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NEWS STORIES

Ladysmith man sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual assault of teenagersSubmitted: 04/04/2013
Story By WJFW News Team

LADYSMITH - A Northwestern Wisconsin man will spend the next 30 years in prison for sexually abusing three teenage girls.

A jury found 34-year-old Christopher Swanson of Ladysmith guilty back in October. He was accused of multiple counts of physical and sexual abuse of the girls from the summer of 2011 through the spring of 2012.

He got his 30 year prison sentence Thursday.

He'll also spend 15 more years on extended supervision.

The Ladysmith Police Department and Rusk County Health and Human Services helped with the investigation.



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TOWN OF SKANAWAN - A pair of proposed gravel pit mines could significantly change one area in Lincoln County. The mine sites would cover approximately 125 acres in the Town of Skanawan, southeast of Tomahawk. Experts believe the area has an extremely rich deposit, but some people worry the project will hurt the environment and grow larger than what the county could approve.

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GREEN BAY - 70 people need a new place to stay after a fire at a Green Bay apartment complex.

All residents of the Sand and Sun apartments evacuated safely.

The fire broke out about 2:30 Tuesday morning.

Firefighters call the apartment building a total loss.

The fire apparently started in the basement.

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ANTIGO - Dealing with allergic reactions to bee stings can be one of the biggest health threats to students.

"If we were seeing a reaction, for example a tingling of the mouth, swelling of the throat, a visual that a student might give us if they are unable to breath at that time, we would immediately administer an EpiPen," Director of Pupil Services Unified School District of Antigo Karen Baker.

Teachers watch carefully for possible allergic reactions, especially at recess and on field trips.

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Local kids help protect batsSubmitted: 04/27/2015

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RHINELANDER - Seventh graders in Rhinelander will help protect bats this summer. That's thanks to help from the U.S. Forest Service.

Kids in Rhinelander Monday learned about endangered bats across Wisconsin on Monday. A bat expert with Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest showed the importance of keeping bats healthy. The students helped local scientists by building new homes for the bats.

"Ms. Swaney showed us a presentation about the bats with a speaker and now we're building them," said 7th grader Jackie Wells.

"They have predators and it will kind of keep them safe in their little bat homes," said 7th Grader Connor Lund.

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MERRILL - The Community Warming Center in Merrill finished up its first winter season a few weeks ago. The center provides a place to stay for people in need from November through April.

The guest's ages ranged from 22 to 45 years old. The center is run through the Merrill United Way. The Warming Center's director said its first year went much better than expected.

"It's kind of like building the field of dreams and not knowing if anyone will come to play, or to stay in our case," said Merrill United Way Executive Director Dee Olsen. "But what ended up happening was the community was responsive and we ended up with 11 guests throughout the season with 90 user nights."

The center is already preparing for the next season. They have new blankets and pillows ready for their next year.

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RHINELANDER - Fields of an invasive plant called phragmites stand all along Wisconsin's Lake Michigan shore. Invasive species workers hope most of the plants stay away from the Northwoods.

But workers chopped down a stand of phragmites on Monday on Highway 8 just west of Rhinelander. The stand had been chemically treated in the fall, a step that workers hope will help control the spread of the species.

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RHINELANDER - Last year, a valve malfunction in eastern Wisconsin sent natural gas leaking into the air. A similar situation in the Northwoods could cut off gas supply to a whole city and be dangerous to people in the nearby area.

Wisconsin Public Service wants to be ready in case something like that happens. A natural gas station near the intersection of Highways 8 and 47 provides natural gas to most of Rhinelander. Workers rushed there on Monday, simulating their response to a leak.

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