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

'Rhinelander Confessions' gets community buzzing
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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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/23/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll show you a training course for Taylor County deputies and courthouse staff on how to respond with and active shooter in the courthouse.

We'll take you live to Shepard Park in Rhinelander, the site some residents hope will have sections set aside for a dog park. Monday the Parks committed approved the proposal.

And a Nicolet College club provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students and allies to discuss personal issues. Now they want to get a group started outside the campus. We talk to a member of the Rainbow Hodags Club about his experiences with the group.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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VILAS COUNTY - Many people love sightseeing on two wheels throughout the Northwoods.

Now, you can get a prize for doing it.

"Bike the Heart" encourages riders to explore the different communities along the Heart of Vilas County Trail.

The trail is more than 45 miles of paved path that connects Boulder Junction, Sayner, St. Germain and Manitowish Waters.

The goal of "Bike the Heart" is to stop at each Chamber of Commerce with a "pass card" to get a stamp.

You have until September to collect four stamps and send it in to one of the chambers to be entered for a prize worth more than $100.

"Bringing the bicyclists to this area is astronomical. We have inquiries from the entire Midwest and even the outlying states of California and New York," says executive director Penny Wiesmann of St. Germain Chamber of Commerce.

Mile markers and "fix-it" stations are the newest additions to the Heart of Vilas County Trail.

The stations have tools attached to the sides to help you make a quick fix on your bike.

"We're just really excited that people can come up and ride up the entire length of the trail, or if they want to take up some smaller portions they can do that to," says executive director Theresa Smith of Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce.



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MADISON - The Legislature's budget committee has decided to put off votes on the University of Wisconsin System budget because Senate Republicans can't agree on what to do about tuition rates.

Gov. Scott Walker's budget calls for cutting tuition by 5 percent and giving the system $35 million to offset the lost revenue. It also would give the system $42.5 million in additional state aid. Campuses that do better on new performance standards would get bigger chunks of the funding.

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MERRILL - Drivers in Lincoln County may encounter a few delays on their routes to work this week.

The Department of Transportation scheduled maintenance on five bridges on US 51 and WIS 64.

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TOMAHAWK - After two years of planning, the opening ceremony of a new Northwoods nature trail took place Monday. The trail immortalizes an important figure in Tomahawk.

Allan Bell wrote his "Birch Bark Nature Notes" columns in the Tomahawk Leader for more than three decades.

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MERRILL - People who lost their homes in last week's tornado will get state help, but likely no federal dollars to rebuild.

Initial estimates from the Barron County Sheriff's Office put the damage from last week's tornado at $10 million.

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RHINELANDER - If you wait long enough, you could see Rhinelander city workers mowing your front lawn. But it's not free, and it's not a service they necessarily want to provide.

Streets Superintendent Tony Gilman has been named "Weed Commissioner" for the fourth year.  That means he'll be on the lookout and taking calls for lawns with grass 12 inches or longer.  Gilman says he gets dozens of calls from fed-up people each year.

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