ANTIGO - Witnesses pleaded to keep John Lund out of jail Thursday.
They called him a community leader, a role model, a good father, a good son, and a good husband.
His own emotion was on display before the court.
Even so, the former Antigo elementary school principal and football coach will be locked up.
"I'm sorry because I let you down," Lund told friends and family in court.
A remorseful Lund will go to jail for three months for his involvement in marijuana delivery.
"This is very difficult. Mr. Lund is a good man. No question about it. However, he's a good man that did a very bad thing," said Langlade County District Attorney Ralph Uttke.
More than two hours in court produced witness after witness that spoke to Lund's character and pleaded for no jail time.
Langlade County District Attorney Ralph Uttke, however, asked for Lund to be in jail for six months.
"If we don't punish John Lund, with criminal penalties, and that involves incarceration, then we've said, well, if you're of certain class, and if you've done all of the right things in the past, then we're going to forgive it. That sends the wrong message to a community," said Uttke.
Seven witnesses had asked Judge Fred Kawalski to consider Lund's years of service to his community.
That included Lund's own mother and father.
"John is a kind person, a good son, a good father, and a good husband," testified his father, Richard.
"John is the type of person that I hope someday my son will grow up to be like," said his friend, Paul Payant.
But Lund, the man who shared marijuana with other school staff and coaches in Antigo and Merrill, will serve the time in jail as part of a year and a half on probation.
"I reflect every day on my selfishness, my poor decision making, how decision making effects not just yourself, but other people around you," he said.
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group held a seminar at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Tuesday, to plan how to make Wisconsin more attractive to skilled workers and manufacturing businesses.
WMC's president believes the shortage in younger people in the industry has to do with two big misconceptions about manufacturing.
"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date. If you're in an advanced manufacturing facility now, it's clean, it's high-tech, the engineers and technicians are working together," said Jim Morgan."We have a perception problem. I think we still have a definition of success that's says unless you have a four-year degree, you're not successful."
Morgan says groups like WMC work to change that perception. He believes workers with a two-year degree are just as successful in the industry.
So far, WMC held seminars at nine other technical colleges. For Rhinelander, more manufacturers could mean more economic independence.
"The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is looking to see how it can help and partner with local manufacturers to make the Rhinelander area a more favorable place for them to locate their businesses, as well as to attract and retain skilled workers to make those businesses successful," said Dana DeMet, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director.
Over the next six months, WMC will continue to look for ways to attract more workers and businesses to the state.
In December, it hopes to have 1000 representatives for a meeting in Milwaukee focusing on how manufacturing will benefit the state.
WMC also works with the University of Wisconsin system and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Ruby's pantry opened their doors Tuesday in Lac du Flambeau. This is the first time the Ruby's pantry has set up shop there. They decided to come to Lac du Flambeau because of the good turnout in Rhinelander. The food pantry asks that people give a $20 donation.
“It's not your typical food pantry,” says Gloria Cobb, Ruby's Pantry Lac du Flambeau Lead Coordinator. “This is an opportunity to give people dignity, to serve with dignity, and it's a donation base.”
“I mean look at the hustle and bustle going on we've got the community coming together not only Lac du Flambeau but the surrounding community coming together to meet a very basic need and that's to help with hunger,” says Cobb.
The pantry offered items like strawberries, cake mix, and toilet paper. More than 400 people were expected to show up.
“A participant will go through the line with a laundry basket and or box and they will be offered items,” says Cobb. “They can refuse them however we will encourage them to take the item because somebody else that they may know may have a need.”
“They get a certain amount of each item and they go through the line like an assembly line,” says Cobb.
The pantry had more than 21,000 pounds of food to give away.
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