RHINELANDER - Storm damage can be a big problem. After days of heavy rain and severe storms, one man in the Northwoods LITERALLY fell into a big clean-up.
We expect this kind of clean-up after a storm. But one Pelican resident got in deeper than he bargained for today. Dominic Cinfio was checking his property for storm damage this morning.
"I was walking towards the road and I step on this hole and I went down at least a foot, foot and a half ... I didn't know what was going on. I wasn't sure. The more I dug, the deeper it got. Then I realized what was going on, and next thing I know, the hole was at least nine feet by four feet." -9sec, Dominic." says Dominic Cinfio, a Pelican resident.
The ground sank in because we've had more than two inches of rain in three days. Dominic thinks it was an old septic tank since he found brick, metal and wood in the hole. In his forty years at the house, he's never had a storm clean up like this.
"You see this someplace else like Florida, everything like this is happening. I never thought it would happen here. I mean, it just, BOOM ... there I was," says Dominic.
The Cinfio's are getting the hole filled tomorrow. It will cost them about 200 dollars.
Dominic wasn't the only one who had a hard time believing it.
"My husband comes in and says, we have a sinkhole in the front yard and I said we have a what?! He said 'yeah' and I said well how do you know? He says 'I fell in it!' And I thought 'Yeah right!'… I didn't believe him," says Gail Cinfio, Dominic's wife.
Gail was thankful Dominic didn't disappear. But she was also thankful she didn't find the hole.
"I would've screamed ... yeah I would have for sure ... You just don't expect that to happen," said Gail.
ONEIDA COUNTY - Back in November, a 20-year-old Rhinelander man drove and crashed his car after a night of drinking, killing his best friend in the passenger seat.
That driver will now spend nine months in jail.
Randall J. Lego was sentenced in Oneida County Court on Friday.
He faced two charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.
According to court documents, Lego's car hit a power pole on River Road just outside Rhinelander.
The passenger, 23-year-old Jacob Juedes, was dead at the scene. Juedes was a husband and father of a young daughter.
Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Patrick O'Melia said it was a tragic set of circumstances.
"The only aggravating factor here, and when I say that I don't mean to diminish the loss here, but is the result of this accident," O'Melia said. "That is the only thing that is not in your favor, which is the result of the action and the permanency of it."
Some witnesses testified to Lego's character and pleaded with the judge to not give jail time.
But, Judge O'Melia sentenced Lego to nine months in jail and seven years probation.
"There's a lot of people in the community who have strong feelings about what should happen," O'Melia said. "But the court can't sentence on community anger or community empathy."
Lego must also complete 200 hours of community service, for which Judge O'Melia wants Lego to speak to kids and teens about his experience.
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