Details Released On Inmate Who Attacked Two Marathon County OfficersSubmitted: 04/02/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

WAUSAU - Correction Officers Julie Christensen and Denny Woodward were attacked by Fredrick Morris on March 27th.

Morris was supposed to go back to his jail cell, but didn't.

"Morris immediately struck officer Christensen to the facial area with his closed fist," said Marathon County Chief Deputy, Scott Parks.

"Which rendered her incapacitated and caused Christensen to collapse unconscious to the cell block floor."

But Morris's mother thinks her son acted this way because of his conditions.

"He has bipolar and schizophrenia and he has a social disattachment," Mother of Frederick, Elnora Henderson said.

"He was diagnosed with all of these things."

Morris's mother says her son wouldn't usually do this.

"I'm trying to get the paperwork from the time he's been locked up which from February 1st until now, he's never did this ever."

One issue could be limited staffing at the jail.

Reports were released six years ago that the jail was understaffed.

The sheriff's department says they have some money to re-staff their faculty.

"If there are improvements that are needed, for safety in the jail, we'll have to reprioritize," said Marathon County Administrator, Brad Karger.

"They do less on the lower priority items. So the answer is yes, but there's not just a pot of money sitting there unallocated."

The injured officer's family doesn't want to release too much information on her condition, but we do know she's still in intensive care.

If you would like to make a donation, a benefit fund has been set up for officer Christensen at the integrity first bank.

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PARK FALLS - Many people in the Northwoods go to church on Sunday mornings, and for some of them it may be begrudgingly.

But there are plenty of people, often elderly or sick, who want to go to church but have a hard time doing so.

Peace Lutheran Church in Park Falls wanted to change that. Since May, they've been undergoing some construction. On Sunday, the church had a dedication ceremony for a special new addition—an elevator.

Now people like 100-year-old Ruth Olson can worship with greater ease.

Before the elevator, Olson said she would get to church by literally pulling herself up the stairs using the railing.

Olson's story is like many. As the older population grows, church buildings don't evolve with them. The buildings are often old and sometimes lack accomodating features for the elderly or disabled, and takes money to update the buildings.

"We have churches where the people are getting older and it's very hard for people to get around," said Rev. Dwayne Lueck, the district president for the North Wisconsin District Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod.

Some parishoners couldn't do what Ruth used to do, and so they would have to worship at a service held across the street in the day care center, instead of in the beautiful church.

"Now all the services can be over here," said Rev. Dale Heinlein, the pastor of Peace Lutheran.

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"We been talking and planning this for...a long time," said Dick Ross, president of the congregation. "Pretty hard for some of the people, and I think you saw them, pretty hard for some of the people to worship here, so it was time."

"You can see it in their eyes more than anything when they know they have access and when they come up here and just enter the building and no steps, it's a great thing," said Buzz Peters, a parishoner who helped design the new elevator and space.

"We can finally have access for everybody to get into the worship facility, free access, that's what this is all about," Heinlein said. 

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Stroebel says the swap would save money by removing local projects from burdensome federal regulations.

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