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NEWS STORIES

Police arrest third and final suspect in Monico burglariesSubmitted: 01/28/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray & WJFW News Team


RHINELANDER - We know the name of a third teenager linked to a series of home break-ins in the Monico area.

Police list 17 year-old Jeffrey Stefonik of Monico as the latest arrest.

We showed the vandalism done to a La Crosse couple's vacation home in a story this past Friday.

Stefonik, 17 year-old Anthony Briggs, and an unnamed 15 year old juvenile -- all of Monico -- face charges related to burglary, theft, and criminal damage to property.

Oneida County Deputy Sara Wolosek says the license plate number helped out a lot with hunting down the burglars.

She knows timing is everything when it comes to preventing this from happening.

"With home security I found that if you make it difficult for people to break in, they're going to find a different place," Wolosek said.

They want something that's going to be easy and fast. Typically it takes four to five minutes to break into a home and if it's going to take longer than that, they're going to move on to the next one."

But a security system might not work for everyone.

Another form of safety is a care taker. That's a person who looks over your house while you are gone for a long period of time. Russ Sleight has been a caretaker for over 25 years.

"As you know up here, Northern Wisconsin sometimes the local authorities can't get there right away," Sleight said. "If you have a care taker or something that I do, I can be there at somebody's house usually 10 to 15 minutes."

If you would like to set up a neighborhood watch group, you can contact Deputy Wolosek at the Onieda Sheriff's Office. That number is 715-361-5100.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition kicked off its 40th season today. The St. Germain Flea Market draws thousands of bargain hunters each week during the summer.

The market attracts nearly 400 vendors every week. Vendors showcase everything from homemade crafts and artwork to plants and homemade treats.

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EDGAR - Marathon County authorities say a woman has died from drowning in a pool in Edgar in central Wisconsin.

Lt. Tim Burkholder of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says it happened sometime after midnight Monday.

While the investigation is ongoing, he says the drowning appears to be accidental.

The department is withholding the victim's name and other details for now.

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MINOCQUA - Many golf courses in the Northwoods need to work hard to make a profit each year. Cold northern springs and falls mean a shorter playing season than other parts of the state. Many increase their rates near the peak of tourism season.

One Northwoods course went the other direction during the last week of April and tried something new. Timber Ridge Golf Club in Minocqua offered something unheard of - completely free golf for everyone.

"We all just kind of thought, what a nice idea, to just say thank you to all of our customers. (We thought,) come on out for a free week of golf," said Timber Ridge PGA Professional Jerry Collins.

The course was in great shape by late April. Golfers flooded in to play during the entire week.


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MERRILL - Hundreds of people gathered in Merrill on Monday to honor the lives of the service men and women lost over the years.

"From the Second World War, there were over 400,000 men and women who lost their lives, and it took a tremendous toll on our young people," said World War II veteran Richard Bjorklund.

The ceremony featured a guest speaker and acknowledged those still alive who served. People young and old remembered friends and family who are no longer here.

"Everybody worked together, and we still lost guys," said Vietnam War veteran John Jirovec. "It's hard to forget. Really hard to forget."

For one mother, every day is Memorial Day.
 
"My son Ryan, Sergeant Ryan Jopek, was killed in action on August 2, 2006," said Jopek's mother Tracy. "He just turned 20 and was coming home in a couple weeks, but fate didn't have it quite that way, and he didn't make it home, and we miss him every day."

Tears were shed thinking of the memories of loved ones, remembering freedom comes with a price.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Last Thursday, 15 members of the Oneida County community graduated from Leadership Oneida County. The nine-month program aims to give participants a better understanding of the county's resources and to improve participation in organizations throughout the county.

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RHINELANDER -  A Northwoods veterans group wants people to remember those who died serving our country. 

The Oneida County Veterans Council held a Memorial Day ceremony in Rhinelander on Monday.

The Rhinelander High School band and choir performed at the ceremony.

Mayor Dick Johns was the speaker. 

Event organizers hope people take time on Memorial Day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

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WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR wants to know if it has the right plans for beavers in the state. The final public feedback period is open for the new beaver management plan.

The document will guide decisions on beavers through 2025. The final draft touches on topics like population, habitat, and damage management. The current draft recommends keeping beaver populations mostly stable in the state.

Public input for the final beaver management plan is open through June 22. The DNR will also host a public meeting on June 16 from 6-8 p.m. at the DNR Service Center in Rhinelander to take comments.

You can read the final draft of the plan by clicking the link below. Another link shows opportunities for feedback.

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