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NEWS STORIES

Secret Cocaine Buys Lead to ArrestsSubmitted: 03/25/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


MERRILL - Two secret cocaine deals by a Tomahawk Police informant led to three drug arrests.

We told you about those arrests last week.

On Monday, Jason Echterling was in Lincoln County Court for the first time.

He's one of three people charged with felonies for dealing marijuana, cocaine, and prescription drugs.

An investigator talked about how the informant worked with police.

"We provided him with $275 of currency, also, a body wire and a recorder. At that time, we followed the informant over to the residence," testified Tomahawk Police Investigator John DuPlayee.

Tomahawk Police say Echterling sold the informant cocaine two different times.

That gave them enough evidence to carry out a search warrant and arrest Echterling and two others March 15th.

Judge John Yackel decided there was enough evidence to move forward.

Echterling pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Andrew Prokudowicz and Danielle Stevens will appear in court within the next two weeks.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/04/2015

- Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel says he is still considering what steps to take next in reaction to new Obama administration rules designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions at power plants.

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

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NORTHERN WISCONSIN - Many colleges across Wisconsin ban tobacco on campus. Now, Northcentral Technical College can join that group.

As of August 1st, all NTC campuses ban tobacco on campus, including chewing tobacco and E-cigarettes. NTC staff sees this as a way to protect student health.

"As we looked at the overall wellness of our students, staff, and our visitors, we felt like that shift was a positive shift to make," said NTC Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan. "But we made that shift with the intention of also offering resources and services to those students and staff who are interested in quitting the use of tobacco."

The change got rid of designated smoking zones. NTC staff says student feedback has been positive so far.

"Students appreciate the fact that they don't have to walk through smoke or see the tobacco use on campus," said Sullivan. "Obviously there are some students who have questions and we've been dealing with those students individually, offering to have conversations with them to get their feedback, because we think everybody's feedback is important."

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MERRILL - Merrill may get a new grandstand by next summer.

On Monday the city sent out proposal requests for companies to bid on.

The grandstand will go in the Lincoln County Fairgrounds near the location of the old grandstand. That was destroyed in 2011 by a tornado. It sat about 1,800 people on benches, and city leaders said those seats were uncomfortable.

The new grandstand will fit between 2,500 and 3,000 people on stadium seating and benches with backs "to provide a much nicer venue for events," said Merrill City Administrator Dave Johnson. 

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MERRILL - Scheduling likely helped the Lincoln County Fair draw more people this year than last.

The fair took place July 22-26.

Last year, the fair was held the same weekend as the Wisconsin Valley Fair in Wausau.

That changed this year—event organizers think it drew more than 20,000 people. That's based on a parking survey. 

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RHINELANDER - Families who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as WIC, should soon have more flexibility when shopping.

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MERRILL - Some parents start to leave their kids home alone around nine years old, but that can make parents very nervous.

Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center held its 21st Lincoln County Safety Day Camp for Kids today in Merrill to help ease those fears.

The camp is specifically geared toward children that are ages 8-11 years old.

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MADISON - The state Department of Natural Resources plans to unveil a new endangered species license plate.

The plate features a photograph of an eagle. DNR officials say the design was chosen from more than 2,000 entries from photographers.

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