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NEWS STORIES

Monico Vacation Home Vandalism UpdateSubmitted: 01/30/2013

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.

Story By: Lyndsey Stemm

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/25/2014

- A new jobs plan from Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke focuses on what she hopes to do to improve rural areas in the Northwoods. Coming up on Newswatch 12 tonight find out her goals and hear why political analysts believe forestry and timber was left out of the plan.

- We visit with fish farmers from Langlade County. Silver Moon Springs knows everything there is to know about running a successful trout farm. We head to the farm and learn why Aquaculture is catching on in Wisconsin.

- And fur trapping is still very much a part of the lives of people in the Great Lakes region. For many, it's their livelihood. Newswatch 12's Ben Meyer visited the National Trappers Convention in Escanaba this week to bring you more.

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

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Summer temperatures impact local toy salesSubmitted: 07/25/2014

RHINELANDER AND MINOCQUA - Summer gets us outside playing games on the lake or in the yard, but with cooler temperatures this year, trips to the lake may not be as popular.

That impacts certain businesses in a good way. Imaginuity toys stores in Minocqua and Rhinelander have noticed a difference in the toys they've sold this summer.

"We're definitely getting a lot more traffic with the cooler temperatures. A lot more people in the door, which we're loving. We are seeing a lot more people buying more project based items. They're buying a lot of the active play but not so much the water active," said Jessica Hatch, Store Manager.

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Garden tour Saturday to raise money for hospiceSubmitted: 07/25/2014

RHINELANDER - You can learn how to improve your garden while also supporting a Northwoods hospice provider.

The Master Gardeners of the North and Ministry Hospice will host a garden tour Saturday, July 26th. People will get to tour six gardens in Rhinelander's historic courthouse neighborhood.

Organizers hope the event will raise at least $2,000. That money will go to patients who are unable to pay for their services.

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More than 50 boats featured in weekend boat showSubmitted: 07/25/2014

MINOCQUA - Many people enjoy boating during the summer months.

This weekend you can check out the beauty and workmanship of antique boats in Minocqua. More than 50 boats will be on hand for the 22nd Antique and Classic Wooden Boat Show. The event is free to the public and features classics from the early 1920's to the 1960's. It will kick off tonight with a boat parade before the Min-Aqua Bat waterski show... and continues all weekend on the docks of The Boathouse Restaurant.

Boat owners and the public get together to share their love and stories of these antique beauties.

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Wisconsin leads nation in producing mink peltsSubmitted: 07/25/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin leads the nation in the production of mink pelts.

Some of those pelts come from the northwoods, with mink farms in the Tomahawk and Irma areas.

The state accounted for one in three U.S. pelts last year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Wisconsin produced 1.13 million mink pelts last year.

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Oneida County wants your opinion on boathouses and piersSubmitted: 07/24/2014

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Leaders in Oneida County want to know what you think of boathouses and piers on lakes in the county. The online survey they've put together could give them better information on the issues.

Planning and zoning workers say the two topics have been debated for years. Oneida County Planning & Zoning's Karl Jennrich says the county started allowing boathouses and regulating piers in 2000 when it rewrote its comprehensive plan.

The board looked at both topics a year ago, but didn't take any action to change current rules.

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Baldwin introduces bill to create more VA doctorsSubmitted: 07/24/2014

MILWAUKEE - U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has introduced legislation aimed at increasing the number of doctors at Veterans Affairs medical centers and reducing wait times.

The Wisconsin Democrat said in a statement Thursday that the bill would create 2,000 residency positions over five years at Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide. Residency is the next step in doctors' training following medical school.

The bill also would require the VA to allocate the residency positions based on doctor shortages at its facilities and to prioritize training for specialists who are needed.

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