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Man Almost Killed by Drunk Driver Honors his RescuersSubmitted: 04/26/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

Man Almost Killed by Drunk Driver Honors his Rescuers
ST. GERMAIN - A drunk driver took nearly everything from Jason Breitenfeld. He's extremely lucky to be alive today. On January 20th he was providing a safe ride home from the bars, when a drunk driver nearly killed him.

"There's no way I should have survived," he said.

That's not an understatement. It took rescue crews an hour and 45 minutes with the jaws of life to free Jason Breitnefeld from this wreck. His leg was almost completely cut off, his hip and ankle shattered, leg bones snapped.

"My hip right now has 13 screws, and 2 metal plates holding it together with the reattachment of my leg and ankle, I have a titanium rod that goes from my knee to the ankle," said Breitenfeld.

Some rescue members didn't think he would survive. Amazingly he has BOTH his legs, but doctors think it'll be at least a year before he can walk on his own. Jason isn't used to sitting idle.

"I was a fulltime college student at North Central Tech college in Wausau, I had 3 part-time jobs... I was a student ambassador, for a while I was student board president," he said.

One man got behind the wheel drunk, and took that all away.

"I'd like to know WHY. Why would you take the chance? They think something like this is never going to happen to them, that they're not going to get into an accident.... A safe ride home, is free."

Jason will see the man who hit him for the first time in court next week. He'll ask him that exact question.

"The individual who hit me, this was his 4th OWI, and second time where he's caused major injury, said Breitenfeld, "I don't think the drinking and driving laws are as strict as they need to be."

"Get a friend, call a cab, do what you need to do, but don't get behind the wheel."

Tomorrow friends are holding a benefit for Jason. It will be an ANTI- drinking and driving event, and they'll be honoring the people who helped save his life.


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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/22/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll tell you the decision the Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission made today regarding bus transportation within the two counties while the commission awaits federal funding that it needs to continue operating.

We'll show you some damage from the storms that ripped through the Northwoods today and bring you updates.

And tonight on Friday Night Blitz we'll bring you football scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:

Medford vs. Antigo

Ironwood vs. Northland Pines

Northern Elite vs. Three Lakes/Phelps

Crandon vs. Laona/Wabeno

Rhinelander vs. Mosinee


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - Veterans can be some of the hardest workers. That's the message local business owners heard in Rhinelander on Friday.

Nicolet College hosted the Veterans Business Workshop.

The objective was to tell businesses why they should hire local veterans.

Guest speaker from Wisconsin's Veterans Chamber of Commerce Saul Newton says veterans can bring strong and diverse skill sets into the work force.

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RHINELANDER - Hundreds of people will walk to help raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's care in Rhinelander on Saturday. 

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander mom said her lifestyle completely changed when a new neighbor moved in. 

She used to love the close proximity and the ability to walk to almost anything in town.

 She has two young kids and regularly checks the sex offender registry. 

The Rhinelander mom wishes to stay anonymous. We'll refer to her as Linda. 

Linda found out a sex offender moved in a few doors down from her by flipping through a local newspaper.

 She saw a small box at the bottom page with a notification. 

"He kind of just snuck in," said Linda. 

William Huntington moved close to Linda's house in May.

 However, Linda says she knew nothing until she did research of her own in July. 

"When I saw what he was found guilty of I was in shock. I was in complete shock," said Linda. 

He was convicted in Dane County for repeatedly sexually assaulting his 8- year- old neighbor about twenty years ago. 

He's now required to wear a lifetime GPS monitoring system. 

Dana Wszalek works with the Department of Corrections in Rhinelander as a Regional Chief. 

Her office supervises people like Huntington in the community.

"What we do is not a cookie cutter type of approach to supervision; it's relative to what their risks are based on their case dynamics," said Wszalek. 

State law requires high risk sex offender to live at least 1,500 feet from churches, schools and playgrounds.

 Restrictions on other sex offenders are left to local offices. 

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says there are no ordinances for sex offenders in Oneida County.

"They have different life experiences. They are a part of the community," said Wszalek. 

Wszalek understands the wariness community members might feel.

"As a parent it's important to be aware of who's in your neighborhood," said Wszalek. 

Linda said one of her 6- year- old child was planning on walking to school with friends this year, but instead they'll get driven.

"I feel like the neighborhood we moved into to be able to have these things has been taken away," said Linda.

Linda said she was shocked she didn't get a call or knock on her door from law enforcement.

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MOSINEE - Wisconsin's new state budget includes $11.5 billion for education over the next two years.

On Friday, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) visited schools across the state to discuss some details of the education budget.

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