NEWS STORIES

State drug agents worried about synthetic drugsSubmitted: 09/26/2013

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MINOCQUA - A Wisconsin Department of Justice Special Agent believes synthetic drugs are on the rise in Wisconsin. That's what he told parents and community leaders Thursday night in Minocqua.

The synthetic drugs are marketed as legal and harmless. They vary from potpourri to bath salts. Both are labeled as not for human consumption, but can be crushed and smoked to get high.

Bob Kovar is a prevention specialist at the Marshfield Clinic. He's a member of the Marshfield Clinic Center for Community Outreach Northwoods Coalition. He's seen the dangerous effects of these drugs in person.

"They could potentially die," Kovar said. "Their body core heat is up, they're having seizers, they're combative."

Lawmakers make certain ingredients illegal, but producers find a new ingredient before the law even takes effect.

State Lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday that would broaden the definition of synthetic drugs, which would make them more inclusive of all the various ingredients.

They believe that will help police react more effectively.

The Lac Du Flambeau tribe declared a fight against drugs this spring. Two operations since then have flushed drug users and producers from the reservation.

The tribe is its own sovereign nation, so laws are different than state and local governments.

Kovar says the county and state don't have as much flexibility as the tribe.

"We can't react as fast," Kovar said. "But we can certainly learn and try and react faster."

The special agent held the presentation at Lakeland Union High School.






Story By: Adam Fox

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 IN OTHER NEWS
"See Tracks, Think Train" campaign stresses caution near Wisconsin railroadsSubmitted: 04/15/2014

TOMAHAWK - The number of crashes, injuries, and deaths on Wisconsin railroads shot up last year.

Many more drivers and walkers got hurt or killed with trains than in 2012.

Railroad safety leaders say people run into two major problems around tracks.

Some people are unsafe while at railroad crossings.

Others trespass onto or across tracks, using them as a path or shortcut.

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Jaeger will become Minocqua's new police chiefSubmitted: 04/15/2014

MINOCQUA - Lt. David Jaeger will be Minocqua's new police chief.

Minocqua has been operating without an official police chief since last October.

That's when former chief Andy Gee resigned.

Earlier in the fall, the Town of Minocqua had reached a $100,000 settlement with Gee's former administrative assistant, Julie Mager.

That was after Gee accused Mager of yelling at him so loud it could be heard throughout the department.

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Mark Bucki takes stand in murder trialSubmitted: 04/15/2014

MERRILL - A man accused of killing his wife in Lincoln County speaks in his own defense.

Mark Bucki is on trial for the murder of his wife Anita.

She disappeared about a year ago.

Anita Bucki's body was found a few weeks later in a Taylor County swamp.

She had been strangled and stabbed.

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Another snowstorm headed our way hear what people thinkSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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RHINELANDER - We may want spring, but Mother Nature has other plans. Whether you like it or not more snow is on the way. We got people's reaction to the upcoming snowstorm. Click on the video link to watch.

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Rhinelander man who shot uncle pleads out, may avoid further punishmentSubmitted: 04/15/2014

- A Rhinelander man admitted to shooting and injuring his uncle last August.

But now, he may get all charges dropped without further punishment.

Marcus Alsteens pleaded guilty to one felony charge Tuesday in Oneida County court.

In a deal, prosecutors dismissed three other charges, including attempted murder.

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Wisconsin silver alert bill helps save at-risk adults Submitted: 04/15/2014

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WISCONSIN - Six out of ten people with Alzheimers and dementia will wander off at some point.

That puts them at risk for injury or even death. And not all of those people are found quickly enough.

That's why Governor Scott Walker recently signed a bill that will help find them quicker.

The Wisconsin Silver Alert bill will create a program that works like an Amber Alert for missing children.

An effective alert system is crucial to the Northwoods because of the growing aging population and severe winter weather.

For advocacy groups like the Alzheimer's Association, the new bill is a huge victory.

"Family caregivers of people who have Alzheimers, or another type of dementia are worried and concerned about whether or not their loved one might wander away from home," said Julie St. Pierre, an outreach specialist for the Alzheimer's Association in Rhinelander. "It's very important that those caregivers out there know that there are important resources that can help keep their loved ones safe in the home. The Silver Alert is certainly now a part of that safety net that we have in place."

The Alzheimer's Association was just one group that worked closely with the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network to get this bill passed.

A coordinator for the network believes this system will save lives.

"This bill really advances [us] one step forward in addressing the needs of an aging population. And that's extremely important in the Northwestern part of Wisconsin," said Joe Libowsky, coordinator for the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network. "In the Rhinelander area, where you have fairly severe weather, it makes the urgency of getting out the alert as quickly as possible even more important."

The alert system will heavily involve all 500 law enforcement agencies in the state to respond to at-risk adults who are reported missing.

Wisconsin joins 30 other states with a silver alert system.


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Bringing more art to the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 04/15/2014

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THREE LAKES - A local library wants to bring more art into a Northwoods community.

The Demmer Memorial Library is featuring M.C. Escher's artwork this week.

The exhibit is there to help the public celebrate national library week.

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