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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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/24/2014

- Find out which Northwoods legislator would love to become part of the legislature's most powerful committee.

- Plus, how could new DNR wetland rules impact you?

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

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Roll-over sends 2 to the hospitalSubmitted: 11/24/2014

TOMAHAWK - A single car crash sent two people to the hospital Monday. It happened on highway 8 near county road A around 11:30 in the morning.

The car was heading west on highway 8 when it lost control in the slush. The vehicle rolled over once before coming to a stop.

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Wisconsin prepares to analyze more DNA samplesSubmitted: 11/24/2014

MADISON - New collection requirements will mean thousands more DNA samples to be analyzed in Wisconsin.

The state Justice Department is getting ready by increasing staff at the crime lab in Madison.

Wisconsin currently takes DNA samples from everyone convicted of a felony. DNA is also taken for certain misdemeanors.

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Car goes in ditch and hits light poleSubmitted: 11/24/2014

RHINELANDER - A car went in the ditch and hit a light pole around 2:30 Monday afternoon.

It happened on County Road G near Nicolet College. The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says the slippery roads were a factor.

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College student to stand trial on ricin possessionSubmitted: 11/24/2014

GREEN BAY - A University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh student accused of possessing the deadly toxin ricin has been ordered to stand trial.

A federal judge in Green Bay ruled Monday there's enough evidence against 21-year-old Kyle Smith to move forward with his case.

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LUHS collects items for VA Medical CenterSubmitted: 11/24/2014

MINOCQUA - Local high schoolers want you to help them say thank you to Wisconsin Veterans.

Lakeland Union's National Honor Society is collecting items for the VA Medical Center in Tomah. They need personal comfort items and snacks. You can donate anything from toothbrushes to DVD's to reading glasses.

The National Honor Society has been planning the event for a while.

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Deer hunt impacts businesses in the Northwoods Submitted: 11/23/2014

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RHINELANDER - The gun deer hunt just started Saturday. Hunters can bring business to the area. Businesses are already seeing an impact.

Some people might travel to the Northwoods just for the deer hunting. That means they'll need a place to stay, but not all of the resorts in the Northwoods saw people dressed in orange or camouflage.

"It does not bring a lot of tourism for out of town guest to Holiday Acres, but it's certainly a big deal as far as the area's concerned," said Holiday Acres co-owner Kari Zambon. "I think there are other places that get traffic that we aren't seeing."

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