WAUSAU - A Wausau family will feel a little warmer this winter after winning a free furnace through the Heat Up Wisconsin program.
Dan Hackbarth found the contest in a local advertisement, so he thought he would apply and see how he could do.
It's a Lennox program that provides free installations of high-efficiency gas furnaces for people and families in need.
Hackbarth describes his tough times.
"I kind of put down that two years ago I lost my job and then the following year I lost both of my parents," Hackbarth said. "They had been helping me out quite a bit because a loss of job means loss of income too."
The Hackbarths old furnace was more than 50 years old.
Their son Zachary, 1st grade, is excited for the upgrade.
"I think its awesome," Zachary said. "We think its going to be nice and cozy, we think its going to be awesome."
The Heat Up Wisconsin program stretches from Wisconsin to Minnesota, as well as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Individual Lennox dealers select from applicants in their area. They then decide which person is in the most need from their stories.
More than 300 families have received free furnaces since the program started in 2010.
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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