Marshfield Man sentenced in death of girlfriendSubmitted: 10/22/2013
WAUSAU - A 32-year-old Marshfield man avoids any more time in prison after reaching a new plea deal in the death of his girlfriend.

Eric Mayer pleaded no contest Monday to felony murder.

Mayer already served 585 days behind bars for the March 2009 death of 43-year-old Cynthia Tyler.

He was sentenced Monday to time served.

Mayer admitted he slapped Tyler after an argument in the couple's home.

Tyler died the next day of a ruptured artery in her brain.

Mayer initially was sentenced to 10 years in prison but won a bid for a new trial.

The plea deal was arranged after prosecutors discovered that part of Tyler's body was lost during an autopsy.

Mayer was also sentenced to six years and five months on extended supervision.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)

Story By: Associated Press

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Political/Lobbying groups aiming to use ratings to push/pull voters to candidates Submitted: 07/09/2014

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Political groups hope to use their influence to turn voters to candidates they support this fall election season. Lobbying and political groups from both sides of the aisle will start circulating their scorecards and ratings of state legislators to voters before November's election.

UW Madison Professor of Political Science Kenneth Mayer says the reports reflect which candidates the organizations want to support to advance their agendas.

"This is a way of separating friend from foe," Mayer said. "It's a shortcut that voters can use to see which legislators the group supports, and it's very common."

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Bike trail connection highlights Vilas County as biking destinationSubmitted: 07/09/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - More and more, Northwoods tourism leaders see bicycling as a major draw for visitors.

On Wednesday, workers finished paving the newest segment of trail.

The stretch should make Vilas County an even more attractive biking destination.

The pavement was completed between Boulder Junction and Manitowish Waters.

The Boulder Junction area sees itself as a model for other systems.

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Fill the Boot Helps Kids With Muscular DystrophySubmitted: 07/09/2014

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RHINELANDER - Firefighters will be out stopping traffic this weekend, but it's for a good cause.

The Rhinelander Fire Department will roam the streets on Highway W and Stevens Street during the Hodag Country Fest this weekend. They take part in the "Fill the Boot" campaign that they've done for the past six years. Firefighters ask drivers to stop and put money in their boots. That money will go to MDA, the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

"All the money that's collected here in Oneida County stays in the Oneida County," says Lieutenant Aaron Swaney. "I believe there are 63 patients or people with Muscular Dystrophy that benefit from these funds that we raise."

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Flooding could affect private wellsSubmitted: 07/09/2014

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WISCONSIN - A snowy winter and wet summer add up to more than just isolated flooding. DNR leaders are concerned that private wells across the state could become unsafe to use. Cities and towns are required to test their drinking water frequently, but private well owners must take it upon themselves to check their wells. DNR drinking water staff say there are clear warning signs that your well is contaminated.

"The first thing I would look for is any time there is a change in appearance, taste, or smell of their water; they should be doing some type of investigation," says DNR Drinking Water Program Director Mark Pauli. "Typically, you'll be able to see signs if some sort of flooding has occurred for a person's well."

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Companies outsource jobs after getting money from economic development agencySubmitted: 07/09/2014

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WISCONSIN - A new report shows at least two companies outsourced jobs after receiving money from the state's economic development agency.

One of the companies received a second award from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)even after the fact.

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Ho-Chunk Nation may not act on trust fund payment proposalSubmitted: 07/09/2014

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MADISON - Ho-Chunk Nation legislators aren't acting on a proposal to delay trust fund payments that members now receive when they are 18.

Tribal leaders have been concerned that many burn through the cash quickly and end up with little to show for their spending. Some wanted to delay the payments of more than $200,000 until members were in their 20s or to tie payments to college, employment or military service.

But the tribal legislature didn't vote Monday on a proposal to delay payments and instead passed the suggestion on as an informational item for the tribe's General Council meeting in September. The Wisconsin State Journal reported Wednesday that likely means an end to any changes.

Some families had protested any change, saying they rely on the money for basic needs.

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Graduate student seeks to learn how invasive species interact in Northwoods lakesSubmitted: 07/09/2014

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Much of graduate student Adrienne Gemberling's life this summer revolves around what's going on in a dozen hot-tub sized tanks standing side-by-side at UW-Madison's Trout Lake Research Station near Boulder Junction.

She hopes to find answers to meaningful biological questions.

Adrienne wants to know if some invasive species keep each other in check if they're in the same lake.

She also wants to see if other combinations help invaders take over lakes faster.

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