'Rhinelander Confessions' gets community buzzingSubmitted: 03/27/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

RHINELANDER - Millions of people share their deepest desires and darkest secrets... on the internet. And it seems like people are sharing more and more personal information every day.

There's a new local Facebook page that's causing debate.

Rhinelander Confessions is part of the latest Facebook trend. Someone from a town or school starts up a community page. Anyone can post anonymously a statement that's supposed to be a "confession".

Some of the postings are funny, a few are sweet, some are not so sweet, and some are downright disturbing. Who knows if any of it's true, but the point seems to be that anyone can say anything about the place the page is dedicated to and the people who live there.

Rumor has it high school students started the page. We asked our Facebook friends what they thought about the page. Some people thought it was all in good fun.

But the majority of our responders, most of them adults, thought the page was just another avenue for things like bullying and sexual harassment.

"I've seen a lot of 'so and so is hot' and 'I would have sex with so and so'," says Jayla Paulson, a RHS Junior.

Some girls actually respond to posts like that about them with amusement.

"I don't see that as being ok. I don't understand why you would want yourself to be exploited like that," says Paulson.

The internet is a gray area when it comes to freedom of speech. We know you can't threaten other people... but what about something like sexual harassment?

"You can't do anything that's going to raise alarm in somebody. Because that would be considered disorderly conduct," says Amanda Young, from the Rhinelander Police Department.

The same rules about verbal harassment apply on the internet. If it happens to you, print the conversation and take it to the police department.

But if you're one of the girls publicly encouraging derogatory comments made about you, you should know it will make things difficult for police if you later feel harassed.

"It's harder to make a determination whether or not it's harassment or if it was actually encouraged," says Young.

A thin line with potentially negative results.

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MAUSTON - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found unresponsive in Decorah Lake early Friday.

Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.

The Mauston Police Department says attempts were made to rescue the individual, but the Juneau County Coroner's Office pronounced the individual dead at the scene. Police have provided few other details, and the victim's name has not been released.

Mauston is about 70 miles northwest of Madison.

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WAUSAU - This has been Wisconsin's deadliest gun-deer season in the past five years, with two shooting fatalities already recorded.

Daily Herald Media reports (http://wdhne.ws/1HvNth3 ) that the two fatalities brought to an end a three-year series of seasons that had been free of firearm deaths. Four other hunters also have been wounded.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, hunters violated some of the fundamental rules of gun safety in all the incidents.

A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.

The nine-day season runs through Sunday.

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MOUNT HOREB - A southern Wisconsin school district has cancelled plans for elementary school students to read a children's book about a transgender girl after a group threatened to sue.

The Capital Times reports (http://bit.ly/1TadnaG ) that the Mount Horeb Area School District released a statement saying it won't proceed with its planned reading of "I Am Jazz."

Parents were told last week that Mount Horeb Primary Center students would read the book because one student identifies as a girl but was born with male anatomy.

A Florida-based group, the Liberty Counsel, threatened to sue, saying concerned parents had reached out and that reading the book would violate parental rights.

The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Liberty Counsel as a hate group that advocates for "anti-LGBT discrimination, under the guise of religious liberty."

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APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.

The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.

The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.

Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."

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TOMAH - The Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says it has adopted another plan to improve patient care.

The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.

The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.

Among other things, it calls for recruitment of psychiatric staff, employee forums and listening sessions, and opening an employee wellness center.

Several Tomah VA officials including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.

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MOSINEE - This past week, hunters took the time to head out in the woods, sit in their tree stands, and wait for a buck to come their way.

But not everyone plays by the rules.

Every year, wildlife officers work hard to catch deer poachers.

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ANTIGO - As successful hunters look to fill their freezers with venison, they often don't have a use for the deer's heart. But donating that heart can be a big help to an area rehab center.

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