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NEWS STORIES

A Behind the Scenes Look at Being a JailerSubmitted: 04/10/2013

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RHINELANDER - Last month's inmate attack on a corrections officer in Marathon County raised concerns about safety in our county jails. But it also made us curious about the responsibility of looking after inmates.

Jailers don't do their jobs out in the open like patrol officers. The average person might not know what the job entails unless they know a jailer, or spend a lot of time in jail.

Imagine having a job where nobody but your coworkers are happy to see you.

"Nobody really wants to have contact with you. You have inmates who aren't happy to be here, clearly," says Sandra Ladu-Ives, Acting Oneida County Jail Administrator.

Learning not to take it personally is one of the first lessons for a corrections officer.

"There can be a lot of days where morale gets low because of the activities of inmates," says Ladu-Ives.

These Oneida County jailers say keeping inmates in line is just the beginning of their responsibilities. An officer with the county was recently awarded "Jailer of the Year" for stopping three suicides in as many months. They say you can't accomplish that without building a rapport with inmates.

"We have to have a rapport. You can still remain professional and not get too personal, but at the same time have empathy, have some compassion, and be alert to what's going on," says Daniel Huettl, an Oneida County Corrections Officer.

"There's a lot of people coming in here who are at the lowest point of their life. You have to really be keen to their needs," says Ladu-Ives.

Watching out for an inmate's well-being and treating them with dignity, while keeping vigilant every minute for your own safety, can be a fine line to walk. It's something Marathon County was reminded of last month. One of their officers is still in a coma from an attack.

"You can be standing there talking to somebody one minute and the next minute they hear something that you said or maybe that they didn't want to hear. And that can make someone flip a switch," says Ladu-Ives.

"I teach my officers, my trainees, not to be hyper-vigilant. We don't want them jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof, but we want them to be relaxed but alert," says Huettl.

It's a big task. With a capacity of 209 inmates, there could be as few as six officers on duty. But balancing watching out for, and keeping safe from inmates is something these officers believe in.

"It's a profession. And it's something that you really have to believe in and really have to have a heart for," says Ladu-Ives.

"I think I can speak for everybody here: we try to send people back out into the community in better condition than we found them," says Huettl.



Story By: Lyndsey Stemm

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80-year-old dies after getting hit by trainSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - An 80-year-old woman died Sunday in Wisconsin Rapids after getting hit by a train.

Police say Joyce Huber, 80, died at the scene.

Huber tried to cross the tracks and was hit by a Canadian National Railway train that was going south.

Police say the railroad crossing safety arms and lights were working.

They also say the train's horn was working.

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Child runover by van on driveway, dies at hospitalSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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RACINE - A 5-year-old girl has died after being struck by a van in the driveway of a Racine home.

Police say the child had just arrived for a party in the neighborhood Saturday afternoon and was facing the street when a 16-year-old boy backed a van over the girl.

Authorities say a rear wheel ran over the girl. The teen heard people yelling and shouting, but didn't know he had hit someone. So, he pulled the van forward, running over the girl a second time.

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Wisconsin man gets 9.5 years for drunk drivingSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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Merrill's downtown mural by student artists evokes history, cultureSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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MERRILL - "We normally do murals inside the high school by famous artists, and we do a re-creation of their work," says Merrill high school junior McKenzie Broeking.

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Starting Friday, the offense comes with an automatic $300 fine plus the normal traffic ticket surcharges. That's under a new state law approved during the legislative session.

Officials from the Department of Transportation, a highway contractor and the State Patrol planned a news conference Monday to highlight the change. They hope the steeper penalty will serve as a deterrent.

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UPDATE: Missing man found dead in car underwaterSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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IRONWOOD, MI - Police found a missing Hurley man in his car underwater in Ironwood, Sunday.

74-year-old Duane Jussila's car was found underwater under about 10 feet of water in an area off of Alfred Wright Boulevard.

Jussila was reported missing July 5th. The man was suffering from dementia.

Police are still investigating.


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Golden Harvest opens its doors at a new locationSubmitted: 07/28/2014

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RHINELANDER - Doors officially opened for one Northwoods Grocery store.

Golden Harvest Market welcomed customers to their new location on County Road G Monday. The 17,000 square foot building has been under construction since November.

Timothy Conjurske, Golden Harvest's president, says the entire team has been working extremely hard the past few weeks.

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