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Wabeno Rebuilds Icons Destroyed in StormsSubmitted: 05/26/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

Wabeno Rebuilds Icons Destroyed in Storms
WABENO - People always remember the Town of Wabeno once they've been there, even if they were just passing through.

But the two larger-than-life icons that make the name Wabeno stick in people's memories were both destroyed by mother nature within the last year.

Now the town has nearly rebuilt both to all their former glory.

The details of how the gentle giant that watches over Wabeno got there, are foggy. But how he got destroyed is still fresh in everyone's mind. Larry the Logroller was felled by, well, a tree.

"Well it happened on a Thursday, I think. They called and says, 'Hey, I know you can fix anything. Larry got run over by a tree basically'," says Ron Piontek.

So off to Denmark, Wisconsin he went to undergo surgery.

"Larry had a broken neck and broken shoulder," says John Ehlinger, from Wabeno.

"I was kind of sad because I really liked Larry the Logroller," says seven-year-old Zachary Augustin.

Less than a year after the town lost it's even more historic band shell to heavy winds, the loss of Larry was a tough blow.

"It was kind of like after the band shell, what's next? It was like part of Wabeno was missing," says Park Board President Larry Rummel.

But auto body repair shop owner Ron Piontek logged hundreds of hours, and put Larry back together.

"I got 400 or 500 rivets in him to get him back into pieces. And then six gallons of fiberglass resin and three months of work," says Piontek.

The town unveiled Larry, good as new, Saturday.

"I thought he was really big and really cool," says six-year-old Audrey Bauagnet.

"I think it's awesome that they could redo him and everything," says nine-year-old Brianna Augustin.

"It's amazing. Kids love him. And evidently adults do too," says Rummel.

It's a new day in Wabeno. Larry stands sentinel once again and the band shell reconstruction should start back up within the week.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 06/23/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll update you on what appears to have been a suicide of a Lac du Flambeau woman whose body was found in a Crandon home following a report of a gunshot early Wednesday morning and leaving three people in jail.

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And in spite of all the recent rain, a Tomahawk area family is very excited about today's opening of their strawberry farm. We talk to them about the first day and about how the recent rain may affect the berry growth.

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

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CRANDON - Update 10:55 a.m. Friday

The death of a woman in Crandon earlier this week appears to have been a suicide.

25 year old Savanna Larson of Lac du Flambeau died early Wednesday.

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The morning was what Tom Behling calls the perfect strawberry picking weather.

Behling has owned the Tomahawk Berry Farm for more than 30 years.

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Walker announced Friday that economic development officials, members of his cabinet, lawmakers and University of Wisconsin officials will be spreading out across the state to celebrate growing cheese companies.

Walker is kicking off "Wisconsin Cheese Day" on Monday with a stop at Klondike Cheese in Monroe.

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Sarah Gardner, 41, also known as Sarah Welcenbach, faces two felony misconduct charges in Oneida County.

According to the criminal complaint, prosecutors believe she paid herself about $1200 from a cash box her office used for drug investigations.

The diversion agreement says Gardner must pay the money back to the Sheriff's Office and complete a six-week accounting course at Nicolet College.

If she does those things, the state can ask to dismiss the case.

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U.S. District Judge James Peterson on Friday also ordered that shackling juvenile inmates and the use of pepper spray be used much more sparingly than now.

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