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NEWS STORIES

Monico Vacation Home Vandalism UpdateSubmitted: 01/30/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


MONICO - Piece by piece and memory by memory, a family with a vacation home in Monico is recovering. Their home was viciously destroyed by burglars. We showed you their vandalized home last week.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office arrested all three suspects in this incredible act of vandalism. But the Wierzbicki's will need a lot more than that to pick up the pieces.

This week they struggled to figure out where to even begin.

"We had to inventory each item on each one of these pages," says Brian Wierzbicki, while paging through an itemized list of personal items that were destroyed. Three hundred of them in all.

That doesn't include the major structural damage to the property. There isn't a wall, ceiling, floor, or light fixture left intact.

The family has already put in 60 hours of work cleaning up their home. But for every layer of destruction they clear, they find another.

"They used a pick axe and a wood axe and chopped up the concrete. Many, many things were discovered beneath mattresses and things like that," says Wierzbicki.

The Wierzbicki's are still in limbo with their insurance company. Brian says he'll have to wait and see how the case plays out in court before he'll feel any better.

"There's a really seriously strange mindset that would allow them to do this much damage, with this much violence, for this amount of time, and then just move on to something else," says Wierzbicki.

One of the suspects, 17-year-old Jeffrey Stefonik was in Oneida County Court Wednesday. He's charged with six felonies, including burglary and criminal damage to property.

A 15-year-old is being charged in juvenile court.

Seventeen-year-old Anthony Briggs is also charged in this case, and out on bond.

Surprisingly, we reported Briggs was allowed to participate in a Three Lakes High School wrestling match Monday.

"Something I enjoyed has been destroyed and it's amazing that they're able to participate in something that they enjoy," says Wierzbicki.

We asked Superintendent Dr. Karling why Briggs hadn't been suspended from the Wrestling team, and he declined to comment.

WIAA rules state a player can be suspended for tobacco, alcohol and controlled substances. But it also says they can be suspended for violating the school's code of conduct. No word on whether felony criminal charges count.

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Rain, storms affect golf seasonSubmitted: 05/27/2015

RHINELANDER - The rainy weather could be hurting some golf courses in the Northwoods. The Northwood Golf Club in Rhinelander has had fewer golfers than normal this month.

The club usually has many people pre-book their tee-times for the summer. But this year, not as many people are doing that. The club says it actually had more golfers playing in April than in May this year.

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SHAWANO - A minivan hit and killed a construction worker in Shawano County Tuesday.

30-year-old Derek Stempa of Shawano had been flagging traffic.

68-year-old Dennis St. John of Hurley was driving the minivan when he struck Stempa.

The Shawano County Highway Department had been doing road work in the area.

That's on Highway 47 near the Menominee Indian Reservation.

The Wisconsin State Patrol is in charge of the investigation.

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RHINELANDER - Students at Rhinelander High School hoped they would be driving home in a new car Wednesday afternoon. The prize was part of the school's year-end celebration. The car was the top prize connected to the school's Positive Behavior Initiatives and Supports initiative.

This is the third year that the school district has been involved with the initiative. Throughout the year students who display good behaviors such as being on time and assisting others in the classroom can receive special green cards.

These cards are collected and are put into drawings where students can win prizes such as free pizzas from Dominos. The drawings are a weekly event but the green cards are also held over the year for an end of the year grand prize drawing.

Brittany Haakenson, an art teacher at Rhinelander High School, has been very involved with the initiative and the planning for Wednesday's assembly. She was excited for the work the initiative has been able to accomplish and for the grand prize; a new car. "It's totally random and whoever gets that special key, there is going to be six keys that won't open the car, but there will be that one winner," said Haakenson.

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WISCONSIN - The bee population could be in danger. Beekeepers in the US lost more than 42% of their colonies in the past year, according to the Bee Informed Partnership. In Wisconsin, beekeepers lost even more than that.

Some beekeepers in Wisconsin lost more than 60% of their colonies over the past year. They think long Wisconsin winters could be one of the reasons why so many bees die.

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MONTREAL, WI - Three-year-old Kolton Ouellette spends his days in a crib, a chair, or a piece of equipment that looks like it belongs in a hospital.

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DNR plans Free Fun WeekendSubmitted: 05/27/2015

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