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.
THREE LAKES - The DNR hopes it won't find more Northwoods deer with chronic wasting disease.
Last year, a deer on a game farm near Three Lakes tested positive for the deadly disease. Although it hopes that incident is isolated, the DNR wants more data on the health of the Northwoods deer herd.
The agency is urging hunters near Three Lakes to give their deer heads to the DNR for CWD testing.
The Boulder Junction Town Board voted two to one Tuesday night to move forward with a town plaza plan. The plan will now go to a design phase.
The board estimated the cost of the design phase to be between $30,000 to $50,000, but it was dropped to about $25,000 at the meeting.
Town Chairman Dennis Reuss and Town Supervisor Dennis Duke voted in favor, with Town Supervisor Denny McGann voting against the plan.
A little more than $1 million may not seem like a lot of money to a city like Madison or Milwaukee. But for a town of fewer than one thousand people, it's a lot. The Boulder Junction Town Board could vote Tuesday whether or not to move onto the next phase of a $1.26 million town plaza project.
Dennis Duke has a vision of what Boulder Junction could look like in a few years.
"This one has a much more artistic flair, this has a more engineering flair if you will," said Duke while looking at potential design plans.
RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander will be able to cast their November election ballots starting on Friday. It's the earliest people in Wisconsin have ever been able to vote.
The absentee ballots are stacked and ready for Friday at the Rhinelander City Clerk's office. To make the early voting process go as smoothly as possible, you will need to come prepared.
"When you come in make sure that you're registered. That is important. Make sure you're registered in the city if you're coming into us," said Clerk Valerie Foley.
Registering is easy; all you need is a photo ID and proof of residence. The registration form takes a couple of minutes, and then you will be able to fill out an election ballot.
"I think it is going to be a very busy day. I think people are pretty interested in the issues. And I think a lot of them would like to get and make sure they can vote if they're not certain they're going to make it to the polls in November or not," said Foley.
The clerk's office has already sent out about 200 ballots to people who have requested them.
Now, it is preparing for the early voter in-person rush.
If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote or where to go for early voting, the clerk's office suggests voters visit myvote.wi.gov for more information.
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