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Making Schools SaferSubmitted: 02/04/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Making Schools Safer
MOSINEE - When you think back to Sandy Hook, you probably think of the name Adam Lanza.

He's the man who gunned down 20 children and six adults at the elementary school in December.

That tragedy has led to a tense gun control debate…and talks about how to deal with mental illness.

It's also made us talk more about school security – but Lanza didn't just walk through those front doors.

They were locked, but he easily shot through a window and got in.

When Dick Peterson of Mosinee heard that part of the story, he thought he could help.

Peterson's daughter and three granchildren live in Newtown.

"The day of the shooting, my daughter called in the morning, and she said 'Dad turn the TV on, there's something that's happened here,'" Peterson said. "It wasn't quite so bad the first day, but then she found out some of her friends lost their children and kids, when she picked them up. It was tough."

Peterson makes his living putting energy-saving film on glass windows and doors.

But he also installs bomb-blast security film.

"I've done 8 ml bomb blast film to protect people like senators, FBI officers, and big credit card companies," Peterson said.

So why not schools? Peterson decided to experiment.

He put bomb blast film on a glass frame, then fit the border with a retention system.

Bullets could still go through, but Peterson's idea is that if the glass doesn't shatter like it did at Sandy Hook, students and teachers would have enough time to evacuate or call police before an attacker broker through.

And unlike bulletproof glass, Peterson can easily retrofit current windows and glass doors with his design.

"It's just like any of the tinting that I do – it's the most efficient way of saving energy," he said. "The security film is the most efficient way of protecting yourself."

Peterson went through two rounds of tests, shooting at the glass prototype and beating it with a bat and gun.

His second prototype worked out well enough that he's ready to show it to school officials and law enforcement Wednesday.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander mom said her lifestyle completely changed when a new neighbor moved in. 

She used to love the close proximity and the ability to walk to almost anything in town.

She has two young kids and regularly checks the sex offender registry. 

The Rhinelander mom wishes to stay anonymous. We'll refer to her as Linda. 

Linda found out a sex offender moved in a few doors down from her by flipping through a local newspaper, She saw a small box at the bottom page with a notification. 

"He kind of just snuck in," said Linda. 

William Huntington moved close to Linda's house in May. However, Linda says she knew nothing until she did research of her own in July. 

"When I saw what he was found guilty of I was in shock. I was in complete shock," said Linda. 

He was convicted in Dane County for repeatedly sexually assaulting his 8- year- old neighbor about twenty years ago. He's now required to wear a lifetime GPS monitoring system. 

Dana Wszalek works with the Department of Corrections in Rhinelander as a Regional Chief. Her office supervises people like Huntington in the community.

"What we do is not a cookie cutter type of approach to supervision; it's relative to what their risks are based on their case dynamics," said Wszalek. 

State law requires high risk sex offender to live at least 1,500 feet from churches, schools and playgrounds. Restrictions on other sex offenders are left to local offices. 

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says there are no ordinances for sex offenders in Oneida County.

"They have different life experiences. They are a part of the community," said Wszalek. 

Wszalek understands the wariness community members might feel.

"As a parent it's important to be aware of who's in your neighborhood," said Wszalek. 

Linda said one of her 6- year- old child was planning on walking to school with friends this year, but instead they'll get driven.

"I feel like the neighborhood we moved into to be able to have these things has been taken away," said Linda.

Linda said she was shocked she didn't get a call or knock on her door from law enforcement.

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