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Teacher accused of selling pot got 'glowing recommendations' during hiring processSubmitted: 11/14/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Teacher accused of selling pot got 'glowing recommendations' during hiring process
RHINELANDER - Police searched a Rhinelander High School teacher's house because they thought he had been stealing equipment from the school.

They say that's when they found 66 marijuana plants and a sophisticated grow operation. Since we reported that story last week, people have been asking how Joshua Juergens got hired in the first place.

"We got glowing recommendations," said superintendent Kelli Jacobi. "I don't know that those were all completely honest."

Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says the district did a background check on Juergens. That check turned up a record, as does a simple online search of Wisconsin's online court records.

In 2010, Juergens was convicted of disorderly conduct. In 1997, he was convicted of marijuana possession, both misdemeanors.

"We did know that there was a drug issue, a misdemeanor, I believe he was 19," Jacobi said. "We look at patterns in behavior. If something is a recurring thing in a background check, that definitely signals a problem."

But Jacobi says she can't factor certain convictions into the hiring process.

For now, Juergens is on unpaid leave from his teaching job. He'll stay in the Oneida County Jail unless he can come up with his $2,000 bail or get into a treatment facility.

He returns to court November 21.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/21/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll tell you about a survey Merrill Area Public Schools are giving residents to get input on how they would feel about a referendum.

We go to Rhinelander retail businesses to see how they're preparing for Black Friday.

And kindergarten teachers in Eagle River received grant funding for Lego sets. Today some of the kids enthusiastically show us their projects.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MERRILL - Merrill Fire Department wants to remind you to stay safe this Thanksgiving.

Deep-frying a turkey is a popular cooking style, but it's also the most dangerous way to prepare your bird.
 
You should never leave the fryer unattended because it only takes seconds to boil over.

Turkey fryer explosions can be massive.

Set up the fryer in an open-air space, away from kids and pets.

"Fire can expand at least two times the size every minute. Leaving for two or three minutes? You're looking at a pretty big fire," firefighter and paramedic Phillip Skoug.

For those deer hunters out there, never place your fryer near your canopy.

You should also never leave food cooking in your kitchen untended either.

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TAYLOR COUNTY - A kindergartener from north central Wisconsin is among the first youngsters to bag a buck under the state's new law that eliminates the state's minimum hunting age.

Six year old Lexie Harris is no stranger to the woods.

Her dad, Tyler Harris, has taken her hunting since she was three.

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MADISON - The authors of a Republican bill that would dramatically relax Wisconsin's air pollution rules say the regulations are placing an undue burden on businesses.

Representative Jesse Kremer and Senator Duey Stroebel told the Assembly's Committee on Federalism and Interstate Relations during a public hearing Tuesday that the state regulates scores of pollutants that the federal government doesn't and the rules need to be reviewed.

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MADISON - Election season is starting early in Wisconsin.

Voters will fill three open seats in the Legislature over the next two months. Primaries are set for December 19th with the general elections scheduled for January 16th.

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EAGLE RIVER - Today marks day three of the gun deer season.

Many Northwoods hunters have already filled their tags and are ready to process their deer meat.

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ST. GERMAIN - After your big Thanksgiving meal later this week, you might be looking for a way to get active.

St. Germain will be hosting its holiday light parade and Jingle Bell 3K Race this Saturday.

People will pull out their lawn chairs and wool blankets to watch floats take over downtown.

The St. Germain A-T-V club will also be collecting food along the parade route for the Vilas County Food Pantry.

"St. Germain has always had the tradition of the town tree lighting and caroling and stuff like that. We just amped it up and taken it one step further. It is really neat to be a part of and kick off the Christmas season," says special events coordinator Judy Jurries.

You can still register for the Jingle Bell 3K Race.



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