Tomahawk Honors First Responders In Accident Submitted: 04/27/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Tomahawk Honors First Responders In Accident
TOMAHAWK - A drunk driver almost took everything from Tomahawk's Jason Breitenfeld.

Saturday Northwoods residents honored the people who helped save his life.

Breitenfeld almost died on Janaury 20th.

He was giving a safe ride home from the bars for friends when a drunk driver nearly killed him.

People came out to celebrate the heroes who helped keep Breitenfeld alive.

Breitenfeld is especially thankful for Jason Mauer.

"He called 911 and stayed with me, held my hand the entire way and kept me alert and conscious," said Breitenfeld.

"Once I gained consciousness he stayed with me. He saved my life."

Breitenfeld says before the accident he always cautioned his friends about drunk drivers.

And now more than ever, he urges them to use the Safe Ride program.

"Even before then, before I found out about that program, I was always talking to people in my family or people I know," Breitenfeld said.

"If you're going to drink, don't drive. I've seen the dangers of it before, now it's just a little bit more personal."

There's a fund set up to help Breitenfeld with his medical bills.

Donations can be made at your local Citizens Bank.

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WOODRUFF - A fire burned a house to the ground in Woodruff early Thursday morning.

Firefighters arrived around 1:30 a.m to the home on Mid Lake Road.  The house was already mostly gone by that time.

No one was in the home, and no one was hurt.  Crews stayed on scene and kept the road closed until about 4:30 a.m.

The Woodruff Fire Department ruled the cause of the fire undetermined.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Every second counts when it comes to saving a life. But in rural parts of Wisconsin, it can take paramedics up to 30 minutes to respond to an emergency.

A new bill in Wisconsin would require dispatchers to know how to explain verbally CPR over the phone.

When Sherri Congleton answers a 911, call she is often thrown into a life or death situation.

"You kind of form a bond with the person on the other side of the phone when you answer a call like that," said Congleton.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin State Patrol says it saw more drugged drivers on the roads and had a significant increase in drug arrests from 2016 to 2017.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the State Patrol saw a 20 percent increase in drug arrests during that time period, with fewer than 2,900 arrests in 2016 to more than 3,400 last year. A drug arrest involves the possession of illegal narcotics or paraphernalia.

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MADISON - A new report shows Wisconsin's unemployment rate hit a record low in February.

The state Department of Workforce Development released data Thursday that shows the unemployment rate dipped to 2.9 percent in February, down 0.2 percent from January to mark a record low. The previous record was 3 percent unemployment in July 1999.

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HARSHAW - Rhinelander charter school students mixed in math with science, social studies, and reading projects on Thursday.

Northwoods Community Elementary School hosted parents to show off their work. Some classes did the math to plot out a vegetable garden. Others did research on Wisconsin counties and planned a weeklong trip there.

"I added decimals to count up all my rates for my bills, all the admissions to state parks, and renting," explained Oceana Patulski, who did a project on Door County.

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RHINELANDER - Just like many small community courthouses, Oneida County doesn't have any way of keeping guns out of the building.

In response, on Tuesday, the Oneida County Board approved a mandatory active shooter training session for all employees.

"You have to keep your eyes open," said Oneida County Human Resource Director Lisa Charbarneau.

Charbarneau has learned not everyone who walks into the Oneida County Courthouse has good intentions.

"We do deal with not so pleasant things, whether that be social services, removing children from homes, we have inmates in and out for issues in the court," said Charbarneau.

The courthouse has an open door policy with multiple entrances open to the public.

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OCONOMOWOC - Authorities say more than 70 people were treated at local hospitals after an air quality issue forced the evacuation of Oconomowoc High School and the adjacent Oconomowoc Arts Center.

Western Lakes Fire District Chief Brad Bowen says low carbon monoxide readings were detected on some of the first patients treated, but officials could not immediately find a cause or source.

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