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Trying to pass bill on Pulse Oximetry for newbornsSubmitted: 08/02/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - A high tech tool can help newborns with birth defects.

Many Wisconsin hospitals have it.

But not all of them do.

That's why State Senator Jerry Petrowski is pushing for a bill so all of them have one.

Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive method that monitors oxygen levels.

For newborns, it can detect if the child has heart disease.

The Centers For Disease Control says 30 percent of infant deaths are due to heart defects.

"I just really believe people that have children understand how devastating it can be to lose a child," said Senator Petrowski.

"When you can find out there is a problem and technology is there to fix it, that's the route we should go."

The cost of screening is four dollars per infant.

Petrowski hasn't experienced newborn heart problems in his family.

But he has friends who have.

"Sometimes they don't know about it until something happens to the child. So with that information ahead of time, medical technology is great," Petrowski said.

"It's come so far. We can fix some of the problems that are out there."

Petrowski says they'll be back on the floor in September.

The tougest part is to get this bill moved through Committee.

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VILAS COUNTY - Seven departments and two SWAT teams swarmed an area in Vilas County Wednesday evening, responding to an armed man.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office says no one was hurt after a 48-year-old Mark Mayo of Eagle River threatened to hurt himself with a firearm near Eagle River Wednesday night.

Crews responded Wednesday evening near to the area near Deerskin Road north of Eagle River and south of Phelps to reports that a man wanted to hurt himself and was armed with a 9 mm handgun and two magazines. That report came in around 3:55 p.m.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Within a few hours, a jury found a Fox Valley man guilty of stealing things from the house where Ashlee Martinson killed Thomas and Jennifer Ayers Thursday.

The two-day trial for Mark Spietz, 39, of Kaukauna, finished up Thursday afternoon, following a morning of the defense arguing it was all part of Spietz's job.

Spietz was a contract worker for a company called TruAssets, which secures abandoned or foreclosed homes throughout the country. The company is based in Arizona.

On Thursday, Spietz testified that in September and October, he took ATVs, bows, a John Deere tractor, a trailer and Jennifer Ayers' purse from the house to try and secure it for his employer.

"My experience with the work order is that it is our job to make sure the property is secured," Spietz said. "Obviously if I can open the doors and get into it, anybody can open the doors and get into it. So I ended up removing the ATVs with the trailer and them bringing them back to Kaukauna to lock up in my storage facility where they would be under lock and key for the future for whatever the bank decided they wanted to do with their property."

In the criminal complaint, however, Spietz told investigators he took the purse because he thought his wife would like it.

But the state argued Thursday he technically didn't have permission from the company to be at the house after the first visit. Oneida County District Attorney Mike Schiek presented Spietz with the original work order form TruAssets assigned him. The document specifically stated not to remove any personal property from the house, and that contract workers should submit a bid for the property if they do take it from the house.

Schiek then argued Spietz specifically targeted the empty house because he knew its owners were dead.

"Looking back, what did you think you saw?" Schiek asked Spietz during his cross examination.

"Couple spots on the floor, large, dark spots," Spietz responded.

"Knowing what you know now, do you know what that was?" Schiek asked.

"To the best of my knowledge that's where they were killed," Spietz replied.

Spietz's attorney Brian Bennett said since Spietz is not from the area, he wouldn't have known the homicides happened at the house. He argued there was no sign saying no trespassing, nor had he had any knowledge the house was in probate.

"He used his best judgment based on his experience," Bennett said during his closing argument. "Which makes him quite possibly, if he's a burglar, the worst burglar in the world."

Bennett added Spietz gets little supervision from TruAssets, as Spietz testified he has never met a person from the company.

"It seems like a burden to have to come up here, pick up the stuff, store it, mess around with it, hold onto the titles, make sure it doesn't get stolen," Bennett said during his closing argument. "That's not a jackpot, that's a burden." 

Spietz will be sentenced in October. 

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