Monday morning.

Mike Bush was fighting a fire at a Park Falls home. He fell 12 feet from a ladder while using a hose. He landed on concrete.

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MADISON - More than half of Wisconsin schools will see a decline in general aid in the next school year, according to estimates from the state Department of Public Instruction.

The state budget not yet finalized would keep general school aid flat at almost $4.5 billion. But DPI says diversions of money to the Milwaukee voucher program and charter schools drop that closer to $4.3 billion.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Tens of thousands of people who use the Milwaukee County Transit System to reach their destinations will have to make alternative plans.

Some 750 union bus drivers, plus mechanics, are on strike after failing to reach a labor contract agreement with transit officials. The county buses deliver 150,000 passenger rides each day.

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MADISON - A new report says the state's unemployment benefits fund finished the 2013-14 fiscal year in the black for the first time in years.

The Legislative Audit Bureau released a report Wednesday that showed the fund grew from a negative $208.4 million as of June 30, 2013, to $329.4 million as of June 30, 2014, the first positive balance since the end of fiscal year 2007-08.

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