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NEWS STORIES

Mother hopes to find son's missing grave decorationSubmitted: 05/07/2013
Story By Lane Kimble

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RHINELANDER - Parents shouldn't be the ones to bury their children. When it does happen, families rely on the little things to help them get by.

But this spring, a Rhinelander family lost the main connection they have to their son who died far too young.

Dean Mueller passed away in an accident in 1997. He was just 9 years old. For 15 years, the Mueller family has placed a small Christmas tree at Dean's grave.

Every year, the family would add sentimental ornaments and trinkets to the tree in his memory.

But this spring, that tree disappeared. Dean's mother Tammy says it happened after the cemetery announced its spring clean up.
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Families had until early last week to collect the things they placed by the graves.

"Yes, they did give us an extra month to get those items off, but my husband went on Tuesday and it was gone," Mueller said. "They said to check by the shed and nothing was there."

The Parks and Cemetery director feels badly, but doesn't see it as his department's fault. Gunder Paulsen wouldn't speak to us on camera, but he did explain families clearly understand the rules.

Winter decorations can stay up from December 1st through April 1st. Then new decorations can go back up May 1st.

This year was a little different with all the snow we had. Paulsen said his crews waited until the last two days of April to do their cleanup.

Tammy Mueller just wants her son's tree back.

"It means a lot," Mueller said. "That was his. It's something we can't give him anymore. Something that he's had for 15 years and 16 in November.

We can't replace it, we can't replace the ornaments."

Mueller says the staff told her they moved it near this shed, but that's the last anyone saw it.

The Parks and Cemetery director did tell Newswatch 12 he's very sorry and is not trying to be a monster, but this kind of thing can happen from time to time.

Tammy says she'd take the tree back, no questions asked.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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Partial solar eclipseSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Most of Northern Wisconsin was too cloudy to make out the partial solar eclipse Thursday evening. A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. The last partial solar eclipse that could be seen in Northern Wisconsin was more than 10 years ago. Calculations for when and where solar eclipses occur are quite precise, according to local astronomer and planetarium owner Frank Kovac.

"The solar system is like a clock," explained Kovac. "We can predict eclipses many years out and it is very geometric, it's very mathematical."

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Appeals court rejects John Doe rehearing requestSubmitted: 10/23/2014

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The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected the request from Wisconsin Club for Growth to rehear the case after a three-judge panel last month sided with investigators.

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