ANTIGO - More than 50 people met Saturday morning for a Langlade County Sheriff's Office drug presentation in Antigo.
The focus was on synthetic drugs, specifically bath salts, and their impact in the community.
Langlade County Sheriff's Office Drug Investigator Dan Bauknecht emphasized the physical impact of using bath salts.
He says the mood swing caused by synthetic drug can shift from friendly to violent in an instant.
It's something that puts users, family members and police in danger.
Police say that's because the bath salts essentially overload your nervous system. Mood swings can last for hours.
Bauknecht sees that more often when they arrest users.
"The real danger to these synthetic drugs is obviously they are not regulated because they're illegal street drugs," Bauknecht said. "The chemical compound is often times very different from bag to bag, even though its promoted to be the same brand."
Bauknecht started working at the Langlade County Jail in 1999. He says bath salts first started popping up in the area in 2009.
"I think it really got entrenched in our community and got entrenched in the outlying communities around us." Bauknecht said. "Then when it did become banned and people were too far gone on it so to speak to just stop because it was an illegal substance, so it became an underground substance."
The Sheriff's office hopes education sessions like the one they held in Antigo Saturday can help.
The goal was to let people know what is out on their streets. Bauknecht says the battle is more than just arresting users.
"This is more than just cops and robbers with bath salts because of the challenges with it and because of the catastrophic damage that it causes the person and our community, which is a trickle down," Bauknecht said.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, poison centers recorded 2,677 calls for exposure to bath salts.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
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