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Marathon County Launches Drug Abuse CampaignSubmitted: 05/07/2013
Story By Lex Gray


WAUSAU - Michael Dixon died in a car crash.

Richie Vue faces charges for killing his girlfriend, Kou Thao for shooting, beheading, and disemembering a man.

We've told you about these three stories before - they happened in Marathon County, but they have more in common than that.

All three involve opiate drug abuse and represent a much bigger problem in the community.

Today, law encorcement and other groups launched the "Pushback Against Drug Abuse" campaign in Wausau.

Community leaders want people to know that drugs like heroin, meth, and oxycontin don't affect just the user - they affect EVERYONE.

"Overall as we compare and track our service calls, we are about 14 percent ahead compared to last year," Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel said. "So it's just generated so much more work for all of our officers and detectives. It's hard too keep up at this point."

Hardel says competition among drug dealers is increasing.

They're buying or stealing guns to intimidate each other.

That's why responding to a "shots fired" call is now common for Wausau Police.

"We've had so many of our high profile cases, homicides, aggravated assaults, robberies, etc., that have a very strong drug influence," Hardel said. "In other words, they're committing a crime because of their drug addiction."

The Pushback Against Drug Abuse campaign will continue at a June 4 meeting.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/21/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

During tax-filing season, there are many scams that taxpayers may encounter. We'll tell you how to avoid some of these scams.

The Vilas County fire department is just starting to use a new system that makes it easier to get extra help from area townships. We'll explain how it works and find out how it's working in Rhinelander where they already have the system in place.

And we tag along with an Athens maple syrup producer who is beginning to tap trees now that the season has started.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - The head of the state prison system is assuring lawmakers that Wisconsin's troubled youth prison is safe.

Department of Corrections Secretary Jon Litscher told the Assembly Corrections Committee during an informational hearing on Tuesday that the prison outside Irma is safe and secure and is focused on educating inmates.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - This weekend many of us may have seen images of a pickup truck falling through the ice on Lake Michigan. Some trucks even fell through the ice in Wausau.

So, how safe is the ice in the Northwoods?

DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz says this time of year the ice can melt fast, so anglers should be aware of it. He says it also depends on the lake.

"We've seen anywhere some still on the Rainbow Flowage 24 inches of ice out there this last weekend," Walz says. "A few other lakes we've seen it as thin as six inches of ice."

Walz said no one fell through the ice this weekend in the Northwoods.

No matter the temperature, even if it's below zero, it's never a guarantee that ice is safe.

"Just remember, it's never 100 percent safe out there," Walz said. "It's always at your own risk."
Walz said you should always fish with a partner for safety.

The last day ice shanties can be on lakes is March 19.

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PARK FALLS - Two weeks ago, St. Anthony's Catholic School in Park Falls said it needed a "miracle."

Without that financial miracle, the elementary and middle school couldn't make ends meet. It would have to close before next school year.

St. Anthony's didn't get that miracle. Last week, the Parish Pastoral Council recommended the school close for next year.

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HAYWARD - Warm weather is forcing organizers to change the route of Saturday's American Birkebeiner ski race in northwestern Wisconsin.

As a result, the race will not finish in downtown Hayward this year.

The Birkie race course normally crosses Lake Hayward to get to downtown Hayward. But the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation said Monday the lake is no longer an option.

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Fire engulfs Eagle River homeSubmitted: 02/20/2017

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EAGLE RIVER - Firefighters arrived to a home filled with flames earlier on Monday in Eagle River. It took three different fire departments to put out the fire.

It happened at a house on Highway 17 north of the Highway 45 junction. The emergency call came in just before 11 Monday morning. The Eagle River Fire Department was first on the scene.

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MINOCQUA - You can keep your pajamas on and stay barefoot to shop at one grocery store in the Northwoods.

The "Rosie" app on smartphones and online is changing how you shop.

You can order any food item at Save More Marketplace in Minocqua with a couple taps on your screen.

"I print the list you guys have chosen for the items you want," said in-store shopping expert Steph Coy.

She will load up the cart, checkout, then bag your items for delivery to your house or pick-up in store.

Save More Marketplace started using the shopping option in October.

"It's a convenience for customers who don't have the time. It is a convenience for customers who can't leave their home," said Save More Marketplace president Jim Gauden.

It costs a little extra; up to $5 if food is delivered to you.

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