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The risk of riding rides at County FairsSubmitted: 07/25/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


ANTIGO - Last week a 52-year-old Dallas woman died after falling from one of the country's tallest roller coasters at Six Flags. Carnivals and fairs happen without incident every day throughout the summer across the country. But we often only hear about the rides when something tragic happens.

The Langlade County Fair is this weekend. The company that owns the rides at the fair is ANP Enterprise. The family owned business has been traveling to county fairs throughout Wisconsin for more than 40 years. So they're MORE than familiar with safety standards in the fair ride industry.

In addition to running the company, two of the brothers are also certified ride safety inspectors. They say keeping the rides safe is the REAL full time job when it comes to running this business. And it's not just something they worry about when setting up at a new location, it's every day.

"It's out on a midway and we start our visuals and walk-arounds and if there is something that is reported to us by the operator from the previous day, we take that as a priority and take a look at that stuff. It's every ride here. It's 21 rides that we have here and we go through everything," says David Kedrowicz, ANP Enterprise Owner.

The woman who died in Texas was said to have been too big for the roller coaster she was on. Enforcing those size limits can be a delicate task, but it's one Kedrowicz says they don't take lightly.

"We'd be setting ourselves up for some court dates down the road so we pleasantly tell them 'Look, we cannot ride you' and they either understand or they ride something else that they're appropriate sized for," said Kedrowicz.

The Kedrowicz brothers spend much of the off-season in safety seminars to keep up with the latest safety standards in the industryů and the state of Wisconsin does random inspections of all fair ride companies twice a year.


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LANGLADE COUNTY - Since March, Langlade County hasn't had a district attorney.

Its former district attorney Ralph Uttke went to work in Marathon County. The governor could have appointed someone for the job, but chose not to. Since then, a special prosecutor has been filling in.

But all district attorney positions statewide are up for election on November 8th.

Now Portage County assistant district attorney, Elizabeth Constable, will run for the position.

"It was always my plan to be a prosecutor," Constable said "And that's what I've done for my entire career."

Constable has been an assistant district attorney in Portage County for the past two years and also an assistant DA in Wood County for five years before that.

"I'm at the point in my career that I feel qualified to step into a leadership position," Constable said.

So when former Langlade County District Attorney Ralph Uttke left the office this spring, Constable saw her opportunity. She has a home ouside Elcho, so she decided to run´┐Ż´┐Ż"and she's running uncontested.

"It all just worked out perfectly," Constable said.

Newswatch 12 caught Constable on vacation. But if she wasn't, she probably would have been in the courtroom. In her seven years, she's prosecuted 25 jury trials. But she's passionate about the justice system because she's seen it work, and wants it to work.

"I've had cases where I've really seen a turnaround in the defendent...the objectives of the sentencing actually worked," Constable said.

Part of that passion comes not only from her law degree from University of Wisconsin Law School. Before that, Constable got her masters in religion and philosophy from Harvard University´┐Ż´┐Ż"on a full scholarship.

"Kind of studying people, who we are, what we do , how we think, what motivates us," Constable said.

It's that kind of study that lends itself well to her work as a prosecutor, she said.

"I really do also want to see that the defendants for the most part I just want to see them get on the right path," Constable said. 

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/28/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We look into the history of the Eagle River man who was shot and killed by officers outside of Merrill Tuesday morning after he was pulled over in Antigo, shot at a police officer and lead police into a chase that took them to Lincoln County.

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

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ANTIGO - When you can't catch fish, it's easy to blame the lure. If you need something different, people in Antigo make a lure that you might want to try. The Mepps assembly plant is located right off Highway 45.

Mepps fishing lures were originally made in Paris, France, starting in 1938. Back in the 1970's, a local Antigo sporting goods store owner, Todd Sheldon, decided to buy that facility and moved it to Nice, France. His son, Mike is now the president of the company.

"The guys that own the Mepps company in France were getting old enough to where they wanted to retire so we bought the Mepps company in France in 1972," said Sheldon.

One detail that makes the lure number one in the world is that they use actual animal tail fur.

"The tails are washed, dyed and tied back there," said plant worker Kim Wiegert. "And they're dehydrated. They will store a long time, so they can last 3 to 5 years."

There are many benefits to using real hair as opposed to artificial hair.

"The hair is hollow and goes through a lot of wear and tear," said Wiegert. "Other hairs would disintegrate, and fall apart. With these, it'll last longer, the fish can bite on them and it'll take a long time before they'll actually chew them apart."

Along with the hairs, there is a secret way to put the lures together that makes Mepps the best.

"We have a certain wind that we have and we can tell when we put them together, how it should be. All of our spinners are field tested before they actually go out," said Wiegert.

Even though the company distributes their product around the world, the Sheldon's still enjoy being based in Antigo.

"It's home. I grew up here and my parents grew up here and of course my kids did. And it's such a different pace of life here than the rest of the world," said Sheldon.

Everyone putting the little pieces together are women. Kim is just one who works in the plant that has been there for nearly 40 years. She also gives tours of the facility to the public.

"I like to react with the people when they come in, especially ones that have fishing stories to tell you. It's interesting here and you get to meet other people," said Wiegert.

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ANTIGO - The Raptor Education Group, Inc. (REGI) in Antigo got its start more than 25 years ago. It's a group that helps nurse injured birds back to life and returns them to the wild. But have you ever stopped to take a look at one of the people who makes it all happen?

REGI Executive Director Marge Gibson starts her day around 5:00a.m. every day to look after some of smallest and largest birds brought to REGI daily. The rehabilitation and education center opened, all from Gibson's love of birds. 

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The "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" star was accompanied by an inquisitive teenager when he flew his DeHavilland Beaver on Thursday at the AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 air show.

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