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Domestic Abuse Shelter Recognizes Longtime Volunteer Submitted: 04/27/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Domestic Abuse Shelter Recognizes Longtime Volunteer
Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - A safe haven in Rhinelander with a long history of volunteers honored one of them Saturday.

A large amount of enthusiasm packed the domestic abuse shelter in Rhinelander Saturday.

"We have the honor and the blessing of naming our shelter after our longtime volunteer Lily Kongslien," said Tri County Council for Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Executive Director, Shellie Holmes.

"Our shelter will be now known as Lily's House to honor all of the years she's dedicated working with victims and her passion that she has for the work that she does here and the people that we serve."

Kongslien wore many hats while she worked at the shelter, but working with the children is what she loved the most.

"I saw these kids all confused. Some came in their pajamas even at night and they were so confused that we had to quiet them down and get them to feel comfortable," said Honoree, Lily Kongslien.

"I'd read to them or talk with them."

Kongslien is humbled by the recognition. But working with victims that were sexually abused or in a violent relationship was very challenging.

"It's not a work that you enjoy, as we think of enjoying doing something, but it's very rewarding. And I never thought much about it, I just did it." Kongslien said.

The ceremony included a dedication from Pastor Lori Groat and guest speakers, but there was one special tribute that didn't leave a dry eye in the room.

"I know it's hard for families that have domestic problems. it's not only hard on the mother or the father, depending on what the situation is, but it's also hard on the children," said Lily's daughter, Lorraine Sackett.

"And the children are usually the ones that get hurt the most."

Lily hopes the shelter will expand in the near future.

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

The Walk to End Alzheimer's is held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide. Eighteen of those communities are in Wisconsin. It's the largest event held in support of Alzheimer's care. 

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RHINELANDER - A well known sex offender in this area will get out of prison again.  Albert Chagnon, 35, is set to be released into Oneida County on Tuesday.

Chagnon was convicted of child pornography possession in 2003.

He was released in 2014, but soon ended up under arrest again for using newspaper clippings of girls' pictures to make a booklet.  That booklet had more than 270 photos in it, many from the Lakeland Times.

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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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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 - 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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RHINELANDER - People usually drop off canned goods and other non-perishable food items as donations. But on Friday, dozens of kids and adults picked potatoes in Rhinelander to help area food pantries. 

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