Wabeno chief keeps streets safe Submitted: 07/05/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

WABENO - Tighter budgets challenge families, schools; even police departments.

Wabeno has taken a unique approach to that issue.

Its police department has only one full-time employee: Chief Mick Ashbeck.

"I always had a desire and passion to be law enforcement when I was younger," said Ashbeck.

"I graduated from Wabeno high school here in 1985. Not quite sure yet what I wanted to do at that time."

Instead of following his dream, Mick Ashbeck did what many young men do: he followed the money.

"I was able to get a part-time job in the welding field and I pretty much stuck with it for about 22 years," Ashbeck said.

"And made very good money in the welding field."

But that wasn't his true passion.

So four years ago, Ashbeck went after his childhood dream.

He became Wabeno's police chief in 2009 and Townsend in 2010.

"I started out part time for Forest County Sheriff's Department and part time here in Wabeno, about the same time, early 2008." Ashbeck said.

As a kid, Ashbeck probably pictured himself as just one member of a big force.

But here in Wabeno, he's the only full-time employee.

"It might be a one man department here, but this is not a one man show out here," said Ashbeck.

"It's the collaborative effort of all our officers out here that make this happen."

To Ashbeck and his team, that means keeping the streets of Wabeno drug-free.

That's tough with a small force, so four years ago, they brought on Dutch.

"It only took about four months to raise over $10,000. And that gave us enough money at that time to go out and purchase a K-9." Ashbeck said.

That kind of extra effort recently earned Ashbeck an award.

He was recognized in the Heritage Who's Who Book. Still, Ashbeck credits his team.

"It's a collaborative effort from everybody. Was I there in the mixed of things, yes ok, but it was a collaborative effort from everybody." said Ashbeck.

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APPLETON - The U.S. Marshals Service says a convicted sex offender who was wanted for violating the terms of his release has been arrested in Appleton.

The agency says 63-year-old L.C. Streeter, of Milwaukee, was previously convicted of four separate sexual assaults from 1976 to 1985. Wisconsin committed him as a sexually violent person in 1996, and he remained in treatment until his release in 2013 under intensive supervision.

The service said in a statement that he cut off his GPS and electronic monitoring bracelets and fled supervision on Monday, resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Federal marshals and Appleton police arrested him without incident in Appleton on Friday.

Kevin Carr, the U.S. marshal for eastern Wisconsin, says Streeter was "an absolute danger to the community based upon his past convictions."

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The Capital Times reports (http://bit.ly/1TadnaG ) that the Mount Horeb Area School District released a statement saying it won't proceed with its planned reading of "I Am Jazz."

Parents were told last week that Mount Horeb Primary Center students would read the book because one student identifies as a girl but was born with male anatomy.

A Florida-based group, the Liberty Counsel, threatened to sue, saying concerned parents had reached out and that reading the book would violate parental rights.

The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Liberty Counsel as a hate group that advocates for "anti-LGBT discrimination, under the guise of religious liberty."

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A man was killed last Sunday in Columbia County when he was shot while passing a loaded rifle to a companion in a tree stand. Wearing mittens, she grabbed the gun near the trigger and it went off. On Monday, a hunter in Waushara County was killed by a stray bullet.

The nine-day season runs through Sunday.

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The La Crosse Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QMsDMZ) that Friday's release of the "100-day plan" comes almost 11 months after media reports that veterans at the center were prescribed excessive doses of opioid pain-killers and that employees who spoke out faced retaliation from top officials.

The plan, which follows a 30-day plan announced in May, outlines steps for improving access to care, employee engagement and restoring trust.

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Several Tomah VA officials including former Director Mario Desanctis and former Chief of Staff David Houlihan have been fired since the problems emerged early this year.

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Kyle Lynch, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for Juneau County, says he was called to the scene to assist in a boat search about 1:30 a.m. He also says the Mauston Fire Department recovered the body, which was found in the water.

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