UPDATE: Marathon County Sheriff deciding to retire, has been under scrutiny over work schedule
Story By WJFW News Team
WAUSAU - After 12 years at the top of Marathon County Law enforcement, Sheriff Randy Hoenisch will retire soon.
The sheriff held a press conference today in Wausau.
Earlier this week, the Wausau Daily Herald revealed he booked fewer than two office hours so far in all of 2013.
He wouldn't explain why that was, but says that's one of the reasons why he's retiring.
The other is the likelihood that his wife will be sentenced to jail.
An emotional Sheriff Hoenisch began today by addressing his wife's legal troubles.
Kim Hoenisch will be sentenced in April on charges of burglary and misconduct.
She was fired from her job in December as a Marathon County probation and parole agent.
He says the situation had a profound effect on his job as sheriff.
"What I didn't realize at the time was the effect it would have, on every aspect of my life including mentally, physically and emotionally," said Hoenisch.
Sheriff Hoenisch originally wanted to announce his retirement in April.
He described the journey to this decision as an emotional one.
"I would tell people I'm somewhere between suicide and suicide. You can't imagine the rollercoaster ride. And, I guess I forgot to touch on this. The thing that was most difficult, in this whole situation is one shoulder is I see myself as a husband, and the other shoulder I see myself as the sheriff," said Hoenisch.
The main reason for his retiring is to be with his family.
He has 4-year-old twin sons, who sat with him during part of his press conference.
Hoenisch still needs to send in official paperwork regarding his retirement, which he says should take between 2-3 weeks.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
VILAS COUNTY - Many snowmobile trails in Eagle River still need more grooming after all three trail groomers went out of service. The trails didn't get groomed for four days last week because all three of the Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club's trail groomers need repairs.
The club hasn't had all of their groomers working for a couple of weeks. Sno-Eagles President Ken Storms said the trails took a big hit last week when all three went down. The club says it has made a concerted effort to catch up with trail grooming, and get the trails smoothed out.
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