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NEWS STORIES

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

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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
In-person absentee voting underwaySubmitted: 10/23/2014

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STATEWIDE - You can vote in the upcoming election before November 4th. In-person absentee voting started Monday.

Northwoods clerks say the process has been going smoothly.

Voters don't need a photo ID for this election because the US Supreme Court blocked a law requiring one for this election. But some people have still been confused about whether they need a photo ID.

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Fatal bike-truck crash in Oneida County UpdateSubmitted: 10/23/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - A truck and a bicyclist collided along US 51 heading southbound near Leary Road early Thursday morning.

We now know the bicyclist has died.

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International group considers Wisconsin one of four most improved states in energy efficiency Submitted: 10/23/2014

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WISCONSIN - An international energy efficiency group ranked Wisconsin in the top four most improved states in the U.S. when it comes to energy efficiency.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is an international non-profit. The group pushes for better energy efficiency around the world.

They ranked Wisconsin 23rd in the U.S. last year, but Wisconsin made their most improved list for 2014.

"A shift in efficiency administrators had caused a temporary drop in saving," ACEEE State Policy Research Analyst Annie Gilleo said. "We are seeing that Wisconsin is once again realizing consistent levels of electricity and natural gas savings."

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Expera gets WEDC loan for headquarters improvementsSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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KAUKAUNA - Expera Specialty Solutions will use a $1 million loan to upgrade its headquarters in Kaukauna.

The company runs four mills in Wisconsin, including the ones in Rhinelander and Mosinee.

Expera will get the loan from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). That is the quasi-private state job creation agency.

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Federal grant will help NTC open mobile lab, expand educational opportunitiesSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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WAUSAU - Northcentral Technical College will get a huge boost to one of its healthcare programs.

The geriatric healthcare program will get $668,328 from the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant will help create new advanced technical certificates. It will also go towards expanding educational programs.

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Social media app causes problems for Medford High School, app banned from school groundsSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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MEDFORD - A Northwoods high school evacuated earlier this month because of an anonymous message on the social media app called Yik Yak. Someone posted a bomb threat on the app for Medford High School.

That hasn't been the only issue with the app. Some students used the app to anonymously bully their peers.

"People, especially students but even adults too, are much, much braver behind a computer screen," says Medford High School Dean of Students Justin Hraby.

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State Representative will plead no contest, could face jail timeSubmitted: 10/23/2014

WISCONSIN - Wisconsin state representative Bill Kramer could spend nine months in jail.

Kramer faced trial next week for two felonies of second-degree sexual assault. The case won't go to trial, though. Kramer has agreed to a plea deal.

He'll plead no contest to two misdemeanors. Those were for fourth-degree sexual assault.

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