NEWS STORIES

Burglars Get a Biblical LessonSubmitted: 04/26/2013

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MERRILL - Three men will sit in the Lincoln County jail this weekend while they wait to be charged in a string of burglaries Friday morning.

The burglaries happened on East Main Street in Merrill.

Merrill Police can’t release many details yet, including their names.

So far, we’ve learned from neighbors they stole an F-150 truck and something they probably didn’t expect to.

"God does work in mysterious ways sometimes," said Clifford Baker, who lives on East Main Street.

It seems that both God and three burglars were at work in Baker’s neighborhood early this morning.

"About 5:30 this morning, my brother went down to let his dog out before he went to work and noticed his truck was gone," said Baker's neighbor, Amy Laflin. "He called the police right away, they showed up a few minutes later responding to a number of calls in the area."

Laflin called Baker around 6:30 to tell him about the robbery, but it wasn’t until about two hours later he noticed the burglars had come to his property, too.

"They were actually in our garage and in our vehicles, and that’s a little unnerving, because they’re not invited and then they helped themselves to things they thought were important – which are important to us," Baker said.

The burglars Baker's SUV, probably thinking that the backpacks inside had laptops. But they were in for a little surprise.

"Well we are Jehovah's Witnesses, and what we had in our vehicles that were taken were our book bags that we carry with us when we go out in the door-to-door ministry," he said. "I'm assuming that the perpetrators that got into the vehicles, when they saw the bags, of course they're laptop computer bags, they probably assumed there were laptops in the bags and off they went with them. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't laptops."

By 9:15 Friday, police found Laflin’s brother’s car in Shawano County. They also have Baker’s backpacks, but they’re holding them for evidence.

Maybe they got the news that we often try to spread from door-to-door," Baker said. "As long as we have our things back, we’re content with that."

The three suspects are due in Lincoln County Court Monday afternoon.

Story By: Lex Gray

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Board speeds up start of short-term loan program Submitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - The start of a new short-term loan program that wasn't slated to begin until July has been moved up in an effort to help businesses hurt by recent cutbacks at Oshkosh Corp.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's chief jobs agency, voted this week to start the pilot program earlier. It will provide loans or loan guarantees of up to $250,000 to companies for projects or expenses that may not be eligible for traditional financing.

The board says it was starting the program earlier in light of news that Oshkosh was cutting 760 jobs from its defense division because of budget cuts being made by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The loan program this year will only target businesses in Oshkosh Corp.'s supply chain

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Dane County judge to hear Planned Parenthood lawsuitSubmitted: 04/24/2014

MADISON - A Dane County judge is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging a 2012 law that sets out conditions for abortions.

The law requires a doctor to determine whether the woman's consent is voluntary and inform the woman of domestic abuse services if he or she suspects the woman is being coerced. The law also requires doctors to perform a physical exam before they can prescribe abortion-inducting drugs and be in the room when the drugs are given to the woman.

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in February 2013 arguing the law is unconstitutionally vague. The organization argues its unclear how doctors should determine voluntary consent and whether doctors need to be present when drugs are dispensed or administered.

Judge Richard Niess is set to hear arguments Thursday morning.

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Outside agencies will investigate officer related deathsSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - Police departments in Wisconsin will now need to hire an outside agency to investigate deaths that happen in their custody.

Governor Walker signed a bill requiring the outside investigations today.

Lawmakers hope the new law will prevent police departments from protecting their own officers during investigations.

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The ingredients for a harsh winterSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - 4.7 might seem like just a random number, but it gives us an idea of just how cold it was this year. 4.7 degrees was the average temperature for this winter. It's the coldest winter in more than a century.

It’s common to see these sights and hear these sounds in a typical winter. But this year, we heard them a bit more. The Northwoods fought through it’s snowiest and coldest winter on record. What made it so rare was the persistent cold.

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Proposed scenic byway takes step forward with planning meetingSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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MOLE LAKE - You can drive along plenty of scenic stretches of roads across Northern Wisconsin.

However, the state of Wisconsin only considers one stretch of highway in the Northwoods as an official scenic byway.

Leaders in a handful of counties want to change that by earning a distinction from Wisconsin's Scenic Byways program. They held a public planning meeting in Mole Lake Wednesday.

The proposed scenic highway, The Wolf River Nicolet Scenic Byway, is a more than 100 mile stretch of Highway 55. It stretches from Langlade, in Langlade County, north to the Michigan boarder.

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Home sales on the rise in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Home sales fell in the state of Wisconsin, but they're on the rise in the Northwoods.

Real Estate experts say home sales are up 5% in Oneida County. Home sales for the Northwoods are up 4%. Experts say right now it's a buyers market.

“If you're a seller right now you are probably going to be seeing some low ball offers,” says Ashlei Highfill, Century 21 Sales Associate. “We just encourage people to respond to any offer that they get not to just reject it or be offended but these days we are seeing a lot of buyers coming in and offering a lot less than what sellers are asking for.”

Experts say fewer homes are being foreclosed. This allows more families to make first time home purchases.

“It’s great to see that people are obviously getting back to work so they can afford to take that opportunity to put their family in their first home it's exciting for all of us,” says Highfill. “We're always happy to see somebody get that first house for their kids we're seeing some people that are making more money now so they're buying a move up house.”

Overall home sales in Wisconsin fell 11% compared to this time last year.

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Sentencing date released for Lincoln. Co. man convicted of killing wifeSubmitted: 04/23/2014

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MERRILL - A Lincoln County man convicted of killing his wife and hiding her body will get his sentence this summer.

50-year-old Mark Bucki was convicted earlier this month in connection to the death and disappearance of his wife Anita.

He was convicted on three charges including first-degree intentional homicide, hiding a body and strangling a person.

The first-degree intentional homicide charge carries a mandatory life in prison sentence, according to Lincoln County Judge Jay Tlusty on the day of the April verdict.

Prosecutors want to add more years on top of the mandatory sentence with additional years from the other two charges.

Bucki will be back in court for his sentencing July 3rd.

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