NEWS STORIES

Stabbing Case Moves Forward Against 16-Year-OldSubmitted: 03/28/2013

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RHINELANDER - Violent crimes tend to grab our attention- even more so when a family member acts out against another family member.

Police arrested 16-year-old Michael Thimm back in December. He attacked his mother and her boyfriend with a buck knife when they were fighting over a computer. Thimm was in Oneida County Court today for his preliminary hearing.

Rather than arguing about what Thimm did, it seems the defense and prosecution will argue about whether Thimm understood what he was doing. That’s because the teenager has a form of autism called Aspergers.

Judge Patrick O’Melia heard testimony from an investigator, a mental health expert, and Thimm himself. The main question: did he intend to kill his stepdad?

"Do you remember him asking, 'Did you intend to kill Joel?'" asked District Attorney Mike Schiek.

"Yes," answered Thimm.

But Thimm's defense team argued that because of his Aspergers he couldn't differentiate his intent to scare or injure Mr. Sandburg as opposed to kill him.

Judge O'Melia decided there's enough evidence to move forward with the case. Thimm is charged with attempted first degree intentional homicide. That charge is serious enough that he's automatically tried as an adult. But since he's only 16, he'll be back in court in May to try to get his case sent to the juvenille justice system.



Story By: Kailey Burton

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Celebrating Easter in the snowSubmitted: 04/19/2014

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RHINELANDER - Snow on the ground can’t keep the Easter bunny away in the Northwoods.

Hundreds of kids and their families searched for Easter eggs in Rhinelander on Saturday.

“Even with the snow and the slush, they love running around and getting out there and getting the eggs,”said Nicole Polkowski, the Rhinelander Area Optimist Club president.

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Police rescued 22 animals from home Submitted: 04/19/2014

OSHKOSH - A Winnebago County woman has been arrested after authorities found nearly two dozen animals living in deplorable conditions in the Town of Clayton.

WGBA-TV reports that since Thursday, authorities have rescued 17 horses and five dogs from the home. Winnebago sheriff's detective Chris Braman says they did not look healthy.

Another three horses were found dead.

Cattle Rescue Inc. will be caring for the surviving horses. Director Bill Blemke says they are malnourished.

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Police investigate threatening letter Submitted: 04/19/2014

STOUGHTON - Police in Stoughton are investigating a threatening letter that was sent to a black teenager, with a photo that depicted him as the victim of a lynching.

The letter had a Madison postmark but no return address. The family told the newspaper it contained a photo showing two men hanging from a tree, with a mob watching. A picture of the 18-year-old was superimposed onto one of the men.

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Easter weekend brings in more businessSubmitted: 04/19/2014

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MINOCQUA - Easter weekend normally brings in a lot of tourist.

For business owners, that means an increase in sales.

The Pine Cone Boutique in Minocqua says they've seen an increase in customers.

They're right off Highway 51 North, right next to McDonald's.

One of the sales associates just started working there.

But she could tell that business picked up quickly.

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RHS Mock Trial team recognized for accomplishments Submitted: 04/18/2014

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RHINELANDER - A Northwoods team broke their own state record last month by winning a 17th state title.

A pair of state legislators honored them Friday.

Republican State Representative Rob Swearingen and Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany honored the Rhinelander Mock Trial Team at the Oneida County courthouse today.

"It's on behalf of myself and Senator Tom Tiffany from the 12th senate district," said Republican State Representative, Rob Swearingen.

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UPDATE: Name released in Tomahawk house fireSubmitted: 04/18/2014

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TOMAHAWK - A man in a wheelchair couldn't make it out of a burning Tomahawk home Thursday.

The fire killed 70-year-old Kenneth Pietila.

A snow plow driver saw smoke coming out of the windows of the home on East Pine Shore Lane just after 1 p.m.

Tomahawk firefighters found an active fire spreading throughout the home.

Pietila, in his wheelchair, couldn't be saved.

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Observing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday Submitted: 04/18/2014

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RHINELANDER - You could find a decent amount of businesses closed early Friday.

That's because many of the owners and employees were in church.

People filled the pews at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rhinelander on Good Friday.

People honored the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

"His death which looks really bad for us is really good because it's in our place," said Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church pastor, Richard Krahn.

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