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

Marathon County Launches Drug Abuse Campaign
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

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Cyber Monday orders hit an all-time high record, and now, UPS is struggling to keep up.

Last week the company said to expect a two day delay on standard shipping time.

So what does this mean for you?

"You can get a little bit of a backlog. A lot of people have to do a lot of sorting with all those packages," says Postal Express manager Wendy Thompson.

But that delay mainly applies to stores shipping to you.

That's not so much the case for you shipping to a friend or family member.

"From our area there hasn't been a noticeable delay," says Wendy.

If you're a bit behind schedule sending you gifts, you still have time, but you need to move fast on UPS or FedEx ground shipping Friday.

December 19th is the last day for USPS first class mail and FedEx Express.

If you choose to go with UPS, Dec 18th is the deadline for 3 day shipping.

The best way to keep an eye on your holiday shipment is to hang on to your receipt and make sure you save the tracking number.

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RHINELANDER - After a year of hearings, arguments, and appeals, Marshfield Clinic finally got what it wanted on Thursday afternoon.

The Oneida County Board of Adjustment granted a permit for Marshfield Clinic to build a 12-bed, $35 million hospital in Minocqua.

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"We are absolutely elated with the decision. We are very pleased," Melms said after the meeting.

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RHINELANDER - 50,000 twinkling lights will bring holiday cheer Hodag Park in Rhinelander Thursday night.

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Vice President Shawn Will says he's excited and a bit nervous to officially share the display tonight.

Those nerves have nothing to do with the amount of snow we got.

"I was thinking as the snow was flying and I was looking at the lights I'm like, 'This is going to be like one of

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"[I would] ride on the back of the snowmobile with him back in the day and it was kind of something I aspired to be… the guy driving the snowmobile," said Zambon.

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