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.
HAZELHURST - You won't find any alligator-filled moats at an upcoming medieval festival in Hazelhurst. But you will get the chance to step back in time during the Northwoods Medieval Faire at Tommy O's Playhouse next weekend.
NORTHWOODS - Children went back to school across the Northwoods Tuesday. That's why it's important to make sure you're prepared for anything.
Emergency workers say it's important to have a plan in place for all possible emergency situations. That plan should include emergency contacts, safe meeting locations, and emergency kits in homes and cars. Officials say taking time to plan and practice is crucial.
"Look at things before it happens," says Dawn Robinson, Oneida County Emergency Management Program Assistant. "Make sure your family, your loved ones, your neighbors, make sure everyone has a plan and practice those plans. That way when something does happen, it becomes more, that you know what to do, so be prepared as much as possible, and practice."
Part of being prepared is communication and knowing who to contact. Officials encourage parents to make sure that schools have up-to-date emergency contact information, especially for small children.
MERRILL - The school bells rang Tuesday morning for students across Wisconsin.
Another school year has begun with kids looking forward to a new year.
It also means that drivers should be on the lookout around schools.
In Merrill, police keep a close watch around school zones the first few weeks of class.
Speed limits drop dramatically as drivers enter school zones.
Merrill Police Chief Ken Neff says it's important to be especially observant this time of year.
"Especially the first week or two of school because kids are excited, and maybe not so excited, about getting back to school," Neff said. "They're thinking about their friends and maybe not paying attention to traffic."
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