RHINELANDER - Courtrooms often make us think of traditional procedure and seasoned judges.
But Oneida county has a unique way of dealing with some suspects.
Students from Rhinelander High School and Lakeland Union High School trained to become members of their schools' teen courts Monday.
"Teen court is an alternative for first time offenders ages 10-16 to go through, rather than going through the court process, to go through a process where they meet panelists, their peers," says Oneida County Teen Court coordinator Lynn Feldman.
Those panelists go through a highly selective process.
Not every offender goes in front of the peer court.
It's only in minor cases like shoplifting and vandalism.
Even then it's up to the judge to recommend the case to the peer court.
The offender has the option to then go to teen court or stay in the court system.
The offender must admit to wrongdoing if they choose to have their case taken to teen court.
The panel of their peers then gives them sanctions.
They can range from community service to required tutoring.
The offender's record is wiped clean as long as they complete the sanctions.
This is Amber Sheth's third year on teen court.
She joined it to be able to give back to the community.
"As a part of teen court and restorative justice, is that we help them realize why what they did was wrong, and the impact of their actions upon themselves, their loved ones and the community," she says.
Teen court has made Amber more interested in the legal system.
She's not alone.
The program sparks an interest in a variety of fields.
"Some of these students go on to be part of mock trial. Some students decide to be lawyers, or to go into political science. Others may become counselors, teachers. It doesn't matter where they want to go after school is over with. There is something here that will benefit them," adds Feldman.
Teen court started in Oneida county more than 5 years ago.
MADISON (AP) - \Wisconsin dairy farmers have broken their streak of year-over-year production increases.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Wisconsin farmers produced about 2.5 billion pounds of milk last month, down 0.6 percent from 2017.
Bob Cropp is a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He tells Wisconsin Public Radio that the slowdown in production is good for milk prices. Prices have been low for three straight years because of an abundance of milk on the market.
The USDA report says there were 5,000 fewer cows in the state compared to last year.
Darin Von Ruden is president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union. He says farms that remained open faced cold and snowy conditions this spring.
Cropp says some experts believe milk prices may reach $17 per 100 pounds by November.
BEAVER DAM (AP) - Wisconsin Democratic voters are getting nervous over their large field of candidates running for governor.
The primary isn't until Aug. 14. No one has emerged as the clear front-runner ahead of next weekend's state convention. And no one is showing signs of dropping out.
Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Scott Walker is stockpiling resources and is in the middle of a $1.4 million TV ad campaign where he's run three ads unopposed touting his record.
Democrat Denise Hutchison, of Green Bay, says she hopes the field will narrow. She's optimistic that may happen after this weekend's state Democratic Party convention. But she also thinks whoever wins the primary will get the full support of Democratic voters.
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