CRANDON - Every gang needs a local "enforcer" or "leader".
Among the Latin Kings gang in Forest County, it looks like Jesse Daniels was that person.
Forest County's top prosecutor said Daniels was the one calling the shots last February.
That's when a man was nearly stabbed to death by the Latin Kings in Mole Lake.
On Tuesday, Daniels got the harshest punishment so far of the six charged in the stabbing.
Daniels becomes the fourth person to be put in prison in this case.
He will be imprisoned for eight years, with eight more on extended supervision to follow.
That's on the charge of second degree intentional homicide for trying to stab the Wausau man to death.
"When we look at everyone involved, Mr. Daniels is the leader. Mr. Daniels is the one that organized all of this. Mr. Daniels is the one who had the investment of $20,000. He's the enforcer for the Latin Kings. He's the one that gave the orders. He's the one that made the planning. He's the one that coordinated with Trevor Lenz and the other guys to make sure that this occurred," said Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono during the sentencing.
The eight year prison sentence is actually more than Simono asked for.
Daniels' attorney argued for a three-year prison sentence.
But Judge Patrick O'Melia showed little sympathy.
"You hit somebody with a frying pan. A cast iron frying pan. I read somewhere that it broke out the bottom. I thought, no, it must have been a typo, or this thing was so badly rotted, I don't know. Even that, to pop out the bottom of a frying pan, could have killed him," he said.
It's the second time in his life Daniels will be imprisoned.
His criminal record goes back to 2002, when he was just nine years old.
"I hope and pray that the time I'm sentenced to won't take too much time away from me and my family. While I'm incarcerated, my understanding will be to learn from my actions and my mistakes," Daniels told O'Melia.
We mentioned Daniels is the fourth of the six suspects sent to prison.
The total time imprisoned between those four will be 23 years.
Two more defendants in the case, Dakota Tuckwab and Trevor Lenz, wait for trial dates in June.
NORTHWOODS - Prescription drugs play an important role in our health.
They help us recover if we're sick, cope if we have a chronic condition and help manage pain.
But those drugs can expire or just stay in the back of our medicine cabinets for months or years.
And if those drugs get into the wrong hands—such as toddlers or abusers—that's a problem.
That's why many local police and sheriff's departments participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back program.
It's run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Saturday was National Take-Back Day.
"We're keeping the controlled substances in the hands they're supposed to be in, especially with the pill epidemic now, it's important that these stay out of the hands of people that are abusing them," said Minocqua Police Officer Matthew Tate.
Several area police departments hosted drop-offs Saturday.
You can drop off prescription or over-the-counter pills, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, vials and pet medications. You cannot bring in inhalers or aerosol cans, and you cannot drop off illegal drugs or needles.
All the drugs are brought to the state Department of Justice where they will be incinerated.
That's better than just flushing them or throwing them out in the trash.
"It's very important that it's not getting into our ground water is the main thing," Tate said. "We just don't want people dumping them in toilets or in their garbage."
If you have prescription drugs you want to get rid of safely, don't worry if you missed Saturday's opportunity. Many area police stations have drug drop-off bins in their lobbies, so you can drop them off any time of the year.
MINOCQUA - You know summer in the Northwoods will soon be here when seasonal businesses start opening up again.
Wildwood Wildlife Park opened up Saturday in Minocqua.
Hundreds of people rushed to the gate today to see all different types of animals, some local and some exotic.
"We are so busy today but it's a beautiful day to come out to Wildwood," said the park's director Judy Domaszek. "This is one of our baby aoudads, it's an African sheep, and as you can see in the background there are many people busy playing with the baby goats, and the sheep and the pigs and the tortoises, and they're just enjoying their day."
On Saturday the park had a giraffe feeding.
Workers also have been renovating and expanding the park.
The park has many new animals on the way, including some baby animals that were born there.
"The mouflon sheep are new, we've got some new reptiles, we have some new babies that we're going to have down in the nursery in a little while," Domaszek said. "We actually had a baby badger born here at the zoo. And we have a baby kangaroo. Those guys are all coming down when it's safe to come down."
Wildwood is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Then after Memorial Day the park stays open till 5:30 p.m. for the summer.
MINOCQUA - Lakeland and Antigo generally square off as rivals in Great Northern Conference competition. But on Friday, nearly a week removed from the prom shootings in Antigo, Lakeland wanted to show that it was on Antigo's side.
"It's hard to react to something like this, because you want to be concerned, and you want to help, but it's hard to know how to help," said Maggie Laurence, a Lakeland sophomore and Student Council member.
RHINELANDER - Large machinery moved north and parking spots disappeared on Brown Street in Rhinelander this week. The city's $9.8 million downtown reconstruction project continued its push, closing down Brown Street from Davenport to Rives Monday.
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